Skiers and Riders Save on Lift Tickets and Explore Colorado’s Gem Resorts with New 2013/14 Colorado Ski Country USA Gems Card Program
Now On Sale, 2013/14 Season Gems Card Features Two-For-One Ticket Deals and Exclusive Promotions
Photo credit: Colorado Ski Country USA
Denver, Colo. – September 4, 2013 – Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) today unveiled the new 2013/14 Colorado Gems Card program and announced that cards are now available for purchase. For the 2013/14 season, the revised Gems Card program features two-for-one lift tickets at eight signature Colorado Gem ski resorts and exclusive Flash Deals promotions offered at Gem resorts throughout the season.
The new Gems Card program makes it easy to save on lift tickets. At any Gem resort, card holders can purchase one adult full day lift ticket and receive another adult full day lift ticket for free. Each Gems Card is good for one use per Gem resort, per season, and only a limited number of Gems Cards are available for sale.
In addition to the season-long, buy-one-get-one lift ticket deal, Gems Card holders also have exclusive access to Flash Deals. Flash Deals are special promotions and additional ways to save that are unique to each Gem resort and will be announced last minute throughout the season. CSCUSA will announce Flash Deals in the Gems newsletter, on social media, and on the Gems website www.ColoradoSki.com/gems. Only Colorado Gems Card holders will be able to take advantage of Flash Deals.
For savvy skiers and riders, the Colorado Gems Card is essential to enjoying the powder, terrain, and scenery that Colorado Ski Country has to offer. Available for $20, the 2013/14 Gems Card puts Colorado’s world-renowned skiing within reach for skiers and riders from Colorado and elsewhere. Card holders can take advantage of a day of two-for-one skiing at each of the eight participating resorts, redeeming the cost of the card after just one use.
By definition, a gem is a jewel; something prized especially for great beauty or perfection. There are eight Gems that add to the sparkle of Colorado’s crown of resorts and, in many ways, outshine their world famous neighbors. These Gems epitomize Colorado’s ski culture with their western authenticity, artisanal charm, and nostalgic skiing. Like diamonds in the rough, these resorts are strikingly beautiful, individually unique and not to be overlooked. The Colorado Gem resorts are: Arapahoe Basin, Eldora Mountain Resort, Loveland Ski Area, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn Resort, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch, and Sunlight Mountain Resort.
For more information, or to purchase a Gems Card, visit www.ColoradoSki.com/Colorado-Gems-Card. Cards are available now and will be available throughout the upcoming ski season until they are sold out.
The Colorado Gems program is presented by Icelantic Boards; a Colorado based ski company that represents skis, art, adventure creativity, passion and innovation. More information on Icelantic can be found at www.IcelanticBoards.com
Colorado Ski Country USA’s Passport Programs Introduce Colorado Kids to Skiing and Snowboarding
First Class Program and Lift Access to Twenty Resorts an Unmatched Value for Families
Photo credits: (L-R) Aspen/Snowmass, Jeremy Swanson; Scott Markewitz; Monarch Mountain
Denver, Colo. – September 2, 2013 – Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced today the Association’s popular 5th and 6th Grade Passport Programs are available for the 2013/14 ski season. The Passport Programs introduce fifth and sixth grade kids to skiing and snowboarding by giving fifth graders free access, and sixth graders discounted access, to twenty of Colorado’s finest ski resorts.
As the industry’s most influential program, the CSCUSA 5th Grade Passport allows fifth graders three days of free skiing at each of the twenty CSCUSA participating member resorts. The 6th Grade Passport allows sixth graders four days of skiing at the same twenty resorts for $99, which amounts to 80 days on the slopes for less than $1.25 each day.
Additionally, CSCUSA will offer First Class Lessons to complement the 5th Grade Passport Program. First Class provides fifth graders who are new to skiing and snowboarding the opportunity to learn the sport from some of the best instructors in the industry. Registered 5th Grade Passport holders who have never skied nor snowboarded, and are therefore considered “never-evers”, are eligible to receive a free ski or snowboard lesson and rental equipment during the month of January, which is also Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Fifth graders who qualify for First Class have the option of seventeen different resorts to have their introductory experience on snow. Advance reservations are required for First Class Lessons.
“Colorado Ski Country’s Passport Programs have introduced an entire generation of youngsters to skiing and snowboarding,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “By giving 5th and 6th graders the opportunity to ski and ride, we’re helping kids to become lifelong skiers and snowboarders. The First Class Lesson program ensures that novice young skiers and snowboarders will enjoy their introductory on-snow experience and grow to become ambassadors of the state’s signature sports.”
To register kids for the Passport Programs, parents can visit www.ColoradoSki.com/Passport. Details on the First Class Program can also be found at ColoradoSki.com/Passport. The CSCUSA Passport Programs enjoy the support of presenting sponsor, Chipotle, and of program partners Christy Sports and Credit Union of Colorado.
Participating resorts in the 2013-14 Passport programs include: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort, Eldora, Howelsen Hill, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch, Snowmass, Steamboat, Sunlight, Telluride, Winter Park and Wolf Creek.
For more details please visit www.ColoradoSki.com/Passport or call 303-866-9707.
I lost a lot of respect for the Denver Post today.
This is my review of an article titled Colorado system for investigating ski accidents raises concerns in the Denver Post Sunday March 17, 2013.
First of all, let’s correct the article from a legal and factual standpoint!
When someone dies or is seriously injured on a Colorado ski slope, it is ski patrollers — not trained police officers, sheriff’s deputies or forest rangers — who document and determine what happened.
This statement is false if you believe it says no one else can investigate. The statement is misleading in that it makes you think no one else investigates major accidents.
Law Enforcement Investigates Possible Crimes.
It is patrollers that investigate on behalf of the ski area. No patroller investigates on behalf of anyone else, nor can they. They have not been licensed, trained nor are they allowed to. If someone else wants to investigate, they can use the powers given to them by contract (US Forest Service) or jurisdiction (Sheriff) and investigate.
Ski Patrollers don’t determine who is at fault; they try to determine what happened. That is all they are trained to do and that is all you want them to do. Volunteers and poorly-paid hard-working men and women are ski patrollers. The have been trained to get injured people off the mountain as best they can.
Any law enforcement agency with jurisdiction could investigate if they wanted to. They do not need permission; they just access the land and go investigate.
The reason why most law enforcement agencies do not investigate was set out in the article, just not recognized as the answer to their own question the article asked.
Many times, those agencies — responsible for investigating potential criminal activity, not skiing accidents — aren’t called at all.
Unless there has been a crime, law enforcement has no duty to investigate. If they investigated every crash, they would still be working on my mountain-bike crashes from last summer on US Forest Service and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land.
As a result, family members may have to accept the word of a resort employee about the circumstances that led to their relative’s death or serious injury — and typically; they need a subpoena to get even that, attorneys say.
Getting information from the resorts is difficult. Normally, the resort requires that you prove a legal need; you must be a relative or the injured person. Resorts have reasons for this. You do not want this information to go to anyone but the family because of privacy issues.
What if your relative died or was hurt at a resort? Would you be interested in having any of the following in the public domain?
· The injured skier smelled like alcohol. His blood-alcohol level was 2.8.
· The witness, girlfriend of the injured said…… (Spouse was home with the kids.)
· The injured commented that’s the last time he calls in sick to work and goes skiing.
I’ve read reports with 2 of the above on the reports, and I’ve heard about the third. Is that information you want to be public about someone you love?
What about hearing about the fatality of a family member from the authorities before you read about it online? This article ignores those issues, but ski resorts try to respect the wishes of family members.
Is your need to know greater than their right to a little kindness and privacy?
What information can you get from AT&T, Exxon, or GE about their latest accidents? Unless a business is required to report certain kinds of accidents, No Business gives out its accident reports.
If you ask an attorney to get you a report, the ski area is going to respond as if the ski area is going to be sued. Consequently, when facing a lawsuit, you shut the doors. If you want a copy of the report from your or a close family member’s accident, send a letter. You won’t get names or contact information of the patrollers. It is not their job to deal with you.
Of the state’s 25 ski areas, only one — Wolf Creek Ski Area — would discuss ski-patrol training and accident investigations.
Most resorts, nationwide follow the procedures of the National Ski Patrol (NSP). Every resort differs from other ski areas, but in general, you can research how something is investigated by reviewing the NSP website and several other websites. How do you know how law enforcement investigates accidents?
The other 24 resorts either refused to answer questions regarding ski patrol or did not respond to repeated calls and e-mails from The Post.
If someone from the press, including me, is calling to ask questions, you get a little nervous. You should be nervous when I call, and I get nervous when the press calls.
While working at a resort, I received a phone call from a member of the press who said they were writing a follow-up article to one I had written for a magazine several years before. That person lied to me. They were writing an article about ski resorts and quoted me as an employee of the resort. Lesson learned.
Police jurisdiction rare
That is a very misleading heading, sorry, this is a lie. Not rare, it exists at every resort. It is just not exercised. The sole power to exercise the jurisdiction is the law enforcement agency or the district attorney. Just because they do not, does not mean jurisdiction does not exist. There is no place in the US where at least one law enforcement agency has jurisdiction. The hard thing is finding places in the US were only one law enforcement agency has jurisdiction.
The nice thing about the above heading is just the start of an entire misleading paragraph.
Jennifer Rudolph, spokeswoman for Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade group representing all of the ski areas except the four owned by Vail Resorts, said in an e-mail….
Colorado Ski County USA is a marketing group. Its job and why it is paid by the Colorado Ski resorts is to get skiers to ski in Colorado. If you don’t believe me, go to the website and read why it exists: http://rec-law.us/ZoYVRs
Only a few local police departments have any jurisdiction over ski areas, and sheriff’s offices in Summit, San Miguel, Pitkin, Garfield, Routt and Eagle counties said their role is primarily to determine whether an incident involves a crime — such as theft, public intoxication or disruption — or a collision between slope users.
See the above statement about jurisdiction. The statement in the article is absolutely wrong and very misleading. It implies that the ski resorts operate without any law enforcement agency watching what they do. That is not true. If you could find a place where no law enforcement had jurisdiction in the US it would be crowded, full of pot plants and a lot of illegal guns. There would also be hundreds of cops waiting for someone to leave.
Summit County sheriff’s deputies don’t “respond to the majority of skier accidents. If it’s a death, the coroner would respond,” said spokeswoman Tracy LeClair. “Ski patrol usually handles the majority of noncriminalaccidents.”
Let’s look at this article this way. Who investigates accidents in your house? At least at ski areas, someone does. If there is a fatality at your house, then the same person investigates the fatality in your house as at the slopes: A coroner, unless the accident or fatality is a criminal act.
A coroner’s job is to declare people dead (C.R.S. § 30-10-601) and to determine the cause of death if it is not known or suspicious or from specific causes. (C.R.S. § 30-10-606)
“Ski patrol is there before us. Sometimes, the injured person has been evacuated before we arrive,” he said. “We have to rely on ski patrol and their analysis quite often.”
Thank Heavens! Seriously do you want to wait on the slope with a broken leg or a torn ligament until law enforcement drives from the sheriff’s office puts on skis or unloads a snow machine and comes up the slopes to you?
That is why we have the ski patrol; to get injured people to medical care. Can you see the lawsuit if this occurred? “Sorry mam, I can’t move you with that broken leg until the sheriff investigates.”
If you fall down in your house, do you call the police or the ambulance? If you fall down on the ski slopes do you call the sheriff or the ski patrol?
Sometimes, ski areas don’t give law enforcement information needed for an investigation. In 2004, a Colorado State Patrol sergeant was called to Vail to look into a fatal collision between a 13-year-old skier and an employee-driven snowmobile. He had never investigated a ski injury or fatality.
Sgt. S.J. Olmstead was assigned to the case because county law enforcement “didn’t want to deal with it,” he said in a 2006 deposition. “So somebody had to go take care of it.”
First: The story itself says there have been 47 deaths within five years (from my count of the red dots on the map.) How many police officers would have experience in investigating fatalities that occur on ski resorts?
Second: Vail is the largest employer in Eagle County. Probably, the Eagle County Sheriff’s department saw the fatality the article speaks to as a conflict of interest. Maybe the sheriff’s department knew the snowmobile driver’ or the snowmobile driver’s family. Or members of the sheriff’s department witnessed the accident. There could be dozens of things that triggered a conflict of interest issue in the mind of the Eagle county Sheriff’s department.
And thank heavens it did. Would you buy 100% any report when the Eagle County Sheriff’s department investigates a crime in the ski area of the county’s largest employer who had obvious conflicts of interest?
If you want ski accidents investigated by trained personnel, then contact your representative and have them create a law that says the sheriff’s office shall investigate all ski accidents. (Have fun paying for that one also.)
Third: If you have ever watched TV and watched a cop show, when an arrest is made the bad guy is given their Miranda Warnings, their legal rights. They have the right to remain silent. Vail, could have been held liable for the death, criminally; consequently, during a criminal investigation, the possible criminal should keep their mouth shut!
Ski areas consider ski-patrol and employee reports to be proprietary information. Therefore, victims or their families or law enforcement agencies cannot obtain them without the resorts’ permission — or a court order.
That information is not considered proprietary information, that information is proprietary information. My notes are proprietary information. The recipe you wrote down on a 3 x 5 card is proprietary or confidential information. Work you produce for work is proprietary information.
And again, do you really want your great Aunt Sally learning that her niece died in a ski accident because she was drunk?
I won’t give up my documents to anyone.
What about the rights of the deceased or the deceased family. Information in that report could be embarrassing. Deceased had a blood alcohol level of XX.X. Deceased was skiing with his girlfriend, while his wife was working. Deceased was supposed to be at work. Do you want that information floating around to members of the media or just nosey people?
The press has this idea that they should be entitled to anything they want to report a story. They don’t. There are laws that say what the media, the police and/or any other group can get from a private party or a business.
Then the article starts to complain because the ski patrol investigates an accident, and the cops don’t. The cops plead that they have a hard time getting reports from the ski patrol.
Have you tried getting a police report about an accident from a law enforcement agency? If the police want a report, they should go do it. It takes them a while to get to the far ends of the county, and it takes them a while to hike into the back country or get up the hill at a ski resort. It is a fact of life of a state with lots of wilderness and open space.
Despite the power that ski patrols have,…
What power? The power of the ski patrol is solely the power to transport an injured person down the hill and yank lift tickets of reckless skiers. They are not vested with power or given power by anyone to do anything.
The ski patrol does not have the power to detain someone who is involved in a skier v. skier collision, let alone any other power.
This big issue with accident investigations is confusing. I’ve never had anyone investigate my mountain-bike crashes on US Forest Service land. I’ve never had someone investigate my back-country ski injuries. I’ve never had someone investigate my injuries from rock climbing. Yet there seems to be a big push in the article that 1) accident investigations are not being done and 2) if they are being done they are not being done right.
Automobile accidents are investigated because state statutes require law enforcement to investigate accidents, the damage done and the accidents occur on state land.
Automobile accidents have skid marks, car crumple zones, little black boxes, and tests that show when you hit a guard rail this way at this speed it looks like this. It snows; the wind blows and ski tracks look like every other ski track and are usually wiped out by snowboard tracks. Unless you hit a tree AND leave a mark on the tree or your body it is difficult to determine what happens.
One time in the past, I reviewed an investigation, and then did my own investigation into an accident. I talked to the injured skier and his spouse about what happened. The injured skier did not remember, and we never did figure out how the skier got hurt.
If there is a statute for someone, law enforcement to investigate accidents, then I’m sure their investigations will be better and professionally done. Right now, Ski Patrol accident investigations are done to help the ski area protect itself. The ski patrol is not tasked with any other duty by anyone.
A ski patroller’s job is to determine facts, not guess at what happened.
There is no law, no duty, and no requirement that any accident be investigated.
Accident Investigation Training
The article hits the accident investigation hard by comparing the training to that of National Park Rangers. Rangers are the law enforcement arm of the National Park Service. The job of a Ranger is basically to write tickets and arrest people for major crimes. They are law enforcement. There are statutes and regulations that empower them, command them and require them to investigation accidents and make arrests.
The article also tackles the contractual relationship between the US Forest Service and Vail, quoting from the contract. I would like to see the Denver Post contract with its writers and suppliers. I suspect that if you slam the Denver Post in an article, your career at the post is short lived.
The ski industry is paranoid. I’ve been saying it for years. Too paranoid. However, I understand how that paranoia develops. When articles like misstate the facts and make things up, it would make you paranoid also.
As much as ski areas are paranoid the attorneys representing ski areas and the companies insuring ski areas are even more paranoid. They believe it is better not to say anything.
After this article, I understand why.
The Really Bad
The really bad is how misleading this article is. It is a veiled attempt to accomplish some goals, which are unknown at this time.
This article wasted a lot of paper and electrons attempting to make ski areas in Colorado look bad. Ski Areas in Colorado are the finest in the US. Ski Areas in Colorado are no different from any other business. The business has a duty to make a profit, and protect itself from bad publicity and lawsuits. Nothing in this article proved ski resorts did anything wrong or that any other corporation in the US does.
Read the article, the scary part is people out there believe the writer knows what they are talking about.
No one paid me to write this, no one told me how to write this, no one asked me to write this. However we all have to learn that when we see or smell crap we should clean it up.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
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2012/13 Colorado Ski Country USA Gems Card Helps Skiers Save More Money,
Ski More Powder
Now On Sale, 2012/13 Season Gems Card Features New Flash Deals
From left to right: Loveland_Dustin Schaefer, 2012/13 Colorado Gems Card, Arapahoe Basin, Monarch Mountain
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) today announced that 2012/13 Colorado Gems Cards will feature a new Flash Deal component and are now available for purchase.
The Colorado Gems Card is a discount card for use at the Colorado Gem resorts. It offers deals and discounts that appeal to skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. In addition to the resorts upgraded season-long deals, there is a new component to this year’s Gems Card: Flash Deals. Flash Deals are special promotions and ways to save that are unique to each Gem resort and will be announced last minute throughout the season. CSCUSA will announce Flash Deals in the Gems newsletter, on social media, and on the Gems website www.ColoradoSki.com/gems. Only Colorado Gems Card holders will be able to take advantage of Flash Deals.
For many Gem resort skiers and riders, purchasing the Colorado Gems Card is part of their pre-season ritual as they gather the tools they need to get the most powder for their purchase. The 2012/13 Gems Card can save card holders hundreds of dollars in discounts and deals that can be enjoyed throughout the season. “The Gems Card unlocks a mountain of savings and has become a vital tool for savvy skiers and riders looking to get the most out of their ski season,” explains Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “And with this year’s added Flash Deals the potential for savings increases, allowing card holders to get even more value out of visiting their favorite Gems resorts this season.”
Purchasing the Gems Card before the ski season begins allows buyers to take full advantage of the card’s savings throughout the winter. Skiers and riders will get their money’s worth after using the card just one time. Multiple uses that take advantage of deals at the Gems resorts, plus utilizing the Flash Deals offered, could mean savings of thousands of dollars in one ski season. “Our Colorado season is typically one of the first to begin in North America, with a couple of our Gems resorts competing to be the first to open,” said Mills. “And because of the elevations of our ski areas, some of our Gems resorts are the last in the country to close, meaning that Gems Card holders have plenty of time to take advantage of one of the nation’s longest ski seasons.”
The $10 Gems Card puts Colorado’s world-renowned skiing within reach for skiers and riders from Colorado and elsewhere around the nation. Some of the discounts Gems Card holders can take advantage of in the 2012/13 season include:
· A free lift ticket at Monarch Mountain
· Two-for-one lift tickets at three different ski areas
· Savings on lift tickets at all eight Gems ski areas
The Colorado Gems program is presented by Icelantic Boards. Gems resorts are: Arapahoe Basin, Eldora Mountain Resort, Loveland Ski Area, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn Resort, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch, and Sunlight Mountain Resort.
To purchase a Gems Card, visit www.ShopColoradoSki.com. Cards are available now and will be available throughout the upcoming ski season until they are sold out. They can also be purchased beginning in October at all Colorado Credit Union locations, a proud corporate partner of Colorado Ski Country USA.
Colorado Sees Skier Visits Recede for 2011/12 Season
Bright Spots in Colorado Ski Country USA amid Lackluster Winter
Boulder, Colo. – June 6, 2012 – Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced today at its 49th Annual Meeting, that its 22 member resorts hosted an estimated 6.16 million skier visits during the 2011-12 ski season. This represents a decrease of 11.4 percent, or approximately 790,000 skier visits, compared to last season, which was the fourth best season on record. Compared to the five year average, CSCUSA member resort skier visits are down 11.9 percent. The overall snow related decline interrupted the recovery resorts had been building since 2008/09.
In an indication of the extreme weather impacting Colorado resorts this season, Colorado’s western slope experienced its third driest and seventh warmest winter in records going back to 1895. Precipitation on the Western Slope this winter was 43 percent below average, and down every month of the winter. In Colorado overall, March 2012 was the driest in more than 100 years, and we experienced the second warmest March on record. President and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA Melanie Mills noted, “Fortunately, seasons such as the one just ended have proved to be historically rare and the ski industry has exhibited a remarkable ability to bounce back after poor snow years in the past.”
Mills continued, “Much of the ski industry in the US was confronted with weather challenges last year, but several of our resorts bucked the national trend and showed signs of resilience during what was clearly an uninspiring winter.”
The diversity of ski resorts in Colorado saw some areas post increases and even records in visitation. Colorado Ski Country resorts also saw strength in both domestic and international destination visitors which helped soften the economic impacts to resort operators and resort communities of the overall decline in visitation.
Colorado is favorably positioned for rare dry spells given that resorts are at higher elevations where the air is dryer and colder, therefore allowing the snow to maintain consistency. Aided by colder temperatures favorable for snowmaking, resort snowmakers and slope groomers were able to maintain a quality snow surface throughout most of the season.
Momentum going into the season was strong after seeing an uptick in visitation last year, and economic conditions generally improved during the season. Abundant amounts of snow came in the fall, allowing some resorts to open earlier than planned, but the uncharacteristic precipitation deficit brought that momentum to a standstill. Snow came in the middle of the season and several resorts broke single day snowfall totals, but perception of an underperforming winter was already set in skiers’ minds. “We’ve had dry years in the past, and we’ll have dry years again,” Mills explained. “Not every year can be a record breaking year, and with nary a snowflake in what is normally our snowiest month in Colorado, season visitation numbers are disappointing, but not unexpected.”
CSCUSA resorts upheld their dedication to providing guests with a quality product and superior service which sets Colorado apart from other ski destinations, and keeps the state’s appeal as the premiere place for winter travelers. “Our resorts have so much to offer visitors that in some cases the world class skiing is just one of a menu of activities. And for many people, the season was more about being outside and spending time with friends and family taking in the beautiful outdoors and wonderful amenities of our resorts.”
With certain assumptions in place, statewide skier visits for Colorado are estimated at 11,010,584 million. This estimation shows Colorado being down 9.8 percent, or approximately 1,195,000 visits, compared to last season. On a national level, skier visits overall are down 15.7 percent with the Rocky Mountainregion seeing a decrease of 7.2 percent.
Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort.
These numbers are preliminary results and subject to final adjustments by CSCUSA members. The decision to release individual numbers is up to each individual resort.
Colorado Ski Country USA Reminds Skiers & Snowboarders to be Safe on the Slopes
Resorts Emphasize Safe Skiing, Prepare for Busy Holiday
Aspen Highlands, Michael Neumann
DENVER, Colo. – February 17, 2012– Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) and its 22 member resorts remind skiers and snowboarders to practice safe skiing and riding, know and follow Your Responsibility Code, be aware of surroundings and obey terrain closures.
“Guest safety is always the number one priority of our members,” explained Melanie Mills, CSCUSA president and CEO. “President’s Day weekend is a popular time to go skiing, and our resorts are doing absolutely everything they can to make sure guests are safe and have an enjoyable time on the slopes during this busy weekend.”
Individual skier and snowboarder responsibility is the foundation for safe skiing. Loveland Ski Area assistant patrol director and CSCUSA Ski Patroller of the Year, Joey Riefenberg, stresses the importance of being aware of your surroundings, “Skiers and snowboarders need to be proactive about safety, pay attention to who is skiing around you and always look downhill. Go slow and give yourself time to stop. Know that little kids are out and about and need a wide berth, watch where the flows are.”
CSCUSA member resorts across the state are taking extra measures to provide safe skiing environments, including constantly reassessing conditions. “Resorts are working super hard to make sure it’s safe. Everyone is super conscientious of that, and the snowpack,” said Riefenberg. “It’s a funny snowpack this year, really odd, and resorts are on alert, busy knocking all the air out of the snowpack and making sure everything is safe.”
Skiers and snowboarders are also reminded to obey all signage and be especially alert to obeying terrain closures. As snow continues to fall in Ski Country, resorts will open more terrain as conditions safely allow. “We’d love to open everything but things are closed for a reason, because it’s unsafe for you and unsafe for those who have to rescue you,” Riefenberg explained. “Nothing is being saved, we want everyone to have fun, but be safe doing it.” Ultimately, it is the responsible behavior of skiers and riders that make the slopes safe. Knowing the nationally recognized Your Responsibility Code is crucial to skier and rider responsibility. Referred to simply as The Code, it is comprised of seven principles that collectively outline on-mountain skier etiquette and safe skiing practices.
Responsibilities within The Code include:
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- 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.
- 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.
CSCUSA also reminds skiers, snowboarders and other snowsports enthusiasts heading into the backcountry to check with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) on the magnitude and nature of avalanche hazard they may encounter, do not venture out alone, and have proper equipment and education for the conditions. “Backcountry avalanche danger right now is considerable,” states Ethan Greene, director of CAIC. “With the holiday weekend there’s going to be powder snow and nice weather, but don’t be fooled that the hazard is anything less than very serious.”
More information on backcountry conditions can be found at the CAIC website, www.avalanche.state.co.us or by calling 303-499-9650.