Tips for Staying Safe this Winter

CHOOSE A RESORT THAT MAKES SAFETY A PRIORITY AND IS COMMITTED TO SHARING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FAMILYS’ SAFETY.
Note the Report Card grade and review the detailed Resort Scoring for each of the practices. Ask in advance or onsite about what the resort has done to address any noted deficiencies.

ASK FOR AND REVIEW THE RESORT SAFETY PLAN AND / OR REVIEW THE SKI AREAS SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY CODE WITH A SKI PATROLLER.
Know what resort safety practices, procedures, methods and materials you can expect to be in use or in place.

BE PREPARED TO MEET YOUR RESPONIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY!
Your knowledge about the resort’s safety practices, combined with your skill, preparation, physical fitness, self-awareness and personal judgment are all critical to preventing accidents and reducing injuries.

GET FAMILIAR WITH RESORT GEOGRAPHY AND TERRAIN.
Review the trail map with your friends and family. Locate areas you may not want to enter inadvertently such as unmanaged terrain, slopes and trails with features (e.g. moguls, jumps, racing courses) or difficulty ratings beyond your abilities and terrain parks. Clearly identify the slopes and trails you want to stay on and how to access them.

KNOW THE WEATHER FORECAST
Avoid areas of possible reduced visibility, icing or designated as high avalanche risk.

KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE RESORT SIGNAGE AND MARKER KEY.
Know what all the sign shapes, colors, symbols, and markers look like and mean as well what they may be asking you to do.

ATTEND RESORT ORIENTATION AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS if unfamiliar with a resort.
Ask about trail difficulty ratings relative to your abilities (difficulty ratings are not standardized–they can vary significantly from resort to resort) and known hazards of which you should be aware.

KNOW YOUR OWN ABILITIES.
If unsure, ask for an assessment by a professional ski instructor or patroller.

THE NATIONAL SKI AREA ASSOCIATION (NSAA)  “Your Safety Responsibility Code”
Get your SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY CODE!

GET FIT!
Some excellent information on fitness and preparation can be found at here: “How to Train for Skiing and Snowboarding.”

WEAR A HELMET.
Make sure it fits firmly and the chin strap is tight. Examine the helmet for damage and know its history–if it has been involved in a previous accident or even had a past hard hit during a prior fall or collision, GET A NEW ONE!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT!
Select for your skill level and desired experience. Consult sales or rental experts if unsure. Learn more on the REI website.

REPORT SAFETY HAZARDS!
Tell the ski patrol or mountain managers if you see a hazard. This is includes unmarked or unshielded obstacles in the trails, speeding or out of control skiers/snowboarders, unshielded resort equipment parked close to trails, failure of lift operators to require safety bars to be lowered, unmarked bare or icy patches and other hazards.

PREPARE A FAMILY SAFETY PLAN!
Know when and where you will meet in the event you get separated or there is a problem at the resort such as an avalanche, power outage, stalled lift etc. Do not assume good cellphone service.

SLOW DOWN!
Always be in control and only ski at speeds safe for your ability and your surroundings, including less experienced skiers/snowboarders.