Alpine Responsibility Code
The number of skiers/riders on the slopes is increasing as a result of the sports’ growing popularity and higher lift capacities. As a result, control is more important than ever. Control means being able to avoid a collision or accident, as well as being safe if another skier/rider falls close to you, or if there is a sudden change in the terrain. Ski or ride defensively. Always be prepared for the unexpected. Be aware of where others are on the run and ski/ride under control so that stopping and/or avoiding collisions can be easily done.
2. People ahead of you have the right-of-way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
A skier/rider’s path or line is determined by watching others movements and anticipating their direction changes. Uphill skiers/riders must avoid the person downhill and never ski or ride close enough to that person to scare them or make them lose their concentration and control. Many riders experience a 'blind side', so it is important to always be aware of what the skier/rider in front or alongside of you is doing.
Novice skiers/riders tend to make wider, less predictable turns and will sometimes traverse from one side of the run to the other. Downhill skiers/ riders have the right of way, however they should not shoot across the hill without warning, or cut off other skiers/riders. Always be in control. If you have stopped on a slope, always check uphill before starting again to avoid interfering with others.
3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
When stopping on a slope, skiers/riders should take a quick glance to consider the general pattern of skier/rider traffic. It is usually best to stop at the side of the trail, in view, but out of the way of oncoming skiers/riders. Keep in mind that you will want to be seen by others coming down the slope, but not in a spot that will cause the oncoming skier/rider difficulty in stopping or changing direction to avoid you.
4. Before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
It is the responsibility of the skier/boarder who is starting downhill or merging onto a trail to yield to those who are already on the trail. If you have stopped on a trail and are about to resume, always look uphill to make sure that you do not move out in front of another skier or boarder. When entering a trail, check for other skiers/boarders in order to avoid colliding with someone who is already on the trail.
5. If you are involved in or witness a collision or accident, you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol.
As with all collisions or accidents, it is important to know the details and to establish the cause of the accident. Once the Ski Patrol arrives, they will take control at the accident scene. Witnesses will be asked to provide any information they may have to the patrollers, and may be asked to help control the public. Offer to help in any way possible, however if your assistance is not required, please leave the area so that the Ski Patrol can do their job.
6. Always use proper devices to help control runaway equipment.
A skier/rider must use a braking or retention system at all times. Ski brakes are recommended as the best and safest method of ski retention. Skis with broken or missing ski brakes are not allowed on a hill and must be replaced with a pair with functioning brakes. It is also mandatory that snowboards have a brake or retention device. Runaway skis or snowboards without proper braking systems can cause injury, even death. They can pick up enough speed and force to pierce car doors and injure passengers, hit other skiers, or injure bystanders on the ground. Needless to say, they can do severe damage to anyone whether they are on the slope or not.
7. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings.
Signs are posted for important reasons. There are directional signs, level of expertise signs, as well as warning signs. These signs must be obeyed at all times. Warning signs may be advising of a potential safety hazard. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, it is imperative that these signs are acknowledged and obeyed.
8. Keep off closed trails and closed areas.
Ski trails and areas can be closed for safety reasons. Runs are usually closed because of snow cover. Snow cover, which is too thin, presents danger from rocks or shrubs. Other reasons for a run to be closed is if a race is taking place or snow-making in progress or a groomer is on the run. In any case, a posted CLOSED sign means DO NOT ENTER.
9. You must not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through use of alcohol or drugs.
Judgment, coordination, and reaction times may all be impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. This impairment can result in serious injury when on a ski slope. Remember to ski or ride responsibly at all times.
10. You must have sufficient physical dexterity, ability, and knowledge to safely load, ride, and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask a lift attendant.
There are a number of types of lifts ranging from rope tows, handle tows, and t-bars to multi-person chairlifts. If you are unfamiliar with a particular style of lift, ask the attendant for assistance. Chairlifts are equipped with restraining bars that should always be pulled down into position as soon as possible after sitting down.