Stay Safe on the Slopes – Go Easy on the Edges

One of the many reasons skiers and riders are passionate about hitting the slopes is the rush they get as the wind hits their face and the world seems to whiz by. But with any outdoor sport, it is important to find the balance between adrenaline rush and safe precaution. Enter Blue Mountain Ski Patrol’s new safety campaign: Easy on the Edges.

Skiing and snowboarding can be safe and fun activities for families and individuals of all ages. With the proper instruction and precaution, getting out on the hill to make turns is an opportunity to stay active through the winter for kids as young as two or adults as old as… well let’s just say ‘kids’ of all ages. Statistically, alpine sports have less frequent incidences of injuries than sports like football, cycling, and basketball. But when injuries do occur on-hill, the most significant ones happen in and around the trees. Knowing this, Andrew Lemon, one of Blue Mountain’s courtesy Ski Patrollers, proposed Easy on the Edges as a way to educate guests about staying safe and checking speeds when riding close to the treeline. As Andrew puts it, “We want everyone to come out and enjoy the hill and one way to ensure people can continue to safely enjoy skiing or snowboarding is by educating them about respecting the treeline.”

Here are some key points from Blue’s Patrol team to help guests go Easy on the Edges:

1.Leave room for recovery

Things happen very quickly when you’re on snow and if you are close to the edge of the trail, you may not have time to slow down or stop before getting into the trees. The average rider travels 43 km/hr, that translates to 39 feet per second. Give yourself enough space to recover if you catch an edge or need to make a turn.

2.Helmets are great, but they do not make you invincible

Helmets are an important piece of the safety puzzle, but they are not the only piece. Wear your bucket but always assess the risks of a situation.

3.Conditions at the edges of the trail can be inconsistent and variable

depending on the weather and grooming ability, the edge of the treeline may not be the same as the middle of the trail. For the most consistent snow conditions, it is safer to stay closer to the middle of a run.

4. It is up to you to stay in control

skiing and snowboarding are higher risk sports, but many of these risks can be managed by the individual. Remember to do speed checks by stopping or slowing down and always be aware of others. Know when you need to slow down to stay in control.

5.Trees win every time

Remember: Trees don’t move!

As always, review the Alpine Responsibility Code before you load the lift. To stay on the slopes, you have to stay safe.

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