Flying down a powder-filled slope, the wind at your back and the sun on your face- it’s no secret that there is a lot to love about skiing and snowboarding. Despite being popular, each activity does come with an inherent amount of risk. Expecially since they both involve moving at very high speeds; And not to mention, the dangers associated with being in the great outdoors. No matter your level of experience, becoming familiar with standard mountain safety can ensure an enjoyable experience while on the hill. Here is what you need to know to stay safe and have fun!
The Alpine Responsibility Code
The Alpine Responsibility Code is a code of ethics for skiers and snowboarders endorsed and used by the Canadian West Ski Areas Association (C.W.S.A.A.). It’s essentially a list of rules for the slopes – a guideline of the appropriate etiquette all skiers and snowboarders should follow to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe alpine experience.
A common myth can be that avalanche courses are just for those looking to explore the backcountry. In fact, if you are the using the mountains in the winter, then you should educate yourself on the risks associated with avalanches. The courses are designed to help mountain users identify hazards, perform self-rescue, and travel safely in an alpine environment.
Natural hazards such as tree wells occur within and outside of the ski area boundary. To protect yourself, ski with a buddy and carry a whistle. If you are currently traveling without a whistle and need to purchase one, visit Wolf Whistles- a company started by Jamie Portch, a front desk agent at the Listel Hotel Whistler. Wolf Whistles sells high-quality safety whistles for recreational users. Jamie states, “not only is a whistle a useful tool to call for help, it can help you stay connected to your friends in the trees.”
Statistics have shown wearing a helmet can drastically reduce the occurrence of a head injury when skiing. Additionally, Whistler Blackcomb recommends that mountain users educate themselves on the benefits of head protection and reminds them that is part of the Alpine Responsibility Code.
Signs are placed all over the mountain. These signs provide important information such as the difficulty level of the trails, upcoming conditions, and direction to points of interest. It is helpful to become acquainted with the signs in order to effectively navigate the mountain.
Skiing and snowboarding are fun, expecially when it is done in a safe manner. Learning the rules of the mountain can help you get around and stay unharmed. If you have any questions about mountain safety, don’t hesitate to ask one of our informed staff here at the Listel Hotel Whistler.