California took top honors for the National Ski Areas Association’s inaugural Saftey Impact Award. The Mountain Saftey Guide that Ski California released this past winter is what prompted the creation of this new award and earned the state’s ski resorts the number one spot.
Skiing and Riding are inherently dangerous activities and many casual ski area visitors are not fully aware of the risks. The Mountain Safety Guide is a concise document covering what to prepare for before you get to the slopes, all the way through avalanches, lift riding, trail signage and deep snow safety. Its the first of its kind and hopefully will set an example for other states in the future.
This wasn’t the only award that California Resorts took home this year. After being nominated for six safety awards, Mammoth won Best Overall Safety Program, and Squaw/Alpine won Best Employee Safety Program.
After the huge winter in 2016-2017, Squaw/ Alpine invested $4 million in new snow safety equipment for this past season. This included 13 new Gazex systems, 4 new avalaunchers, a helicopter, and employee training with former Special Forces members of the Karakoram Group.
Mammoth has long been known for their extensive safety programs. The resort also won Best Overall Safety Program during the 2015-2016 Season after its push to highlight one major saftey goal per month resort-wide. Mammoth has seen a drop in the number of on slope accidents even with an increase in skier/rider visits.