This week is National Safety Awareness Week. Now before you yawn and click the Back button just hold on a second. Think about it. All the things you love about skiing and riding, and life itself, can go away very very quickly if you are not safe while on the slopes. Or worse, you can take them away from someone else, because it's not just how those you are sharing the slopes with behave; it's about how you behave. It pays to share safety. Ski it forward if you will. Get that safety karma thing going. Believe me; you don't want to have to learn the hard way. (photo by Casey Day: Copper Mountain)
Safety plays a role in everything skiing and riding related; equipment, lift loading, riding and unloading, terrain selection, skier traffic navigation, and stopping. Not to mention all the specifics with terrain park, gladed tree and in-bounds hike to areas.
This is not a pro or anti helmet thing either. It goes beyond that. Besides, it's not what's on your head but what's in your head that matters. Safe skiing is not rocket science. In fact, it's a no brainer, at least one would think. But just to keep it fresh in everyone's minds, this week Colorado Ski Country resorts are holding events, clinics and other activities designed to educate and remind skiers and riders of the importance of slope safety. The programs and promotions are aimed to motivate safe skiing and riding while highlighting various resort safety measures.
Basically you just have to know a few things.
:: Know that like many things in life, skiing and riding have certain inherent risks. Its part of the reason we like to do them.
:: Know how to practice common sense.
:: Know Your Responsibility Code.
Responsibilities within the code include:
* Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
* People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
* You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
* Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
* Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
* Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
* Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
Take the time to be safe on the slopes, and remember that safety can be sexy, it's the alternative that's a turn off. To see what resorts are up to this week for safety programs, events, clinics and activities check out the Ski Country site.