When I started this blog, my main purpose was to help skiers have a more pleasant experience by assisting them in finding the best snow and trail conditions. Perhaps it’s evolved to the point where I can simply say it’s purpose is to help skiers have a more pleasant experience.
Reading the comments from the previous post, Incident on the trail today helps me relive some of the experiences I had while learning this activity. I am not impressed with skiers who think they own the trail, and intimidate others. It’s in all our best interests to encourage the new skiers, accept that some skiers are slower, and to build and strengthen the xc skiing community.
I’ve found most faster skiers to be polite and considerate, at least 99% of them. I enjoy watching a skier with superior technical ability and fitness whiz past me.
We’ve had thoughtful, relevant comments on this topic, thanks. Here’s a few excerpts that would articulate my opinion on the matter:
- “Either up or down while recreational classic skiing, just step out and go around. What’s the big deal really. You were obviously going faster than them anyways, and you’ll be back in the track in a few seconds.”
- “It is totally inappropriate to ask for the track on a recreational course, and the Moraine Lake Road is a recreational course.”
- “If going up I just step out and ski around with a “hello” so I may not startle them so badly”
Here’s what happened yesterday:
I’m classic skiing up Moraine Lake road with Jake. Conditions are wonderful, almost as good as you’d see in mid-winter. MLR is double trackset with a wide skating lane between the two tracks. A faster skier comes up behind Jake and yells “track.” Nothing happens.
He yells again. Nothing happens. Jake finally tells the faster skier to just go around because he’s not getting out of the track.
The faster skier starts lecturing on “proper skiing etiquette.” Colourful language and heated words are exchanged and the faster skier finally gets out of the track and goes around. It’s a good thing it didn’t escalate to fisticuffs because this guy was big.
I did not silently stand by and watch it all unfold. I’ll let you use your imagination, but Jake later told me, “Bob, all along I thought you were a mild-mannered guy.”
The fact that the faster skier stayed behind Jake and yelled at him a second time(maybe even more) tells me he was out to impose his will and was looking for an opportunity to tell everyone about his distorted view of skiing etiquette.
Anyone on a recreational trail who yells “track” and expects a slower skier to get out of the tracks is self-centred and full of themselves. It pains me to say that about a xc skier, but that’s my opinion.
The Parks Canada Rules of Etiquette posted at the trailhead are confusing and could not have been written by a skier.
We head out to the ski trails for light-hearted fun, enjoyment, and exercise. People from around the world envy us for being able to live in this magical place. Skiing should be a break from the stresses of everyday life, so don’t bring your negative energy to the ski trail.