It’s that time of year again. Time to highlight that when on the slopes, it’s always Safety First! Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) and its 21 member resorts are hosting safety themed events in an effort to raise awareness of ski safety among skiers and snowboarders. In conjunction with the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), CSCUSA resorts will recognize National Safety Awareness Week that begins on Saturday, January 19, and runs through January 27.
A number of initiatives, events and activities will take place at resorts throughout Colorado Ski Country, with the intention of educating the public about safety on the slopes. From taking precautionary measures before hitting the slopes, to recognizing avalanches and sunburns, resorts ramp up their efforts to engage the public on best practices when it comes to skiing safely.
“Guest safety has always been, and always will remain, a top priority of resorts,” said Melanie Mills, President and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “A happy and successful outing on the slopes is dependent on a safe experience, and so we encourage all of our guests to take the opportunities this week provides and educate themselves, and as always, to follow the Code. While resorts are always vigilant when it comes to skier safety, there is no better preventative than an educated, savvy guest who follows the Code.”
CSCUSA member resorts have permanent safety measures in place throughout the season. Resorts raise awareness through providing information about snow safety and avalanches, educating guests about helmet use and equipment, posting reminders about proper sunscreen use and hydration, and designating slow skiing and family zones. Resorts also utilize a significant number of employees to take care that guests have resources accessible during their on-mountain experience, from mountain and safety hosts to ski patrol.
Ultimately, it is the responsible behavior of skiers and riders that make the slopes safe. Knowing the nationally recognized Your Responsibility Code is crucial to skier and rider responsibility. Referred to simply as The Code, it is comprised of seven principles that collectively outline on-mountain skier etiquette and safe skiing practices.
Responsibilities within The Code include:
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
Below are details about resort-specific events happening for National Safety Awareness Week.
The resort will focus efforts to promote the safety message during the week, including during the first weekend on January 19 and 20, where there will be a Safety Village in the base area. Representatives from A-Basin Ski Patrol – including avalanche dogs – will be on hand with the new Avy Dog Trading Card Series to give away to guests who Know the Code. Abe, Arapahoe Basin’s mountain goat mascot, along with human members of the Arapahoe Basin staff, will have an information tent complete with sheet cake for guests who Know the Code or are interested in learning more about how they can stay safe on the mountain. Representatives from Centura Health’s Think First program will also be talking about helmets and will have some on-hand to demo. In addition to helmet usage, Arapahoe Basin is emphasizing NSAA’s Kids on Lifts lift safety initiative, which focuses on keeping kids safe while riding up the mountain. For more information, visit http://www.arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/Default.aspx.
Aspen/Snowmass will have a variety of activities for guests during national Safety Week, with different events and activities happening at all four mountains. Such activities include helmet demos, free binding checks, patrol open houses, terrain park and pipe meet and greets, a kids’ poster contest, avalanche dog demonstrations and meet ups, beacon parks, safety stickers and much more. For more information, visit http://www.aspensnowmass.com/.
A resort that in past years has been awarded the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSSA) “Most Creative Safety Initiative,” Copper Mountain will continue with its 2013 Safety Fest on January 19 – 21. Throughout Copper Mountain’s Safety Fest, Burning Stones Plaza will be filled with tents belonging to tune shops, slope operations – snow cat safety, National Ski Patrol, US Forest Service, Summit County Rescue Group, mountain safety patrol, Copper Mountain ski patrol avalanche dogs, Woodward at Copper terrain park, St. Anthony Copper Mountain Clinic and Flight for Life. Throughout the weekend Copper will have three daily guest raffles starting at 1:00 p.m., with prizes totaling approximately $9,000.
Highlights of Copper Mountain Safety Fest include:
- A Flight for Life Helicopter landing at Copper Mountain Patrol Headquarters on Saturday, January 19.
- Avalanche Dog drills in Burning Stones Plaza twice daily.
- Public Ski Patrol Sweeps, guests can join Copper Mountain Ski Patrol as it closes down the mountain at 4 p.m. at Timberline Patrol Hut.
- Meet and Greet with Copper Mountain Patrol and Avalanche Dogs all-day at Patrol Headquarters and Timberline Patrol.
- Copper’s Center Village will come to life Saturday evening, January 19, with a torchlight parade and fireworks.
More information can be found at: http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/events_and_activities/calendar/2095825470
Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Crested Butte Mountain Resort celebrates National Ski Area Safety Week with information and activities for everyone, from guests to employees, and even pooches. The resort will have information tents set up to learn about skier safety, avalanche dog demonstrations, raffles, safety sticker helmet decorating extravaganzas, and the ever-famous Touch a Truck and Touch a Snowcat big machinery exploration. The local Grand Mesa, Uncompaghre, Gunnison US Forest Service will also be on sight with Smokey the Bear to bring smiles to all the kids, along with the resort’s Mascots Bubba & Betty Bears. The complete lineup of activities for Crested Butte is below:
- Touch A Truck (Fire & EMS), Touch a Snowcat for kids
- Patrol Dog Demos
- Smart Style Station – Park Safety
- Safety Tents in the base area
- Raffle – Raffle drawing will be held on the last day of Safety Week, Sunday, January 27th at the Safety Tent
- Forest Service Participation – to include Smokey the Bear and other Forest Service involvement
- Kids’ Helmet Decorating Extravaganza at the Trailhead Children’s Museum
- Employee Hands on Training (Fire Extinguisher, AED, etc.)
For more information, visit www.skicb.com.
Durango Mountain Resort
Durango Mountain Resort’s Ski Patrol will offer a free Avalanche Safety Awareness clinic on January 26 and 27 at 10 a.m. in the base area for National Safety Awareness Week. Mercy Regional Medical Center’s Gray Matters Helmet Program will be raffling off helmets to kids on January 19 and 20. The Terrain Park staff will provide safety tips at the Pitchfork Terrain Park on January 19 and 20 and January 26 and 27. Durango Mountain Resort’s Ski Patrol will distribute safety cards to children on January 19 and 20. Finally, on the morning of January 26, a rescue helicopter will conduct an open house at the top of Lift 1 so skiers and riders can view the helicopter and talk with the pilot and other search and rescue members. For more information, visit http://www.durangomountainresort.com/.
Loveland will kick off National Safety Awareness Week with the National Forest Service’s Junior Snow Ranger Program on Saturday, January 19. Focusing on ecology, biology, sustainability, safety, and education, the Junior Snow Ranger Program helps teach kids more about the environment that they are playing in. With assistance from the Loveland Ski Patrol, the day’s activities will consist of snow safety, science, and avalanche rescue with a search and rescue dog. In addition, employees will be educating guests throughout the week about all aspects of safety including the Skier Responsibility Code, Terrain Park Smart Style, hydration, sun protection and the advantages of helmets. The Loveland Sport Shop will be offering a special on new helmet purchases and the rental shop will be offering specials on helmet rentals. The Forest Service returns on Saturday, January 26 to close out the week with the debut of Loveland’s new Ski With a Ranger program. For more information visit www.skiloveland.com.
The Know the Code Game will be played at Monarch Mountain during Safety Awareness Week. Golden Know the Code bars will be hidden around the area and guests that find them can bring them to the Guest Service Desk, name one of the code safety lines, and win prizes.
Safety Sam, Monarch’s safety mascot, will also be skiing the mountain daily to remind guests and employees to be safe on the slopes.
While Powderhorn Mountain Resort is always dedicated to the safety of all guests and staff members, the resort’s initiatives receive the spotlight in January during National Safety Awareness Week. As part of the educational outreach, skiers and riders can stop by the guest service desk in the Base Lodge to pick up a Know the Code document. This includes skin and health safety, as well as information on safety rules on the mountain. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
Steamboat Ski Area will host a variety of safety programs during National Safety Awareness Week, including the following events which will take place primarily over the weekend of January 18 – 20:
- Meet Patrol: The men and women who help keep the mountain safe will be onsite in Gondola Square to provide additional information and answer any questions guests may have about mountain safety.
- Park Rangers: The designers, testers and maintainers of Steamboat’s Terrain Parks will be in Gondola Square sharing the PARKWISE code.
- Bear the Safety Dog: Steamboat’s Safety Mascot will be in Gondola Square. Guests can have their picture taken with Bear or just come by to visit.
- Snow Safety/Avalanche Awareness: Steamboat Ski Patrol will host special seminars on snow safety and avalanche awareness. The seminars are free to the public and meet at Patrol Headquarters at the top of Sundown Express Chairlift.
- Know the Code Contest: Skiers and Riders will randomly be stopped on the slopes by members of Steamboat’s Patrol. If they know at least three of the seven parts to the Responsibility Code, then they will receive a prize.
- Billy Kidd One O’Clock Run: Free clinic by Steamboat’s director of skiing, who will be joined by Patrol.
- Free Mountain Tours: Join Steamboat’s Ambassadors with SlopeWise & Safety Information from Patrol at 10:30 a.m. at the top of Vagabond Trail.
- Free Racing: Any guest who can tell the attendant one of the seven topics of the Responsibility Code races free at the NASTAR training course.
- Grooming Reports, daily snow reports and individual chairlift message boards will feature safety messages throughout the week. In addition, signage across the mountain will continue to promote safe riding, jibing, slow zones and deep snow/tree wells.
For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
Sunlight Mountain Resort will feature a Safety Awareness Booth on January 19, at which a Ski Patroller will be present as well as representatives from local hospitals. They will be giving out fun safety items and will have a ski safety presentation and tips. For more information, visit http://www.sunlightmtn.com/.
Telluride Ski & Golf will kick off NSAA safety week with its 4th Annual Safety Day. Safety Day starts with guests registering at the base of Lift 4, where they will receive a “passport” that they can take to each safety station on the mountain. There are six on-mountain stations covering various ski and ride related safety topics. This year the resort will cover chairlift safety, the skier responsibility code, collisions and awareness of slow zones. Additionally, helmet awareness will be covered, and the resort will once again have the Flight for Lift helicopter from Grand Junction. Other stations will focus on prevention of knee and wrist injuries, and avalanche awareness.
At each station the guest will get their passport stamped. Safety Day ends with a pizza party at Crazy Elk where all Safety Day attendees can enjoy pizza and turn in their completed passports for a chance to win prizes, including a season pass for the 2013-14 ski season. For more information, visit http://tellurideskiresort.com/tellski/index.aspx.
During National Safety Awareness Week, Winter Park Resort will be conducting a number of initiatives to help emphasize the importance of staying safe while having fun on the mountain.
Winter Park Hosts and Patrollers will be out on the mountain, around the Winter Park Resort base and in The Village at Winter Park sporadically wearing their Know the Code arm bands. Guests who talk about the Code with these Winter Park employees will be entered into a drawing for a 2013-14 Winter Park Resort adult season pass.
On President’s Day weekend, Winter Park Ski Patrol will have a tent set up at Snoasis, with National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) giveaways and the opportunity to learn the Code and sign up for the Season Pass drawing.
Posters created by local students depicting an element of the Responsibility Code will also be on display at the Winter Park Base throughout the week. Posters will be judged on how the safety message is conveyed and overall creativity, with the winners getting a chance to spend the day with the Winter Park Ski Patrol in addition to having their art displayed.
For more information, call (970) 726-1564 or visit www.winterparkresort.com