California has some of the most beautiful places to ski in the country. Lake Tahoe, Bear Valley, Mammoth and Shasta offer fantastic views and mountain trails perfect for the skiing enthusiast. Few things are more exhilarating than zipping down the mountainside on a pair of skis.
Though skiing is a wonderful pastime, it can also be dangerous. With a little extra caution, you can keep yourself safe on the ski slopes this season.
Wear the proper equipment
Whether buying equipment or renting it, ensure you get the right size boots. Your boots are what connect you to your skis, so getting the right size will give you better control. Also check that your bindings are adjusted properly. Bindings adjusted incorrectly cause most leg and knee injuries. If someone is helping you adjust your bindings, be honest about your age, weight and ability. This affects how bindings are set.
Do not be embarrassed to get instruction
If you are new to skiing, sign up for ski instructions. The ski instructors will teach you how to carry your skis properly, how to steer and how to use the ski lift safely. Even if you have skied before, it might be a good idea to brush up on the basics.
Hit the slopes with a friend
When you ski with a friend, you can keep an eye on each other. If one of you gets hurt, the other one can call for help. Or if your friend does not show up at the bottom of the slope, you can alert the patrol that he or she might be in trouble.
Yield to other skiers
People in front of you on the mountain have the right of way. If you are merging on to a trail, everyone on the trail also has the right of way. Be sure to yield, and do not ski too closely.
Do not push yourself too hard
Ski trails are marked with skill levels. As you are getting started, do not try to ski above your skill level. As you become more experienced, you can consider moving up a level.
You burn a lot of energy while you ski. If you feel tired, stop and take a break in the lodge. You can grab a snack and a drink while you wait. It is also important to stay hydrated while you are skiing.
Even the most careful skier may have an accident. If you do fall while skiing, get yourself checked out by a doctor. Head injuries may not be obvious right away, but can have serious consequences, especially if left untreated.