by Katherine Gwozdz
Spring is just around the corner, which means it is time for spring skiing! A favorite time of the ski season for many as the cold weather and blustery winds are no longer a contending factor. But with the rising temperature comes changing risks on the mountain. As you are enjoying the trails keep these tips in mind to stay safe:
1.) Always have a ski buddy. Accidents can happen at any time and a partner can not only help pick up your items from a yard sale, but can call for help if needed. Plus, a partner makes the day more fun.
2.) Be watchful of changing snow conditions. The terrain may be absolutely perfect in the morning but as noon approaches the rising temps make for heavier snow. Then as the sun sets, the shadows spread and the temperature falls, ice can creep in. Keep this in mind as you will have to change your technique to accommodate the conditions.
3.) Be mindful of form. With long days of skiing and heavy snow, muscle fatigue can set in which can lead to poor form, which in turn can lead to falls and injuries. If you feel you are getting tired and not maintaining that perfect form, take a break or call it day. Forgo getting that last great run in if you are getting tired. Better to call it a day then risk injury.
4.) Stretch! Stretch before hitting the slopes in the morning to loosen up your muscles and when the day is done to prevent getting tight. Pay specific attention to the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.
5.) Stay hydrated. With warm weather and perspiration it is easy to become dehydrated. To combat this put a small water bottle in your jacket pocket, wear a camel back, or stop in at the lodge for a quick sip. Related to this, keep a granola bar in your pocket or backpack to fuel up if the skiing is too good to stop for lunch.
6.) Wear sunscreen. When you are surrounded by snow, it’s easy to forget how strong the sun is. The snow reflects and intensifies the effect of the sun. Apply sunscreen in the morning before you hit the slopes and keep some in your lunch bag or jacket pocket to reapply periodically during the day.
7.) Even with precautions, accidents can happen. If you get hurt, don’t be afraid to call for help. Trying to get to the base while injured can worsen the injury. The friendly mountain ski patrol is more than happy to assist you. No injury is too small.
Keep these recommendations in mind as you enjoy the last of the ski season. Have fun and be safe. See you on the slopes!