How Extreme Skiing Works

Extreme Skiing Safety

Though extreme skiers may consider themselves a different breed than your run-of-the-mill double-black-diamond skier, they must adhere to many of the same basic safety precautions, plus some.

There is always some risk of avalanche, and it's a leading cause of death for skiers across the board. The risk is increased when you're taking off from out-of-the-way cliffs and ledges and coming down hard and fast on improvised landing strips. Extreme skiers should always have transponders that enable rescue workers to locate them in case of avalanche, and GPS devices are a must for any extreme skier who is going off the beaten path. Avalanche-specific training is never a bad idea, either.

A good rule in general is that you should wear a helmet for any activity that has the word "extreme" before it. Beneath much of that fluffy powder are rocks, stumps and packed ice that can crack your head open, cause a concussion, or worse.

Of course, you don't want to engage in any extreme skiing until you've mastered the standard version. Advance slowly, and don't get impatient. You'll also need to become familiar with the exact terrain that you'll be hurtling your own body down. Plan carefully and always stay abreast of weather conditions. And one of the best safety precautions an extreme skier can take is to ski with a partner who can help out or call for help if something goes wrong.

Extreme skiing is a dangerous pursuit, but if you take the necessary precautions, know your own limits, and prepare yourself to the best of your abilities for the eye-popping feat you want to pull off on skis, you can have an extreme skiing adventure that's minimal on danger but big on adrenaline.

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