How Safe Are California Ski Resorts?

Download the 2017 Family Safety Report Card and see how your favorite resorts score on safety!

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Resort Slope and Trail Safety

Responsibility Code

Keep Your Family Safe

Safety Tips

How Does Your Favorite Resort Stack Up?

Resort Scores

Safety Should be as Important as Snowfall

Your safety depends on three interactive components in addition to your own preparation and behavior. They can be thought of as a Pyramid with Public Policy as the base. Learn more.

Terrain parks are where many of the most serious injuries occur. Currently there are no design or construction standards for terrain parks.

Watch our Terrain Park Accident video.

Skiers travel at an average speed of roughly 27.6 miles per hour and snowboarders at 24.1 miles per hour.  Padding on ski lift poles at most resorts only cushion for impact up to 5 to 7 miles per hour.

The risk of death in one hour on a California ski slope is 2 to 3 times as great as the risk during one hour behind the wheel of an automobile.

View our Comparative Analysis.

Research of California hospital payment data reveal an estimated five-year annual average of over 11,500 hospital emergency department visits and over 630 hospital admissions due to snow sport injuries between 2007 and 2011.

Resorts Surveyed29
Skiers/snowboarders at risk in California1 million
Research Projects3
Years in Business10

What’s New

The Thousands Of Colorado Ski Injuries That Resorts Don’t Tell You About

Listen the Show on KUNC Website On a Sunday afternoon in February, a 6-year-old girl fell 29 feet from a…


Richard Penniman1, Mont Hubbard1,2, Daniel A. GregorieM.D.1* 1SnowSport Safety Foundation 2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Davis…

2019 UPDATE: SnowSport Safety Foundation

Snow sport Safety Foundation has begun doing research in Colorado. After postponing on mountain safety surveys last season due to…

Real Stories

Paul Cohen, MD (1968-2014)

On a cool Sunday morning in March 2014, Dr. Paul Cohen, a neurosurgeon from Cincinnati, Ohio, his wife Stefanie, and their three children were enjoying their spring vacation ski trip in Snowmass, Colorado. As the family prepared for a run down the mountain, the three children went first, followed by Stefanie.

Paul, an expert skier, usually went last so he could look out for his wife and children. His family waited and waited for Paul to come down the mountain. He never came. Another skier had run into him and the collision threw him into the base of a tree.  He suffered a devastating head injury as well as multiple rib and spine fractures. Even though Paul was wearing a helmet, the impact left him in a coma with a severe traumatic brain injury. He was air-lifted to a hospital in Denver. He would never regain consciousness, and on March 28, he died.

He was just 45 years old. Paul was an organ donor and as a physician was dedicated to saving and improving peoples’ lives.  In his memory and as a continuing tribute to his dedication, his wife Stefanie contacted the SnowSport Safety Foundation and has volunteered to support and assist our efforts to improve safety on resort slopes and trails.

She has established a Memorial Fund in Paul’s name to help the Foundation continue and expand our work. Please make a contribution.


Natalie Altieri

Natalie Altieri, a 21-year-old fashion design student at the University of Cincinnati, died from injuries suffered in a preventable skiing accident at Southern California’s Bear Mountain ski resort in 2015. Altieri was skiing about 10:30 a.m. when she crashed into a metal stairway at the Big Bear Lake ski resort, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office. She was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead at 11:24 a.m. that day.

Logan Goodwin

Logan Goodwin, a twelve-year-old from Hermosa Beach, California, died from injuries sustained while skiing at Breckenridge resort on Saturday, April 8. He is the fifth skier to die at Breckenridge during the 2016-2017 Colorado ski season and the thirteenth person to die at a Colorado ski resort during that span. The tragedy makes the 2016-2017 season the deadliest in five years.

Dennis Baltimore

Dennis Baltimore, a Northstar employee died on a beginner trail at the north Lake Tahoe resort. Baltimore was identified as ski instructor of Incline Village. While skiing down the “Village Run,” Baltimore took evasive action to avoid someone who lost control on some ice in front of him, according to a Placer County Sheriff’s Office news release. He veered to the left off the run through some trees and came to rest in a ditch. Baltimore did not have a student with him at the time, and sheriff’s officials said he was wearing safety equipment, including a helmet.