Living in the Vail Valley is a lot of fun year round, but especially fun in the winter. Having two world class resorts in our backyards is something that is easy to take for granted if you’ve lived here for a little while. We anxiously wait every year for the snow gods to bring the goods to create a powdery wonderland we all love. However, riding these mountains is a privilege, and too often locals and visitors alike forget that it is indeed a privilege, not a right, to ski and ride at Vail and Beaver Creek.
Ski patrol, mountain operations, and numerous other Vail Resorts employees and volunteers work very hard to get and keep our mountains safe for us to play in. As this season gets off to a great start, I would like to remind everyone to obey the rules while you’re enjoying your ski days.
Following the skier code and obeying closures are key to having a great, safe season. Some might wonder why there are still ropes up on runs that look completely ready to go despite the dump of snow we just received. And some of these people might think it’s a good idea to duck these ropes to enjoy a personal pow stash. However, ducking a rope is unsafe and completely irresponsible. If a run is closed, ski patrol is not monitoring it. You are putting yourself in a position that could compromise your life, and definitely will cause you to lose your ski pass.
I have personally found this out the hard way. Last season I decided to break the rules and drop into a closed run. This decision has cost me the loss of my ski pass for the start of this season. I have yet to be able to enjoy the great conditions we are seeing for early December. I put myself and patrol in a compromised position. Luckily this irresponsible decision only cost me the loss of my skiing privileges and not my life.
Having a ski pass is a privilege and comes with the agreement that you will obey all resort rules, including run closures. While you might not understand why certain runs are closed, remember that all decisions regarding the opening and closing of runs are done for all of our safety. If you break the rules you are putting your life and your privilege to ski these mountains at risk.
I hope everyone, locals and visitors a like have a great season and the snow keeps coming!