Vail Daily’s view: Ski safe, in and out of bounds
Vail, CO, Colorado
Skiing is fun, but it can turn dangerous in an instant. Especially when you’re sharing the slopes with hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
Go into the backcountry, and there’s a whole other set of dangers to be aware of.
Even experienced skiers are liable to get hurt if they get careless with the basic ski-safety rules. A big reminder on those rules doesn’t hurt.
That’s the function of National Safety Awareness Week, which begins today. Both Vail and Beaver Creek are holding a bunch of events in observance of the week.
Vail and Beaver Creek will be holding practice rescues, giving out swag, offering tips for backcountry safety and trotting out their safety mascots such as Pork Chop the Safety Pig and Riperoo.
The mountains are offering tips that seem completely elementary but are worth the reminder for everyone: Stay in control. Be able to stop to avoid other people and objects. People ahead of you have the right of way. Don’t stop where you obstruct a trail.
Beaver Creek Ski Patrol will be doing demonstrations with its great group of rescue dogs ” Dixie, Blu and all the new puppies it has this year. Those dogs might be the difference between life and death for a skier who’s been buried out-of-bounds in an avalanche. Also, they’re a great PR tool for promoting safety at the resort.
The Beav’ is expanding its focus to the backcountry, too, this week. The deadly season for avalanches across the West has shown how important it is to be knowledgeable when you’re skiing beyond the ski-area boundaries.
Yes, skiing can be one of the most exhilarating things you ever do. It can make your heart soar, but make sure your mind is sharp ” thinking about the “what ifs” ” at the same time.