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Safety first mantra highlighted at Colorado ski resorts

Aspen Highlands by Michael Neumann

Aspen Highlands by Michael Neumann

Safety can be sexy.

Well maybe not sexy…but it can be fun. Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) and its 22 member resorts, in conjunction with the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), have teamed up to promote National Safety Awareness Week, which begins tomorrow, January 14, and runs through January 21.

CSCUSA member resorts across the state will host events, clinics and other activities designed to educate and remind skiers and riders of the importance of slope safety. These programs, promotions and prizes motivate safe skiing and riding behavior, and highlight the Skier Responsibility Code and various resort safety measures.

This week reinforces the value of safety that our member resorts prioritize for our consumers, said Melanie Mills, CSCUSA president and CEO. Guest safety is number one at our resorts and this week is an excellent chance to refresh awareness about skiing and snowboarding responsibly, which is the best way for everyone to enjoy a day on the slopes.

Sit. Stay. Telluride

Sit. Stay. Telluride

For CSCUSA member resorts, every week is safety week as resorts have safety measures in place permanently during the season. Examples of how resorts raise awareness about safety include providing information about snow safety and avalanches, educating guests about helmet use, posting reminders about proper hydration and sunscreen use, and designating slow skiing zones.
Ultimately, it is the responsible behavior of skiers and riders that make the slopes safe. Knowing the nationally recognized Your Responsibility Code is crucial to skier and rider responsibility. Referred to simply as The Code, it is comprised of seven principles that collectively outline on-mountain skier etiquette and safe skiing practices.

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.

Below are details about resort-specific events happening for National Safety Awareness Week:

Arapahoe Basin
Arapahoe Basin is hosting a safety weekend on January 14-15 starting at 10 a.m. The base area will be filled with booths focusing on the terrain park, ski patrol, snowsports, and more. One of the sponsors will also be giving away 100 helmets each day, along with a raffle and cake.

Copper Mountain
Copper Mountain will showcase its year-long safety efforts with Copper Safety Fest on January 14-16 in Coppers Center Village. Along with kid-friendly signage and messaging throughout the West Village, Copper is showing off artwork created by Frisco Elementary School third-graders that focuses on the Responsibility Code and Terrain Park Safety. Copper has also teamed up with many community safety entities like the National Ski Patrol, Copper Mountain Ski Patrol and Avalanche Dogs, US Forest Service, and more to offer tips and information during its family-friendly Safety Fest.

Safety Fest will also have a Flight-For-Life helicopter fly-over on January 15, as well as Avalanche Dog drills and an open house at Ski Patrol Headquarters. There will be daily prize drawings in Burning Stones Plaza.

Copper Ski Patrol is also inviting guests to join in sweeping the mountain during Safety Fest. Each day at 4:15 p.m., Ski Patrol will sweep the trails to make sure that all guests are safely off the mountain before it closes. Guest can sign-up to follow a patroller as they clear the mountain. Spots are limited, so guests must sign up by 2 p.m. that day. For more information and to sign up, call 970.968.2318 x 66124.

Crested Butte
During Safety Week at Crested Butte, there will be safety information tents set up in the base area and in Paradise Bowl, for guests to learn about National Ski Area Association safety programs such as Lids on Kids, Know the Code, Heads Up and Smart Style.

In addition to the information tents, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is adding specialized events and programs to ensure guest safety awareness in fun and unique ways. There will be daily Avalanche Dog Demonstrations, Touch a Truck fire truck and ambulance tours, On-Mountain Tours, Mt. Crested Butte Emergency Services Demonstrations, Lift Safety Demonstrations and video showings, as well as daily raffles and prizes.

Echo Mountain
Echo Mountain celebrates National Safety Awareness Week with activities on January 14-21. Activities include a kids poster contest, an on mountain slope-safety scavenger hunt, a stretching session, Responsibility Code trivia and prizes, a Never Summer demo day, and more. Helmet discounts of up to 10 percent will also be offered to Echo Mountain pass holders at participating stores. For more information, visit

Loveland is kicking off Safety Week on Saturday, January 14 with a visit from Neptune Mountaineering and Pieps, who will join with the Loveland Ski Patrol to give guests avalanche awareness information and beacon training. The ski areas terrain park crew will also be giving information on the Smart Style Program. Loveland will also feature a manned booth to give information on the skier responsibility code, the importance of sun safety with help from Rocky Mountain Sun Screen, and hydration issues with support from Vitamin Water.

Safety Week at Steamboat will feature a variety of safety messages and activities listed below:
Park Rangers: The designers, testers and maintainers of Steamboats Terrain Parks will be in Gondola Square January 14-16 sharing the PARKWISE code.
Meet Patrol: The men and women who help keep the mountain safe will be onsite in Gondola Square January 14-16 to provide additional information and answer any questions guests may have about mountain safety.
Bear the Safety Dog: Steamboats Safety Mascot will be in Gondola Square January 14-16.
Snow Safety/Avalanche Awareness: On Saturday and Sunday, January 14 and 15, Steamboat Ski Patrol will host special seminars on snow safety and avalanche awareness. The seminars are free to the public and meet at Patrol Headquarters at the top of Sundown Express Chairlift at 1:00 p.m. both days.
Know the Code Contest: Skiers and Riders will randomly be stopped on the slopes by members of Steamboats Patrol. If they know at least three of the seven parts to the Responsibility Code theyll receive a prize. The contest runs January 14-22.
Billy Kidd One OClock Run: This is a free clinic by Steamboats director of skiing, who will be joined by Patrol.
Free Mountain Tours: Guests c join Steamboats Ambassadors with SlopeWise & Safety Information from Patrol at 10:30 a.m. at the top of Vagabond Trail.
Free Racing: Any guests who can tell the attendant one of the seven topics of the Responsibility Code races free at the NASTAR training course.


The Sunlight Ski Patrol and Valley View Hospital are hosting Safety Awareness Day at Sunlight Mountain Resort on January 21. As a part of the event, $2,000 worth of helmets will be given to kids in the valley. Visit for more information on the days events.

Tellurides Safety Day, which will take place on Saturday, January 14, will be hosted by Telluride Ski and Golf and Telluride Medical Center employees, with stations set up around the resort promoting on-mountain and skier/snowboarder safety, including the Care Flight helicopter on Prospect Ridge. Participants who visit all six stations will be eligible to win great prizes including a 2012-13 Season Pass at the after-party at Crazy Elk.

Saturdays Safety Day event for the public will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with registration at the base of the Village Express (4). Completed passports must be turned in by 3:30 p.m. at Crazy Elk, where the after party will include free beverages and pizza for all participants who visited all six stations on Saturday. Those who visited all six stations will also be included in a drawing for prizes with the Grand Prize being a 2012-2013 Telluride Ski Resort 40th Anniversary Seasons Ski Pass.

Winter Park
During Safety Week, employees of Winter Park will be out on the mountain, around the Winter Park Resort base and in The Village at Winter Park, sporadically wearing their Know the Code arm bands. Guests that talk about the Code with Winter Park employees will be entered into a drawing for a 2012-13 Winter Park Resort adult season pass. During the weekends, Winter Park Resort will have tents set up at the bases of Winter Park and Mary Jane with NSAA giveaways.