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 Responsibility Code for Skiers


Be Responsible -- Be Safe...

At ski resorts you are introduced to a variety of people who have different ski levels, and types of equipment.  It is important to remember that you must always be responsible, aware of your surroundings, use common sense, and show courtesy to others in order to enjoy the slopes. There is a skiers code that must be observed at all times to keep you and others safe on the slopes and reduce the risk of getting injured skiing.

  • People ahead of you have the right of way.

  • Maintain control at all times and always focus on skiing and your surroundings.

  • Stop in a safe place for you and others where you will not interfere with someone coming down the slope behind or beside you.

  • Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield to the oncoming skier.

  • If a run is busy you should stop and let others pass and then proceed with caution.

  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

  • Keep a distance of 25-50 feet between you and other skiers.

  • Always observe signs and warnings.  If you find yourself on a trail that is too difficult then keep your skis on and side step down the mountain.

  • Keep off closed trails, observe avalanche signs, and stay out of the way of snow vehicles.

  • Use precaution when getting on and off lifts.

  • If you are passing a skier from behind call out to them the direction (right or left) that you will be passing them.

  • Always ski with someone and stay together at all times.

  • Never step on the slopes if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Know The Symbols

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.

Ski Trail Difficulty Symbols

Ski Trail Symbols

Here’s what they mean: Green Circle: Easier; Blue Square: More Difficult; Black Diamond: Most Difficult; Double-Black Diamond: Most Difficult, use extra caution. 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. 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.

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