At some point, all skiers have taken a spill so bad that they lost their goggles and got snow around the really sensitive part of their neck, and then were embarrassed as their friends laughed at them trying to get the snow out of their jacket. But what’s even worse is when a ski goes shooting through the air and then becomes buried unseen in the snow. You can easily waste precious day light hours looking for a lost ski and if you find it at all it will probably be far away from where you started searching. However there are efficient ways to search for your lost ski. If you’ve ever visited the mountains in the summer you will see a lost ski graveyard. To make sure no one finds your lost ski next summer follow these tips when you are searching.
The first instinct that most skiers have when they take a nasty fall is to jump right up and start digging in the snow. First of all, you should be absolutely still and do nothing. Make sure that you are alright before you just jump up and start digging. Secondly, if you are just digging around aimlessly you are more likely to end up confused and will probably never find your ski. What you should do is ask onlookers if they saw what happened, and which way the ski went.
If you are with friends wave to them and alert them that you have lost a ski. Riders above you on the trail can look above so you don’t have to walk back up, and if it is at the bottom of the hill they can hold on to it until you get there. Your friends, if kind enough, can also help you look for the ski, saving a lot of precious skiing time.
Before you move from the spot where you fell, take off your other ski and place it upright in the snow to mark your spot. Think about exactly where and how you fell. Were you going straight, turning left, or turning right? This should give you some clue as to where your lost ski might be. Using your ski pole to feel under the deep snow and mark your path, start walking a square perimeter. After you have walked 10 or 15 paces square start searching for your ski inside of the borders.
If you checked and it is not there make a new square on the other side of the mark and start looking once more. Make this box every time you start a new search so you already know where you have been, and don’t waste precious daylight looking for a lost ski. You and your friends can do a simple search by making a line (side by side, not single file) and walking up and down the mountain covering the entire terrain surrounding your fall. Because ski’s are meant to slide on snow, when they take off during a hairy fall they can glide several feet or even yards under the powdery snow, out of sight.
If, after all this you still cannot find your ski, you can always come back in July and try to find it, just mark a tree or something with a piece of scarf or bright fabric. It seems like a silly idea, but there are skis all over the mountain in summer and some are quite expensive so why not go back and get it. Other than this silly idea you can try getting Powder Straps or what is know as ski ribbons. Powder straps are long, brightly colored ribbons that attach to your skis, and come unfurled if the ski is forcefully pulled from your foot. This is a great idea if you have expensive skis, and they really do work. If you loose your ski all you have to look for is the brightly colored ribbon sticking out of the snow.