Avalanche dogs at Arapahoe Basin show how to load a lift. (NSAA/Facebook)
Nothing can upset a day on the slopes like an accident, so the National Ski Areas Association focuses the month of January on reminding skiers and riders about safety on the snow.
Resorts across the nation have specific activities and displays to reinforce the posted Skier’s Responsibility Code. Poster contests, ski patrol presentations, avalanche dog demos – they all aim to keep safety in the front of the minds of skiers and snowboarders while they enjoy their sport.
Among the topics are terrain park protocols (Park Smart), tree well caution and powder immersion, wearing helmets, safe loading and unloading from lifts, and sunburn protection.
In the East, folks who buy a helmet Jan. 14-27 at Killington Sports and get a ticket voucher. Killington Resort also has a Creation Station in Ramshead base lodge set up for kids, with raffle for a free helmet.
At Wachusett, terrain park-ers are invited to submit short videos that demonstration safe skiing and riding in the Massachusett resort's parks, with prizes and YouTube recognition.
In Utah, Snowbasin has been a leader over the years. This season, they feature several “Space & Speed” info on maintaining distance from fellow skiers and riders -- and at safe speeds. On Saturdays and Sundays during January, a tent will be set up at the base of Sweet Revenge where you get speed checked and learn to control it safely. Also, an obstacle course helps learn proper speeds and distances to avoid trouble.
In Colorado, Winter Park holds “Know the Code” raffle with prize of season pass.
March 4 at Sunlight Mountain, safety officials will talk about the importance of sun screen and hand out free tubes.
And, at Crested Butte, good doobies who are “Caught Being Safe” get a gift card.