Health and Safety on the Slopes

Health Links


steadman-hawkins (ski injury experts) Cool pics of knees+shoulders plus some good stretches
Kneeguru is a good UK site about knees.
Bad knees? CADS (Constant-force Articulated Dynamic Struts) looks goofy, but looks like it works at reducing knee strain for skiers. Knee1 has knee related exercises, a ton of general info about knees and even skiing focused knee articles.
altitude sickness info
"If you ski" has a bunch of info related to ski health issues, including cold, sun, pregnancy etc.
Rumor has it that this is some kick ass sun tan lotion. Here's a skin care thread on Epic.
Eyesight - Rusty wears OTG (over the glasses) goggles because his eyesight changes faster than his goggles wear out. If you want goggles with prescription lenses built in, try these sites: SportOptical
Here's some info on snowboard injuries in general and snowboard wrist injuries.
Fitness Links
Here are some bad ass balance ball exercises. (start with the one leg stabilizer ball link)
Here's a good book for stretches.
Lisamarie is a frequent posted on Epicski. She is a ski fitness expert.
Here's a 12 week get ready for ski program.
Here's a book with another 12 week program or try their ten tips for ski fitness.
Here's a snowboard workout program.
Here's a description of a very unusual fitness program based on balance versus strength. 
Here's a good set of are you fit for skiing tests
Here's a simple ski preseason fitness  program from Mt Hotham, AU
The Stone clinic has some good exercises (knee on top and fitness on the bottom)
Your Responsibility Code
National Ski Patrol - These guys work hard
Read this from the Mayo clinic before you go skiing

The Mayo's advice for beginning snowboarding   - the focus is on legal aspects of ski safety (Rusty is not found of skiing lawsuits, but it's part of the sport and this site is a good resource)
Body Armor Good tips for wild people - use a full face helmet; wear a mouth guard, back protector, knee, hip and butt pads; use thumb tape and shin tape. OK - now all Rusty has to do is find out where you can buy this stuff! Tailsaver is a foam pad approach (good for beginner snowboarders!). Here's a helmet site for kids! Here's what Consumer Reports has to say about helmet fit. Beginner snowboarders pay attention! Bohn has a buttsavr for $40 and other protection garments too. Race-werks has armor from Dainese for adults and kids. Boeri helmets are cool. They've got great ads. Race-Werks has a whole section to devoted to armor. Skeletools has some cool hip pads. Aegix has some cool integrated clothing (pads integrated into the pants and jackets). Kjus has impact clothing but it's not their website. Sessions has layering with armor in it (look for the layering page and models that start with D30). Deuter has a combo pack/hydration with armor in it.
The December 2000 issue of skiing has a good article on ski safety. Survey says 22% of reported ski injuries involve knee sprains (i.e. ACL tears). ACL tears are more likely than broken legs were in 1973. The risk of ACL tears averages  once every 2,100 ski days. Vermont Ski Safety has the best info on preventing ACL tears and a cool video. Ski boarders have an extremely low rate of ACL tears, but are at as much risk of a broken leg as skiers were in 1973. 0.26 out of 100,000 people die while skiing each year Based on participation, riding in a car is 34 times more likely to cause death. Hunting is about as dangerous as skiing. Swimming is slightly more dangerous. Here's a website devoted to common skiing and snowboarding injuries.
Heading to Steamboat? You've got to try out the winter driving school there. Rusty recommends the 1/2 day course ($155). It's a hoot!
Helmet info:
Hospital stats from the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Canadian helmet study
concludes helmet use reduces risk of head injury by 20-50%
Going backcountry. Cell phones reach into some of the backcountry, but a personal locater beacon can get help from anywhere on the planet.
Avalanche Links
Cyberspace Avalanche Center - check out the incident reports! has links to all North American avalanche centers, web cams and other avalanche info.
The US Forest Service runs an avalanche site that has an interactive tour and some basic info.
Take the Whitewater avalanche quiz!
Avalanche awareness and Alpine safety are groups dedicated to educating young people in mountain towns about avalanche risks. There's not much info on these sites, except for how to donate. They are focused on teaching kids in person.
These links have avalanche forecast reports and other avalanche info...
Utah Avalanche Forecast Center
(see links for avalanche education classes). Colorado Information Center has Colorado forecasts and reports.  Canadian Avalanche Association - great Canadian info. European avalanche info is great if you know the local languages (reports only). Crested Butte Avalanche Center. Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center. Sierra Avalanche Center
Montana Avalanche Center
Yahoo avalanche links
Nova TV program.
Avalanche training info: Alpine skills has a lot of classes.
Have you heard about the "Ava Lung". It's a device that vents your breath behind you in order to minimize the amount of CO2 you rebreath when you are buried under snow. If you're buried in an avalanche, it lets you breath for up to an hour (if you're still breathing). The stats page is gone but they have a cool flash thingy. (STP has the original Avalung on sale for $60!) REI has them for $200 - $285. New for 2001 is the Avalung 2. For about $100, it's like a snorkel.

Another new device is ABS Escape. This is an airbag system that floats you to the top of the avalanche and helps to prevent burial. Klondike Heliskiing in Atlin/BC is the only heliski company which uses the ABS and offers it to their clients free of charge.

A survival tale from a ski patroller. Heed the lessons learned. Some stuff to think about the next time you go back country. Mountainzone has a good story about avalanche awareness.
PisteHors is a Euro site with some great avalanche safety info.
Recco has an alternative avalanche location technology based on low cost reflectors built in to common ski clothing and equipment (e.g. boots, helmets) and using radar to detect buried victims. They have some avalanche safety info on their site.