Every skier should adhere to certain safety tips whenever they hit the slopes. Skiing is a great way to stay fit and have fun in the winter months but, as with any sport, there are certain risks associated with it. By making sure you are staying safe on the mountain, you are enhancing your skiing experience. Here are some tips from CoachUp on how to remain safe while skiing.

Wear a helmet

It doesn’t matter how cool you think you look wearing only a hat, there is nothing cool about head injuries. Your brain is the most important part of your body and it's crucial to protect it from injury. When you are skiing, especially as a new skier, there is a good chance you will have a few falls. Not every run is going to have perfect conditions on any mountain. In some cases, you may fall on hard packed snow or ice and hitting your head can do some serious damage. Zooming down the ski slope with nothing between the ground and your head but a thin piece of wool is not going to cut it. Don’t be embarrassed about wearing a helmet on the mountain, there are actually way more skiers who wear them than those who don’t. Plus, not only do helmets protect your head, they are also much warmer than hats! Some ski helmets even have built in speakers that allow you to hook your iPod up to the helmet and listen to music while you ski. Now try telling me that’s not cooler than a snow hat with a pom-pom on it!

Dress appropriately

Skiing is a sport that takes place on a mountain covered in snow, needless to say, it can get a bit cold. It is not uncommon for the highest peaks of some ski mountains to hit freezing and below. While that may initially sound unappealing, its nothing that proper ski gear can’t solve. Bring extra layers. Even if you leave them in your ski bag in the lodge, at least you have the option of adding or removing layers throughout the day to adjust to weather conditions. Hand and feet warmers are God’s gifts to skiers. Sticking one in your mittens or boots will keep your fingers and toes nice and toasty during your day of skiing. Goggles are also very helpful for skiers for a number of reasons. Most goggles are tinted, which help you see better when the sun is out, and they protect your eyes from snow and the cold winds. Wearing proper ski gear will help protect against harsh weather conditions and make each ski outing more fun.

Stay on the appropriate trails

When skiing, it is important not to be too overconfident. Going down a trail that is too advanced for you can be extremely dangerous. Understand the different types of trail difficulties. Green circles are for beginner skiers, blue squares are for intermediate skiers, black diamonds are for advanced skiers, double black diamonds are for experts only, and orange rectangles indicate a terrain park. Once you master a certain level of terrain you can try going on a harder trail. Keep in mind that these guidelines are in place to ensure safety of everyone on the mountain. Do not try to go on any unmarked trails either. If you are looking to tree ski, most mountains have a designated trail for that exact purpose.

Have a method of contact

One of the best precautions to take when skiing is to go with someone else. If for any reason you need help while on the slope, this person can assist you or call for appropriate help from the mountain staff. It is also fun to have someone to chat with on the chair lift! If you go off by yourself, make sure you have a way to contact the rest of your group. Carrying a cell phone can do this, but often times there is not much service on the mountain. Using a walkie-talkie is a great way to remain in communication with your group while safely choosing to ski alone.

Taking the appropriate precautions when skiing can help you stay safe and have fun. For more information and tips on skiing check out CoachUp’s skiing resources.

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