With the recent snow in the Northeast from the storm named "Nemo" and recent snow in the West, ski season is in full swing in the U.S. Coverage is great and conditions are awesome! Here are some tactics to help you get the most out of the recent powder.
- Scrape your boots thoroughly. Warm boots and cold snow equals a lot of snow stuck to the bottom of your boot. Be aggressive and really scrape as much snow off the bottom of your boot as possible. Kids might need assistance to get their skis on during a powder day.
- Search with your ski. Skis, poles, and articles of clothing can get buried in the snow. If you lose something and still have at least one of your skis left, use the remaining ski to search for the lost item. Your ski has more surface area than your pole so you will find the missing item that much quicker.
- Make sure you have a goggle cloth. If you do happen to take a dive in the powder, it is soft and will brace your fall. If you go head first into the snow, your goggles may be covered in snow. Make sure you have a goggle cloth so you can clean your lens. Using napkins and paper towels have wood fibers in them and can actually scratch your lens.
- Ski with a buddy. If you have any issues, skiing with a buddy can help. For example, if you have a fall and a ski comes off, a buddy might be able to spot where it has traveled to. Many times trails get skied out quickly and that leaves the trees as untouched. Skiing with a buddy can help if you have a fall in the trees and end up in a tree well. There is an old adage: "There are no friends on a powder day". While that may be true, from a safety standpoint there are definitely friends on a powder day.
- Have and know how to use the right equipment. Once the in-bounds trails are skied up, people start to look to the backcountry to get their fix of fresh tracks. If you are going out-of-bounds and into the backcountry you need to have the proper equipment and know how to use it. For example, it is one thing to have an avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel, it is another thing to know how to use all this equipment. Also, remember to ski with at least one buddy in the backcountry. There are also new technologies out there like airbags and breathing apparatus that help keep a skier/rider safe in the event of an avalanche. Taking an avalanche education course is another piece of the equipment equation.
Follow these tips and you will have a more enjoyable time in the powder!