Thursday, December 9, 2010

Momma's Safety Talk

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

November is finally behind us and the snows are starting to fall (naturally and otherwise) in the mountains of the East.  It's time for Momma's safety talk.  You know the one you get just before you head out the door.

Somehow I came across this report while looking for backcountry ski trails at Wachusett, and found it too interesting not to pass along.

I was reading this as I watched a feature from Marmot on the Ski Channel, where one of the skiers was talking about risks and perception. The timing couldn't have been better.

First, the small print indicates that the list isn't comprehensive.  Think of it as skiing deaths that made the internet.  Although, with 34 deaths listed, it is about average for any given year in the total number of US ski deaths.

Two things really struck me after reading this report. First, trees are friggin dangerous.  A large number of people on the list died after striking trees.  I suppose its only natural given that they are the first stationary object you'll encounter if you hit a swath of ice and go hurtling out of control.  So, very simply: Dont run into a tree.  Especially while glade skiing.

The second thing that struck me was how short the list is.  I know, I know...  It's not comprehensive, and it doesn't list all those people with torn knee ligaments, broken bones, etc.  However, consider that a little over 5 million people skied and snowboarded in 2007, and that in the past ten years, an average of 38 people have died skiing in any given year.  This gives you a mortality rate of approximately 7.6 per 100,000, or almost half the mortality rate for automobile accidents (12 per 100,000).

Also consider that 1 in 4 children born after the year 2000 will get diabetes.  Yeah you read that right.  We (and especially our children) regularly engage in one of the most dangerous pastimes: inactivity.  Inactivity leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and worst of all: Xbox.  It's not good for you.

So you tell me.  Is it more dangerous to sit on the couch all day until you wander over to the mall in your Ford Pinto, or to get out to the mountains and do a little skiing?

Momma says don't forget your hat, and don't let the door hit you in your fat ass on the way out to the mountains.

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