Managed to get away for a week’s skiing in glorious Val d’Isère. The snow has been fantastic and the weather has been wonderfully and worryingly hot - not that Donald Trump and his acolytes feel they should worry about it!
Aside from the thrill of the sport itself, the feeling that comes from being in the beauty of the mountains is a huge part of what makes skiing special. It therefore comes as a great disappointment to us, this current obsession for skiing wearing a helmet. Apart from the dislocation from the environment, we also feel that it has in fact made the sport more dangerous rather than the opposite. One of the results of people feeling themselves to be more protected is that they often ski with less concern for others.
Helmets are all very well for experts skiing 50˚ couloirs, but they only put themselves at risk. The added confidence that wearing a helmet gives an average skier, on the other hand, often creates a false sense of security and makes them ski far beyond their technical ability resulting in their putting other people’s safety at risk.
Life is always changing and we now live in an internet age with all the benefits that brings. There are drawbacks, of course, and one of the drawbacks of personal mobile technology in particular is a disconnection from one’s wider environment, existing in one’s own personal bubble - wearing a helmet seems to somehow have the same effect. And don’t get us started on the volume at which people wearing a helmet shout into their mobiles, especially while they’re riding a chairlift!
Skiing is a risk sport but one of the ways to lessen that risk is to pay attention not only to the snow conditions but also to the skiers and boarders all around you.
You may think that you are skiing in a helmet, but perhaps it’s really just your own little bubble!