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Tips from the pros to start the season

Tips from the pros to start the season


This week’s blog comes straight from Colorado Ski Country USA’s Ski Patroller of the Year, Tony Cammarata, of Arapahoe Basin. Tony touches on safety tips to keep skiers and riders safe for the upcoming winter. Nothing puts a damper on a full season of skiing like an injury or a bad experience due to ignorance! Heres what Tony had to offer:

Welcome to Winter 2010-11! All of us at Arapahoe Basin are glad to have you back for what we think is one of the best openings we’ve ever had. The New Black Mountain Express is spinning right outside my window, bringing skiers and riders up to their first turns of the season in under three minutes.Mother Nature blessed us with more than two feet of snow in our first week, to the delight of all our guests.Our snowmakers are putting it into overdrive to get the upper mountain rolling this week.The energy level at The Legend is high in anticipation of another great season.I feel so fortunate to be part of the Colorado ski scene, and I thought this would be a great time to share some insight on how to make the most of these bonus days of riding.

Here at the Basin, we like to think of our ski season as a marathon, not a sprint. I want to have the same smile on my face on the last day of the season as I do right now. It’s up to all of us to take care of ourselves to make sure we get to the finish line.There are a couple of important things that I think all skiers and riders should think about when they step into their bindings.A mantra that I always have running through my mind is “Space, not Speed.” We all want to let ’em run a bit, but especially with limited terrain open this time of year, we have to remember our fellow riders.A collision could end your season, or somebody else’s season, before it even begins.

Use this time of year to fine tune your technique and get those snow specific muscles built up.Everybody should look at the back of your trail map and brush up on the Skier Safety Act and the Your Responsibility Code. Please remember that closures, like rope and signage, are there for specific reasons. There may be hidden and unmarked obstacles under that soft snow just outside the open runs, and we don’t want anybody to hurt themselves before the coverage builds enough to pull those closures.There may closures due to avalanche hazard.There may be hazards due to snowmaking equipment that isn’t readily apparent.Our staff trains and works hard to make sure that we address these issues before anybody gets hurt.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that we ski patrollers are saving that soft snow for ourselves.We love to ride the soft stuff too, but our first priority is trying to make sure all of you reach the finish line with us.If you have questions on conditions or what is open, find one of us and we would love to help you out.

“If we ride with respect, for the mountain and others on the slope, then all of us will be able to share great memories of the 2010-11 season.I hope to see you all of the lift soon!”

Tony C.

Thanks to patrollers like Tony we as skiers and riders can come better prepared for what the season has to throw at us. As with any advice from the best in the industry, it’s always worth a thorough review of what they have to offer in their area of expertise. Thanks for contributing Tony!