The Safety Site
Safety Administrator Monica Palmer
Recreational Safety takes Responsibility & Control
The article below was another entry for my Safety Article Contest held earlier this year. The author requested to be anonymous.
DRIVING AND STOPPING ON SLICK ROADS. When driving on extremely “greasy” slick roads such as when the temperature is at 32 degrees F, it’s best to stay as close to the center of a crowned road to avoid sliding into the barrow pit. One time driving up the Mt. Rose highway, I was meeting a friend for powder skiing. On a corner where the road was banked slightly, a car had slid into a snowbank and my friend happened to stop to help him, but he pulled to the right to avoid blocking traffic and his car also slid off the road. I came up behind him and when I saw what happened, I decided to NOT stop as I would have had the same result happen to me. I went around these 2 cars and proceeded to get several untracked powder runs in before my friend showed up about an hour later.
PROPER MAINTENANCE AND BINDING ADJUSTMENT. There was a big snowstorm and 5 ft of POW dumped at Mt. Rose. I was so excited that I put my Atomic Powder Plus skis in the car without checking them from the previous season. I had been skiing some shaped narrow skis and I had forgotten that I released the bindings on the powder skis the previous spring.
I was on the second chair on the Northwest Magnum lift. Everyone was chomping at the bit to get untracked POW. I leapt off the chair in front of the other skiers and headed for Silver Dollar, since the Slide Side was closed to cars and no one would be on that lift. As soon as I hit a slight flattening of the terrain, my skis sank a bit and I pitched forward. Normally, I would have corrected my weight, but instead with loose bindings, I double ejected and went head over heels. Finding my skis in chest deep snow was a challenge and very tiring. Furthermore, it was extremely difficult to climb out of the depression to get to a slope that would allow me to move by gravity alone. Exhausting!
Just below the cat track, despite keeping my weight centered, I did another “egg-beater” and was completely buried under the snow. Fortunately, a snowboarder saw what happened and came by and swept the snow off my head so I could breathe. I’ve never been so thankful for a snowboarder in my life.
The POW was a bit heavy that day and after making 4 runs, I was so tired that I called it a day.