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The etiquette of passing (on skis)

prsboogie

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I do it every time I pass. Good bad or indifferent, I just do. Then again I do the same walking in public too.
Does anyone say, "On your left" or "On your right" anymore when passing? Do beginners even know what that means anymore? I found that when I say that when passing someone they are more likely to turn to the side I called instead of the opposite way that I called. :roll:

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da-bum

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I ski weekdays most of the time, so this is not much of an issue. When I do see someone downhill, I pass far and wide, mostly in the opposite direction they are turning. I am gone far downhill before they knew I was there.

I am usually doing about 50 MPH, or more, I don't take any chance passing close.

Thats how I do some of my runs too, at weekday, I can usually wait for the visible part of the trail to be free of people, or judge how each person's ability is on the trail and where I would encounter them. If I think they might crowd up at the part where it might be the narrowest or when I am going the fastest, I might wait a short while.

The worst part with the beginners, when I am passing, is you frequently cannot tell when they are going to turn. They usually make relatively quick transitions and ski diagonally across the fall line in a straight line. They could make their transition a short while later, half way across the or go all the way to the other side of the trail. Sometimes my prediction of when they will turn is wrong and I will have to go waaay off to the edge of the trail, maybe even over the edge past the spine, but that also meant I passed them really close (otherwise, I wouldn't be be skiing back up from the other side of the spine) and they get into a fit.

The other most dangerous are snowboarders who seems to love straightline down, and if they are beside me, I can't see them in my peripheral vision, I can just hear some boarder being there. And my swinging side to side in these GS sized turns, I don't want to sideswipe into them. My only option is to stay much closer to the other side of the trail. I don't even know if they are paying attention to what's around them, since when I see them straightline down, they are just looking forward.

Frequently when I am approaching speeding snowboarders, my goggles gets covered by snow thrown up by them when they are doing their constant slight skids in order to control their speed, but just throws a trail of snow behind them. My swinging side to side means I go between low to high visibility and back, just as I am starting to get closer to the him and need to know exactly where he is.
 

da-bum

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I do it every time I pass. Good bad or indifferent, I just do. Then again I do the same walking in public too.

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I usually let out a big curse if the skier made an unpredictable turn that throws off my plan on where and when to pass them, just like when I am riding a bike in the city and cars, other bikes or pedestrians does things that throws me off my expected path and I have to make drastic maneuvers with minimal change in speed.
 

uphillklimber

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I will typically give as wide a berth as reasonably possible. I try to time my passing with their turns and get close enough I can just step on it and get by. Sometimes, though, folks are not consistent with their turns. I always feel like you shouldn't take up more than a half or third of the trail, but some people are in a bit over their heads and need all that traverse to safely negotiate the trail. I understand that.

What gets tough is on some of the crossing trails at Sunday River (Kansas, Lights Out). You need some speed to go all the way or you'll be poling a good deal. And you'll get someone zig zagging across the entire trail (it's only a groomer wide to begin with). I'll get close and say passing on your left and it seems to work really well most of the time. I wait until the scootch over to the right and then zip by them.

I did come up behind this teen who decided to squat on his skis and stick his poles straight out sideways, basically blocking the majority of the trail. I hollered to him to pull in his poles, which he did and stood up and had that WTF look on his face. Maybe he figured it out....
 

WoodCore

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I ski slow and rarely pass other skiers. For me it's not about speed, it's all about the turn. :snow:
 

CS2-6

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Yikes. I hope the camera guy was (supposed to be) spotting the landing for that guy. Could have been really ugly.

Yeah, I think those two guys should've been forever-banned from that mountain. Or, those two guys and that lady....

The more I see that video, the more I'm starting to suspect it was all staged; an elaborate hoax for the internets. Something about the way the camera starts on the lady, then looks uphill... the way her hands jut out when he's right next to her... the way he doesn't freak out in the air when he sees her... the steepness of the run this supposed rank beginner is on... how he hits the brakes at the bottom but doesn't look up to see if she's alright... how he stops in the wide open instead of heading for a crowded area... everything about it just seems a little suspicious to me. I think she might have been in on it.
 

John9

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I agree, something is off. Also consider, if you have evidence of your friend, and your self almost killing someone via negligence, would you post it on the Internet?
 

kbroderick

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What gets tough is on some of the crossing trails at Sunday River (Kansas, Lights Out). You need some speed to go all the way or you'll be poling a good deal. And you'll get someone zig zagging across the entire trail (it's only a groomer wide to begin with). I'll get close and say passing on your left and it seems to work really well most of the time. I wait until the scootch over to the right and then zip by them.

Sometimes I think Kansas should really have a "NO TURNING HERE, UPHILL AHEAD" sign on the one downhill pitch before the uphill section. I suppose it probably wouldn't be much more effective than a "Slower traffic keep right" sign, but maybe it would help.

I've found that it's usually best to approach directly behind the skier I'm looking to pass, wait for him or her to make a move in one direction or the other, and then go the other way. Committing early, based on existing turn pattern/rhythm, on a trail like Kansas—where a quick, irregular move can block an entire half of the trail—seems to result in needing to chuck 'em sideways at inconvenient times way too often.

I also mostly gave up on "on your right" years ago. Too often, it results in someone moving to the right. I'll still use it sometimes when passing someone I know, in part because I'm willing to do that a lot closer than I would someone I don't, but if I don't know (and trust) the skier I'm passing, I'll generally keep my mouth shut and just try to get around quickly.
 

abc

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OK, I didn't start the thread thinking "how best to pass". Everyone seems to have found what works for themselves.

I was more annoyed at some of the "how NOT to pass" moves, typically you've seen pulled by others. Some of them were inexperienced, which I can forgive, assume they would improve as they got more slope time. But some were just thoughtless, or worse, selfish (like pulling in front of someone else right outside the lift entrance, especially if it's slightly uphill!).
 
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skiur

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OK, I didn't start the thread thinking "how best to pass". Everyone seems to have found what works for themselves.

I was more annoyed at some of the "how NOT to pass" moves, typically pulled by others. Some of them were inexperienced, which I can forgive, assume they would improve as they got more slope time. But some were just thoughtless, or worse, selfish (like pulling in front of someone else right outside the lift entrance, especially if it's slightly uphill!).

I guess it varies from mountain to mountain, but from my experience in the northeast, for every thoughtful person on the slope there are two assholes.
 

kbroderick

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OK, I didn't start the thread thinking "how best to pass". Everyone seems to have found what works for themselves.

I was more annoyed at some of the "how NOT to pass" moves, typically you've seen pulled by others. Some of them were inexperienced, which I can forgive, assume they would improve as they got more slope time. But some were just thoughtless, or worse, selfish (like pulling in front of someone else right outside the lift entrance, especially if it's slightly uphill!).

There are a finite number of good ways to pass. There appear to be an infinite number of "how NOT to pass" moves.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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I've learned that you simply cannot predict what a person skiing below you will do . I had one collision in the 80's with a beginner who who as I approached (on the far opposite side of the trail ) linked 4 symmetrical turns only to hang a hard right 60' across and right into my path . Neither one was injured and she apologized to me realizing what she did. The second one I was 2' from the woods and someone decided they owned the whole slope by cutting all the way across .

So now when I pass someone I for example turn the same direction as them and converge on a point (still on the slope ) and at a safe distance uphill cut a hard turn the opposite direction. Not close enough to be considered "Buzzing" them. If they spot me in their peripheral vision I'm going the opposite direction so shouldn't spook them.
 

catskillman

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I ski weekdays most of the time, so this is not much of an issue. When I do see someone downhill, I pass far and wide, mostly in the opposite direction they are turning. I am gone far downhill before they knew I was there.

I am usually doing about 50 MPH, or more, I don't take any chance passing close.

Well - from those comments I know you are not blue boy
 

Funky_Catskills

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I'm dyslexic... If you say "on your right" - I may turn right.
Audio cues are not to be trusted in bounds - imho...
 

ironhippy

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I'm dyslexic... If you say "on your right" - I may turn right.
Audio cues are not to be trusted in bounds - imho...

Also people who aren't experienced with "on your right" sometimes only hear "right" and think they need to move to their right to get out of the way.
 

SkiingInABlueDream

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I spent a fair amount of time on traffickey runout trails recently which had me thinking of this topic and thread.

I think the tone of ones voice when calling out, "on your left/right", can have a big effect. My goal is usually just to make the person aware that I'm there, as un-startlingly as possible rather than than imply or demand any specific action which could be misinterpreted.

I also make a point of recognizing when a cluster of ppl is just too big or dense to pass through.

Question for the non-dyslexic snowboarders. Does "on your left/right" work for you or is there something else that'd be better? Like, "Behind ya"?
 

Funky_Catskills

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I spent a fair amount of time on traffickey runout trails recently which had me thinking of this topic and thread.

I think the tone of ones voice when calling out, "on your left/right", can have a big effect. My goal is usually just to make the person aware that I'm there, as un-startlingly as possible rather than than imply or demand any specific action which could be misinterpreted.

I also make a point of recognizing when a cluster of ppl is just too big or dense to pass through.

Question for the non-dyslexic snowboarders. Does "on your left/right" work for you or is there something else that'd be better? Like, "Behind ya"?

Nope - just respectfully pass when there's room and try not to pass behind people(heel side).. And I'll promise to stay out of the big bump lines...
I'll almost always have my back to the side of the trail so have at it. Just don't do a "Type A Killington" style - scream up behind me and yell like some entitled asswipe... I may not move out of principle.. Or throw an elbow too... You never know.. hahh.
 
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