EAGLE COUNTY - The National Ski Areas Association reports that skiing and snowboarding are less dangerous than many other participation sports but do involve some inherent risks, which is one of the reasons ski resorts across the United States are promoting safety this week.
Ski resorts belonging to the association are educating guests this week about various safety measures and rules on the slopes during National Safety Awareness Week. Resorts will remind guests of the Responsibility Code, the terrain park safety program known as Smart Style, avalanche safety and other tips for staying safe while on the slopes.
Vail and Beaver Creek, which won the association's awards last season for Best Avalanche Safety Program and Best Overall Safety Program respectively, have extensive daily programs and activities planned through next Sunday.
At Vail, Ski Patrol will demonstrate a high-angle avalanche rescue off the Chair 4 cliffs. An avalanche rescue dog demonstration will occur outside of Henry's Hut near the top of Chairs 4 and 5, and physical therapists will also be available to provide tips on knee and body health at Mid-Vail.
Vail and Beaver Creek kicked off Safety Week on Saturday. A Flight for Life helicopter was scheduled to land at the top of Chair 6, but the helicopter was out on a medical call and couldn't make it. Another Flight for Life helicopter is scheduled to land at the top of Chair 2 in Vail on Tuesday at 11 a.m. If the helicopter does land at Vail, the medics will be available to discuss how the Flight for Life operations work and how they care for patients.
Vail Resorts introduced new safety signs all over its mountains this season that resemble traditional road signs in areas including slow zones, terrain park exits and areas where trails merge. There's a new "rest area" initiative, too, intended to help guests understand the safest places to stop on runs. The new strategies stem from the company's enhanced safety campaign launched last season called "Play it Safe."
"Our goal this season with the enhanced 'Play it Safe. Play All Season' campaign is to grab the attention of guests and employees with a simple, visually recognizable, safety message on the snow," said Steve Clark, assistant director of Vail Mountain Safety. "In addition to what's new, guests and employees are also encouraged to interact with daily activities and events throughout National Safety Awareness Week that tie back to the season-long 'Play It Safe. Play All Season' safety message."
For more information on events at Beaver Creek, visit www.beavercreek.com/
safety. For information about Vail's scheduled events, check with Vail Ski Patrol or Mountain Safety, or call 970-754-4610.
Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.