We’re all excited and anxious to go skiing, but it’s important to have good conditions and trails which are safe. Right now the weather is not co-operating, so be very careful about the trails on which you ski. If you’re determined to ski in marginal conditions, there is no shame in removing your skis and walking over a sketchy section of trail.
Thanks to Peter Haase for this report, and let it be a cautionary tale to everyone…
“On Tuesday my wife and I skied Elk Pass and she skied out Trywhitt and Whiskey Jack. Conditions were rather icy and the trail could use more snow and some grooming. Earlier in the day we meet a group of older skiers (like us) on the trail.
Later in the day my wife encountered the same group with one skier having fallen on one of the steeper downhills of Whiskey Jack and having suffered what appears to be a severe break of one of his legs.
The trail was very icy and fast. The group had moved the skier off the trail, had him wrapped in a space blanket and one member was sent off to summon the SAR team as there was no cell phone coverage in the area. We met the SAR team heading off with Ski-doos at the Boulton Parking area about an hour after the incident.
The lesson here is that conditions are quite icy and accidents can happen at any time. The group seemed well equipped with warm clothing and some safety gear. They did not have a way of communicating and as I was coming down a shorter route from the pass, I was carrying the InReach, so I could not help. But would have this been faster that someone did by skiing out and driving to find the Rangers.
I often see skiers who have nothing more than a little bum bag with a water bottle and Powerbar and no extra clothing or safety gear. Luckily it was not to cold on Tuesday, but having to wait an hour or several hours for rescue could be very uncomfortable or dangerous. Carry some extra clothing, some safety gear and a way of communicating such as an InReach or a Spot if possible. PS, when my wife asked if they needed any more help, the skier asked her for Whisky, which she could not provide at the time.”
Be sure not to overestimate your ability when planning your trip: Humility can be a life saver.
On the main menu, under the Resources tab, there is a heading entitled “What’s in your pack.” The comments on this article offer many good suggestions for what you should carry with you.