Snow Conditions Cause More Injuries

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RENO, NV--As families continue their holiday vacations, many will be heading up the hill to catch some fresh turns. But this year the mountain may be a little more dangerous than in years past.

Last year we got a lot of snow early in the season and by late December, ski resorts were actually looking pretty good. This year, there's not much snow at all which means less mountain for skiers and boarders to enjoy.

The problem at tahoe area resorts started two months ago when the snow never came.

"Unfortunately we did not get enough to start with beginning in October and November and now by December, we are very low on the snow pack up there. Especially in the higher elevations," KOLO 8 Weather Now's Dick Stoddard Explained.

The temperatures have remained reasonably cold so resorts have been supplementing the snowpack with manmade snow which does a good job of getting the mountain open.

"Were open to the top but we do have our two main beginner lifts open as well as our learning area back here," said Mike Pierce with Mt. Rose.

Snow making can only happen in limited areas; on low snow years there is less area open to visitors. that creates a problem when the same amount of people pack on to the fewer runs.

"Well you have a lot of people in a relatively small space, but we are fortunate here that we have most of our beginner terrain open," said Mike Ferrari with Mt. Rose Ski Patrol.

Fast or slow, beginners to experts, all people flock to whatever terrain is open. They try to share the slopes but inevitably there will be crashes and injuries.

"It tends to be wrists, shoulders, things that get hurt from a fall where you put your arm out or that kind of thing," said Ferrari.

The take away here shouldn't be avoiding the slopes. Experts say just play it safe the key is to slow down and stay in control.

"The main thing you have go to do is follow the responsibility code, which the number one point of that is stay in control. If you can stay in control everything else will take care of itself," said Ferrari.

Some other things on that code people ahead of you have the right of way. Don't obstruct a trail. Always be aware of your surroundings; just like a road, you want to look both ways before crossing the ski hill.