Speeding down the slopes on snow-covered mountains while the blue sky shines above: skiing on a winter vacation is the highlight of the cold season for many people, whether in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. However, skiing is just like driving a car: There are certain rules to heed to protect yourself and others on your ski vacation. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that your skiing vacation remains unclouded.
Before the ski vacation: planning and preparation
Before you start then, please check that you have packed everything with you: Functional underwear, warm and waterproof clothing, gloves, snow goggles and safety helmet are an absolute must. Are the skis also in good shape? If you have wax with you, the skis have the right length for your height? What applies to children skis? And last but not least: Is the sunscreen in the luggage? It is well known that the sun's rays are much more aggressive in the mountains. The sunscreen should therefore have at least a sun protection factor of 30.
If you are traveling by car, it should also be winterized: snow chains are very important, for example, and the right winter tires anyway.
Many underestimate the benefits of ski gymnastics, but it is actually worth its weight in gold. Ski gymnastics makes the muscles supple, gives condition and trains mobility, which significantly reduces the risk of accidents. So it makes sense to start a program before the skiing vacation in order to achieve a minimum level of fitness. Strengthening the legs is important here, as they are under constant strain when skiing. In addition to strength endurance, static holding exercises for the abdomen and back, as well as exercises to strengthen core muscles, should be part of skiing gymnastics, as this relieves the strain on legs and knee joints while skiing. Especially untrained people should at least take a basic course. Also, before the immediate descent, always warm up and stretch.
Safety on the slopes
If you are then happy on the mountain, use only the prescribed slopes for the descents and do not go exploring on your own, however tempting this may be in the majestic mountains. Don't forget that off the marked slopes there is a risk of avalanches and injury – with no one to help you then. Instead, use the slopes with different levels of difficulty: green slopes are for beginners, blue and red slopes invite advanced skiers. When skiing downhill, every skier should behave as considerately as in road traffic. This means: no alcohol (slows down the reaction time and leads to overestimation), giving first aid in an emergency, driving with foresight and consideration for other skiers and snowboarders.
Injury or accident: what to do?
Everyone is obliged by law to provide first aid to others in an emergency. This also applies to ski accidents. So ideally, brush up on your skills before your ski vacation and attend a first aid course, for example at the German Red Cross. If you are prudent, you always have the number of the local mountain rescue service with you. If you see someone injured, please notify the mountain rescue immediately. Sometimes minutes are crucial to whether someone survives or not. Until the mountain rescue service arrives, use your first aid skills and, for example, place the victim in the recovery position or – if necessary – perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
The worst injuries can also be avoided if you wear a helmet. This is not a regulation in all countries, but should be taken for granted. If you follow these principles, then nothing can really go wrong. Enjoy your skiing vacation with unadulterated pleasure and experience the absolute feeling of freedom when the mountain calls again!