Every year, thousands of Arizonians flock to the north, as well as neighboring states such as Utah and Colorado, hoping to glide down a mountain strapped to a board of some sort. Taking in some of the mountain air can be very healthy and satisfying. But amidst the winter wonderland that is skiing and snowboarding lurks veiled risks and dangers. Indeed, every year a handful of tourist will run into a catastrophe that will ruin their trip and possibly their life. A few simple steps can be taken to avoid this calamity, however.
First and foremost, be responsible on the slopes. Sure a Hot Toddy might warm you up on the chairlift, but drinking to excess on the mountain is dangerous and unfair to fellow skiers. Let me remind readers of the beloved musician Sonny Bono, who met his cold bitter end while skiing intoxicated. Just recently a man crashed into the power converter at Snow Bowl, which shut down the entire mountain for the day. To put it simply, don’t drink on the slopes.
Another important safety precaution is the old adage strength in numbers, or the kindergarten concept of the buddy system. Skiing while unaccompanied is dangerous, especially when taking on the more difficult, obscure runs. If you are skiing alone try making a friend on the lift and zooming down a few runs together. A little stranger danger is much better than the alternative, which is freezing to death, scared and alone.
Lastly, wearing a helmet on the slopes is one of the most effective methods for assuring safety. Helmets might look a tad silly. But one will look even sillier knocked out unconscious in the middle of the slopes. Have fun participating in this winter pastime but always remember to keep safety your number one priority.