Friday, February 10, 2006

How to avoid death by ski...

Last night I got a call from a friend on a ski patrol up in Summit County.
"How's the snow?" I asked.
"Bad," he said, "So we're starting to get busy. I went out on six wrecks yesterday. That's more than I did all last week."
Generally speaking, powder is soft and safe. The icier the slopes get, the more people start hurting themselves.
Right on cue, the AP moved a story this morning that a skier died Thursday after colliding with a tree.

We get a brief write-up evey time this happens and the circumstances are almost always the same. A man, going too fast after lunch (when slopes are particularly icy) on an open, intermediate run, loses control, and hits something unyielding, like a tree.
The worse the snow is, the more this happens. Usually Colorado sees about 6 skier trauma-related deaths a year. In the really rotten year of 2001-2002 there were 16. This year, with awesome snow, there has only been one.

What can we take away from this? Ski early, and stay home when the snow is bad.
And if you are a dude who loves to go aggro on easy slopes, chill out!


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