To enable skiers and snowboarders to assess the safety of the ski areas they are considering for themselves and their families, timely, accurate and up-to-date resort safety information should be readily available. The two most appropriate types of information are (1) ski area safety policies, procedures, practices, methods and materials the resort is using to prevent accidents and reduce injuries—the contents of a well done resort safety plan; and (2) the outcomes of compliance with that plan ( the absolute number, frequency, and severity of accident, fatalities and injuries). That information should be available to the public through a government agency or independent safety certification organization to whom resorts are required to report it :or (2) or made directly available to the public on request.
There are no such government agencies or independent ski area safety certification organizations in California or anywhere in the nation. Therefore, the needed safety information should be disclosed by the resorts or at least made accessible to the public on request. California ski areas uniformly refuse to disclose their safety plans or make any resort specific accident and injury data publicly accessible.
In 2010 the Sport Safety Foundation sent a safety practice survey to all the California resorts. They uniformly refused to respond to the survey. Late that year, the Foundation conducted an unannounced onsite safety practice survey of 25 California ski areas (The California Mountain Resort Safety Report). That report is the only current source of the needed ski area safety information.
In 2013, the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization used the information from that report to publish a Family Safety Report Card. That Report Card put information from the California Mountain Safety Report in an easily understandable format to guide skiers in the selection of resorts for themselves and their families. The Report Card received considerable investigative media coverage
In the fall of 2015, The Snow Sport Safety Foundation provided the resorts an opportunity to update and add to that information in the 2010 report by sending them another Resort Family Safety Survey. Again, they uniformly refused to respond.
The Foundation is planning to repeat the onsite resort safety survey and expects to have more up to date information available in the future. In the interim, we have used the best and most current information available from the 2011 California Mountain Resort Safety Report to provide safety rankings for 25 out of the 29 resorts currently in operation. These rankings are based on the observations and scores provided in the Report for the two major safety practice categories for which the study participants felt they had the most complete data: Impact Protection and Trail Design and Management. These California Resort Safety Rankings are based on the best and most current resort specific safety information available. There is no information like it anywhere else in the nation.