Following a heavy dump of snow, the excitement in a resort builds and the favourite battle cry of most able bodied skiers can be heard throughout the town. ‘Powder day’. On such days, a feverish lust to hunt out every virginal patch of snow on the mountain takes hold, and rightly so. Exhaustion and fatigue are shelved and the frigid cold is forgotten as we are lost in hot pursuit of adrenaline.However with the mind temporarily maddened with pleasure, we are often understandably careless with our well-being. Here are a few tips to stay healthy and safe in the powder.
- Powder skiing whilst great fun, can be very taxing on the body. Ensure that you stretch properly before setting off. Focus particularly on the quads and hamstrings. With straight legs, bend over and touch as close to your toes as you can. Hold for 15 seconds then relax. Repeat 3 times. Placing one hand on a wall, cup the top of your foot and pull your heel back to your bottom. Keep your knees together and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- At around 3000 meters we exhale and perspire twice as much moisture than we do at sea level. Dehydration is a major problem at high altitude and is very often confused with altitude sickness. A day skiing in powder is like a day spent in the gym, only due to the cold we don’t feel as thirsty. Also, like many a skier that has gone before, the pub beckons after such a day. The threesome of altitude, exercise and alcohol can lead to a very nasty morning after the powder day before. Ensure you drink water throughout the day and make sure your first drink in the pub is soft. Keep track of your urine, if it’s like orange neon, take that as a warning sign and re-hydrate.
Enjoy the powder and stay safe.