If you snowboard or ski, you know there is always a chance of getting lost or injured after a nasty wipeout. So how do you stay safe on the mountains, or better yet, keep your children safe while enjoying the slopes?
Nearly a dozen ski resorts worldwide have turned to GPS trackers to watch over students who get separated from their ski or snowboard instructors. The GPS system the resorts use is called flaik (as in snowflake), a small GPS tracker the size of a deck of cards that the students strap the their leg.
If a student gets separated from the group and moves past a pre-determined distance from the instructor (determined by the student’s skill level and class), the tracker sends out an alert which notifies the instructor that he/she is missing and might be in trouble.
“If we see that a student is not with the rest of their class, we’ll call the instructor to resolve the situation,” said Paul Reuter, the flaik supervisor at the Steamboat Springs Ski Resort in Colorado.
Typically, students don’t get separated from their groups and remain under the watchful eyes of their instructors, but the GPS trackers act as a safety net in the case something does go wrong. The resorts report that they have already started using the trackers, which have proven to effectively track students and keep them out of serious trouble.