About Us

SnowSport Safety Foundation

The SnowSport Safety Foundation (SSF) is an education, research and public information organization incorporated in California in 2008. It has an IRS 503 c (3) designation as a non profit charitable (contributions are tax deductible for the donor) organization.

Our mission

To encourage and enable ski area* safety improvement through research, education and public access to reliable safety information.

Our vision

Ski areas disclosing and promoting their safety practices and performance to well informed patrons who consider safety in their choice of ski areas.

Our values

Transparency, Objectivity, Accuracy and Relevancy.

Our Story

She thought it was another glorious day of snowboarding with her boyfriend that fateful Super Bowl Sunday in early February 2006.  Instead it was Jessica Gregorie’s last day alive.  She was crossing on a resort-designated traverse behind the ridge at the top of the Alpine Meadows ski area.  The traverse led to an open slope beyond with fresh powder. She suddenly slipped on the ice below the windswept surface snow.  The snowboard she carried behind her back flew out from under her arms, she fell prone facing up toward the ridge and calling out to her boyfriend ahead and above her. She was unable to establish any traction on the icy surface below the snow and started sliding with increasing speed toward the unmarked and unfenced resort boundary below.  She careened out of control across that boundary into the Granite Chief Wilderness area, and over a cliff just beyond onto the rocks eighty feet below– a cliff over which other resort patrons had preceded and followed her in the months and years before and after her accident.

Jessica’s father, Dr. Daniel Gregorie, and his wife Margaret, dying at the time from ovarian cancer, were heartbroken at the loss of their only child.  He wanted to know how it happened and whether something could be done to prevent similar accidents from happening to anyone else. He received no information from the resort except a standard condolence letter. When he inquired, he was told that skiers are responsible for their own safety and that the traverse was in dangerous “extreme” terrain that is particularly treacherous for snowboarders. The changes in elevation of the traverse require them to get off their boards and walk on their round edged boots.

He then began to ask more questions.  He learned when skiers and snowboarders buy lift tickets or season passes, they waive any resort responsibility or accountability for warning patrons of known hazards or implementing any accident prevention.  He also learned that resorts have little if any government or industry safety oversight or reporting requirements. Despite longstanding strong legal liability protections, the resorts refuse to disclose what if any safety plans they may have or standard industry safety policies, procedures or practices they abide by such as:  signage, open and closed boundary management, hazard marking, terrain difficulty ratings, chairlift fall prevention, impact reduction fencing and padding, trail intersection collision prevention, parked equipment shielding, moving equipment warning and collision prevention procedures, speed and recklessness controls etc. They also refuse to disclose any accident and injury records or statistics. He observed that mountain resorts strongly promote the Skier and Snowboarder Responsibility Code, putting virtually all the responsibility for a safe day on the slopes on the skiers and snowboarders, while making no disclosure or commitment to any resort safety responsibilities.

Given their strong legal liability protections and the waivers required of their patrons, he felt that resorts should at least be required to disclose what if any safety policies, procedures and practices they commit to have in place as well as their accident and injury statistics so that skiers can assess the differences in safety from resort to resort and make an informed choice of resorts for themselves and their families.

Click to read a full summary and chronology of Dr. Gregorie’s subsequent actions to increase resort transparency and safety.

Our Board and Executive Team

Daniel A. Gregorie

MD, MsM, Trustee, Founder and President

Daniel A Gregorie MD, MsM, Trustee, Founder and President of the Snow Sport Safety Foundation. He is a physician with…

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William Douglas Smith

Trustee

William Douglas Smith, Trustee is an information technology executive and consultant. He is an avid outdoorsman and has skied for over…

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Richard Penniman

Trustee, Chief Science Officer

Richard Penniman, Trustee, Chief Science Officer is a ski safety expert, consultant and educator. He earned a Bachelor of Science…

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Raymond Durkee

Trustee

Raymond Durkee, Trustee is a retired Kaiser Permanente executive. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan. He is an…

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Christopher A. Brown

PhD, FASME, Trustee

Christopher A. Brown, PhD, FASME, Trustee is a professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester MA. A ski…

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Lori Aldrete

Communications and Media Relations

Lori Aldrete MBA, Communications and Media Relations has worked in the field of communications, marketing and public affairs for nearly…

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Our Advisors

Don Fisher

Don Fisher is a physician and a Board-Certified specialist in Toxicology and Occupational and Environmental Diseases.He finished residencies in Family…

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Horst Abraham

Horst Abraham has a long and distinguished career in the Alpine skiing world in Europe and the United States. He…

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