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Piste X Code Blog

The Piste X Code in The Times by Mary Novakovich

It’s been difficult to avoid the coverage of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision trial in Utah over the last week or so. Who was the down hill skier at the time of the accident, back in 2016? Who was a fault? Why did she wear the same coat two days in a row?

Regardless of whether your interest in the trial stems from an interest in celebrity culture, or from an interest in the rules of the slopes, there’s no denying that the facts of the case were fascinating. Gwyneth won the court battle, brought against her by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, but the real winner here was the established rules of the piste. Now humans across the globe, whether they’re skiers, snowboarders or they’ve never been in a mountain resort before in their lives, know that the down hill skier always has the right of way. If you’re above another mountain user, it’s your responsibility to avoid colliding with them, and if you do, you’re at fault. Some British media outlets called this a ‘little known rule amongst the mountain community,’ but now we’re all clear.

Another unexpected bonus of the Paltrow ski collision saga was a mention for our Piste X Code campaign in The Times. Journalist, travel writer and skier Mary Novakovich detailed her own collision in the Austrian resort of Saalback-Hinterglemm earlier this winter. Mary was hit by a speeding, out of control skier, causing a ruptured posterior cruciate ligament and a whole lot of rage. It was her first ski accident in decades of enjoying the mountains and Mary wrote in detail about why a new set of rules are needed to keep the slopes safe for everyone. You can read her article in full here. We’re very grateful to Mary for helping us expand awareness for the Piste X Code and slope safety across the board.

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