Many people at the question "sea or mountain in August?" will surely answer the second. How can we blame those who instead of sand and umbrellas prefer quiet walks on mountain trails, alpine views, the culinary delights of the refuges or temperatures much more comfortable. The mountain-summer tourism, which never goes out of fashion, in recent years is showing a growing trend: summer skiing.
Skiing in the warmer months of the year has a certain charm, no doubt about it. In Italy and in alpine areas of the border there are several glaciers to practice the sport at high altitude, forgetting for a moment the season. A different kind of holiday, alternative, that people like.
What often, however, it’s underestimate are some risks that you may face while skiing above 2500 meters. Not only in terms of the stability of the slopes (avalanche danger) but especially for how our body reacts differently to stress than normal winter skiing at lower altitudes.
Here a few simple steps to fully enjoy without any risk, a summer holiday on the snow:
- Firstly, acclimatization to high altitude, which begins already from the ‘change’ city - tracks. It would be appropriate to gradually rise in altitude, so do not 'jump' right away in the snow at 3000 meters but wait until the body gets used to it. Maybe go a day early to spend the first night at high altitude, this could help to avoid altitude sickness.
- Once with skis and sticks (and helmet, I would recommend ...) face the trail at high altitude may mean face some physical disorder, especially if you are not trained or is your first time on snow in summer. Some disorders are manageable and "normal" as the common headache or being short of breath. In the worst case, however, there is a danger of a real lack of oxygen (hypoxia), often accompanied by nausea, muscle weakness, pale face ... The best remedy is to pay attention to your body, stopping in time after the first major difficulty .
- Never underestimate the sun. If in winter you must pay attention to it, in summer is even more important, because at nearly 3,000 meters the atmosphere is thinner and we are less protected from the sun rays. Adding to that, the snow and ice cause a negative reverb effect, needless to say that the protection for eyes and skin on the glacier becomes fundamental: sunglasses, sunscreen and cocoa butter to save your lips.
- On the glacier, although it’s summer, it isn’t certainly hot, but do not overdo wearing too many clothes. You need to dress in a manner that you don’t suffer the heat, using technical materials, breathable, for a maximum comfort during descents.
- Last tip: drink more than usual, because the high altitude stimulates diuresis. Better not to risk of dehydration ...