"Think safe, be safe, wear the proper equipment….primarily your helmet." That's the biggest piece of advice emergency room director Shelby Hunt has for those hitting the slopes this holiday weekend.
A lack of snow this year has left skiers with fewer open runs. That means congestion, and the snow that is available is more dense and compact than this time last year. Those conditions can add up to injuries for borders and skiers who don't wear the right safety equipment.
Experts say the first and most basic piece of safety equipment you should reach for is a sturdy helmet. Many people choose not use a helmet because they think they won't go fast enough to need it, or it is too expensive. Those with experience know a simple slip on the ice is enough to cause serious head trauma, and that helmet can be rented for as little as $8.00 per day.
Optional gear includes spine guards for extreme skiers, wrist guards for boarders, and impact shorts which will protect you from falls and collision on overcrowded runs. The heavy padding will go along way to keep you out of the emergency room, but light weight protection will keep you comfortable long after you leave the mountain. That includes sunscreen, lip and eye protection.
Those who have been up to the slopes this year say, even though the conditions aren't ideal it's still pretty good. Just stay on the groomed trails and keep safety in mind.