What About Skiing?
Everything described earlier about hiking applies. However the skiier has more demanding weather conditions to consider, and must take that into consideration. The following is worth repeating:
Always Carry the 10 Essentials!
If you decide to ski out of bounds, be ready to stay out overnight in a survival situation. It is quite likely that you may not be reported missing for many hours and you will most likely be stuck in the snow, in damp clothes, fighting hypothermia. Remember that damp or wet clothes suck away precious body heat. It will be cold! Carry extra dry clothing, food, survival gear, and be mentally prepared to endure some of the most miserable hours of your life. Reproduced below is the text of a SkiSafe leaflet the team distributes. You’ll find it’s very similar to the “10 ways to avoid becoming lost” above.
1. Be Prepared For Skiing
When skiing, stick to a return time, and leave enough time to get home without causing people to worry about you. Take the proper equipment and have a trip plan – even if you will be skiing for only a few hours on a local mountain.
2. Leave a Message With Someone
A note, left with a responsible person, explains your skiing destination, the route (or runs) you are taking, who is with you, and your return time. If you do not return as planned, this person can give the accurate information to the police.
3. Never Ski Alone
Ski with a group and keep together. If a person becomes separated by going ahead or falling behind they are more likely to become lost.
4. If You Are a “Back Country” Skier, Always Carry the 10 Essentials
If you are a down-hill skier, and you decide to leave the controlled area, be ready to stay out overnight in a survival situation. It is quite likely that you may not be reported missing for many hours and you will most likely be stuck in the snow, in damp clothes, fighting hypothermia. Carry extra clothing, survival gear, and be mentally prepared to endure some of the most miserable hours of your life.
5. If You Get Lost, Do Not Panic
Maintain a positive mental attitude if you become lost. Being lost is not dangerous if you are prepared.
6. Stay Where You Are
Help will come.
7. Do Not Continue to Move
People who continue to travel, after becoming lost, usually get further from the trail and further from people who are looking for them.
8. Do Not Go “Downhill”
On the North Shore, going down-hill, or following the fall-line, often leads to natural drainages. These drainages have the common features of very thick bush, expansive cliffs, and waterfalls.
9. Use Signaling Devices
Blowing a whistle, lighting a fire, and staying visible will help searchers find you. Help people trying to find you, even if you feel embarrassed or afraid. Animals will not be attracted to your signals.
10. Build or Seek Shelter
Protect yourself from the elements. Be as comfortable as possible but when it is light make sure you are visible from the air and visible to searchers in helicopters or planes.
Remember that bad weather, early darkness or an unexpected injury can turn an easy ski outing into an extended crisis.
The mistake common to most people who get lost is the individual’s belief that it could never happen to them. This attitude is simply summed up as EGO.
By being prepared, and safe, you can enjoy skiing in the mountains.