ski and ride safety guide

SAFETY IS A PARTNERSHIP

The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association created the Ski & Ride Safety Guide to educate guests to Michigan slopes and trails on how to ski and snowboard responsibly and safely while having a fun experience. Learning and practicing what is contained in this guide, using common sense, and making good decisions will contribute to your safety and the safety of all guests.

before you ski and snowboard 1

So, you’re ready to ski or snowboard. Whether it was family or friends, or love for outdoor recreation that brought you here, PREPARATION will help your trip to the slopes be both enjoyable and safe.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY CODE

Porkies

01

Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.

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02

People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.

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03

Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.

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04

Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.

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05

You must prevent runaway equipment.

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06

Read and obey all signs, warnings and hazard markings.

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07

Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

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08

You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the attendant.

alcohol drugs

09

Do not use the lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Collision

10

If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

WEAR A HELMET

Wear a properly fitted helmet with the chin strap securely tightened to help prevent or minimize injuries.

ski boot

USE PROPERLY MAINTAINED EQUIPMENT

Have bindings inspected and correctly adjusted by a certified technician.

stocking cap

DRESS FOR WINTER

Dress in water– and wind-resistant outerwear and layers to accommodate changing conditions.

sun

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN & WIND

Use sunscreen and wear goggles or sunglasses.

TAKE A LESSON

Every experience level can benefit from professional instruction.

on the slopes

ON THE SLOPES

Skiing and snowboarding are active and exciting outdoor sports with inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, including the risk of serious injury and death. Because of these risks, it is YOUR responsibility to be aware of your surroundings, the conditions, and your ability.

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SKI OR RIDE IN CONTROL

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Ski or ride at a speed you are able to safely stop and avoid others and objects you may encounter.

over snow vehicle

LOOK OUT FOR OVER-SNOW VEHICLES

They may be on the slopes heading uphill or downhill, so stay clear of them at all times.

hazzards obstacles 1

LOOK OUT FOR HAZARDS AND OBSTACLES

Both natural and man-made. Resorts may use poles, flags, discs, ropes, fencing, signs, and other devices to provide visual warnings. No resort can mark all hazards and obstacles. Be aware of changing conditions.

closed area

DO NOT ENTER CLOSED AREAS

Ropes and closures are in place for your safety.

COLLISIONS VIDEO

Signage

Maps and signs contain information that can help you find trails and lifts, know when trails merge or if terrain is closed, learn where slow skiing and riding is required, and locate ski patrol and other mountain services.

Trail difficulty ratings are relative to each resort’s specific terrain and rating systems do vary by resort (e.g., a “blue diamond” for more difficult intermediate runs), so guests should always be aware of a particular resort’s rating system. Work your way up from easier to more difficult trails. When in doubt about a trail or what type of terrain a lift serves, ask resort staff for guidance.

signs

Trail rating symbols indicate the difficulty level of terrain. Here’s what they mean:

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green circle
GREEN CIRCLE

EASIER

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blue square
BLUE SQUARE

MORE DIFFICULT

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black diamond
BLACK DIAMOND

MOST DIFFICULT

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double black diamond
DOUBLE-BLACK DIAMOND

EXPERTS ONLY

Ski Brule boarding

orange oval
ORANGE OVAL

FREESTYLE TERRAIN

lift safety

Lift incidents are almost always avoidable. It’s important (and part of Your Responsibility Code) to know how to load, ride and unload all lifts safely.

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LOADING

01

Remove pole straps from wrists and hold in one hand. Remove backpacks and hold in your lap. Remove back foot from snowboard binding.

02

Be lined up with other guests and prepared to load before moving forward from the “Wait Here” area.

03

After the chair in front passes, move from the “Wait Here” area to the “Load Here” area.

04

At the “Load Here” area, look back and grab the part of the chair that
is easiest for you, typically a side bar or backrest.

RIDING

01

When a restraint bar is available, tell others and lower the bar when you can do so safely.

02

SIT BACK and remain seated.

03

NO HORSEPLAY.

04

Do not turn around, or otherwise move on the chair, even if the lift slows or stops. Never jump from the chair.

UNLOADING

01

Check for loose clothing or equipment (such as backpacks) to make sure it will not get caught.

02

If a restraint bar is lowered, tell others and then raise the bar before the “Unload Here” area.

03

Keep your ski tips or the front of your board up and straight ahead.

04

After unloading, move away from the unload ramp.

05

If you fail to unload at the “Unload Here” area, remain completely seated and wait for further assistance. DO NOT JUMP..

lift safety

If you need assistance or there is a problem, SPEAK UP, and tell a lift operator.

Terrain Parks

Terrain parks offer unique challenges and risks. Every park is different and it is important to use features that meet your ability. All users should educate themselves on Park SMART.

Parents, make sure you understand Park SMART and ensure your kids are educated on the proper use of terrain parks and their features.

park smart
snow safety
tree wells

AVOID TREE WELLS

These are voids or depressions in the snow that form around the base of a tree and are often hidden by low branches. Michigan does have backcountry and glade skiing areas where tree wells may be a danger. Skiers and riders can fall into these wells. To avoid tree wells, steer clear of trees and stay in control.

ski with a buddy

STAY WITH A BUDDY

Always maintain visual contact and stay close enough so that you can assist or call for help if needed.

commit to safety
your responsibility code

When it comes to safety, we are all in this together. Our Commitment to Safety helps us prepare and operate the mountain for your enjoyment. Your Responsibility Code helps you understand the rules you must follow to enjoy a safe day on the slopes.

Your Responsibility Code

Your knowledge, decisions and actions contribute to your safety and that of others. If you need help understanding the Code, please ask any ski area employee. Remember that staying in control is the best way to stay safe on the slopes.

Our Commitment to Safety

We are committed to addressing safety every day and in every facet of our operations. This guide is part of that commitment.

our commitment to safety