Poconos Coal

Tips to avoid turning skiing, snowboarding into a fatal accident

LOWER TOWAMENSING TWP., Pa. - For some, there's no better way to beat the winter blues than skiing or snowboarding down a mountain.

Overall, the skiing industry has excellent safety records, but accidents and fatalities do happen. That's why January is National Ski Safety month.

Last year at ski resorts across the country, 40 people died on the slopes. There were another 48 catastrophic injuries nationally. Earlier this week, a Philadelphia man died in an accident at Blue Mountain.

While serious injuries are rare, 69 News hooked up with Blue Mountain Ski Patrol head Ed Kupillas for some safety tips.

"Rule number one on the skier responsibility code is to always ski in control," he said.

Whether on a ski or a board, when shredding down the mountain it's your responsibility to avoid those ahead of you when merging onto another trail.

"Should you fall, crash or stop in a place where it's a blind spot you should do your best to get out of there as soon as you can.

Kupillas also stresses it's safest to ride in pairs.

"It's always a good idea to ski with a buddy. If you should fall over the crest of a hill, you can have a buddy tell people to stay to the side," he added while waving his arms in the air.

If someone is hurt an "X" with skis marks the spot.

"That is the universal symbol for an injured skier," he explained. 

Also, ride only trails that suit your ability and get the proper equipment, Kupillas added.


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