Snow Sports Merit Badge

Explain why every skier should be prepared to render first aid in the even of an accident
Accidents can happen so if you are there you need to know how to proceed to get help as efficiently and safely as possible. If ski patrol isn’t there you may need to help.

Explain the procedure used to report an accident to the local ski patrol for the area where you usually ski.
First see if person is injured. If they are hurt cross skiis at least 20 feet up hill sticking out of snow. Do not remove injured persons equipment because it can cause more injury. Alert someone such as ski area employee or ask a passing skiier to call ski patrol or other authority. Be sure they know the location of the accident. Look for landmarks if you don’t know the trail name. Tell messenger the probable injuries so that they can report it. Keep person warm, comfy and calm and watch for shock. Reassure person by talking and tell them help is on the way. Stay with them until ski patrol arrives. They may have questions for you.

Tell the meaning of the “Your Responsibility Code” for skiers.
1. Always stay in control.
2. people ahead of you have right away – you need to avoid them. 3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above. 4. When merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to the others. 5. Use safety devices to prevent runaway equipment (bindings with brakes)
6. Observe all signs and warnings and stay off closed trails and out of closed areas. 7. Know how to load/ride/safety procedures on the ski lifts.

Explain why each rider must follow this code
Courtesy, Caution and common sense that comes from the code will help a skiers have an enjoyable time and reduce the risk of accidents or injury

Explain the SS (Smart Style safety program
Snowboard and freestyle skiers safety and park etiquette.
1. Look before you leap (know the park well before you ride the features – inspect the run/park or pipe. Make sure landings are clear, use spotter on features where you can’t see the landing – use signals to indicate landings are clear)
2. Easy styles it (work on small features and work your way up to bigger ones. Warm up and monitor your energy levels so you don’t get hurt)
3. Respect gets respect (Use in all stages of your park experience from lift line to features – understand rules and procedures – get in line and call out “dropping” so everyone knows you are next.

Tell why it is important and how it applies to skiers in terrain parks and pipes
This applies the same to skiers and it prevents accidents from happening. It makes for a better experience.

Explain the precautions pertaining to avalanche safety, including the responsibility of individuals regarding avalanche safety.
1. Avalanches usually happen on slopes of 40-60 degrees 2. Avalanches usually happen after a snow storm when the snow is unstable. 3. The quality of snow layers vary. Avoid these dangers. If you must cross – close your clothing and put on your hat. Wear bright colored avalanche cord tied to yourself and let trail behind you.

Tell the meaning of the “Wilderness Use Policy”
Show respect for the outdoors, animals. All private and public backcountry are considered wilderness and “leave no trace” policies should be followed.

Explain why each skier must adopt this policy
We need to avoid damaging the environment and protect it for future generations.

Show how to use and maintain your own release bindings and explain the use of two others.
Bindings should be maintained by certified binding technicians

Explain the international DIN standard and what it means to skiers
The amount of force required to release a ski boot from a ski binding is called the DIN setting and should be adjusted by a certified binding tech. DIN means Deutsche Industrie Normen, an organization that sets internationally recognized industrial standards. It has greatly reduced the chances of skis accidentally releasing from bindings and has been important in skier safety.

Explain the American Teaching System and a basic snow-skiing progression.
The American Teaching System promotes safety, fun and learning.
Most teaching progressions include flatland movements, straight runs, gliding wedges, wedge turns, christies, wedge christies, skidded parallel turns and carved parallel turns.

Name the major ski organizations in the US and their functions.
1.The Professional Ski Instructors of America – for Ski instructors
2. US Ski Coaches Association developed to certify and educate ski coaches and athletes
3. US Ski and Snowboard Association – The national governing body for Olympic skiing and Snowboarding – they provide a pathway for aspiring young athletes to develop their skills through competitions and programs that provide them with opportunities to achieve athletic success.
4. The National Ski Patrol – voluntary organization that promotes safety in snow sports and trains and certifies volunteer ski patrollers.

Discuss the five types of Alpine skis. Demonstrate two ways to carry skis and poles safely and easily.
1. Sport Models – soft flex/moderate side cut.
2. Carving skis – narrow waist and wide tip and tail
3. All-Mountain Skiis – variety of flexes and side cuts
4. Racing skis – designed for high speeds and hard snow – stiff flex
5. Twin-tip skis – turned up at the tip and tail and designed for jumps, rails and half pipes.

Fasten skiis together with breaks and carry in front holding binding or over shoulder – carry poles in other hand with point down.

Explain the importance of strength, endurance and flexibility in downhill skiing
Strength: Muscular power
Endurance: for the stamina to enjoy a full day of skiing
Flexibility: for a complete range of movement and to prevent injury

Demonstrate exercises and activities you can do to get fit for skiing
running, soccer, biking and hiking are great ways to build strength and endurance and keep in shape year round.

Warm up – calf stretch, Hamstring stretch, quad stretch, lower back stretch

Present yourself properly clothed and equipped for skiing and discuss how the clothing you have chosen will keep you warm and protected.
Helmet/facemask/goggles/sun block/sun chapstick/ski jacket (warmth/wicks moisture away/blocks wind and moisture) and ski pants/long underwear or layers of clothing

Demonstrate how to ride one kind of lift and explain how to ride two others.
Rope – reach out in front and grab the rope or handle – let the rope run through your hands and then hold more tightly – once you start moving grip the rope firmly so it doesn’t slide and at the top move away from the tow to clear the unloading area.

T-Bar- rotating lift designed to handle two people. To grab the bar, flex your knees slightly but do not sit down or lean back. Stay erect. Wen you reach the top the second person off should gently release the T0bar and move away from unloading area.
Platter (Poma) – similar to t-bar but they have a disk that can be grabbed with your hands and place between your legs.

Chairlifts – get in line and watch for the chair to come up behind you. Once in the chair distribute your weight evenly and lower the safety bar. Do not bounce or swing chair. To exit, move to the edge of the chair and get your weight forward on the chair. Lief the bar and position your weight over both feet and stand up.

Explain the international trail-marking system
Terrain Park – Orange Pill
Trail Closed shows a skier with a line through it – no skiing here
Caution is a big orange exclamation point
Green Circle – Beginner
Blue Square – Intermediate
Black Diamond – Advanced
Double Black Diamond – Very Advanced

Demonstrate – straight run, Gliding wedge, wedge stop, sidestep and herringbone
Gliding Pizza, Pizza stop, side step and

Show linked wedge turns on steeper terrain
Pizza turns

On moderate slope demonstrate 5-10 chrisites
Parallel Turns

Make a controlled run down and intermediate slope and demonstrate 1. short, medium and long radius parallel turns 2. A sideslip and safety (hockey) stop to each side. 3. Traverse across a slope

Demonstrate the ability to ski in varied conditions including changes in pitch, snow conditions and moguls. Maintain your balance and ability to turn.
Don’t forget if you fall position yourself and feet perpendicular to the fall line (body up the hill) so you will not slide down the slope (across the hill) and stand up.

What is Hypothermia
Hypothermia occurs when the body is losing more heat than it can generate. When you are not dressed warm, wind, rain hunger, dehydration and exhaustion can increase the risk.

Symptoms of hypothermia
coldness and numbness
fatigue, confusion and irritability; poor judgement
stumbling and/or falling
sleepiness; loss of consciousness

How to treat Hypothermia victim
*Get the victim to a shelter and into dry clothes
*Warm the person by zipping him or her into a sleeping bag
*If the victim is conscious, give high-energy foods and warm liquids
*Place water bottles filled with warm fluid in the victim’s armpit and groin areas.
*With advanced hypothermia, help the victim breathe warm, moist air.

If no warm shelter or other heat source can be found what do I do with Hypothermia victim?
The victim should be pressed closely to one or more persons so that heat can be transferred through direct skin contact. Always be ready to provide additional first aid and seek medical care for the victim.

How do I prevent Hypothermia?
The best thing to do is to prevent this condition by: Eat well before you go out and dress and equip yourself for the worst weather. If the weather begins to deteriorate, cut the outing short and head back. Do not try to brave out the storm. Use your head and you will have a safe and more enjoyable tour.

What is Frosbite
Frostbite is a condition that occurs when skin is exposed to temperatures cold enough that ice crystals begin to form in the tissues.

What are symptoms of Frostbite?
A frostbite victim might complain that the ears, nose, fingers or feet feel painful and then numb, but sometimes the person will not notice any such sensation. Grayish white patches on the skin – indicating that ice crystals have begun to form in the top layers of the skin – are signs of the first stage of frostbite, or frostnip. With continued exposure, frostnip worsens and the freezing extends to deeper layers of the skin and to the muscles. Frostbite can be very serious as it can cut off blood flow tot he affected area and lead to gangrene, or tissue death. Most vulnerable are areas far from the warmth of the body’s core – toes, fingers, nose, ears and cheeks…

First Aid for Frostbite
Remove wet clothing and wrap the injured area in a dry blanket. Get victim under care of physician as soon as possible. Do not massage the area or rub it with snow. Rewarm the area only if there is no chance of refreezing. Expose the affected area to warm (100-105 degrees) water until normal color returns and it feels warm, and bandage the area loosly (placing dry, sterile gauze between fingers and toes).

To treat frostnip, move the victim into a tent or building then warm the injured area. If an ear or cheek is frozen, remove a glove and warm the injury with the palm of your hand. Slip frostnipped hand under your clothing and tuck it beneath armpit. Treat frostnipped toes by putting the victim’s bare feet against the warm skin of your belly.

What is shock?
When a person is injured or under great stress, the circulatory system may fail to provide enough blood to all parts of the body. This condition, called shock, may accompany any serious injury occuring in snow sports. It can be fatal.

What are symptoms of shock?
pale, moist, clammy or cool skin; weak and rapid pulse; weakness; shivering; thirst; nausea; and shallow, rapid breathing.

How should you treat shock?
Because of the risks and uncertainties that may accompany a snow sports injury, EVERY injured person should be treated for shock.
1. Summon medical help
2. Keep the victim lying down with the feet slightly elevated.
3. Prevent loss of body heat by wrapping the victim in blankets or warm clothing.
4. Keep the airway open, and perform rescue breating if needed. If the victim is conscious, give water.

Dehydration and Overheating
Overheating occurs when the body cannot keep itself cool enough. Although it is more common in warm environments, overheating in cold weather can occur when a person is doing strenuous activity and is wearing layers of warm clothing.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion?
If a person feels dizzy, faint, nauseated, or weak; develops a headache or muscle cramps; or looks pale and is sweating heavily, the person is suffering from heat exhaustion.

How do you treat Heat Exhaustion?
have the person lie down. Loosen and remove some clothing so the person begins to cool down, but be careful not to cool too quickly and risk chilling. Have the victim sip water. Recovery should be rapid. If the condition worsens get medical help.

It is the life-threatening stage of heat exhaustion in which dehydration (body-water loss) has caused body temperature to rise to a dangerous level. A person suffering from heatstroke stops sweating, has an extremely rapid pulse, and may be disoriented or unconscious. Relieve the victim immediately by immersing the body in cool water or applying cold packs. When the victim is able to drink, give plenty of water. Treat for shock and seek emergency medical help.

Sunburn is more commonly associated with summer but it is very real on a sunny winter day. Cool air keeps you from feeling the sun’s heat. Cover up and apply sunscreen to any exposed area. The snow reflects the sun. Wear goggles or sunglasses that offer protection from ultraviolet radiation.

More serious than sprains or strains are fractures, or broken bones. There are two kinds: Closed (Simple) and Open (Compound. In closed fractures, the broken bone does not tear or puncture the skin. In open fractures, the bone tears through the skin at the break. Signs of fractures: tenderness to the touch, swelling and discoloration, unusual or abnormal position or movement, a grating sound or feeling, or a sharp snapping sound or feeling at the time of injury. To treat: keep victim still and quiet and treat for shock. Do not move the injured area. Protect the spinal column by supporting the victims head and neck in the position found. For open fractures, use direct pressure to control bleeding. In all cases, get medical help. If the victim must be moved splint the fracture prior to transport.

Bruises (Contusion)
Contusion is the medical term for bruises – black and blue marks that appear, usually caused by a blow from a blunt object. The discoloration is caused by blood leaking into damaged skin tissues. Most bruises are not serious and are easy to recognize and treat. Help reduce discoloration, pain and swelling by covering the site of a new bruise with a cold compress for 30 minutes.

Sprains are common snow sport injuries. They are cause by TWISTING, wrenching or lifting movements that tear or stretch tissues surrounding a joint. Such an injury causes sudden pain and swelling. There may be some discoloration, and the joint will likely be tender to the touch and very painful when moved. Elevate the injured joint and apply cold compresses for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Strains are less severe joint or muscle injury where tissues are not torn but may have been overextended or overstressed. Treat strains the same as a sprain.

Remember RICE for Sprains and Strains
R = Rest
I = Ice
C = Compression
E = Elevation

Tell how to apply splints to an injured limb
Splint all fractures and suspected fractures in the same position as you found them. DO NOT TRY to straighten or reposition the injured area.

1. Keep the area above and below the injury still and stable.
2. Check for circulation (feeling, warmth, color).
3. Extend splints beyond the joint above and the joint below the suspected injury. Minimize movement while applying splints by providing support above and below the fracture.
4. Secure splints with bandages, neckerchiefs, or other wide strip of cloth. Tie at least one place above the injured area and one below. Do not tie bandages directly over the injury itself.
5. After the splint is in place recheck for circulations (feeling, warmth, color) to make sure you haven’t cut off circulation.

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