Top 10 tips for skiing and snowboarding safely

Ski Safely with Helmets

This week kicks off Breck’s annual Safety Week. From January 19 to January 25, attend events around the mountain to learn the Skier Responsibility Code and have fun during your visit. Here are 10 tips to staying safe on the hill:

1. Know the Code. Brush up on the Skier and Snowboard Responsibility Code this week. From looking uphill when merging to terrain park etiquette, these simple tips will help you stay safe and avoid serious injury whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran.

2. Wear a helmet. It’s not a fad – helmets are here to stay. Pick up or rent your very own brain bucket to stay safe and warm.

3. Ask a pro. Looking for the easiest way down or want to try out a new trail? Ask one of the many mountain hosts or patrollers cruising the mountain for tips on terrain and trail conditions. Their wealth of knowledge will make a great day even better.

4. Take a lesson: Bring your skills to the hill and take a lesson with the Breckenridge Ski and Ride School. Honing your technique will make you a safer, more confident skier.

5. Drink water: With a base elevation of 9,600 feet and plentiful Colorado sunshine, dehydration can be a serious condition after a long day on the slopes. Drinking water will also help those suffering from the altitude.

6. Be prepared for the elements. The impressive elevation of Breckenridge means that conditions will vary from top to bottom. It also makes sunscreen one of the most important things you put on in the morning. Protect your eyes with sunglasses or goggles and bring extra layers to stay warm as the weather changes throughout the day. Facemasks protect exposed skin from frostbite and windy ridgelines.

7. Obey closures and ski area boundaries. Skiing out of ski area boundaries is dangerous and against the law. Closures often mark off dangerous terrain, avalanche paths and exposure. Rescue from these areas is often difficult and time consuming.

8. Be aware of your surroundings. Can uphill skiers and riders see you? Can you see them? Being aware of your surroundings will keep you and other skiers/riders safe especially over busy holiday weekends and during peak vacation times when trails are often more crowded.

9. Ski with a buddy. Skiing and riding with friends is not only more enjoyable, but also safer – especially when exploring new terrain and enjoying deep powder. It also makes Epic Mix photos more fun, so round up your friends for a great day on the mountain.

10. Bring a map: With 2,908 acres of skiing and riding across five peaks, Breckenridge can be daunting to navigate. Bring a map or download one on your smart phone to make sure you don’t get stuck on expert terrain when your legs are spent or to avoid exposure in poor visibility.

– Jesse Ambrogi-Yanson