The adrenaline rush that comes with climbing, boarding, and other popular extreme sports in Idaho can sometimes warp our judgment. This fact isn’t anything new: an ancient Greek myth tells the story of a young man who experienced the same effect. Icarus ignored his father’s advice to not use his homemade wings to fly too close to the sun. He flew closer and closer, until the wings melted and Icarus fell into the sea.

None of us are going to be flying too close to the sun any time soon, but pushing ourselves too far in any sport can have negative consequences. Always keep safety in mind when taking part in extreme sports in Idaho. Here are some tips on staying safe during a few of the most dangerous sports:

Winter Sports

Winter sports are some of the most popular activities in Idaho. It’s great exercise, and a fun way to get outside in the snow. But along with that fun come risks: over 30% of outdoor sports-related emergency room visits across the country result from sledding or snowboarding accidents.

While snowboarding puts you at a greater risk of serious injury, both skiing and snowboarding can be very dangerous. Over 10% of skiing injuries are head injuries, which can have devastating consequences. And more experienced riders are not necessarily safer:  rocky terrain, crowded slopes, faulty equipment, and many other variables can cause an accident. Always strive to make sober, alert, well-rested, and smart ski-day decisions.

Rock Climbing

The popularity of rock climbing is steadily increasing — and so is the number of injuries it causes. Since 1990, climbing-related injuries have increased by over 60% nationwide. The opportunities to climb in Idaho are endless and stunningly beautiful, but should be taken with caution.

Rock climbing can be done safely with proper training and equipment. However, don’t take functional equipment for granted. Check anchors and equipment regularly, and only let experienced climbers belay you. Always tell others when you’re going out for a climb, and remember: better safe than sorry.

Whitewater Rafting

Idaho is an attractive site for rafting and kayaking. There are leisurely rides for beginners and demanding whitewater runs for experienced rafters. However, rivers are unpredictable, and unexpected dangers can arise near hard rocks, tree branches, logjams, and other natural obstacles. Always wear a certified life jacket, have a certified rafting guide on boat with you, and raft in safe weather and conditions.

Helicopter Skiing

Heli-skiing is an adrenaline junkie’s dream. Idaho has a few opportunities for heli-skiing, including Sun Valley and Tetons. In addition to the obvious nerves, riders face the inherent danger of untouched terrain, unknown areas of rocks and trees, and avalanches. Responsible riders carry proper equipment, clothing, and an emergency bag with a shovel, food, flashlight, and airbags in case of an avalanche.

If you love the rush, take advantage of the many opportunities for extreme sports in Idaho. People can and do enjoy these sports safely. There are risks that accompany these activities, just as there are with any others. The most important safety precaution is a clear mind, prepared to make cautious decisions.

If you do become injured in a sports accident, contact us today and explore your settlement options. We are dedicated to staying with you every step of the way.

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