January is National Safety Month at ski resorts across America, and Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts are hosting special safety-related programs and activities all month long to raise awareness and demonstrate the many ways guests can keep safe on the slopes every day.
Throughout January, resorts are working to educate guests about on-mountain safety and responsibilities. Activities at the resorts include a wide array of hands-on demonstrations by ski patrol such as bringing guests on patrol sweeps at the end of the day, demonstrating training exercises, and many more interactive safety experiences. Additionally, some resorts’ highly-trained avalanche dogs will show off their impressive skills in avalanche response simulations, an annual favorite for guests.
Skiing and snowboarding safely is important all throughout the season. From wearing appropriate gear and equipment and using a helmet to riding under control and within one’s abilities, safety is essential to having a good day on the mountain. All skiers and snowboarders should know and abide by the Your Responsibility Code, which is listed below:
Your Responsibility Code
Below is a summary of National Safety Month activities at CSCUSA member resorts.
Skier Safety Village, January 17-18, 2015
Guests at Arapahoe Basin can learn about the Skier Responsibility Code with an interactive puzzle search that takes them on the mountain to observe and learn about key points of the Code. Participating guests who bring the completed puzzle back to the Safety Village earn a prize. In addition, guests can meet the Arapahoe Basin Avalanche Dogs in the Safety Village and have cake while learning more about how they can stay safe on the mountain. For more information on the Safety Village, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
Additional Safety Village programs at Arapahoe Basin include:
ThinkFirst Helmet Initiative
Representatives from Centura Health’s Think First program will be talking about the importance of helmets and will have 100 on-hand to give away. Donations are happily accepted.
Summit County Search and Rescue Group
The Summit County Search and Rescue Group will be in the Safety Village with one of their rescue trucks.
Part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Change Your Peak Drive campaign, Operation TireSafe encourages motorists to check their tire tread and make sure their tires are winter ready. Representatives from ColoradoLand Tire and Service will be in the Safety Village providing information about tire safety and conducting voluntary checks to let people know if their tires are safe for mountain travel.
National Safety Month has officially kicked-off at Aspen Snowmass featuring a monthly schedule that rotates between all four mountains. Aspen Highlands begins the safety extravaganza January 4-11 followed by Buttermilk January 11-17 and Snowmass January 18-25 with Aspen Mountain rounding out the month January 25-31. Each mountain will showcase safety at the resorts through an array of on-mountain demonstrations, contests, prizes, kid’s safety parties and more.
Safety Demonstrations at Aspen Highlands
Throughout the week of January 4-11 at Aspen Highlands, each day will include either a demonstration such as an avalanche dog performing a practice rescue or a rescue equipment presentation, as well as a patrol ski around and learn to self-rescue techniques such as ‘slide for life’ recovery. Each activity will take place daily throughout the week at 11 a.m. with participants and on-lookers meeting at the mid-mountain guest services cabin located next to the Merry-Go-Round restaurant.
Fun Safety Activities for Kids at Buttermilk
Buttermilk will kick-off their safety week January 11-17 with fun activities such as helmet decorating, patrol barbecue including a meet-and-greet with the new avalanche dog named Zara, tours inside a snowcat, s’mores safety après ski kid’s party, safety poster contest, first tracks with a ski pro, binding checks at Four mountain Sports and the game ‘Wheel of Safety.’
Safety Programs at Snowmass
Snowmass takes the lead for Safety Month January 18-25 with each department presenting daily activities and demonstrations at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola. Departments such as Ski School, lift maintenance, snowcat groomers and lift operations will cover everything from how to safely unload and load a chairlift, how the lifts work, avalanche dog demonstrations, skier responsibility code, how to avoid a collision and more.
Safety Themes of the Day at Aspen Mountain
Rounding out safety month January 25-31, Aspen Mountain will feature a theme of day from ‘always stay in control’ to ‘stop in safe place’ with coinciding daily events such as a safety tent at the top of the Silver Queen Gondola, Patrol Beacon Park and avalanche dog demonstrations. The Beacon Park will be located just east of the safety tent granting guests the opportunity to practice safely with beacons daily from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Also, patrol will be on hand every day at the safety tent to answer questions, pass-out stickers, showcase safety materials and hand out free hot dogs to those who participate in the safety program and educational opportunities.
For further Aspen Snowmass Safety Month information as well as detailed schedule of events for all four mountains visit www.aspensnowmass.com/the-power-of-four/safety-and-responsibility/safety-month.
Copper Mountain Resort
Safety Fest Celebration, January 17-19
During Copper’s Safety Fest, Burning Stones Plaza turns into Safety Village with tents featuring National Ski Patrol signing up guests for mountain sweeps, Summit County Rescue Group offering backcountry awareness and beacon training, Copper Mountain Ski Patrol Avalanche Dogs demonstrating how dogs are trained and more. Guests who visit all Safety Village vendors are entered in the daily raffle, where prizes include helmets, lift tickets, season passes and more. In addition, a Flight for Life helicopter will land on Saturday, January 17, at 10:00a.m. at Patrol Headquarters, located at the top of the Excelerator and Super Bee chairlifts.
New this year, Safety Fest will include a Kid’s Avalanche Class. This 15 minute class will take place each day at 10:30a.m. in Burning Stones Plaza. For more information on Safety Fest, visit www.coppercolorado.com.
“Caught Being Safe”
Throughout the month of January, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is rewarding its guests’ good safety behavior. When guests are “Caught Being Safe” by a resort Safety Committee Member, they may receive a $10 resort gift card as a symbol of the resort’s appreciation for skiing and snowboarding safely.
CBMR’s popular avalanche dog and beacon demos will be presented by the Crested Butte Ski Patrol on January 3, 10, 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 1:00pm in the Base Area between the Red Lady Express and Silver Queen lifts. Another favorite, “Touch a Truck,” presented by the Crested Butte Fire Department, will be held on January 17 and 24 from 9:00am – noon in the base area. For more Safety Month information, including the full schedule of events, visit Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s safety website www.safeslopes.com.
Safety Month Weekend, January 17-19
Loveland is celebrating national safety month on the weekend of January 17-19 with events and activities including:
For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.
Steamboat Ski Resort
SlopeWise at Steamboat
Steamboat’s SlopeWise strategic initiative focuses on safe and responsible skiing and riding through awareness, education and consequences for unsafe conduct on the mountain. The resort unveiled its SlopeWise program to incredible support from all levels of the resort and community. The program has gained significant momentum and continues to dramatically shape safe skiing and riding at Steamboat. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com/the-mountain/safety-and-responsibility.aspx.
Sunlight Mountain Resort
Safety Month Awareness
For National Safety Month, Sunlight will post Lids on Kids, Smart Style and Know the Code posters around the base area of the mountain, at the top of the mountain and in the Meier Skis Park area. Ski and Ride safety will be promoted at the ticket office and will be highly visible in the terrain park to keep guests safe on the mountain. Sunlight will also have volunteers in lift lines with safety info to hand out and will be available to answer any questions guests may have. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.
Safety Month Poster Contest
Wolf Creek Ski Area will organize a poster contest for the 3,100 children who participate in our School Program to promote awareness and understanding of the “Responsibility Code”. Students of all ages and grades are able to submit their poster for the competition. Posters must illustrate one or more aspects of the Skier Safety Code. Once posters are submitted, they will be displayed in Base Camp. Base Camp is the hub of our school groups program. Guests and Wolf Creek staff will then vote on the posters and the top four posters are awarded prizes.
In addition, Wolf Creek is in its third season of providing Season Pass holders with a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card with the purchase of their season pass. Supporting Search and Rescue is a need Wolf Creek Ski Area finds critical for skiers and snowboarders that frequent Wolf Creek as well as all outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy the many activities Colorado offers. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.