Over any given non-holiday weekend, about 4,000 people hit the slopes to enjoy the snow and sun at Mt. Rose Ski Area. Six chair-lifts carry these 4,000 people to 60 plus trails that cover the mountain. Considering Mt. Rose boasts that it is Tahoe’s best kept secret - think of the mass amounts of people found at the more crowded Tahoe ski areas. Respect on the slopes is crucial for everyone’s safety and sanity.
The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and partners have created a safety initiative campaign aimed to reduce the frequency of accidents on the slopes. The safety code can be found in ski area maps, on the NSAA website, and right here:
Your Responsibility Code
1. Always stay in control.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way.
3. Stop in a safe place for you and others.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
7. Know how to use the lifts safely.
Here are a few additional tips that will help you make friends and stay safe on the slopes:
- Clear the unloading area quickly. There isn’t much room for unloading from a lift and clusters of people are asking for a collision. If you need to cross in front of the unloading area do it fast and time your crossing. I’ll emphasize this one since my shoulder still hurts from a crash with a kid last weekend as I was getting off the lift. After we were both picked up the mountain-man of a lift operator (not so) kindly informed the upset little kid that the crash was ALL his fault and to get out of the way. I’m pretty sure the kid is scarred for life, but I bet he won’t hang out in the unloading area anymore!
- Be considerate in the lift line. Don’t cut people off and for-the-love-of-a-blue-bird-day, don’t tailgate people in line! Bumping into the person’s skis or board in front of you isn’t going to get you on the chair any quicker.
- Don’t stop in the center of a trail. You’re asking to get run over by someone bombing down the hill. Taking a break or waiting for your friend on the side of the run is a much better option.
- Wear a helmet. You might think you’re completely in control and safe, but what about the out-of-control skier or boarder that runs into you, causes you to hit your head, and BAM – concussion or worse. Plus, trees are not forgiving and neither is packed snow.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing have the same responsibility code to follow, but I’ll add a tip here as well. Help maintain the integrity of ski tracks by not snowshoeing or skiing across them. I’ll equate this to walking back up the sledding hill in the sled track –don’t be that guy.