SAFETY AND RISK AWARENESS


Skiing, snowboarding and other activities that take place at ski areas involve the risk of injury. This webpage is intended to inform you of the risks, dangers and hazards that you may encounter at a ski area and help you to stay safe while enjoying these activities. Whether you are a participant in these activities or a parent or guardian of a minor participant, please review and familiarize yourself with the Safety and Risk Awareness material on our website.

Exclusion of Liability – Assumption of Risks

The use of ski area premises and facilities and participation in activities at ski areas involves various risks, dangers and hazards. It is a condition of your use of the premises and facilities and your participation in these activities that you assume all risk of personal injury, death or property loss resulting from any cause whatsoever, including negligence, breach of contract, or breach of any duty of care on the part of the ski area operator. Your legal responsibility as a user of the ski area premises and facilities or participant in activities at the ski area is explained in the following notice, which you will see posted at the ski area.



Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing, snowboarding, and cross country skiing (nordic) involves various risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to the following:



  • boarding, riding and disembarking ski lifts;
  • changing weather conditions;
  • avalanches;
  • exposed rock, earth, ice, and other natural objects;
  • trees, tree wells, tree stumps and forest deadfall;
  • the condition of snow or ice on or beneath the surface;
  • variations in the terrain which may create blind spots or areas of reduced visibility;
  • variations in the surface or sub-surface, including changes due to man-made or artificial snow;
  • variable and difficult conditions;
  • streams, creeks, and exposed holes in the snow pack above streams or creeks;
  • cliffs; crevasses;
  • snowcat roads, road-banks or cut-banks;
  • collision with lift towers, fences, snow making equipment, snow grooming equipment, snowcats, snowmobiles or other vehicles, equipment or structures;
  • encounters with domestic and wild animals including dogs and bears;
  • collision with other persons;
  • loss of balance or control; slips, trips and falls;
  • accidents during snow school lessons;
  • negligent first aid;
  • failure to act safely or within one’s own ability or to stay within designated areas;
  • negligence of other persons; and NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE OPERATOR.

Helmets
A helmet designed for recreational snow sports may reduce the risk of some types of head injuries. Helmets are strongly recommended. In some ski area programs (for example snow school lessons involving minors) helmets are mandatory. Helmets for skiing and snowboarding are light, comfortable and have achieved wide-spread acceptance. Please note however that helmets have limitations and that serious head injury can still occur even  when a helmet is worn. Wearing a helmet is no guarantee of safety.

Snowbikes
A helmet designed for recreational snow sports may reduce the risk of some types of head injuries. Helmets are strongly recommended. In some ski area programs (for example snow school lessons involving minors) helmets are mandatory. Helmets for skiing and snowboarding are light, comfortable and have achieved wide-spread acceptance. Please note however that helmets have limitations and that serious head injury can still occur even  when a helmet is worn. Wearing a helmet is no guarantee of safety.

Binding Systems for Skis & Snowboards
A helmet designed for recreational snow sports may reduce the risk of some types of head injuries. Helmets are strongly recommended. In some ski area programs (for example snow school lessons involving minors) helmets are mandatory. Helmets for skiing and snowboarding are light, comfortable and have achieved wide-spread acceptance. Please note however that helmets have limitations and that serious head injury can still occur even  when a helmet is worn. Wearing a helmet is no guarantee of safety.

Alpine Responsibility Code


The Alpine Responsibility Code provides the basic rules of conduct and must be followed by all using the terrain, and is consistent across all Ski Areas of Eastern Canada.

  1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop, or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right-of-way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  4. Before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. If you are involved in or witness a collision/accident you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol.
  6. Always use proper devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  7. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings.
  8. Keep off closed trails and obey area closures.
  9. You must not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs.
  10. You must have sufficient physical dexterity, ability, and knowledge to safely load, ride, and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask the lift attendant.

Lift Safety

The Alpine Responsibility Code provides the basic rules of conduct and must be followed by all using the terrain, and is consistent across all Ski Areas of Eastern Canada.

To travel uphill at Ski Areas, skiers and snowboarders use a variety of ski lifts.  Users should be familiar with the use of lifts for their own safety and the safety of others.

There are many signs on and around ski lifts. Each is important in its own right, informing you about the process for loading, riding, and unloading the chair. Pay attention to and obey these signs when riding a chairlift. If you are unfamiliar with a lift or have questions, please ask a lift attendant for assistance and directions.  Ski and snowboard lessons are also great ways to learn about using the ski lifts.

Tips For Riding Lifts

Get prepared and be ready!

  • If unfamiliar with a lifts operation, first watch others and learn, or ask for assistance.
  • Slow down before approaching the entrance to a lift.
  • Obey all posted instructions.
  • Ensure your lift ticket is available for ticket checkers. For RFID enabled tickets ensure your ticket is in a pocket without other cards or electronics, so it can be read by the RFID gates.
  • Remove pole straps from wrists, hold poles with tips forward.
  • Secure loose items – make sure you don’t have anything that can catch on the carrier (chair, tbar, conveyor etc) like loose clothing, zippers, strings and hair.
  • Remove audio headsets before reaching the lift-loading and unloading platform.
  • If carrying a backpack, remove it and hold on your lap while on the lift. Infant front carriers and child backpack carriers are not permitted on ski lifts (with the exception of some gondolas that also provide sightseeing).
  • To speed up everyone’s ride, group up before reaching the final cue.
  • When riding a lift with small children, help them load and unload as well as lower and raise the bar.
  • It is OK to miss a chair and wait for the next one.

Loading the lift

  • Load and unload only at designated areas.
  • Be polite and courteous at the loading area.
  • In preparation to load, move up to the marked line and look back to watch for the approaching chair.
  • Grab onto the side or back of the chair and scooch yourself towards the back. If you’re skiing with kids, you may need to help pull them up onto the chair.
  • Always lower the restraining bar immediately after loading the chair. Let the other riders on the chair know that you’re lowering the bar to avoid any head collisions.
  • Swinging, bouncing or otherwise abusing lift equipment can be dangerous. If alone, sit in the middle of the chair.
  • If lift stops, never attempt to jump off.

 

Unloading

  • Make certain no loose clothing is caught in the lift before unloading.
  • Lift the bar when you reach the unloading area (always wait to see the “Raise the bar” sign).
  • Keep your tips up and when you reach the “Unload Here” sign, stand up and slide down the ramp.
  • Move quickly away from the unloading area. If you happen to fall or leave something behind, keep your head down (to avoid getting hit by the carrier) and clear out of the way as soon as you are able. The lift operators are able to assist you.


Surface lifts
 such as tbars, platters, conveyors and rope tows follow many of the same guidelines as above.  Also note:

  • Stay standing for the entire ride. Never sit down.
  • Only unload in the designated unloading area – do not get off the lift prior to the “Unload Here” sign.
  • If you fall, clear the track quickly.

Know Before You Go

In addition to the Alpine Responsibility Code, here are some additional tips to keep you safe and enjoy your day on the slopes:

  • Weather
    • Plan ahead for variations in weather. Dress appropriately, and have properly tuned gear. Warmth and visibility are key safety components.
    • UV rays are reflected from the snow surface. Always wear sunscreen, and goggles or sunglasses, even on cloudy days.
    • Cold temperatures increase the likelihood of frostbite. Dress warm, bring extra layers and keep an eye on exposed skin. Go inside immediately if skin begins to turn white.
    • Take note of the conditions. When the snow surface is hard and fast, it is easy to ski/ride at high speed, increasing the risk for serious injury if you fall and slide.  Be aware of changing snow surface conditions.
  • Keep hydrated and carry a snack with you to keep you fueled.
  • Helmets – it is highly recommended to wear a helmet while skiing and riding. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet usage.
  • Don’t over do it. Be aware of fatigue, many visitors are on vacation and might not be conditioned to ski/board long days. Warm up in the morning and stretch it out, then tone it down in the afternoon.
  • Snowcats and snowmobiles may be encountered during operating hours. Give these vehicles plenty of space.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • Be mindful of where you stop on the hill, for your safety and the safety of other skiers and snowboarders. When resting, move over to the side of the run. Never stop under a roller, jump, cat track, or on a blind corner, as uphill skiers will not be able to see you.
    • Always be aware of other skiers and snowboarders. Look uphill before you commence downhill, and yield to other skiers and snowboarders.

Speed And Collision Safety 

Ride Another Day:  Complementing the Responsibility Code, #RideAnotherDay promotes three actions every skier and rider can take to help keep themselves and those around safer on the slopes. These three actions are:

Be Ready: Be ready to slow down or avoid objects or other people at any time. Ski and ride in such a way that you are always able to control yourself regardless of conditions and avoid others and objects you may encounter on the run, groomed or otherwise.

Stay Alert: Stay alert to what’s going on around you, especially other skiers and riders. Being aware of those around and changing conditions will help you have a fun and safe day on the hill.

Plan Ahead: Ease up at blind spots, check uphill when merging onto trails, and give other skiers plenty of room when passing. Look out for spots on the run where traffic merges or you can’t see what’s coming next. If you are unfamiliar with a run, take it easy the first time down it and make note of places where you’ll want to slow down, such as cat tracks and rollers. Also, give other skiers and riders lots or room, especially if you are passing them. There’s plenty of space out there, so there’s no need to crowd each other.

By doing these three things every run, you’ll be helping keep the slopes safe and enjoyable, for you and everyone else.

Ski Area Premisis

When visiting a ski area, the premise is not limited to the ski runs – many ski areas will have day lodges, parking lots, restaurants, terrain parks, walkways, access roads and other ski area facilities. You will come across signage throughout the ski area premise that are important to respect and understand.  Please pay close attention to all signage. It is present for the safety of both guests and employees. Failing to follow the directions on these signs may result in the loss of your ticket or member privledges. It is your responsibility to be aware of mountain signage at all times.