Mountain Safety: Know The Code, It’s Your Responsibility

Brian Werner |
Ski Patrol Thumbs Up, Ski Patrol Slow Down, Slow Zone Ski Resort, Ski resort Snowbasin, snowbasin ski patrol
Image: Snowbasin Resort | Pinterest

Ski collisions are far too common on the mountain.  If you are involved in a collision with another skier, the law states that you must stay at the scene of the accident and that you can be financially responsible for any injuries that occur, or even criminally charged as a result of the collision.

For many of us, skiing and snowboarding is our favorite winter activity, but we have to be careful when skiing alongside other skiers and snowboarders. The responsibility is that of driving heavy machinery or your car. Similarly to automobile laws, if you are going to fast, are out of control, or being reckless, you can be responsible for any damages you do to another skier if found negligent.

Its required by law that you must stop when involved in a skier to skier collision and if you are under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance you can potentially be criminally charged.

The Ski Safety Code was enacted first by Colorado Ski Resorts who were interested in keeping skiers and snowboarders safe on the mountain and to limit their liability. The code illustrates the responsibilities of the guest who skies within the resort’s boundaries.

Know The Code: It’s Your Responsibility

  1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.
Pay attention to ski signs, ski area boundary sign, no ski patrol sign, no avalanche control sign, no ski patrol, no avalanche control
Ski Signs Are Posted For Your Safety. Image: Snowskool | Pinterest

Many resorts are being proactive in trying to limit the amount of skier to skier collisions by implementing Mountain Safety Departments who actively patrol and issue warnings and pass suspensions to those who are not skiing safely. The Mountain Safety Department has the power to revoke or suspend your pass and is there to prevent accidents before they happen.

Slow Down Mountain Safety, Mountain Safety, Safe Skiing
Image: Jim Grant | Tahoe Daily Tribune  – Ralph Thomas, motions for skiers to slow down.

The fact is, we have to be safe while skiing around other people. Although its fun to go fast and aggressively ski, there are appropriate zones to do so. Many different levels of skiers and boarders ski at the resort, so in high traffic areas you should use caution and ski appropriately. Shredding down a green run that beginners use to get to the base area is not safe for you or those around you. We all have loved ones and friends on the ski hill, so please follow the code and be safe out there, especially during these high volume days.


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