How to Make it Through A Ski Season Without Breaking Anything

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While most peo­ple at this time in the sea­son are obsess­ing over snow reports and prepar­ing for anoth­er great year, I’m here to give you some safe­ty tips and reminders. How’s that for a Deb­bie Downer.

Thank me in March when your body is still in one piece for MTB season.

Update Your Equip­ment
Sure those K2s from 1971 are hilar­i­ous and fash­ion­ably retro but they’re not worth the hilar­i­ty of a full body cast. If you’re going to throw on some retro gear for what­ev­er rea­son (maybe it’s Retro Day and you get a free lift pass, or maybe you’re just ok wast­ing a day on the slopes with old gear), make sure it’s been checked by a ski shop pro in at least the last decade. If your set­up is rel­a­tive­ly new but it has­n’t been tuned in a while, make sure to get them inspect­ed before hit­ting the lifts.

Old bind­ings, loose knobs and belts can lead to the weird twist of the ankle that lands you on the couch for the rest of the season.

Old Snow
If it looks old, grey or even yellow…don’t par­ty on Garth (Wayne’s World ref­er­ence for all you Gen Z’rs out there). Many times the grey col­or of the snow or the crack­led tex­ture is a sign of rocks and oth­er unsa­vory land­scapes. These obstruc­tions may seem small and some­thing Tan­ner Hall would total­ly ski through, but take it from Tan­ner, nobody looks cool while they are being injured.

Drink­ing
It’s not a secret that moun­tain men and moun­tain women are the coolest. But most moun­tain folks (hope­ful­ly) know bet­ter than to drink  on the moun­tain like it’s a frat house. Yes, it’s true that the “beach” at A‑Basin is a glo­ri­ous place to enjoy a cold one while bask­ing in the beau­ti­ful weath­er, but liq­uid courage while ski­ing is a mag­net for injuries. Sure enjoy a brew or maybe even a few, but if you’re drunk and you’re in the way, don’t expect me to show you any sympathy.

Ego
Nobody falls hard­er, or blows the jump to a more epic degree, than men who don’t know their lim­its. It’s easy to get caught up in amaz­ing pow­der and the feel­ing that comes from ski­ing at your all-time best. Over­con­fi­dence on the oth­er hand, is a killer. There’s a rea­son why GoPro videos are called edits — it’s because the siz­ing-up and study­ing-the-moun­tain parts are all edit­ed out.

Take a minute to study the ter­rain and par­tic­u­lar­ly, com­pare how small you are com­pared to the moun­tain. If that doesn’t work, bring up Vail on Google maps. Have fun but remem­ber you are not invin­ci­ble, despite not remem­ber­ing that last time you wiped out.

Rules
Ski resorts have them in place for a rea­son. You don’t want to end up hit­ting an un-see­able rock in an out-of-bounds area of the moun­tain with no hope of res­cue. No es bueno for your life . Plus the areas that are roped off are basi­cal­ly ski patrol’s way of say­ing “if you get hurt down there, you’re on your own for a loong time.”

Hav­ing a blast on the moun­tains this sea­son, but also keep in mind to play it (rel­a­tive­ly) safe.