Ski season is upon us. I spent the afternoon skiing and I was quickly reminded about how much I love the sport. But with any sport there are rules to keep the sport safe. And every time I ski I see people breaking those rules.

If you love the slopes, brush up on these dos and don’ts to make it safe AND fun.

Do look at the weather. Not all weather is good ski weather. has a great tool under the recreation tab. After you enter in your ski resort, it will tell you the forecasted weather for the week, as well as current conditions. My favorite tool is the ski index, which is the rating for how good of a ski day it will be. Check the weather and plan accordingly. Too much snow fall while snowing will impact your visibility and it will severely impact the safety of your ride home. No snow for a couple of weeks will likely translate into crusty (i.e. hard) snow.

Do take skiing lessons.

Or go with someone who knows what they are doing. Like any sport, skiing takes skill. And the more you hone our technique, the better skier you will be. Investing in private (or group) skiing lessons can greatly help your technique and make skiing more fun. If not, grab a skilled friend and hit the slopes together.

Do ski within your skill level.

Skiers often injure themselves by trying tricks that are too hard for them or by skiing on runs past their skill level. This does not mean that you should never push yourself and try harder things. But if you are still snow plowing (putting your skis so it looks like a pizza), you should avoid skiing black diamond. Do not risk your life if you are not good enough. Period.

Don’t ski alone.

The buddy system could not be more important. For starters, skiing with a buddy will help you be more safe. If you ski through a more desolate area and fall, you would have a buddy to help you get up, especially if you get hurt. And second, everything is more fun with a friend. Who are you going to ride the lift with?

Don’t ski with distractions

. Think of all of the things that would distract you while driving: listening to music, talking on a cell phone or eating. All of these should be avoided on the slopes. While skiing today, I saw a man talking on his cell phone. He was completely oblivious to the skiers around him which could be the recipe for disaster.

Don’t pay too much for ski passes.

Daily ski passes are pricey, but you do not have to suffer the pain of paying full price. Many ski resorts offer deals on ski passes through deal sites like Groupon or other local deals. And students can often get discounted tickets for earning good grades. You can also score half-day skiing passes for half of the overall price.

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