Summit Spectator Safety Tips for St. Paul’s Crashed Ice Event

It’s a chilly thrill to attend the annual Red Bull Crashed Ice event on St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill. Summit Orthopedics has tips to keep you safe while you cheer on extreme competitors in extreme temperatures.

Two hundred international athletes have gathered in St. Paul this weekend to take their chances in a spectacle of downhill skating and snowboard racing on a sheet of ice that plunges 1410 feet in hairpin turns, jumps, slides, and a 131-foot vertical drop from the summit of St. Paul’s Cathedral hill to its base. The Red Bull Crashed Ice event on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is wildly popular. This is the third consecutive year that the ice downhill event has come to St. Paul, and organizers expect to draw more than 100,000 spectators.

When the sport is this extreme, so is the risk of injury to athletes. Summit Orthopedics is pleased to provide medical support to Crashed Ice. Our sports physicians will be on hand to treat any athletes injured during the competition, as well as onlookers who may need assistance.

The combination of frosty air and daring competition makes for exciting viewing. In fact, cheering spectators at winter sports events are estimated to burn about 60 calories every 10 minutes while they are watching the action. Although those calories may be a boon to lagging New Year resolutions, they also signal the importance of dressing warmly for a cold weather event. Exposure to frosty temperatures can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared.

Dress in layers of water- and wind-proof clothing. Polyesters and wool are good options that will keep moisture away from your skin, protect you from the wind, and allow you to accommodate to changing temperatures. Parking is always an issue at Crashed Ice, so plan for a hike from your car or shuttle to the hill. Choose footwear that is comfortable, warm, and dry, and gather up a hat, mittens, and scarf to protect your face if the wind picks up.

If you attend daytime events, be sure to apply sunscreen. Plan breaks to warm up, and remember that uncaffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids are your best bet to stay hydrated.

With a little advance planning, you can focus on the athletes battling the icy course, instead of battling the winter temperatures.

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  • Jack Skendzel, M.D.

    “An active lifestyle requires superior physical function, and I understand that my patients have exceptionally high standards for their performance and joint health. My goal is to return patients to optimal function so that they can continue to perform and master their personal athletic goals.”

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