After three generations of skiing at Mammoth,ever since it had one single tow rope, we no longer do so. The reason is that management does a grossly inadequate job of policing the large numbers of dangerous, out-of-control reckless snowboarders. We have had these witless wonders knock into us into us from behind and immediately look around for possible witnesses-then take off into the trees. Twice I've come within a foor or two of being landed on when a jibber came off a jump blind and landed on a trail without ever thinking of using such an anachronism as a spotter; after all, that isn't necessary, is it, dude?
I've been crashed into by a run-away board with such force that my rear ski binding shattered along with my boot. Your Ski Patrol found this mentally defective individual walking around above Chair 1 asking "Hey dude, where's my board?" The retention devices and his bindings were found open, so I can only surmise that he had stood on the board like a surfboard, without considering that as soon as he slipped off, it would immediately take off like a shot all the way downhill-until it hit something or someone. My consequent experience with the head of Ski Patrol was not reassuring; they punished the man --this was not a stupid young kid, he appeared to be well in his late twenties--by forcing him to watch a video on safety!
I was also told that this was to be the sum total of the consequences for him, because "We aren't the police, and we can't take sides in a collision." Even though I had witnesses, and that the evidence demonstrated by his equipment showed an utter lack of safety concern or even comprehension of the most basic laws of gravity. Best of all, his statement of remorse was "Hey man, (I am a woman) skiers run into me all the time. So sue me." The only individuals who blithely say that are those with zero assets to lose. He didn't even lose his lift ticket! As to his assertion of being hit by skiers "all the time", I can only surmise that I am some sort of statistical anamoly. After personally skiing at Mammoth for 34 years, I have had five collisions. One was about fifteen years ago with another skier and was slow-speed, the others were frightening high-speed snowboarders, and the latter have all taken place in my last three years with you. This does not take into account all the near-misses or having someone slide across the backs of my skis, again, all recent.
Is business so bad you daren't risk discouraging such individuals by enforcing safety, let alone common sense? Would it really be such a tragedy if these people
ceased coming because they would be held accountable for their actions? I remember having my lift ticket pulled by Patrol for skiing too fast when I was fourteen, and I was on an almost empty trail and in control.
I also remember when the lifts were manned by polite, smiling employees, not these surly jibbers, rude and sullen because they had to take out the barbells in their nose, tongue and eyebrows to come to work. I don't like riding the lifts and seeing snowboarders blatantly urinating in the snow and laughing at the people who aren't impressed that they can spell their own names.
These are not the people who buy second homes, go to the better restaurants, spend money in the luxury shops and patronise your many services in the town. So why are they treated as if they are somehow exempt from all the rules and customs of safety
that have traditionally made skiing such an enjoyable and civilized sport?