The recent death of a young girl in a skiing accident in Lenk in Switzerland has reopened the debate on how to deal with dangerous skiers.
On 28 December 2018, a four year old girl, who was hit by a skier at the resort of Lenk in the canton of Bern, died in hospital after being air lifted from the scene of the accident, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.
The public prosecutor has opened an inquiry to establish whether the skier who hit Larina was going too fast. If so, he could be charged with negligent homicide.
In March 2017, a 16 year-old skier killed a 6 year old girl at Les Mosses, a resort in Vaud. The adolescent skier was found guilty of negligent homicide.
Around 51 skiers die in alpine skiing accidents in Switzerland every year. Ski touring and skiing off piste claim around another 23 lives a year, mainly due to avalanches, according to BPA. The number of injuries is far higher.
Some skiers seem to undergo the same psychological transformation as some drivers. They wake up cool calm and collected but then something happens to them when their skis hit the snow. Overconfidence and recklessness set in.
Skiing rules are set out by the International Ski Federation (FIS). The 10 FIS rules can be seen here.
Rule 2 states that a skier or snowboarder must be able to stop, turn and move within the ambit of his own vision. If all skiers followed this one rule it would eliminate most accidents. Until they do it’s probably best to treat ski pistes like motorways overrun with unlicensed speeders.
1 Average from 2008 to 2017. BPA report.