‘Know the code, follow the code’ in Eagle County | VailDaily.com
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‘Know the code, follow the code’ in Eagle County

Dr. Drew Werner
Vail CO, Colorado

We thought the snow would never come, but Mother Nature has her way of reminding us that she knows better than we do! The powder is great and the snow deep. It looks like the rivers will run fast and our reservoirs will fill in the spring. Life is indeed good.

May the force be with you. Those words flashed through my head as I discussed this week’s article with Taylor Ogilivie, one of our excellent local snowboard instructors and the children’s snowboard school manager at Beaver Creek. For those of you who don’t know Taylor, he is passionate about his work and his teaching. His deep voice grabs and keeps your attention. When we spoke about mountain safety, whether skiing or riding, I thought he might say what I presumed were the basics.

Dress warmly, wear a helmet, drink plenty of water etc. Instead he spoke these simple words … “Know the code, follow the code.” He was referring of course to the Skiers and Snowboarders Responsibility Code. It was Taylor, not Obi-wan Kenobi, that gave me my mantra which I hope you’ll chant with me!



Here it is, I hope we can all learn it and follow it well.

Skiers and Snowboarders Responsibility Code



1) Always ski or ride in control.

2) Yield to incoming skiers or riders.

3) Stop where you are visible.



4) Avoid skiers or riders below you.

5) Always wear retention devices.

6) Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

7) Prior to riding a lift make sure you can load, ride and unload safely.

The code is actually Colorado law! It is simple and straight forward. As Taylor reminds us, if we all follow it, we’ll have a great day on the mountain.

Other important things to remember Taylor tells us are:

– Read the signs posted at the top of all the terrain parks, know where you are going and what you are getting into!

– Speed and being out of control is how people get hurt. Respect the mountain, respect other skiers and riders and slow down when you should.

– Wear a helmet, it will keep you warm and save your head in case you crash.

– Don’t wear cotton. While the lifts may feel cold, once you get moving cotton holds moisture and any warmth you had is sure to disappear.

– Skiers should have their bindings checked out by a qualified person every season.

– Riders should regularly tighten their bolts and tune based on riding, terrain and use.

– Base grind for significant gouges, about every four tunes.

One of the easiest things to overlook is conditioning. Skiing and snowboarding challenge amd stress us in ways our bodies are not used to. It is never too late to work on conditioning, strengthening and improving flexibility. As with any exertional activity, drink plenty of fluids. Stop and rest when you need to. It will make your next run more enjoyable and safer! For our out of state visitors, friends and guests, altitude sickness is a sure way to put a damper on vacation. The best way to avoid it is to avoid exertion for the first 24 hours at altitude, drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine ” especially the first day or two.

A little prevention in life and in health goes a long way on and off the slopes. Have a great day on the mountain.

Please keep your questions coming in! The only bad question is the unanswered one! Let me know what’s on your mind at cschnell@vaildaily.com.

Remember your health is your responsibility! Health is our greatest asset and it doesn’t happen by accident. If something doesn’t seem right, or questions are left unanswered don’t wait, call your doctor.


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