Nothing is better than being in the heart of ski season! We want you to have fun on the slopes this winter, but most of all, we want you to stay safe. Like any sport, skiing and snowboarding comes with its risks. Avoid being caught in a dangerous situation by following these important blizzard and avalanche safety tips:
Dress for the occasion. When embarking on your adventure, layer up in clothing that will absorb sweat, insulate and shield against coldness so that you don’t get hypothermia. Always wear gloves, ear protection and a scarf that covers the face to prevent frostbite as well.
Keep the blood circulating. If you are stuck in a blizzard, avoid strenuous activity that will wear you out or put strain on your heart, but still engage in consistent movement, such as waving your arms or kicking your legs, to keep the blood flowing.
Don’t get dehydrated. When you’re in subzero temperatures, drinking anything is often the last thought to cross your mind, but staying hydrated is just as important in cold weather as it is in warm weather. Do not, however, eat snow, as this will just lead to hypothermia, and definitely refrain from consuming alcohol.
Recognize an avalanche risk. The steep slopes are where all the fun is at, but those are the slopes that are also at risk for an avalanche. If a storm is raging, or if a storm has occurred within the past two days, it’s best to stay in the lodge.
Buddy up. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding or just traveling, it’s always best to have three or four partners join you. If any of you do get caught in an avalanche, move quickly to uncover the area where they disappeared and search for any of their gear to indicate their location.
Wear an avalanche beacon. An avalanche beacon, or an avalanche transceiver, emits signals so that you can be easily found should you get stuck in an avalanche. Wear this around your neck in between layers of clothing; do not keep it in your backpack.
When it comes down to it, be prepared and use your head. Follow these tips and you should have no trouble staying safe on your next excursion!