Your Run – Travel Guide 2011 – December 2010

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tears and fears

» I’m so glad my mom doesn’t read
you guys! She always worries about
me backcountry skiing and that was
the saddest story about climbing/
skiing K2 “Life on K2, ” First Tracks, Buyer’s Guide 2011). It’s not often a magazine story makes my eyes water up (or I guess it was the first!), but that was really moving. I didn’t expect to read in the end that he died; it came as a real shock as read it. Your magazine rocks! Please write more adventure stories, great photos —and not so much about equipment.


The origins of skiing

» I enjoyed the article “Farewell
to the family hill
” but disagree
with Doug Sager when he states
skiing started in the Alps. Please
remind Doug that skiing started
in Scandinavia, most likely in
Telemark, Norway. One may argue
that “Alpine skiing” started in the
Alps, but I don’t buy this either.


Head-covering controversy

» What, no helmets? I was
surprised to see in the Winter 2010
of Ski Canada that two of
your advertisers feature kids on
skis with no helmets! The ad with
two kids and two adults riding
a chairlift, sans full – i.e. safety
first – equipment is shocking.
Another, shows a youngster, again
no helmet. With all the recent press
regarding brain injury, surely you
could do your utmost to project a
safe sport by supporting advertisers
whose belief is to protect children
in our sport. This is on the heels
of a letter to the editor in the
magazine on ski testers with no
helmets. I stopped counting the ads
where adults were not wearing this
piece of safety equipment.

LINDY WELSBY, Schomberg, Ontario

» Jill Dorken from Aspen,
Colorado, wrote an interesting
letter regarding the illegitimacy of  helmets as safety equipment
(Your Run, Winter 2009). I resisted
helmet wear until, while ducking
under a pine tree with my vision
impaired by sun glare, a tree limb
cut my head and nearly knocked
me out. Now I enjoy wearing a
helmet because of the warmth,
comfort and the fact that my head
covering no longer makes my head

From her assertion that due to
impaired vision and hearing helmet
wearers are “sheltered from their
environment and other skiers,” I would assume that Jill has
never actually worn a helmet. Ski
helmets, except for racing helmets,
have fabric covering to protect
and insulate the ears, much in
the same way a tuque, armuff or
scarf does. Perhaps the increasing
number of helmet wearers skiing
into each other has more to do
with the fact that more people
wear helmets these days rather
than the deleterious effect of
the helmet itself. Helmets do not
in any way interfere with vision
since the facial borders are set
well back from the eyes. Goggles,
on the other hand, greatly restrict
peripheral vision, but I’ll keep
wearing those. Helmets protect
against percussive impacts that
make up the majority of ski-related
head injuries, such as banging
your noggin on the slope, trees,
rocks etc. It may be true that a
helmet does little to protect my
brain stem, but I have little worry
that I may be taken out by a
sniper bullet while skiing.


» Helmets are designed to lessen
the seriousness of accidental
head injuries, not only to save
lives. If the George Koch in his
helmet story
could recognize and
appreciate this, perhaps he would
be more willing to listen to reason.
Accidents happen, regardless of the
level of ability of the individual.
Perhaps the friend who “cartwheeled
horrifically at 100 kph” is still alive
and well because he was wearing a
helmet. Would you have wanted to
experience that accident without a

STEVE RADKE, Renfrew, Ontario

» Great article describing the
limitations of helmets! Wish I had
written it. What about impaired
hearing and peripheral vision? And
very hot in warm weather.

HARRY PALTER, Toronto/Collingwood

Ski Canada Staff
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