Owing to abundant snowfall, relatively moderate wintertime temperatures, and expansive mountain ranges, Colorado ranks among the top recreational ski destinations in the world. Colorado’s rich ski history includes figures such as Father Dyers, crossing Mosquito Pass on his skis to visit mining camps, and locations like Camp Hale, the training camp for the 10th Mountain Division during World War II.
Today Colorado is home to almost 50 ski areas that log over 12,000,000 annual ski visits. With all of that activity on our slopes, accidents are inevitable. While skiing is not a contact sport, it involves coordination, high velocity, and muscle endurance to prevent injury and strain.
Tips to Avoid Injury on the Slopes
Warm Up: Begin your day with a warm-up routine that includes stretches. Some beneficial stretches include
Hips & Back: Lie on your back, bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms out to the side and let your back and hips rotate with your knees.
Quads & Hamstrings: Kneel onto one knee and place your opposite foot on the floor in front of you. In this lunge position, push your hips forward. Hold onto something for balance, if necessary.
Standing Toe-up Achilles Stretch: Stand up and place the ball of your foot onto a step, raised object, or against a wall. Bend your knee and lean forward.
Perfect your technique: Take a ski class from a professional before hitting the slopes.
Prepare your gear: Make sure you have the right ski boots, bindings, and ski length for your body type and level of skill. Wear appropriate safety gear, such as helmets and wrist guards.
Prepare your body: A good conditioning routine, including strength training, cardio, flexibility, and balance exercises, can help increase your strength and endurance on the slopes.
Stay on the Trail: Especially while you’re learning, stay on terrain you’re comfortable with. Steeper terrain means higher speeds and greater potential for injury, and leaving park bounds means new conditions and more danger.
If you are tired, rest: Mistakes (and injuries) are far more common when we’re fatigued.