As the 2013-14 ski and snowboard season kicks into full gear, it’s important to remember the responsibilities each of as skiers and riders has while enjoying a day on the slopes at our favorite mountain resorts.
Recognizing that skiers must look after their own safety (and that of those around them), the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) developed the “Your Responsibility Code” in 1966 as a way to educate individuals about best practices for safe participation in alpine snow sports. Throughout the years, the list has evolved to include snowboard and chairlift safety. Following these simple guidelines will help to ensure your safety, and the safety of others while visiting alpine resorts.
The ‘Know Your Responsibility Code’:
-Safety on the slopes is everyone’s responsibility. Ski safely-not only for yourself, but for others as well.
-Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid objects.
-People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
-Do not stop where you obstruct the trail or are not visible from above.
-Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, 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 know how to load, ride, and unload safely.
While not exhaustive, the above list of guidelines should provide you with a general understanding of how to safely participate in alpine snow sports. In many cases, mountain resorts, as well as the states in which they operate often enact their own list of guidelines, such as the ‘Ski Safety Act’ here in Colorado. It is a great idea to be familiar with any additional safety and responsibility guidelines before embarking on your next resort visit, wherever it may be.
Remember, as a skier or rider, knowing the code is your responsibility. For additional information on safety and the ‘Your Responsibility Code,’ please visit the NSAA’s website, or read up on the code, as well as many other useful safety tips at Colorado Ski Country USA.
Stay safe out there, and as always, have fun on the mountain.