Section 1: Welcome, Disclaimers, etc

Welcome to the rec.skiing.* newsgroup FAQ. This group is a forum for the discussion of skiing (snow, water, downhill, cross country, snowboarding) and related topics. If you're new to the net, or even just new to rec.skiing.alpine please take a couple of minutes to read this may save you a lot of grief in the long run!

If you're *brand* new to the net, please check out the group news.announce.newusers for general information about usenet.

Here are a few rules of thumb that will help you get around in rec.skiing (and even some other places) without firmly inserting your foot in your mouth.

Some other groups that you might find interesting are rec.backcountry for more generic wilderness stuff, for waterskiing stuff, and for more waterskiing stuff.

1.01) "So where's the obligitory disclaimers?"

Thanks for asking. This list is a compilation of many frequently asked questions and their frequently posted responses. As such it is merely a compression of information from many sources. Neither the persons maintaining and posting this list nor their employers make any claims about the safety or even the accuracy of the information in the list.

You're on your own. Make informed decisions. Only take the risks that you feel comfortable taking. Don't ski alone. Stay warm. Don't get caught in an avalanche. Use appropriate equipment. Don't ski in closed areas.

Have some respect. Respect the other people on the slopes. Respect the mountains...they can bite. Respect the weather, it can change. Respect your limitations, exceed them and you'll hurt yourself. Respect the setting...littering is for morons.

1.02) "How dangerous is skiing?"

It's about as safe or as dangerous as you want it to be. While there is always some inherent danger in the sport most problems are due to "pilot error". Pay attention to posted signs...they're there for a reason. Ski in control. Don't ski in closed areas.

The injury rate for skiing has been fairly level at about 3 injuries per thousand skier-days. These injuries include everything from minor bruses and lacerations to broken necks. The most common injuries are thumb and knee injuries.

You *can* kill yourself skiing. You can also kill somebody else. Stay in control. That being said it should also be mentioned that you're probably more likely to slip and fall in the parking lot...

1.03) "What's this skier's responsibility code thing?"

Well, rather than saying much *about* it, we'll just include it here.

Note: This code is widely accepted in the United States...other countries may have similar codes. One netter reports that this code is similar to what's posted in New Zealand.

The Alpine Skier's Responsibility Code

  1. Ski under control and in such a manner that you can stop or avoid other skiers or objects. Excessive speed is dangerous.
  2. When skiing downhill or overtaking another skier, you must avoid the skier below you.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  4. When entering a trail or starting downhill, yield to other skiers.
  5. All skiers shall use devices to prevent runaway skis.
  6. You shall keep off closed trails and posted areas and observe all posted signs.
The Skier's Responsibility Code is endorsed by The American Ski Federation, National Ski Patrol, United States Ski Industries Association, Professional Ski Instructors of America, Cross Country Ski Areas Association, United States Ski Association, Ski Coach's Association, and other organizations.

The European countries have th FIS-rules (Federation International de Ski). They are a basis for courtroom decisions but are not laws. The FIS-rules are:

The FIS-rules

  1. Consideration of the other Skiers: Every skier has to behave in a way he or she doesn't endanger or damage any other.
  2. Controlling of speed and way of skiing: Every skier has to ski on sight. He has to adapt his speed and way of skiing to his abilities and the conditions of the terrain, the snow and the weather as to the traffic density.
  3. Choice of track: The skier coming from behind another has to choose his track so that skiers before him won't be endangered.
  4. Overtaking: Overtaking is allowed from above or below, from right or left but always with a distance so that the skier being overtaken has space enough for all his movements.
  5. Entering and restarting: Every skier entering a trail or starting after a halt has to asure himself uphill and downhill of the fact that he can do so without danger for himself and others.
  6. Stopping: Every skier has to avoid stopping at small or blind places of a trail without need. A fallen skier has to free such a place as quick as possible.
  7. Mounting and descend: A skier mounting or descending by feet has to use the border of the trail.
  8. Pay attention to signs: Every skier has to pay attention to the marks and signs.
  9. Behavior in case of accidents: In case of accidents every skier has to help.
  10. Duty of proving identity: Every skier whether witness or involved, whether responsible or not has to prove his identity in case of an accident.

1.04) "Is there a Nordic Skier's Responsibility Code?"

Glad you asked...turns out that there is one!

The Nordic Skier's Responsibility Code

  1. Ski in the indicated direction and observe all signs.
  2. Always ski to the right when passing oncoming skiers and when skiing a double track.
  3. On a two way trail descending skiers always have the right of way.
  4. Don't litter! If you pack it in, pack it out. Respect private property.
  5. Don't obstruct the trail: move off the track quickly if you fall and quickly step off the track during breaks.

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