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Forum: Segregate The Slopes?

Fall Line
posted: 08/15/2000
by Bruce Stoff

Nat, you reactionary putz. Zoning is an upscale name for something the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional five decades ago: segregation. What's next? Will you force some mountain users to sit at the back of the lift? Do you envision separate base lodges and water fountains? Come on. "Separate but equal" is anything but.

Yes, a revolution in equipment and massive increases in uphill capacity have fundamentally altered the skiing landscape. In the 21st century, we're looking at a rainbow of mountain users: teletubbies, snowboarders, shaped-ski carvers, long-boarders, ski-boarders and air-brained nitwits like you. It's a brave new world up there.

But that's not the problem. The real issue is attitude. Here's an idea: Instead of screaming for segregation, how about if we all show a little tolerance and take some personal responsibility? Instead of railing against that boarder for wanting to ride the same powder you did, how about heeding the Skier's Responsibility Code on the back of your lift ticket? It would have told you that you were overtaking her from above and that you were in the wrong. And the riders who hit your stepfather? The same code would probably have put them at fault, and they should have had their tickets pulled. Did you complain to mountain management that the patrol staff was doing a lousy job of enforcement? Of course not. You were probably too busy ranting about zoning.

There are rules on the books to keep the slopes safe and fun-if we choose to live by them. If every skier or rider who was hit went into the ticket office and demanded a refund because of poor skier-code enforcement, things would change fast. Sadly, too many mountain users and too many mountain managers are acting like they did in the last century, when skiers were a homogenous blend of stem turners and snowplowers.

Call it zoning, call it segregation, call it what you will. I call it a mistake. I have no interest in a half-baked policy that bans me from trails because I want to cruise fast on my old 205s, or forbids me to ski with my nephew because he's riding his Burton. I'll take personal responsibility over your head-in-the-snow regulations any day.

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