Ski Safety in Cold Weather
Whenever a skier hits the slopes there is some basic knowledge– some universal rules and guidelines — that every winter athlete is expected to know: properly yield to other skiers, know how to use a chairlift, obey all the signs, know how to fall, stay in control of yourself based on your ability, and so on. Since skiing is a winter sport, it is especially incumbent upon a skier to respect the weather and follow some basic cold weather advice.
First, you should be properly prepared for an outing in the cold. Eat, stretch and be hydrated before you begin to ski, and allow for breaks during your day so you can get a snack and a drink of water. The emphasis on food is important not only for your comfort, but primarily because the body needs calories to stay warm. Skiing is an intense activity that burns a lot of fuel, so don’t underestimate the amount of calories you may need to stay warm.
You should wear sunscreen to protect yourself from ultraviolet rays, and be properly dressed for cold weather. Avoid cotton clothing which tends to stay damp and wet, and choose fabrics that are water-resistant and that wick moisture away from the body. If children are in your group you should check on them regularly to make sure their clothing is dry and their noses are not too red. One great way to keep track of their location is with a GPS system like the kind offered by BeaconWatch. Their SeaMe monitor can help you locate anyone on the slopes in no time.
Finally, you should be familiar with the park terrain. If the weather turns bad, you don’t want to be lost on the slopes or not know where a shelter is. Look at a trail map before skiing so you will have your bearings no matter where you are located. Following these common sense winter weather precautions will make your outing both safer and more enjoyable.