Ski Vacation Tip: Traits Of An Ideal Ski Partner
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Ski Vacation Tip: Traits Of An Ideal Ski Partner

Games and activities on ski vacation destinations are technically team sports, always better when played and enjoyed along with other snow sports enthusiasts. Skiing and snowboarding, for instance, are performed individually but are always way better and safer when done in the company of equally skilled and trained vacationers. With that in mind, being on ski vacations is not simply about finding the best lines and fresh snow; it is about team work and team safety.

Team-ups at ski areas do not necessarily have to be a large group of skiers. As a matter of fact, it could be a simply be a tandem of an experienced skier and, perhaps, a regular holiday maker at the resort. In any case, it is essential that members of this team display proper group dynamics and maintain an open communication. Unfortunately, communication can be tricky so it is extremely important that you find an ideal ski partner.

At any rate, here are the essential traits of an ideal ski partner:

Shares similar risk tolerance with you. Some snow sports enthusiasts ski big lines regardless of ski conditions; others wait for hazards to pass before eventually deciding to shred ice. In any case, it is important that you team up with someone who shares similar risk tolerance. This way, you tend to agree on decisions and avoid tense situations.

Ideal ski partners are prepared. Before going to the summit, make sure you carry with you your own first aid kit and extra layers. This way you have access to required materials when necessary. If you’re planning to leave the ski resort for backcountry tours, make it a point to carry your own shovel so you have something to use in case of avalanche. Being prepared is also a sign of respect.

Ski partners should be flexible and willing to adjust plans when needed. Conditions on ski resorts tend to change, so members of ski groups should be able to distinguish when it is safe to ski or ride specific lines. Practically, it is OK to simply turn back and come again the next day in case the weather condition on the summit is too risky.

They use a system for communication. Ideal ski partners are familiar with standard and systemic approach to skiing. If you are already an advanced skier who wishes to try the backcountry, make it your goal to team up with one who is abreast with American Avalanche Institute Backcountry Checklist – a well-known approach to planning and making observations in the sport.


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