After mother nature dropped significant snow totals in Colorado’s high country throughout December, many skiers and riders are looking forward to a snowy 2017. January is National Safety Month at ski resorts across America, and Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts are hosting special safety-related programs and activities all month long to raise awareness and demonstrate the many ways guests can keep safe while on the slopes.
Events include hands-on activities with ski patrol like bringing guests on patrol sweeps at the end of the day, demonstrations with resorts’ highly trained avalanche dog and increased awareness about helmet use. After years of raising awareness about the importance of helmet use, 81 percent of last year’s visitors to ski areas wore helmets, including nearly 90 percent of children 17 and under.
Skiing and snowboarding safely is important throughout the season. From wearing appropriate gear, equipment and a helmet, to riding under control and within one’s abilities, safety is essential to having a succesful day on the mountain. All skiers and snowboarders should know and abide by the Your Responsibility Code:
Your Responsibility Code
- 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 is a summary of National Safety Month activities at CSCUSA member resorts.
Skier Safety Village, January 14-15
Arapahoe Basin is hosting a Safety Village in the Base Area to celebrate Safety Month Saturday, January 14th and Sunday, January 15th from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Guests will have the chance to meet the Arapahoe Basin Avalanche Rescue Dogs, receive a Jr. Ski Patrol Badge and enjoy a piece of safety cake. Representatives from Centura Health’s Think First program will be talking about the importance of helmets and will give away 100 helmets (donations are happily accepted). For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
Activities at all Four Mountains
At Aspen Snowmass, National Safety Month will feature a monthly schedule that rotates between mountains with a focus on global slope safety events and topics that are relevant to all mountains. Each mountain will showcase safety through an array of on-mountain demonstrations, contests, prizes, kid’s safety parties, avalanche dog drills, safety s’mores and more. Safety events will take place at Aspen Highlands January 5-11, Buttermilk January 12-18, Aspen Snowmass January 19-25 and Aspen Mountain January 26-31. For more information about Safety Month at Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
New Cooper Safety Station and Children’s Scavenger Hunt
Cooper has installed a new safety station in the base lodge, next to the guest services desk, which highlights a variety of safety topics. This year there will a particular focus on the dangers of tree wells and snow immersion. Throughout January, there will be a safety scavenger hunt for children 8 to 16. Children who get all the correct answers will receive a gift card and be entered to win a 2017-2018 season pass. Visit www.skicooper.com for more information.
Copper Mountain Resort
Safety Fest Celebration, January 14 – 15
During Copper Mountain’s Safety Fest, the Center Village turns into Safety Village with tents featuring St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Summit County Rescue Group offering backcountry awareness and beacon training, Copper Mountain Ski Patrol Avalanche Dogs demonstrating how dogs are trained and more. Guests who visit all Safety Village vendors are entered in the daily raffle to win helmets, lift tickets, season passes and other prizes. In addition, a Flight for Life helicopter will land on Saturday, January 16, at approximately 10:00a.m. at Patrol Headquarters, located at the top of the Excelerator and Super Bee chairlifts, weather dependent. For more information on Safety Fest, visit www.coppercolorado.com.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Caught Being Safe
Throughout the month of January, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is rewarding its guests’ good safety behavior. When guests are “Caught Being Safe” by a resort Safety Committee Member, they may receive a resort gift card as a symbol of the resort’s appreciation for skiing and snowboarding safely. CBMR will also host avalanche dog demos and beacon training in the base area throughout the month. For more information, visit www.skicb.com.
Eldora Mountain Resort
Safety Month Throughout January
For National Safety Month, Eldora Mountain Resort will promote safety to all their visitors with different departments taking the lead with individual campaigns throughout January.
- Jan 1 – 8: Snowsports and Marketing
- Jan 9 – 15: Ski Patrol and Terrain Park
- Jan 16 – 22: Lift Operations, Rentals, and Nordic
- Jan 23 – 29: Guest Services and Base Operations
- Jan 30 – 31: All Departments
Additionally, Eldora will post information around the resort regarding Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS), Lids on Kids, Know the Code, ACL Prevention and more. Eldora will focus on stressing to their guests that safety is key to a fun day on the snow. In addition to helping guests stay safe, Eldora’s supervisors and managers will actively reinforce safety among employees with the Wooden Nickel reward program. For more information, please visit www.eldora.com.
Flight for Life Visits
During Safety Month, guests at Granby Ranch will have opportunities to open and close the mountain with patrol, take free toboggan rides with a patroller and ski or ride with a patroller or terrain park guide. In addition, Flight for Life staff will visit the resort to educate guests on safety and the resort will give prizes to guests who correctly answer safety quiz questions. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.
Loveland Ski Area
Safety Month Weekend, January 14-15
- Loveland is celebrating national safety month Martin Luther King weekend, January 14-15 with events and activities including:
- A safety tent set up at the base area will inform guests on the You Responsibility Code, terrain park etiquette, sun safety, hydration, snow and avalanche safety and other topics.
- Loveland ski patrol will have patrol dogs on hand to demonstrate avalanche rescue techniques, conduct beacon demonstrations and discuss avalanche awareness and tree well safety.
- The Loveland Mascot, LG, will be quizzing kids on the Your Responsibility Code and handing out prizes for those that can recite the entire code.
- Resort staff will have water and sun screen on hand to help people stay safe and have fun on the mountain.
- The Sport Shop will also be offering discounts on helmets and the Ski & Ride School will offer free helmets with any kids lesson package.
For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.
Ski Patrol Ski Along, January through March
Powderhorn Mountain Resort is offering guests the chance to participate in a Ski Patrol Ski Along all season long to help educate guests about the role of ski patrol and their importance to the resort. In addition, on Saturday, January 14 Kohl’s Cares representatives will be giving away free children’s ski helmets. This is a first come, first serve event co-sponsored by St. Mary’s Hospital and Powderhorn Mountain Resort. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
SlopeWise at Steamboat
Steamboat’s SlopeWise strategic initiative focuses on safe and responsible skiing and riding through awareness, education and consequences for unsafe conduct on the mountain. The resort unveiled its SlopeWise program to incredible support from all levels of the resort and community. The program has gained significant momentum and continues to dramatically shape safe skiing and riding at Steamboat. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com/the-mountain/safety-and-responsibility.aspx.
Sunlight Mountain Resort
First Ever Safety Day, March 4
Sunlight Mountain Resort with host is first-ever Sunlight Safety Day on March 4. Focused on sun safety, skiers and riders can enjoy free sun screen plus discounted pricing on 2017/18 lift tickets. Proceeds benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation. The day will also highlight mountain and snow safety and give guests a chance to shadow mountain ski patrol. Visit http://sunlightmtn.com for more information.
Telluride Ski Resort
Safety Demos Throughout January
Telluride Ski Resort will offer a variety of information and safety activities for guests throughout January, including demonstrations with the Telluride avalanche dogs, a concussion awareness and “Know Before You Go” class and other helpful safety tips. Visit http://www.tellurideskiresort.com for more information.
Winter Park Resort
“Know the Code” Raffle
All month long, Winter Park Resort will be holding a “Know The Code” raffle and if guests can answer specific questions about the Your Responsibility Code, they’ll be entered in a raffle where the grand prize is a Winter Park season pass. Winter Park Ski Patrol will also be holding its annual Poster Contest, where local 4th, 5th, and 6th graders create a poster depicting an aspect of the code that will be displayed in the Balcony House throughout the month. At the end of the month, those who created the best posters, as judged by patrol, get a chance to be a Ski Patroller for a day, enabling kids to see first-hand what Winter Park Ski Patrol does throughout the course of a day. Ski Patrol will also have a “Know The Code” booth at the base of Winter Park, educating passing visitors on the importance of the Your Responsibility Code. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.
Wolf Creek Ski Area
Safety Month Poster Contest
To promote awareness and understanding of the Your Responsibility Code, Wolf Creek Ski Area organizes a poster contest for the 3,000 children who participate in its School Program. Students of all ages and grades submit their poster for the competition; posters must illustrate one or more aspects of the Your Responsibility Code. Posters are displayed in Base Camp, the hub of Wolf Creek’s school groups program. Guests and Wolf Creek staff vote on the posters with the top selections being submitted to the National Ski Area Association poster competition.
This is the fifth season Wolf Creek is providing Season Pass holders with a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Card, the largest contributor to the Search and Rescue Fund through the purchase of one-year CORSAR Stickers. Wolf Creek’s Ski School also teaches the Your Responsibility Code to all guests taking lessons. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.