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Safety Wisdom #4

By MWSC Skier, 02/24/23, 2:30PM MST



Safety Wisdom #4

Well here we are half way through the season and thankfully we just got a much needed top up of the good kind of snow. Cold, dry and deep! This is the time of season when safety involves deeper snow safety issues. Let’s touch on the last relevant Skier Responsibility Code first and then head to some other safety wisdom.

You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. 

We may think that this is only relevant to skiers who are learning to ski but this idea is also relevant to even the experts. When getting on the lift pay attention to the Lifty, where the loading line is, make sure poles are up off the snow and packs if you are wearing one are unstrapped and ready to be moved off of your back and into your lap. While riding the chair, stay leaned back, don’t swing your legs and be aware of how close you are to the top. When exiting off the chair, make sure the bar is up, your poles are not still tucked under your legs, tips are up and forward and there are no pack straps caught in the chair.

One of the main things that we need to be aware of mid to late season especially after deep snow storms is tree wells! Tree wells can become deep from the depth and settlement of the snowpack. When you add fresh snow into the mix it is easy to think that the tree does not have a big old hole surrounding it that you could end up in if not careful. 

A couple of things to think about when skiing:

Don’t ski super close to trees! Especially in low visibility.

If you are jumping off of features in treed areas make sure you have a very clear runout. 

Always ski with a buddy in case you need help getting out of a tree well.

If you get stuck in a tree well:

Stay calm and try to keep snow away from your mouth.

Yell for help.

Get your skis off if possible.

Grab onto tree branches if possible and pull your self up and hopefully out.

If you have a buddy, get them to pull on your belt or waistband to pull you out.

Stay safe out there and have fun team!!