Chris Kipfer: Skiing safety
January 10, 2010
The latest skiing tragedy on our mountain illustrates the need for more education in the hazards of the sport. Your article in Thursday's paper ("Woman dies at ski area") was helpful but did not cover all the bases. When skiing trees, always hold your poles without using the pole straps. Aside from saving you from a dislocated shoulder, it can save your life to have your hands free to create a breathing space during or after a fall. Practice taking a full breath during all falls so that there is enough air in your lungs to blow the snow from your face if your head is buried. In Europe, where all rescues must be paid for and "out of bounds" rescues may be charged at triple actual costs, skiing in a group has a protocol. The rules are simple. Each member of the group keeps track of the skier preceding him, and the best skier of the group skis last. This shared responsibility in itself may have prevented this tragic death.