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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Saftey Tips for Skiing or Riding in Deep Snow

This is a quick post today for friends heading up to Northstar or anywhere in the Sierras this weekend.

Deep powder is awesome, but it presents challenges and risks for both skiers and riders.  Here are links to a few online articles which can help.

The first, Deep Snow Safety, is from the Northstar-at-Tahoe website.  The major takeaway?  Skiing with a partner is not meeting at the bottom of the lift.  It's riding within sight, and at a distance where you can get to each other quickly if help is needed.

That lesson is hammered home, especially for snowboarders, in Tom Stienstra's article "Find safety in numbers when off trail," which talks about how to avoid or survive encounters with tree wells.  When published in February, tree wells had claimed the lives of 15 snowboarders in the western US since Christmas.

Now on a lighter note, I highly recommend Mike Doyle's About.com article about how to find a ski in deep snow. There's nothing more frustrating than searching for one of your boards when your gang is waiting for you and there's untracked powder to shred. Knowing Mike's technique can help, and this overview of powder cords at E-how will show how a $10 investment can save the day.

Enjoy the snow this weekend... but as the captain used to say on Hill Street Blues... "Let's be careful out there."

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