Mt Baker Ski Area just opened, and everyone is  hoping for a much snowier and longer season than last years’. With the fairly early opening this season, we’re off to a good start and Whatcom and Skagit County skiers and snowboarders are heading back up to the slopes. Because I’m a personal injury lawyer, and every day I learn about terrible injuries people get from doing things they love or do as second nature until something goes wrong, I’ve put together a list of tips to keep things safe. Because no one has a fun day if you’re sailing down the mountain in the back of an ambulance – or due to your negligence, you’ve put someone else in there. From the website Kids Health, here are some tips on how to board and what to wear to help ensure you have a gnarly day.

Before you go up:

  • Get in snowboarding shape. Health clubs around town often have grueling classes that consist of a lot of squats and strength training with cardio specifically to get people in shape for snowboarding, a strenuous activity no matter what powder and gravity make it seem. 
  • Dress for the conditions. Modern clothing technology has come up with some amazing ways to stay warm without becoming hot. Take advantage of them, and invest in the right stuff.
  • Wear sunscreen. The commercials link sunscreen to summer days at the beach, but at high altitudes and surrounded by fields of reflective snow, the sun’s rays can be highly damaging. Apply it early and apply it often. 

On the mountain:

  • You might be having too much fun to think of it but your body needs more than a hot chocolate or toddy to relax after a day of boarding. Make sure you drink plenty of water – even if the air temperature and your clothing wick the moisture away, you are sweating. Keep some snacks in all those great pockets your gear has. You are less likely to crash physically if you’re not crashing physiologically because you’re dehydrated and hungry. 
  • Snowboarders have a blind spot. When boarding, you face sideways, and can’t see behind you unless you look. It’s your responsibility to know who and what is around you, and navigate obstacles. 
  • Last but certainly not least, know your limits. Board within your ability, and take a class if you’re going up for your first time. Don’t go off limits, and board with a friend so you can keep an eye on each other. There’s an etiquette to boarding that all boarders are expected to follow, as well as rules for skiers. Know the right thing to do, and do your best to practice it. 

Above all, have fun, and be safe! Call me if you get hurt up there, at (360) 392-2833 or find me through this contact form. I have twenty years’ experience representing accident victims from all kinds of accidents and have Avvo’s top rating for personal injury lawyers. Click here to learn more.

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