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EpicSki › First Run Articles › Safe Skiing Goes Beyond the Code

Safe Skiing Goes Beyond the Code

There's no doubt that safe skiing starts with Your Responsibility Code, but that's just the minimum standard if you want to manage risk and prolong your health and well-being as a skier. With that in mind, the EpicSki community has identified these additional Best Practices that have kept them safe from bodily harm over many ski seasons.




Part I. All-around Best Practices 

1. Get in shape

  1. Focus on core strength and flexibility
  2. If you want to stretch before skiing, either warm up first or stick with dynamic stretches
  3. Consider going to a fitness professional who can design a custom fitness program for you rather than trying a one-size-fits-all program that may be inadequate or even detrimental if done with improper form

2. Become a technically strong skier through coaching and practice

3. Wear a helmet

  • Even with a helmet, protect your head at all times; tuck your chin if you fall on your back

4. Stop skiing before you're physically exhausted

  1. Take it easy on your last run

5. If you feel yourself falling, especially rearward, let yourself go

6. Skiing is a motor skill: don't drink/drug and ride 

7. Don't allow peer pressure to get you in over your head

8. Listen to music if you like, but not so loud that it impairs your sensory/environmental awareness

9. Look ahead where you're going, not down at your skis

10. If you must ski on busy days, be extra careful on crowded runs, loading and unloading lifts with multiple riders, etc. 

11. Give yourself a generous margin of error with trees, especially when skiing fast on blue groomers

12. Never ski trees or seriously deep powder alone


Part II. Equipment Best Practices

  1. Check that your bindings work properly before the first run of the season
  2. Get your boots fitted
  3. Tune your skis periodically
  4. Check the weather report so you're dressed properly for the conditions
  5. Carry and wear appropriate eyewear for the conditions


Part III. Best Practices for Black Diamonds & Backcountry

  1. Practice self-arrest if you ski in steep terrain: Self Arrest Techniques
  2. Spot your landing before launching air
  3. Tread lightly in low snow conditions. As GCooker warns, "On day one of a cat ski trip at Mustang Powder (near Revelstoke) I had the misfortune of carving a little deep in low snow and catching a rock. 2nd degree shoulder separation made the next two day of skiing VERY uncomfortable."

  4. Heed avalanche warnings
  5. Become an expert with your transceiver, probe and shovel. Only go into avalanche terrain with people who are equally proficient
  6. Keep away from avalanche routes like gullies
  7. Steer clear of depressions in the snow for these can be crevasses
  8. Ski down the fall line rather than cutting back and forth across the slope
  9. Take off your pole straps or use poles with breakaway straps in avalanche terrain and trees






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EpicSki › First Run Articles › Safe Skiing Goes Beyond the Code