Issues and attitudes need addressing
I have just returned from a snowboarding trip for the first time to your beautiful and unique resort. I had the opportunity to read your magazine with interest, especially the article from the editor concerning tourist dollars and Mr. Romeskie receiving a snowball to the head.
Having boarded throughout the USA and my partner having been to Europe, we noticed something disturbing. Whistler-Blackcomb has the rudest skiers/snowboarders we have encountered. Also, tied into this is the conspicuous lack of ski patrol actually patrolling. We are intermediate boarders and spent a great deal of time in the "slow" zones where I experienced two purposely-executed close calls. One by a skier, the other by a boarder who felt it necessary to give me a snow shower while I was taking a rest, directly adjacent to a slow sign! Like Mr. Romeskie's "assailant", this boarder didn't have the sac to directly confront me with whatever issue he had with me (I am not the size of Mr. Romeskie, but I do have the skill to "display" my displeasure at dickless cowards such as those that inhabit your mountain).
Here in the States, maybe due to our litigious society, it is very common to be admonished on our velocities in posted slow areas. Also, instructors with small children are quite vocal about unsafe riders in their vicinity, something I did not see at your mountain, which amazed me. I guess it will take a serious injury, forbid it be child, for better patrols, eh?
When asked about my visit to your resort, yes, I will extol the beauty of the mountain and the village, but I will also mention the gist of this letter.
Love us or hate us, Americans do "vote" with their wallet, and I hope you will resolve these issues if you want more tourist dollars. If you don't want us up there, fine, but at least look out for your own children.
It comes down to respect
Re: Patrolling the People (Pique letters Jan. 5, 2006)
After reading Greg Romeskie’s letter to the editor, Whistler-Blackcomb felt compelled to respond. We were thoroughly disappointed and sorry to hear about Greg’s experience of being hit in the head with ice balls just below Blackcomb’s Spanky’s Ladder a couple of weeks ago.
Thank you to Greg for highlighting the issue. Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Patrol does have a big job in ensuring the safety of our guests from natural hazards, without having to deal with hazards created by other guests. However, monitoring the hazards created by such individuals has become a big part of Patrol’s responsibility. Monitoring speed and reckless skiing is perhaps the most predominant part of this responsibility and we have gone to such measures as to significantly expand the Whistler Mountain Family Zone in order to create a large slow zone for families and beginner skiers. Hopefully we have not reached the point where we must monitor lift lines for reckless behaviour as well.