Don’t take the risk this season
WITH 1000s of people set to flock to the snowfields over the following weeks care and safety on slopes becomes even more paramount.
Not only are the school holidays one of the busiest times of the season but limited snow cover early in the season means more people will be packed into a smaller skiable area.
Falls Creek Ski Patrol manager Matt O’Keeffe says following a few simple instructions is the way to enjoy your snow trip.
“Early in the season the biggest tip from us is for people to really take it easy because we don’t have a lot of runs open and with school holidays there are a lot of families and kids around,” he said.
“On some of the runs it can get quite congested and the last thing we want is collisions particularly with children so if people can just slow down and be extra cautious when they see mum and dad and the kids it would be appreciated.”
O’Keeffe said adhering to signs about where to and where not to ski was also important.
“Areas are typically closed for a reason because it’s not safe for people to be there,” he said.
“Although with fresh snow the area might look like bushes and rocks are covered most of the time it’s not and that’s why we’ll close these areas.
“We don’t want to remove a person’s lift pass but if people ignore our closures that is a possibility.
“If a person blows through a closed area and hits a rock just under the surface of the snow or their ski or snowboard goes under a shrub they can get pretty badly injured so respecting our closures will keep everyone safe.”
In terms of staying protected from the elements Mr O’Keeffe said rug up in cold conditions and when there are strong winds blowing while applying sunscreen is essential not only when the sun is out but when cloudy and overcast too.
And one final tip from the ski patroller is hit the slopes bright and early before the mad rush later in the day.
“Generally there are less people out riding early in the morning and of course that’s when the snow is at its best.”