It had started as just another February powder day for Vail local Skip Moss. After a morning in the back bowls, Moss was heading out-of-bounds to ski the East Vail Chutes when he ran into a group of snowboarders. He suggested to them that they might not have adequate gear for the backcountry.
An argument erupted, and the snowboarders began pummeling the skier. One of them even took Moss's own pole and used it against him. "I couldn't believe it," said Moss. "I had five guys on me, kicking me in the head."
The incident caught the attention of the mainstream media, including The New York Times, and served as a reminder of an earlier era-when clashes between skiers and snowboarders were commonplace. "It really disturbs me," said Vail local and professional snowboarder Chris Albers, upon hearing of the assault. "I thought we were over this type of stuff. Punks like that perpetuate the idea that everyone who rides a snowboard is an asshole." However, others familiar with Moss say the incident may have had less to do with bad blood between skiers and snowboarders than with the victim's temper. "He can get wound up pretty easily," said a local who has had barroom confrontations with Moss. "The snowboarders definitely went too far, but I'll bet Moss helped bring it on."