Peter Salzano: Unarmed Obstacles at Snowboarding & Ski Areas
When it comes to winter sports like snowboarding or skiing, we generally talk about the injuries and precautions, ignoring the unarmed obstacles that one should be aware of, says Peter Salzano, a professional snowboarder.
When we use the word unarmed obstacles, it points towards both, natural as well as man-made unprotected hazardous. As a trainer, it becomes your responsibility to be aware of the area and the obstacles that can be challenging for you as well as your trainee. Precision and preparation to minimize the risk are what’s required to make snowboarding & ski a safe experience for all.
Let’s talk about some natural as well as man-made obstacles that you should be aware of. Peter Salzano, says if you are a learner you are too responsible for your safety, read and research well about the area you choose for practice from the locals, your trainers and other skiers and snowboarders.
Ask questions about the natural obstacles and what are the precautions that they as well as you can take if something like the below-mentioned unprotected hazardous happens.
Serious injuries can occur when snowboarders or skiers encounter hazards like rocks, bare spots, stumps, forest growth, streambeds, trees, cliffs, and other natural objects.
The area operators should make an effort to ensure that the natural obstacles are properly marked when difficult to see and guarded in some special cases.
You should share the level of danger and explain in detail what unexpected obstacles can come your way and what to do when you encounter them.
A large tree or a boulder located in the middle of a narrow groomed run or near the landing area of a terrain park jump are some simple examples of natural obstacles.
Another thing that you need to be aware of is the man-made obstacles. The artificial obstacles placed to make your snowboarding or skiing experience better should first be inspected by the area operators for safety.
Ensure that the man-made obstacles placed are visible and properly guarded if necessary.
What Precautions can you take to safeguard the safety of the snowboarders and skiers:
Warn skiers and snowboarders when snow coverage is minimal on any run
- Inspect runs before opening each day
- Mark or guard obstacles difficult to see from an uphill position
- Do consider trail use when guarding obstacles
- Do consider the fall zones when protecting obstacles
- Routinely inspect all protective fencing, equipment, especially after weather events
These are some man-made as well as natural obstacles that you should know about and should consider the safety measures before starting your practice or before competitions.
Always be prepared and listen to the instructions even if you are an expert, says Peter Salzano. Each area is different and natural obstacles do not stay the same every time, so be sure you inspect before you start.