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Ski Safety

November 26, 2023

Cross country skiing is a fantastic way to embrace the beauty of Central Washington’s outdoors during the winter months. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or just starting, safety should always be a top priority. At Central Washington Outdoors, we’re committed to helping you make the most of your skiing experience while staying safe on the trails. In this blog, we’ll provide you with essential safety guidelines and tips to ensure your cross country skiing adventure is both enjoyable and secure. Click here to check out snow activities in Central Washington!



Before hitting the trails, it’s crucial to be well-prepared and informed about your destination. Check the current weather conditions, trail maps, and any trail-specific regulations on the TREAD app. Knowing what to expect can help you plan accordingly and avoid potential hazards. Click here to download for AndroidClick here to download for iOS.


The right clothing can make a significant difference in your skiing experience. Dress in layers to stay warm, and make sure your outer layer is windproof and waterproof. Don’t forget to wear moisture-wicking base layers, insulated gloves, a warm hat, and appropriate footwear. Remember to pack extra clothing in case the weather changes. Click here to view shopping in Central Washington.


Ensure your cross country skiing equipment is in good condition. Check your skis, bindings, and poles for any damage or wear and tear. It’s also essential to have a functioning pair of ski boots that fit properly to provide the necessary support and control. If you’re new to skiing, consider renting equipment from the many excursion vendors available in Central Washington to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Click here to view excursion vendors.


Central Washington offers a wide range of cross country skiing trails, but it’s essential to stick to marked and designated routes. Venturing off-trail can lead to dangerous situations, like getting lost or encountering unexpected terrain challenges. Familiarize yourself with the trail maps available on our website.


Many cross country skiing trails are multi-use, meaning you might encounter other outdoor enthusiasts like hikers or snowshoers. Be courteous and yield the right-of-way when necessary. It’s crucial to maintain good trail etiquette to prevent accidents and ensure everyone enjoys their outdoor experience.


In certain areas of Central Washington, there is a risk of avalanches during the winter months. If you plan to ski in these regions, it’s vital to educate yourself about avalanche safety. Check the Central Washington Outdoor’s website for articles on winter safety and consider taking an avalanche safety course if you’re skiing in high-risk areas.


As outdoor enthusiasts, it’s our responsibility to protect the natural beauty of Central Washington and ensure the safety of ourselves and others. By following the “Plan to Play” principles, you can enjoy your outdoor adventures while minimizing your impact on the environment and promoting safety. Click here to learn about the Plan to Play Pact.

1. Know Before You Go

Before heading out on your cross country skiing trip, research the trail you’ll be visiting. Central Washington Outdoors provides comprehensive information about outdoor activities and specific trails on our website. Being informed about trail conditions, regulations, and potential hazards will help you plan your trip more effectively.

2. Stick to the Trails

Respect designated trails and avoid going off-trail to preserve the fragile ecosystems in Central Washington. Skiing off-trail can disturb wildlife and damage the environment. Always follow the Leave No Trace principles and stay on marked paths.

3. Leave No Trace

Follow the Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment. This includes packing out all trash, respecting wildlife and their habitats, and avoiding activities that could harm the natural surroundings. You can learn more about Leave No Trace on our Plan to Play page.

4. Recreate Responsibly

When you’re out on the trails, recreate responsibly by following safety guidelines, adhering to trail rules, and respecting fellow outdoor enthusiasts. By doing so, you contribute to a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

5. Take the Pact

Show your commitment to responsible outdoor recreation by taking the Plan to Play Pact. By taking the Pact, you pledge to follow safety guidelines, protect the environment, and be a responsible outdoor adventurer.

Cross country skiing in Central Washington offers incredible opportunities to explore the winter wonderland, but it’s crucial to prioritize safety and responsible recreation. By following the safety guidelines mentioned above and embracing the “Plan to Play” principles, you can enjoy your skiing adventure while preserving the natural beauty of our region. Visit the CWO website for more information and resources to enhance your outdoor experience. Stay safe and have a fantastic time on the trails! Click here to plan your next Central Washington snow adventure.

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