It seems as though this ski season has been particularly fatal all throughout the area, with two having died just in Telluride this month. It is during times like these that it is even more important to stress proper safety while you are on the mountain. Here are a few ways you can better protect yourself while skiing.
1. Don’t Drink While Skiing
I cannot stress this enough. Not only is it a criminal offense and can get you a fine of up to $1,000, it is just not smart. In a letter to the editor written earlier this month, John Cohn, Telski Director of Security, urged visitor and locals “practice common sense while drinking alcohol at our on-mountain restaurants while skiing or boarding.” This, he wrote, was inspired by ” a dramatic rise in the incidents of skiers and boarders on the mountain under the influence of alcohol.”
San Miguel County, where Telluride is located, ranked second in the state for excessive drinking.
2. Use The Correct Ski Equipment
It is very important to have the right gear on when you are skiing or snowboarding. It is not enough to just borrow your buddy’s gear to avoid rental costs if the gear isn’t right for you. When you rent your gear from one of the rental places around town, you are getting gear that is appropriate for the activity that you are wanting to do as well as getting a proper fitting for the gear. These shops can also show you how to take the gear off and put it back on correctly to avoid any mishaps throughout your day.
3. Get Adequate Instruction
Never been skiing or snowboarding before? It’s not as simple as it looks, and many people often underestimate the mountain. It’s important that you know what to do in different situations that are likely to arise, and the best way to do that is to take some classes. Telluride Ski Resort offers classes for all ages and skill levels that will give you the confidence you need while on the mountain.
4. Respect Your Limits
There are a lot of stressful things that can take place while out skiing or snowboarding. It is important that you are aware of how far you can push yourself and your abilities safely. Know your limits and respect them by not pushing yourself too hard. You are supposed to be having fun after all.
5. Dress Appropriately
You don’t want to be out on the slopes and realize that you are not dressed nearly as warm as you first thought. I’ve been there. The first time I went skiing I did not wear appropriate gloves. I just wore whatever I had laying around, which ended up being some cloth gloves. Needless to say they got soaked from the snow very quickly and I narrowly escaped frost bite on my hands.
This goes for all of your attire. Especially if you find yourself lost, injured, or stuck, you don’t want to be overly exposed to the elements on top of that. Here is a great blog post detailing what you need to be wearing when you hit the slopes.
6. Take Your Phone
You may be thinking that you should leave your phone behind so it doesn’t get damaged in any way while you are skiing of snowboarding, but it’s a good idea to brink it along with you. It’s worth the risk to your phone to have a means of communicating with someone in case of emergency. Remember to always check to make sure that you have the number for ski patrol saved on your phone before you set out. For Telluride it is (907) 728-7585.