Spring Ski Safety Tips – Warmer Weather Warnings
Spring is fast approaching and depending on the type of ski enthusiast you are, this can either be the most exciting or cripplingly depressing time of the whole year. On one hand there are those that see the eventual thawing of the snow as the end of the world, but for those of a more optimistic persuasion there is simply no better time to revel in a few rare bonuses.
While spring may bring about the eventual end of the season, it also brings the smallest crowds, shortest lift lines, quietest slopes, warm weather, most glorious sun, cheapest flights and generally the most affordable times to hit most French Alps resorts. Sounds like a package that’s hard to turn down, but there are one or two additional dangers that come with springtime skiing that everyone should be aware of.
So, if looking to have a whole mountainside to yourself this year and save a small fortune in the process, be sure to heed the following warnings and make sure your first spring ski experience isn’t your last…ever!
Firstly, just because you are the only person on the slope does not for one second mean you own the mountain and are God’s gift to speed-skiing. As such, never take it for granted that a deserted piste translates to complete and total safety should you decide to break the sound barrier for the first time. Or to put it another way, don’t let overconfidence get the better of you, just because nobody is looking!
Hit a patch of unexpected wet snow and unless you really know what you’re doing, you’re in for a tumble. The problem with springtime skiing is that each and every afternoon brings along plenty of wet snow which begins to occur earlier and earlier in the day, therefore can take even the best by surprise.
And as far as said wet snow goes overnight, nature works its magic and by morning you have yourself enormous expanses of ice which for all intents and purposes are the same texture as a cheese-grater. Fall on one of these in you spring T—Shirt and well, you work it out!
The sun is stronger than ever and continues to be reflected by the snow and ice, which in turn means that forgetting sunblock during the spring months can be disastrous for your health. The best advice is to put on as much as you think you need, then up the factor and slap a load more on!
As the snow gets thinner during the spring, a millions and one hazards like tree stumps, big holes in the ground and any number of lost personal possessions reappear as if by magic. In turn, this means that even the most seemingly flawless run can become a death-trap once the snow thins to a certain level – proceed with care.
Last but not least, those intent on making the most of the spring ski season off-piste must remember that it also happens to be peak avalanche seasons. Melting snow causes movement and said movement can turn deadly, so never venture into any area you’re not 100% sure of and be sure to research and heed all warnings before straying from marked runs.
Photo source: flickr.com/photos/tawcan