Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • US Ski area bans MTB after lawsuit
  • TomB
    Full Member

    Snowbrains link

    The perils of the US legal system- a rider sued the Mt Hood ski area, who operate an MTB trails network in summer, and won, after a crash left him with significant injuries. As a result of losing the claim, Mt Hood have closed the MTB trails. Interesting balance of risk/liability- could you sue a ski resort for a similar ski crash, or avalanche? I wonder if this is a US only scenario, given the litigous nature and sky high healthcare costs?

    Reminds me of that gent who sued a coach in the UK.

    To your question, I’m sure in the US someone would try. I read the argument about collapsible signs, which on the face of it seems reasonable. But what if a ride ploughs over a collapsible sign, then another rider fails to see the sign which was warning them of an unavoidable gap?

    Also does that mean if that chap hit a tree he wouldn’t have sued?

    JAG
    Full Member

    I’ve just watched the video on that page and it looks like a very fast trail, with berms and jumps.

    Crashes are going to happen and they are going to be FAST.

    Building the trail furniture/signage from something less likely to harm riders is sensible and should be something that all FAST trails consider. Also removing trees which are very close to the trail or in areas likely to see the most crashes would also seem like a sensible precaution.

    The money awarded seems like a lot but he’s 40-something and is going to need care for a few years yet.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    US Ski area bans MTB

    Well not really, they’ve suspended their 2022 season, that might be permanent or it might be that it’s back next year with improvements to trail furniture.

    Interesting balance of risk/liability- could you sue a ski resort for a similar ski crash, or avalanche? I wonder if this is a US only scenario, given the litigous nature and sky high healthcare costs?

    It’s fairly obvious from the statement the operator thinks it’s fairly specific to Oregon (at least for now) as they can’t be released from liability for personal injury except in very limited circumstances. As I understand it you can’t do that here either and haven’t been able to for a very long time.

    csb
    Full Member

    That video makes it look dull as hell. It’s basically a fireroad.

    nbt
    Full Member

    From the comments

    This was a legitimate lawsuit for many reasons.
    1. The hiker trail was negligently placed in that high speed location of trail when it should have never been there. They removed it a few years later. If you are going to have a hiker trail cross a high speed trail, there needs to be grade reversals to slow the riders. Instead Skibowl just put a hiker trail across a high speed downhill section where riders can reach 50 mph. Completely negligent and indefensible.

    2. There was no slow sign or warning before this dangerous area, which Skibowl has been warned about repeatedly by customers and employees. Soon after the crash Skibowl put up a huge SLOW sign.

    3. 3 serious accidents caused by the large water bar in this same location, one requiring air lift. The year before the accident the person who maintains the trails was advised to replace the water bars that caused the crash with gradual graded drains. He was stubborn and refused.

    4. Most crucially, if you lost control on the unnecessary water bar, you were heading right towards the unnecessary 4 x 4 sign post Skibowl put very close to the trail. The 4 x 4 sign post was not there in any previous year and was removed after the crash. Most of the bike park had collapsible posts, why did they put a 4 x 4 sign post in this dangerous location?

    Horrible trail planning, along with bad trail maintenance, negligent signage decisions, and completely ignoring warnings from customers and employees. There is a reason Skibowl didn’t appeal this, it wasn’t even close and they were completely negligent in nearly every way possible.

    It sounds plausible and would seem to explain everything, and if so it’s pretty damning. They did a bad job and know it

    mashr
    Full Member

    If all that is true (no reason to doubt it), then they deserve everything they get

    sillysilly
    Full Member

    Looks like one of those trails that seem easy / mundane but when you crash, you crash big.

    Always thought BPW do a good job putting qualifier features at the start of each trail.

    Horrible for all involved. Hopefully industry learns as a result.

    Even without hiking trails crossing you always seem to get the odd dog walker that thinks it’s alright to walk backwards up a black run.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    It’s basically a fireroad.

    I think the camera flattens out some of it and I havent seen many fireroads with jumps and berms. However it is clearly one which does need riding very quick in order for it to be a challenge/interesting.

    Greybeard
    Full Member

    From what I’ve heard, US ski areas already have a reputation for very conservative safety policies. Runs tend to get closed if a rock appears, and their enforcement of avalanche risk closures is more aggressive that other countries. I’ve no personal experience of skiing in the US as I went to Canada instead for that reason.

    Here’s the profile on Trailforks.

    Looks like a fairly fast flowy trail. those are the ones that people overcook on.

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    Speed is always the problem. Look at Swinley – barely a drop or a gradient of note, loads of ambulances on busy weekends because its fast. Slower techier trails are the way to go, more fun to ride too in the long term as they evolve and change unlike fast trails which just get braking bumps.

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    Reminds me of that gent who sued a coach in the UK.

    Not to take over this but there were specific issues in that case.

    Not to take over this but there were specific issues in that case.

    As there were in this case by the looks of the comments on the article. Mt Hood’s loss should serve as a lesson for other resorts to get their trail admin in order to keep riders safe and their business running.

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    mtb bikeparks need to make less 100mph green/blue flow trails and more 15-20mph green/blue flow trails. look at lauchpad and the one after at FOD. its mental fast and unskilled riders are going too fast for their ability. hence the large number of crashes on it. tighten up the corners and lose some speed. kermit at BPW is pretty decent for this. you just cant go mental fast which is perfect for a learner trail.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Wot the hudredidiot said

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Edit – misread the post and thought it was asking for details, but it wasn’t.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Dick iirc having not done his due diligence on the riders skills which is why there was a case.

    thols2
    Free Member

    mtb bikeparks need to make less 100mph green/blue flow trails and more 15-20mph green/blue flow trails. look at lauchpad and the one after at FOD. its mental fast and unskilled riders are going too fast for their ability. hence the large number of crashes on it. tighten up the corners and lose some speed.

    This.

    Dick iirc having not done his due diligence on the riders skills which is why there was a case.

    Which if you read the comments on the article looks very much like Mt Hood didn’t do it’s due diligence on hazards, etc. Hence their loss.

    mtb bikeparks need to make less 100mph green/blue flow trails and more 15-20mph green/blue flow trails. look at lauchpad and the one after at FOD. its mental fast and unskilled riders are going too fast for their ability. hence the large number of crashes on it. tighten up the corners and lose some speed. kermit at BPW is pretty decent for this. you just cant go mental fast which is perfect for a learner trail.

    Agreed, however this was a Black Diamond trail, so high speed is expected, the issues are listed throughout the thread.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Yeah, I’d misread the post and though someone was asking for details on the coach incident…then I re-read and realised the details were known and they were similar, so I edited my comment. TJ responded whilst I was editing and provided more detail (which is helpful as that is the bit I wasn’t sure of).

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

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