February 17, 2014 – With temps ranging from 50-60 degrees at the Winter Olympics, snow conditions have been difficult, and downright treacherous for many athletes.
Believe it or not, spring skiing is around the corner in Colorado, and with those wonderful warm days will come some less than ideal conditions. So what can amateur athletes do to make the most of warm weather without getting hurt? Three tips to keep you on mountain and out of the emergency room.
1. Stay high and ski early. If you are an experienced skier, stay away from the base, where ski schools, spectators and staff tend to crowd the soggy slopes. Instead get out early and get to the top of the mountain, where conditions will be colder, and more consistent. At the end of the day, remember to SLOW DOWN as you approach the base.
2. Avoid the unholy trinity: Thaw. Freeze. Repeat. Late day slush often refreezes overnight, creating extremely slick terrain first thing in the morning. When you first head out, use extra care in areas that tend to soften up in the afternoon, and try to avoid them altogether.
3. “Unmarked Obstacles May Exist.” You’ve probably seen that sign more than once. Believe it. At the very least, rocks, tree branches, and other sharp objects can wreak havoc on your skis and boards. Keep a watchful eye on the terrain, so these unwelcome obstacles don’t rough you up or come in contact with your head.