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Leash Nazis at Crystal (WA)


Dan
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I learned to ride in Japan, where all the resorts were pretty anal about leash policies (and riding off-piste, but one is easier to enforce than the other). But in the last few years of riding in North America - I've ridden at Whistler, Bachelor, Hood (Timberline and Meadows), Alpental and Stevens Pass - I've never had anyone say anything about a leash until yesterday at Crystal.

Yesterday at Crystal, a 15-year-old liftie refused to let me on the chair. We had a short discussion, with me pointing out that leashes serve absolutely no function on a snowboard, and him pointing out that despite his young age he had already been brainwashed into mindless adherence to even the most pointless rules (plus I suppose his job could be at risk). In the end, I told him I would go to my car and get my (nonexistent) leash, but instead walked up to Quicksilver chair, then got up to Forest Queen and Rainier, where no one checked my leash the rest of the day.

At the end of the day, I dropped into customer service to ask about the thinking behind their leash policy and the nice woman told me that that brakes/leashes on all equipment is an insurance requirement. So maybe this asinine rule doesn't originate at the resort level - it's imposed on them by their insurers. A ski patroller that was hanging out pointed out that sometimes beginners with step-in bindings will not click in correctly, and they'll drop their boards off the chair. Now that's a lot more plausible than both my feet coming out of my boots at the same time.

He also pointed out that skiboarders and telemarkers routinely ride without brakes/retention devices, and they never get hassled, which was an interesting point I hadn't thought of. Anyway, when I got home, I dug out my Catek "legal minimum" leash...guess I'd better bring it next time I head to Crystal.

What have your experiences been? Have you been hassled for not having a leash? Ever won anyone over to your point of view?

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I got leash nazi'd at mt hood meadows... and I was even riding demo board, boots, bindings from their shop. I kept saying that the shop hadn't given me a leash, but it didn't matter to mr liftie.

So I had to trek back into the shop, and they spent forever trying to find a leash. Someone with a brain just grabbed one of the new ones off the rack and threw it at me.

I keep a leash in my backpack now just in case I run into a nazi. It's also come in handy, a while back I had to jury rig my bidings after my strap broke free.

I've run into lift ticket nazi's at timberline too. I got to have a 5 minute argument with some 16 year old girl at the bruno chair, when all I wanted was to get back up to mile after taking a mid afternoon pit stop. Her issue was my lift ticket was attached to my backpack, not my clothing. I pointed out I'd been there since 8 am and no one had hassled me, so she finally relented.

At the end of the day I went to speak to their customer service counter, and the chick there explained the policy as "it's gotta be on your jacket or pants, because you could give your backpack to someone else". To which I told her "yeah, and I could give my jacket to my friend just as easily" which just got a blank look.

How can people be so mindless.

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I've never been hassled by anyone for not having a leash, but I don't understand the "Nazi" comment. If the kid was told to enforce the rules, I'm not sure what you expect him to do.

I'm glad you brought this up though, I'll put a small leash in my toolbox in case I get the same treatment.

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Reading this thread made me realize that I have always had a leash. Back in the day you were hasseled ALL THE TIME over leashes. I'm going to take mine off and keep it in my pocket...damnit.

Better yet I'm going to liberate myself and my leash and burn that confounded contraption that the man uses to keep me down. People, we need to unite! This is going to be like burning bras and draft cards. Damn the man!

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Originally posted by Steve Dold

I've never been hassled by anyone for not having a leash, but I don't understand the "Nazi" comment. If the kid was told to enforce the rules, I'm not sure what you expect him to do.

OK, so maybe "Nazi" was overstating the case a little bit. But he was awfully humorless in the way he chose to enforce that particular rule. And isn't that what the vast majority of Germans did during WWII? Just enforced the rules like they were told, without questioning whether they were right or wrong.

But I admit that now I feel a little bad about using that word frivolously - obviously inappropriate in this context.

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Until i lost my board in the chair lift once in les 2alpes resort last december. The TD2 screws had gotten loose on the feet length settings with the vibrations. The board was held on the feet support on the lift until i moved it out and then it fell 8 meters, gliding like a plane down, horizontally and finally hitting the flat snow area right where the chairlift ends.

I can imagine the result if the board had collapsed on a kid or someone...

Now i'm verifying screws everyother hour, and plan to use loctite on them asap :). I am also using a leash since that moment on the board with non loctite screws..

Nils

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Guest bookworm

Once, while swinging my feet on the chair I have inadvertently kicked my front binding open. I was glad that I had a lease attached.

Our lifties used to look closely for leashes, but I think they are not checking so closely anymore. :)

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Originally posted by jason_watkins

I've run into lift ticket nazi's at timberline too. I got to have a 5 minute argument with some 16 year old girl at the bruno chair, when all I wanted was to get back up to mile after taking a mid afternoon pit stop. Her issue was my lift ticket was attached to my backpack, not my clothing. I pointed out I'd been there since 8 am and no one had hassled me, so she finally relented.

That's nothing compared to what happened to me at Mt Snow. I lost my ticket during a boardercross. I didn't know it until the stupid liftie stopped me with my helmet, race bib, and race gear on and wouldn't let me up. The other racers in my next heat were already in the gate when I finally made it up there after having to buy myself a regular price ticket.

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Wow, I had no idea anyone had any objections to using a leash. I guess I don't understand what's so hard about wearing one, and it seems to me that taking that extra bit of precaution is a no brainer. JMHO, maybe I'm.....clueless??

Mike

p.s. By the way Dan, how have you been?

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The concept of leashes has pissed me off for 18 years...why have we gotten rid of fins, horizontal lamination, nose ropes but still we have leashes...I have used the same leash for years, somehow my leash wasn't stolen with my 3 boards years ago so it has a bunch of history but I still hate that damn thing around my calf...well no more! Yesterday while boarding I saw the perfect minimum leash...made from a key ring, a snap swivel, 6 inches of webbing and a shoelace...of course at the resort they wanted 1200Yen (about $11.50) so I waited until I got home and spent $1 on parts and 5 minutes on a sewing machine to make my own. The key ring gets laced in (I use Clickers) y'all hard booters can just clip onto a bail (or rivet a D-ring to your front boot) as that's what most of the carvers here do...yeah leashes suck but as long as they are required I'll conform...I don't spend enough time on gondolas to care about extra time

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Originally posted by mirror70

That's nothing compared to what happened to me at Mt Snow. I lost my ticket during a boardercross. I didn't know it until the stupid liftie stopped me with my helmet, race bib, and race gear on and wouldn't let me up. The other racers in my next heat were already in the gate when I finally made it up there after having to buy myself a regular price ticket.

Mt Snow..... AAAARGH!! On 12/24 with a full downpour in progress I tried to get on the Tumbleweeds lift, (at 845 AM!) to allow me to traverse over to the Ski School to cancel my kid's lesson, etc. Only a duck would have bought a ticket on a day like that and of course I didn't have one. Not only would the antipodean liftie not let me go up, but they actually took me off the chair!! when i explained what i wanted to do they still refused, but preferred to run me over on a snowmobile than let me do what any real mountain person would have allowed without a thought. The liftie was from NZ and was just following the rules but the supervisor was a Vermonter and should have known better.

On the leash question - I always wear one. Until I learned to keep the Intec handles under my pant-leg I sometimes found myself unconsciously tugging on them while hanging out on the lift. Ooops

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Guest Paul Brabenec

It so easy to use a leash, what's the problem? Seems like a humorless need to be RIGHT all the time. Hassling some $7/hr. liftie over doing his job is a strange way to have fun. They should require the leash to be attached to the board itself, though, instead of to the binding.

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Windham Mt. in New York has signs at each lift that say "No leash, no ride." No sense in messing around, I lost my shorty leash and had to break out the back up that goes around the calf. Not really that big of a deal. Funny thing was, nobody checked for a lift ticket all day. Go figure.

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Enforcement seems random, but if you watch that liftie, he might be looking over his shoulder because his supervisor just yelled at him that morning. I ride at Stevens Pass and get checked now and then.

Twice this year I have given a bit of nylon cord to other people (one was a little kid about to cry as his mom asked the liftie how much they cost- and the liftie smiled at me for defusing the situation)

Its like yelling at the TSA for trying to take your pocket knife away at the airport- They are just doing their job and you are only going to get screwed if you are a jerk about it.

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Most of the danger from runaway boards comes from people who drop their boards when carrying them. A leash is only going to prevent that if it is long enough to be worn while carrying the board. You don't see many leashes that long.

Except for my leash, which I made myself out of fluoro pink cordura and velcro. But my main motive is because it makes such a great carrying strap. Carrying a board is effortless when you can sling the strap over your shoulder.

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I used to be pretty inconsistent about wearing a leash until one episode where I took a big spill and got tangled up in a snow fence. To get un-tangled, I had to release both bindings. Guess what happened - yep, the board slipped outta my hands and took off down the hill.

Lucky for me, it didn't kill anyone but it ended up about 40 feet in the trees and 200 yards down the hill. What a pain in the ass retrieving it.

I use a leash at all times now.

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Guest bugaboo2

what's the big deal? long or short leash use it! why give the lifties a rough time, they're just working kids doing their job.

i remember popping out of my burton race plates 3 different times in one season. glad i had a leash, it was a short one but it kept my board attached to my boot. the thought of my board going mach 1 down the hill and hurting someone "scares the hell out of me!" after the third time i gave up the burton race plates- POS. many thanks to bomber and catek bindings, no binding release.:D

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Back when I rode Burton bindings, I had both fail at once, and naturally the leash failed too. They're basically decorative. While riding Nitro bindings, I blew up one binding and the toe block was still oh-so-helpfully tethered to my shin. The other binding survived that day so it was no big deal, but still... 99% decorative.

But as Derf said, a long enough leash makes a splendid shoulder strap! DaKine makes (or made) a wire cable leash with a lock on it, and between those two features (shoulder strap and board lock) I'd wear one even if they weren't required.

It seems that every other time I buy snowboard gear I end up with another free decorative leash... for the last couple years I've been keeping a bomber leash in my pocket so the next time I see someone get nailed by the leash law I can save the day and promote the Alpine way. Of course the places I ride quit enforcing the rule about the same time I started carrying the spare, but it's a nice thought...

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Originally posted by SirDoofus

Wow, I had no idea anyone had any objections to using a leash. I guess I don't understand what's so hard about wearing one, and it seems to me that taking that extra bit of precaution is a no brainer. JMHO, maybe I'm.....clueless??

Mike

p.s. By the way Dan, how have you been?

Hey Mike, good to hear from you. I'm doing pretty good - nice to be back in Seattle again. I really miss Mexican food when I'm in Japan. Of course, I guess some people would say the same thing about Seattle, but I'm not that much of a purist. I think I'll be down in Portland over Spring Break if not before then; let's try to hook up for some turns.

As far as leashes, I don't actually mind using one...but I was pretty unhappy about the prospect of taking 10-15 minutes out of the morning of my first day of the season to go buy one (5 wasted dollars) or go back to the car and scrounge for a nylon strap or something else that would satisfy the leash law.

Now, if I'd been told I needed a leash anywhere else in the last five years, I'd have had one with me, most likely attached to my board, but seeing as how this is the first time this millenium that I'd been told I needed a leash, I was taken by surprise. My impression that leashes don't actually do anything (which I now realize is only 95% true) just made me pissier.

Whatever, I still have the box my bindings came in - checked it out and there was a cute l'il leash that won't slow me down a bit (I remember putting it away thinking "why would I ever want that?"). I put it in an empty pocket of my riding pants, so I'm ready for my next trip to Crystal.

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I never used to wear a leash. The whole though "If i come out of my board i have more things to worry about than being attached to it as I crash and roll down the hill".

Until one day when I was riding the old triple at whiteface. i was sitting there enjoying the day, when My foot felt different, I looked down to see that my toe bail on my bombers had clipped the ski/board rest on the chair lift and opened. I watched as it lost balance on the bar and boot and fell all the way to the trail. Fortunatly there was no one underneath.

Since then I've always worn my leash. The bomber leash is so quick to use I don't even notice.

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As if there wasn't enough controversy to this subject, most all leashes are attached to

a binding rather than a board. If, for whatever reason, a rider should become seperated

from a board the result would be the board continuing down the piste while the rider sat

both bindings on their feet (a scenario which, admittedly, is highly improbable).

The leash question is purely a way of satisfying (or, attempting to satisfy) the liability issue

that might be brought forward in a lawsuit. This subject has been addressed in this forum

and elsewhere before. Without a DIRECT connection to a board via a leash, why would

a ski area allow snowboards access to their runs?

The sad fact is, it's all cosmetic. To give the appearance that safety rules are being

complied with. BTW, if all snowboarders were required to use such a leash (attached to

a board instead of a binding) how many riders would want a 'propeller' connected to their

leg after a nasty fall?

Hypothetical: If a person were to be struck (and injured/killed) by a wayward runaway

snowboard at a ski area what is the recourse? Sue the snowboarder? Sue the ski area? Or,

sue the snowboard industry for aggravated negligence (in other words, the industry knew

the leash system was flawed and didn't fix the problem because it would get in the way of

profits)?

That would make for a great 'Law and Order' show.

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