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Skiing Safety Tips

Skiing is fun BUT there are dangers. The following safety hints will help you have an enjoyable and safe holiday at the snow.

CLOTHING

Alpine weather is unpredictable. A fine, sunny morning can deteriorate into a cold, windy or blizzard afternoon.

COLD WEATHER: The most important pieces of cloth­ing are those providing insulation. Warm underwear is cheap and essential. Woolen jumpers are preferable to synthetic ones because they are warm and provide good insulation, even when wet. A weatherproof, well insulated parka is essential. A warm hat or balaclava, which covers the ears, thick woolen sox and thick gloves or mittens are all  necessary. (Rubber dishwashing gloves over woolen ones help to keep your hands dry). Water-resistant ski pants are a wise investment, and waterproof over pants are vital in wet weather. Goggles protect your eyes from wind and sleet. N.B. jeans and cotton gloves DO NOT give protection against wind, rain or snow.

SUNNY WEATHER: Sunburn is a serious problem in ski resorts, so a good filtering suntan cream is essential even in midwinter. Good quality sunglasses are important to protect your eyes from the glare off the snow, which otherwise can lead to “snow blindness”.

Be prepared for a change in the weather.

EXPOSURE (HYPOTHERMIA)

Exposure can be fatal. It is the rapid failure of the body to conserve heat. Watch out for the warning signs — weari­ness and reluctance to carry on, clumsiness, loss of judgment and collapse; shivering may be ABSENT. The combination of FATIGUE, poor insulation (from wet or thin clothes), and COLD, WET, WINDY conditions can lead to death. Pre­vent exposure by having a good meal before going out, wearing proper clothing, stopping for lunch and resting when tired. Don’t drink alcohol — this accelerates the loss of body heat.

 

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Revised: August 21, 2012