Staying Safe in the Cold, Part 3

Once the snow really starts to fall, ski hills will start seeing some big crowds.

But when lots of people take to the slopes, injuries are bound to happen.

Mike Stark wraps up his series, ‘Staying Safe in the Cold’, with a look at what you need to do to have a safe and fun time on the slopes this winter.

The people who run ski hills certainly aren’t enjoying the total lack of snowfall we’ve had in November so far.

But they know their time will come soon enough.

Until it does, skiers and snowboarders have plenty they can do to prepare for the season, like checking the equipment.

Marquette Mountain general manager Vern Barber and Todd Brookhouse, co-owner of the Rhythm Snowboard Shop in Houghton, both say the first thing you should do is check the edges of your skis or your board.

Make sure you wax them before your first trip to the hills of the year.

Of course, having a good warm jacket and proper protective headgear is necessary, too.

Dr. Karen Eldevick of Marquette General says that’s the best way to avoid injuries like concussions.

But head injuries aren’t the most common ones on the hills.

Marquette Mountain keeps track of all the injuries that take place there.

Barber says wrist-related injuries are by far the most common type for snowboarders.

So if that’s your sport, make sure you have a pair of sturdy gauntlet-style gloves.

Now that you have all your gear, it’s time to head out to the slopes.

But take it easy on your first couple of runs of the season.

Brookhouse says even after more than 15 years of snowboarding, he still falls sometimes, so falls can happen to anyone.

And if you’re new to either sport, it might help to take a course.

Most ski hills offer beginner lessons at very inexpensive rates.