Safety

Responsibility Code

Snow King Mountain adheres to the National Ski Areas Association responsibility code.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) believes education, helmet use, respect and common sense are very important when cruising down the mountain. NSAA developed Your Responsibility Code to help skiers and boarders be aware that there are elements of risk in snowsports that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.

Seven Points to Your Responsibility Code

  1. Always stay in control, and 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. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
KNOW THE CODE: IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Families Night Skiing In Jackson Hole

Trail Signage

You’ve arrived. You’re geared up and have a lift ticket. Now what? Go get a trail map at the base lodge or lift-ticket window. Take a few minutes to check it out. The lifts and the trails are marked on the map. The colored symbols next to the trails are the keys to enjoying your first few days on the slopes. Their shape and color indicate the difficulty of the trail.

Slope Signage

Here’s what they mean:

Green Circle: Easier

Blue Square: More Difficult

Black Diamond: Most Difficult

Double-Black Diamond: Most Difficult, use extra caution

Orange Oval: Freestyle Terrain.

You’ll find them on trail maps and posted on signs on the mountain. The same trail symbols are used at every resort in the country, but as Albert Einstein must have said, “It’s all relative.” A Green Circle trail at Jackson Hole, Wyo., might be as tough as a Blue Square at Sunlight, Colo. Not a big deal. The trail ratings are consistent within each resort. So all the “Greens” at a ski area will be about the same difficulty, as will the “Blues” and the “Blacks.”

Before you ride a lift during your first few days, make sure you can handle the trails at the top. Some skiers think they can improve by skiing tough terrain when their skills aren’t up to that level, but that’s a good way to get hurt. Instead, take a lesson. Check your trail map and make sure the trail symbols off of that lift fit your ability. If you have any questions or need directions, go talk to a lift attendant or anyone in a resort uniform. “What’s the easiest way down?” “Where’s the closest groomed trail?” “What’s the capital of New Guinea?” They want you to have fun nearly as much as you do.

Understanding the Trail SignsSnowlink.com

When Trails Turned Color” – Skiing Heritage, by John Fry & Bob Cram

Lids on Kids

NSAA promotes the use of helmets on the slopes. We urge skiers and riders to wear a helmet – but to ski or ride as if they are not wearing a helmet. NSAA views skiing and snowboarding in a controlled and responsible manner – not helmets only – as the primary safety consideration for all skiers and boarders. A skier’s behavior has as much or more to do with the safety of the sport as does any piece of equipment.

In 2002, Lids on Kids http://www.lidsonkids.org/debuted as a resource for consumers to learn about helmet use in skiing and snowboarding. This site contains FAQs about helmet use, fit and sizing information, general slope safety information, related articles and games, and testimonials about helmet use from well-known athletes, including US Ski Team members. The site has received nearly 2 million hits since it was created. The tagline, “A Helmet-It’s a Smart Idea,” is printed on posters and promotional cards at resorts nationwide.

Objects Are Closer Than They Appear

In 2008/09, NSAA developed the “Objects are Closer Than They Appear” campaign to shine a spotlight on the first tenet of Your Responsibility Code: Always stay in control and be able to stop and avoid other people or objects.

The campaign emphasizes the role that speed plays in staying in control and overtly addresses the risk posed by collisions with trees or other fixed objects on the slopes.

Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS hazards)

Skiing and snowboarding off the groomed runs and in deep powder is one of the most exciting and appealing parts of our sport. However, if you decide to leave the groomed trails you are voluntarily accepting the risk of a deep snow immersion accident. A deep snow, or tree well immersion accident occurs when a skier or rider falls into an area of deep unconsolidated snow and becomes immobilized and suffocates. Deaths resulting from these kinds of accidents are referred to as a SIS harzards or Snow Immersion Suffocation.

NSAA has made available for distribution Tree Well and Deep Snow caution signs and brochures for resorts to use in their efforts to educate skiers and snowboarders about the hazards of tree wells during deep snow conditions. Ski areas are able to download the artwork and have signs made to fit the conditions at their resorts, either for on-mountain signage, printed in trail maps, posted on websites, or utilized in other mountain media.

Become educated on how to reduce the risk of SIS hazards through your own action and awareness. ALWAYS ski or ride with a partner within viewing distance. The website www.deepsnowsafety.org is an excellent resource designed to assist all skiers and riders in educating themselves about the risks and prevention of deep snow and tree well immersion accidents.

Kids on Lifts

NSAA views using and riding chair lifts in a responsible manner as one of the primary safety considerations for all skiers and boarders. A skier’s behavior has as much or more to do with the safety of the sport as does any piece of equipment from helmet to chair lift.

In 2012, the website www.kidsonlifts.org/ and the initiative as a whole debuted around the country to resorts and consumers. This site contains FAQ’s and safety tips on how to load, ride and unload responsilby, general skiing and riding tips, coloring pages for kids, public service announcements and more.   The tagline “No Horsing Around” is a motto we hope to ingrain in not only children but every skier and boarder.

NSAA believes these safety facts and tips will help prepare individuals and familes for a day on the slopes.  With the help of the folllowing information, your adventures down the mountain will be that much more enjoyable.

Sun Safety on the Slopes

NSAA and Huntsman Cancer Institute have come together to promote Sun Safe on the Slopes.  High elevation exposes your skin to more radiation.  The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think! A ski vacation with a sun burn is no fun!  Protect your skin while enjoying the slopes in summer or winter.  

To ensure you have a safe and fun day on the slopes, remember these tips to protect you from the sun and its radiation.

  • Wear pants, long sleeves, and gloves even on warm days.
  • Put on a hat or helmet that covers your ears.
  • Wear 100% UV protection goggles or sunglasses.
  • Apply generous amounts of SPF 30+ sunscreen on exposed skin every two hours.
  • It’s not the heat of the sun that causes skin damage but radiation from the sun.

What to look for in sunblock:

  • SPF 30 or higher
  • Broad Spectrum
  • Zinc Oxide, titanium dioxide or both

Outreach and Education

Eye Protection

Eye health is important for everyone. Skiers and snowboarders spend long hours on the snow which can increase your risk of eye health issues. FortunaSun Safe on the Slopes

NSAA and Huntsman Cancer Institute have come together to promote Sun Safe on the Slopes.  High elevation exposes your skin to more radiation.  The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think! A ski vacation with a sun burn is no fun!  Protect your skin while enjoying the slopes in summer or winter.  

Ultimately, wearing good quality sunglasses and goggles, that offer UV-protection are a great way to significantly reduce these risks. Below are several resources you can check out to learn more about the importance of wearing eye protection when you’re enjoying the slopes.

Resources

Videos

Speed and Collision Safety

NSAA, as part of its on-going efforts to promote on-hill safety and responsible skiing and riding, has developed the #RideAnotherDay campaign, in partnership with Kelli and Chauncy Johnson. 

Complementing the Responsibility Code and it’s 7 tenets, #RideAnotherDay promotes 3 actions every skier and rider can take to help keep themselves and those around safer on the slopes. These three actions are:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.