A post from James Lummis, the Brave Ski Dad.
In an ideal world, I’d be a skier, first and insurance agent, second. Too bad for me, I’ve got to keep my day job.
As a risk management professional, a father and a husband, I’ve got a professional and personal stake in keeping people safe.
Thus, I feel it my duty to pass on five safety tips for the ski season.
Hopefully, these are simply reminders of things you know already. If not, I hope you will incorporate these five safety measures into your winter season.
The key to skiing is getting there and poor tires can make this more difficult. If you don’t have snow tires already, get them as soon as you can, as manufacturers make limited numbers each season. If you have an All Wheel Drive vehicle (AWD), you can get by with new all season tires.
I don’t know about other states, but skiers and riders in Colorado need to be aware of a new law that requires passenger cars to have snow tires and chains (or a product called the Auto Sock) in adverse winter driving conditions.
Wear A Helmet
We’ve heard it all before. A helmet can protect your head and decrease injuries due to collisions with trees, people, hard pack slopes, and so on. Best of all, it will keep your head warm.
Be Sun Smart
I grew up in cloudy New England. So spring skiing in Colorado was a revelation. It was also a tough lesson. On my first warm spring day out, I did not wear sunscreen. Over the next eight days, my face blistered and peeled, twice.
Apply sunscreen all winter long, or at least carry it with you so you are prepared for the sun whenever it pokes through the clouds.
And don’t forget sunscreen for your eyes: goggles or sunglasses with 100% UV blocking or UV400 rated lenses.
Stop, Look, Listen
Before you drop in, before you send it, heck, before you push-off on any run, look uphill, downhill, across the slope for others. Treat skiing intersections like you are approaching 4-way stop in a car and look in all directions. Also, while I enjoy skiing with music, I’ve learned to turn it down so that I can can hear others coming before I see them.
Stay Out of Tree Wells
Fresh pow is so much fun to ski and, sometimes, the best and longest-lasting powder is in the trees. Be extra careful skiing close to trees. Clearly, you don’t want to hit them. But you also need to stay out of tree wells, the area under the branches, surrounding the tree trunk.
Tree wells are especially dangerous as they can create voids and can be extremely difficult to get out of if you fall in. Always ski with a friend and keep them in sight. Also whoop it up as you are ski, not only to show your buddies how much fun you are having, but also to give them a target to follow.
Enough from the family “buzzkill” (as my sons call me).
Go enjoy a great sport, be safe, and come back for more.
Portions of this post originally published at Colorado Ski Country USA.
More Ski Season Safety Tips:
- Talk to Your Kids: Skiing Safety and Skiing Safely, January 12, 2015.
- Ski Safety: What’s A Wide Berth? August 6, 2012.
- Tips from a Pro: Ski and Snowboard Safety for Families, April 7, 2014.
- Risks, Rewards and Responsibility: The Three “R’s” of Skiing Safety, December 11, 2013.
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