Our ski racers, who adjust the slopes in the evening and at night, are often concerned about the behavior of ski mountaineers. This is mainly due to the fact that they do not respect one of the rules that must be followed in the resort:
"Access to ski mountaineering routes and all slopes is prohibited for everyone from 16:30 – 08:30 !!! "
Some may not realize that we always adjust the slopes in the resort in the evening, and ski mountaineers may not see them at all. Lighting or a headlamp will not help either. The fact that a ski mountaineer sees a ratrak and thinks that he will dodge if necessary is a big mistake. The Ratrak is a huge 8.5-tonne machine and is at risk of being killed if it collides.
Ratrakers are supposed to be alone on the slopes. They do not have to count on other people moving on the slopes, which are private property.
When adjusting the slopes, they use winches and ropes. The procedure is such that the ratrak is attached to a rope on a special bead, which is anchored in the ground. With the help of a winch, the ratrak is pulled on a rope. This is the case in cases where tons of snow are gathered under steeper pistes and so-called "parachutes", the snow is heavy and needs to be moved to other parts of the piste. Without the winch, the adjustment of some parts of the slopes would be impossible, as the ratrak would bury itself in the clay.
The ratrak and therefore the rope are always in motion. The rope moves from side to side, sometimes in the range of even ten meters. The movement of the rope is unpredictable, so even if you see the rope in one place, in a few seconds it can change direction with a quick swing and, for example, cut off a human limb without minor problems. Imagine the power of a rope when it can pull an 8.5-tonne machine and what tension it creates between the machine and the anchor point. If someone were on the piste at any given moment, it could have devastating and even fatal consequences.
When adjusting the slopes with winch machines with a developed rope, we use warning lights at anchor points, on rattlesnakes, and also information boards that the slopes are being modified.
Another reason why it is forbidden to enter the slopes from 16:30 – 08:30 is that we always try to adjust the pistes with high quality. By morning, the slopes are supposed to freeze so that skiers can enjoy excellent skiing. When ski mountaineers climb the ascent routes, they somehow have to ski down. But most often it is along the entire width of the slopes. After all, on freshly groomed slopes, it must be an experience. But this is disrespectful to others, as there remain grooves on the tracks from skis that freeze until the morning.
Ski mountaineers are welcome in the resort, but they must follow the rules. We ask everyone to be considerate, follow the safety and rules that you can find HERE.
We also ask dog handlers to collect excrement from the slopes after their dogs. Perhaps we do not need to explain the reasons. 🙂
Thank you for your understanding.
Greetings to the rattlesnakes from Snowparadise. 🙂
On the video you can watch an illustrative demonstration of what a collision of a ski mountaineer with a steel rope of a ratrak can look like: