Winter is here along with abundant snow across Colorado’s mountains. The time has never been better to head out with friends and family to enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Colorado’s renowned ski resorts. Colorado’s ski resorts pride themselves as leaders in the ski industry when it comes to slope safety. Vail Resorts and Colorado Ski Country USA want to remind guests about how to stay safe and enjoy their time on the slopes this winter.
Skiing and snowboarding are fun and thrilling, but they also involve serious risks. Colorado law, through the Ski Safety Act, recognizes that skiers, snowboarders and ski area operators each have responsibility for safety on the mountain and that there are risks inherent in the sport. If we all take the time to act responsibly – skiing in control, obeying all signs and closures, taking personal responsibility to make smart and respectful decisions – we can safely enjoy the mountain experience together and minimize the risks involved in the sport.
Guest safety is always ski resorts’ top priority and is evident in resort operations and education efforts. Ski areas’ safety practices do not begin and end with their responsibilities under the Ski Safety Act. Among season-long initiatives to enhance the experience for guests on the mountain when it comes to safety are the presence of safety staff, the designation of high traffic areas where trails merge as slow zones and informing guests of safety initiatives through community outreach. Employee training programs centralized around chairlift safety for children and additional training of employees about spatial awareness while skiing and riding are occurring, too.
Additionally, while skiing or snowboarding on the mountain, all skiers and snowboarders are expected to follow Your Responsibility Code. If all remember and follow these seven sensible rules, it will go a long way toward making everyone’s experience a safe one:
- 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 onto 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.
For more information about the Code or for any other safety questions, ski patrollers or other resort personnel are happy to assist you. We are so fortunate to live and recreate in the Colorado mountains and we hope that everyone will have a safe and fun winter on the slopes.