Colorado Ski and Snowboard Safety

Lift Safety  |  Your Responsibility Code  |  Terrain Park Safety  |  Signs of the Slopes  |  Helmet Safety  |  High Alpine Safety  |  Tree Well Safety  |  Ski and Snowboard Equipment  |  Resort Safety Initiatives

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COLORADO SKI COUNTRY IS BIG ON SAFETY

Guest safety is the number one priority at Colorado Ski Country ski areas, including how to load, ride and unload a chairlift safely. Safety is also your responsibility and educating yourself and other guests about how to have a safe day on the slopes is not only a good idea, here in Colorado, it’s the law. The Colorado Ski Safety Act establishes responsibilities for skiers and snowboarders and spells out risks inherent to the sport. 

Read on and use this safety page for information on chairlift safety, the Your Responsibility Code, terrain park etiquette and other safety practices including individual ski area resources.

Lift Safety

Tips for Loading, Riding and Unloading a Chairlift

Loading a chairlift

  • Watch first and ask questions. Ask for help if you need it or for the lift to be slowed down. If you would like the lift slowed or stopped at the top, ask the lift attendant at the bottom of the lift.
  • Remove pole straps from wrists and hold in one hand. Remove back foot from snowboard binding.
  • Line up and get ready at the “Wait Here” line in the snow
  • When it’s your turn, move from the “Wait Here” line to the “Load Here” line. 
  • At the “Load Here” line, look back behind you to locate the chair. Sit on the seat when it arrives, it will keep moving. Make sure your seat and back are all the way to the back of the chair, back to back and seat to seat.

Riding a chairlift

  • If the chair has a bar, lower it once you have cleared the lift loading area. If you cannot reach the bar, ask someone else on the lift to lower it. If no one on the lift can safely reach the bar, that’s ok just sit all the way back in your seat.
  • Sit back and remain seated the whole time, horseplay, fidgeting or turning around -- your #1 job is to remain firmly seated.
  • If you drop something like a glove or phone, don’t try to reach for it, you can ask the lift attendant at the top for help.
  • Sometimes the chair will slow or stop. Don’t worry, just remain in your seat.

Unloading a chairlift

  • You’ll see three signs as you approach the unloading area; check for loose clothing, raise the bar, keep ski tips up
    • Check for loose clothing- Look for loose clothing or equipment (such as backpacks) to make sure it is not caught on the lift or other passengers
    • Raise the bar - If a bar is lowered raise it when you see the sign on the lift terminal, tell others it is being raised or ask for help if needed
    • Keep Tips Up - Keep your ski tips or the front of your board up and straight ahead when you see the sign on the lift terminal
  • You can wave at the lift attendant and motion to slow the chair down if you would like as you approach the unload area.
  • Stand upright at the “Unload Here” line in the snow and push off from the chair as you stand up.
  • Ski or ride down the ramp and clear the area for the next group behind you.

To see how riding a lift looks in the real world, watch the video below.

How to ride a ski lift