We have hit the time of year when spring has arrived but winter sports have not completely left us. And one of our favorite sports is skiing, especially Spring skiing. Why Spring Skiing, well why not? The weather is better, the ski conditions are still very good, and the chances of frostbite are significantly reduced (primarily applies to us East Coast skiers). However, you need to be a little more cautious during this activity. Typically conditions have dramatically changed from the mid-Winter snows. That fluffy, light powder has morphed into a wet, heavier snow. In addition, you may find more patches of ice on the slopes due to overnight freezing and daytime melting. What does this mean for the recreational skier? The changing snow surface will result in greater challenges to your skiing technique. Of course, with the ice you have to avoid it or skate across it. The wet, heavier snow will give you better grip but creates more torque on your joints (especially the knees). It will take more strength for you to control your skis and longer lead time for them to change direction. So, if you are going to head for the slopes make sure your body is ready for the increased strength demands and you are thinking well ahead as you pick your route down the mountain.
One more word of caution! We have seen many people in this practice who have had an up-close and personal encounter with someone coming off the slopes at speed, and out-of-control. Anecdotally this seems to occur more often in the Spring-time. Possibly this is due to everyone feeling a little more frisky given the beautiful conditions. In any case, when you are stopped on the slopes or waiting in the lift line, keep your head up, your eyes open, and be aware of your surroundings. A little prevention helps keep you out there having fun and not rehabilitating from an injury. Welcome to Spring-time!