Skiing is an exhilarating sport that combines beautiful mountain scenery with the adrenaline you can only get hurtling down a mountain at high speeds. While skiing is a relatively safe sport, there are hazards, and one of the biggest is other skiers. To promote safe skiing, the National Ski Areas Association endorses the Skiers Responsibility Code. The Code consists of seven safety guidelines, and can be found on any trail map at any area.
Perhaps the most important guideline of the Code is the first one:
Always stay in control. Make sure you are always able to stop or change direction to avoid other people or objects.
A collision with another skier can result in serious injury, so you should maintain the same level control that you expect from other skiers and snowboarders.
Right of Way
The next three guidelines have to do with right of way on the slopes. They are:
-People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
-You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
-Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
By following these three steps, skiers and snowboarders can significantly reduce collisions. Always be aware when you head down that the skiers and snowboarders ahead of you have the right of way, and the fact that you are skiing faster doesn't eliminate that right. If you stop, don't do so blindly; look around and make sure that you can be seen by skiers coming from above.
The Final Three
The last three guidelines relate to equipment, both personal and resort.
-Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
-Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
-Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
Runaway skis can be a significant hazard, so make sure your skis are equipped with leashes or brakes. Make sure you know how to ride the lift because, if you can't, you might significantly delay other skiers.
Finally, obey all posted trail closures and signs. Don't duck the ropes to ski untracked lines. The ski patrol puts closures up for a reason. In addition to the heavy monetary penalty you could pay if caught, you could trigger an avalanche or get caught on obstructions lurking under the snow and hurt yourself.