If you are a keen skier you will know how enticing deep powder can be. On that regular trip to to resorts such as Mammoth Mountain it’s an excellent surface for an impressive skiing experience; that is until you lose a ski in the deep powder. If you are unlucky enough to fall while skiing then finding an errant ski can a lot more difficult than you might imagine.
It’s important to have some sort of plan in place for finding a lost ski. If you have an idea of how to go about locating a missing ski then you make life a lot easier for yourself should you ever be in the position of needing such a plan. We are going to take a look at what you need to do.
Photo by: Jim Kravitz
Prevention is better than cure
This statement is generally true in life and it certainly applies when it comes to searching for a lost ski. If you use powder tails when skiing on deep powder they stay attached to the ski if it becomes detached, making it easy for you to locate the ski in deep powder. Powder tails are easy to use, with one end attached to the ski and the other attached to your leg using a Velcro fastening. They can certainly save you a lot of aggravation should you be unlucky enough to have your ski detach in deep powder. But what if you have not used powder tails?
Making sure you are safe and sound
If you fall while skiing the most important thing to do is make sure that you give yourself time to recover. Assuming that you are not injured you just need to catch your breath and then you need to take action if one, or both, of your skis are missing.
Think back to where you fell
If you are going to commence searching for a missing ski you need to think back to where you first fell. This is the place which indicates where you should start searching. Once you have established the position where you first fell you need to mark it with a pole, or your remaining ski. If you do not do this then the snow will blow, or become trampled over, and you will not know where you started the search.
Work in circles from your starting point
It’s important to remember that a missing ski can often be found uphill from where you fell. You should start your search by examining a circular area up and downhill from your falling point. You then need to continue searching circular areas which follow the trajectory of your fall and spread out from it. It’s a good idea to overlap your search areas so that you do not neglect to search any areas of powder.
Knowing when to call it a day
Obviously, you want to be able to find your missing ski in the powder but there may be a time when this is not possible. If it starts getting dark then you need to put safety first and call the ski patrol to help get you off the mountain. They may have spare skis which you can borrow to enable you to ski down. If this is not the case they will have other means of helping you down.
Hopefully, our tips will help you to successfully find your missing ski or skis and you will not need to call on the services of the ski patrol. If you do have to ask for help do not forget to leave your details so that you can be contacted should your ski be found at some point in the future.