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Let me tell you a story about ski pole baskets

Edd

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Minor PSA and amusing story. At Gunstock a couple of years ago I got on a lift chair alone and rode to the top. When I get off I realize a lifty from the base terminal got on the chair behind me. He approaches and informs me that I may not ski the mountain because one of my ski poles was missing a basket. State law, he says. If I go to the tune shop they’ll install one for free. I was bewildered because I’d never heard of this. Buuut, my wife works there, I get a pass for free, so I’m not in a position to push back. I googled about it that day and found zero info about it. The shop puts on a giant basket that dwarfs the other but I give zero fucks about baskets. For the last couple of years, I’ll make the occasional crack to my wife about it but NBD obviously.

So this year that basket falls off. I’m at Smuggler’s Notch about to board a lift and the lifty notices and says I can’t take the pole up the chair. This all happens as I’m boarding so I have about two seconds to think about it and I’m suddenly riding a chair with one pole. My friends are highly amused. This was in the village right after lunch. I get off at the mid-station and ski back to the base. Again, I’m told I can get a basket for free from the shop. I ask him what the rationale behind this is and he says “I could impale someone”. My friends wait for me, but I wish they’d taken a run because it was a 30 minute ordeal.

They didn’t have a basket that could fit on the pole. I rented poles for $15. FYI, I dropped $90 for a lift ticket and wasted 30 minutes of a very good ski day. At the end of the day I return the rented poles and pick mine up. A different guy located a basket and installed it; it’s yellow so a color mismatch 😆 but again, I don’t care. My friends furiously Google this rule and everyone comes up empty.

Apparently, I drag my poles too much.
 

pinion247

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So I have to ask: thoughts on wether a small diameter universal basket is going to mitigate impaling somebody if such an accident were to occur?
 

1dog

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smaller, less intricate design baskets are much better for woods/tree-skiing. Larger baskets much better in deeper and softer snow. I fell in woods. Sunday, my small ( I guess racing baskets?) kept going deep because they are so small.

Larger ones grab brush or branches easier. But I've tried skiing without one - near impossible when on steeps pole planting- pole goes way to deep.

1st and second world problems . .
 

Edd

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I “plant” poles but it’s really just a tiny tap for timing. The size or presence of a basket makes no difference to my skiing. In bumps I’m more likely to jam it into the trail but, with the snow we get, I don’t consider the basket a factor.
 

jimmywilson69

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this alleged ski basket rule might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard related to skiing... my baskets are easily 3-4" above the time. that's still going to do some serious damage should someone be "impaled" by the ski pole...
 

jaytrem

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#1 I'm glad you brought this up. I snapped a pole at BMOM the other day and this is a good reminder to fix it. It broke just above the basket, so I was able to jam the tip into the remaining shaft and ski the rest of the week. Worked fine other than when you want to push with it. They're Black Diamond adjustable poles, I think I can cannibalize another broken pair.

#2 Many years ago I tore off a basket at Belleayre. When getting on a lift the lift lady stopped the lift , then there was a very long pause. Eventually she told me I could not ski with the pole. The long pause was very odd, but she was nice enough to let me go up with a promise that I would fix it (it was the far right chair, so not near my car). I just ended up putting a bunch of duct tape on it so it was like a ball. That seemed to be satisfactory for the rest of the day.
 
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crank

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I have heard this before. Maybe when I was a liftie 39 years ago? Makes at least a little bit of sense to me.
 

drjeff

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Just like there;s a reason why they can no longer sell the old school lawn darts with the metal tips (the nerf one's just aren't remotely the same ;) ), same thing with poles an baskets. While the number of SERIOUS incidents of harm from things like this is rare, it's not zero, and the lawyers have a field day when that incredibly rare event does happen.

The entire "how much personal risk" is one willing to accept on their own, verses being "told" what they can/can't do is such a vast topic with incredibly far reaching implications in our day to day lives now, and so much greater than they were a few decades ago.

Is that totally a good thing or a bad thing? More likely that answer is a mix of both and variable from person to person based on their own level of risk comfort
 

doublediamond

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Golly don’t look at cross country poles. Sharp metal pointy tips unlike the blunt tips on alpine poles. And if you’re roller skiing you don’t use any baskets at all!

I could seriously do more ”damage” with my carbide tipped Leki alpine poles with their powder baskets than the average downhill pole with no basket.

All I can image is it’s a safety issue dealing with a runaway pole rather than any “impaling” concern. The basket will help arrest any lost pole in a yard sale much like the brakes on skis.
 

Not Sure

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Wonder if that triggered the rule.
I worked in a hospital in Pa. In the late 70’s early 80’s , I can’t recall the date this happened but a skier was air lifted to our hospital from the Poconos with a pole impaled in his temple up to the basket. I would say it saved his life.
 

skef

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this alleged ski basket rule might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard related to skiing... my baskets are easily 3-4" above the time. that's still going to do some serious damage should someone be "impaled" by the ski pole...
My understanding (based, I think, on a truly corny family-oriented show at Smuggs that covered many other safety rules for the little ones) is that (among its other uses) the basket acts as a brake -- no runaway pole, no impalement.
 

drjeff

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Incase anyone wanted to play old school Lawn darts with old school darts there is at least one company that sells them as parts that you just assemble yourself for more dangerous fun :)

That sounds like something that might require a double dog dare to do! ;) :ROFLMAO:
 

Smellytele

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My understanding (based, I think, on a truly corny family-oriented show at Smuggs that covered many other safety rules for the little ones) is that (among its other uses) the basket acts as a brake -- no runaway pole, no impalement.
How fast can a run away pole go? It would have to be going pretty fast to actually impale someone. Like shot out of a cannon. It has no weight to impale someone on its own.
 

BenedictGomez

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this alleged ski basket rule might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard related to skiing... my baskets are easily 3-4" above the time. that's still going to do some serious damage should someone be "impaled" by the ski pole...

Yeah, I have a hard time believing the "impaling" explanation. Everything vital is easily within that roughly 3.5" spike that would get through the cavity. Anyone who's a hunter certainly knows this.
 
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