On the Slopes: More problems with out-of-control snowboarders | NevadaAppeal.com

On the Slopes: More problems with out-of-control snowboarders

Sam Bauman
Special to the Nevada Appeal

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m wearing a sign that says “Hit me!” on my back. For the second time this season and at the same resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, I was blindsided by a snowboarder out of control. Almost identical circumstances; I was heading on my last run of the day on a modestly steep hill when bang, I went flying, both skis off. I wound up on my back, dazed and helpless.

The boarder rushed to my aid, apologizing profusely. Nice young guy. I got my skis on and finished the run, my back already hurting. My cell phone cover was smashed and there was a deep cut from the rider’s board on the top of my right ski. No structural damage, I think, but I’ll have it checked. For my back pain, the doctor is still out and I’m off the slopes for the week unless the back mends quickly. I fear broken ribs from a finger search but not definite yet. Anyone got a spare flak jacket?

Meanwhile, I messaged several friends about the accident, and oddly enough two came back with comments that may help in the future. Both noted that my ski helmet blocks sounds and sounds can warn you of things. Also, I wear hearing aids most of the time but take out when skiing for fear of losing them. They both suggested wearing them on the slopes. There’s a risk of losing them then, of course.

Some friends asked if there isn’t some legal recourse in such events. ‘Fraid not; both California and Nevada warn that skiing is a hazardous sport and one does it at your own risk. So helmet-less in the future, with hearing aids? Maybe. But skiing at S-A-T is great most of the time; the lodge at the West Bowl lift offers a great place to grab sun and soda.


Learn to ski and ride for only $29 is a good deal. In an effort to encourage everyone to get better at skiing or snowboarding, Diamond Peak has created another week dedicated to teaching a new sport or improving kills. Diamond Peak held one Learn to Ski and Ride Week back in January and it was so successful the Peak decided to add another one during March 9-13.

The $29 learn to ski & ride week is available for ages 7 and up and includes a beginner lift ticket, group lesson and rental gear. Lessons start at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Repeat as many times as wanted during the week. The first-time beginner package usually costs $81 for a one-hour 45-minute lesson, rental equipment and a lift ticket but during Learn to Ski and Ride Week get all of this for only $29.

A $59 learn to ski and ride package is available for ages 4-7. This package includes a two-hour group lesson, rentals and a lift ticket with access to the Schoolhouse and Lodgepole lifts.

Diamond Peak is a fine place to learn with its wide, easy to navigate slopes. Diamond Peak lacks the crowds of the destination resorts and has beautiful lake views from almost every run. It’s a good mountain for families and beginners. Reservations are not required. Come to Diamond Peak during the week of March 9-13 and ask for the first-time beginner package at any ticket window. Diamond Peak is at 1210 Ski Way in Incline Village. For more information and current conditions, call 775-832-1177.

The Peak also offers a Saturday evening “Last Trails” event after the regular hours for the lifts. A finger-food and wine tasting is held in the lodge on the top of the lower hill. It’s great fun and you can ski down along with the Ski Patrol after wining and dining. And the sunsets are spectacular from the lodge.


Most ski racers preach the idea of going back to basics every so often. It’s a good idea and here’s a basic that you can work in almost any day you’re on the slopes.

Find a nice long blue run and get in the traverse position. What you’re going to do is a wedge christy one ” that’s when you start a traverse in a wedge but match the skis parallel after you cross the fall line (that’s the imaginary line that a snowball would take if it were free to roll downhill; it’s also the sharpest decline on a slope). You then wedge the skis again for the next turn and repeat the christy one. Do that several times linked. If you’re an advanced skier you may be surprised at how you have to think out when to parallel the skis.

Next, get in a traverse position and start a turn across the fall line, this time matching the skis parallel before you cross the line. Then back into the wedge before starting the next turn. Link several turns. You again may be surprised at how you have to think about what you are doing.

Another exercise that helps many skiers get into parallel skiing is the hesitation turn. Stand with the skis in the traverse position with the edges cut into the snow. Without moving the body, flatten the edges and let the skis start to move. You’ll find the skis naturally moving into a parallel position, to to make that first turn just put pressure on one ski and bring the other one along as the turn naturally develops.

– Contact sam bauman at 841-7818 or sambauman@att.net.