We couldn’t have picked a finer day to ski at Keystone. When I looked up, I saw a deep blue sky with a few white wisps. The snowcapped mountains glistened in the sunshine. Only a few tree branches flickered with the mild breeze. The early morning temperature was in the single digits, but it was expected to rise to the 30s by midday. I could only hope that the forecasters were right because I don’t enjoy frigid temperatures. I was looking forward to a glorious ski day.
With less precipitation than normal, skiing has not been a priority. After last week’s snowfall, we felt the time was ripe to enjoy the Rockies. Indeed it was. I cannot think of another activity that awakens my senses to such an extent. Anyone who skis in the Rockies can relate to the sensation of gliding down a mountain while admiring the majestic beauty of mother nature at her best. It’s hard not to leave the mountain without an emotional high
Although the temperatures tend to be a bit chilly, skiing during the week in January and February is ideal. Lift lines are minimal or non existent. The best part is that it is possible to have a ski run all to yourself. What a treat. I can have my share of runs in 2-3 hours compared to twice that amount on a weekend.
Before we left our home, I saw a quick news flash about Lindsey Vonn’s accident in Austria. Pro athletes as well as every day skiers are not immune to accidents. Not too long ago, my son, Adam, wrote about his friend, Lindy who was paralyzed after a ski accident. While it is almost three years since my husband’s catastrophic ski accident, I will never forget that day. Each time I hear about another ski injury, I reflect on the inherent dangers of a sport that brings so much pleasure.
Life has many contrasting events that need to be balanced. Recreational sports are healthy and invigorating. At the same time, these activities can result in injury and in some rare cases cause death. Being mindful of the danger should not forestall the desire to participate. Nevertheless, the possibility of a devastating accident should not be discounted. An error in judgment, weather conditions,or a medical situation could turn a glorious ski day into an unexpected nightmare.
7 Tips to Play it Safe
- Pay attention to your fellow skiers.
- Remember that the downhill skier has the right of way.
- Stop before you get too tired.
- Be aware of high altitude symptoms
- Heed your body’s warning signs
- Stay hydrated
- Take a break if visibility or high winds become an issue
Enjoy glorious ski days, but at the same time play it safe when you ski.