What makes a good culture? Hit the slopes to find out!
Here’s a pic of yours truly atop Mount Cardona, a ski resort near Queenstown, NZ. I have just returned from a wonderful week – good snow cover , blue skies and friendly people – the trifecta.
This is the 'before picture', taken just a few moments before I took on a near vertical slope that was beyond my capability resulting in ¾ of the slope being navigated on my back. I’m pretty sure I went down quicker than the ski'iers.
As I came to a rest, I checked all of my limbs and was relieved to find everything intact….everything except for one ski, lodged about 100m up the slope. There’s a reason I navigated this slope on my back – a near vertical slope makes it hard to stop. How was I meant to climb this thing?
As I was analysing the situation a fellow skier (much better then I) picked my ski up on the way down, popped it down in front of me and made sure I was OK. I was amazed, not sure why, but that was the feeling. She seemed amazed at my amazement, as if it say ‘why wouldn’t I help?’.
Within a few hours I began to realise this was no isolated act. One of my boys had taken a similiar fall and within a few minutes 3 people slowed down to ensure he was OK. By the time the week was up, there were many more examples.
So what is it with the ski culture? Why do people go out of their way to help so consistently? It’s like an unwritten rule.
Unfortunately I spent many more occasions on my back which triggered some reflection on this question. My take on it is necessity. From having to organise yourself into a group with strangers to fill a chairlift, to needing to be in synch with your fellow ski'ers so the zig-zagging does not create collisions, to relying on your teammates to help you back to your feet.
Amazing.......complete strangers hurtling down icy slopes working as one.