Keeping it safe on the hill in Summit County |

Keeping it safe on the hill in Summit County

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

If Breckenridge ski patroller Meg McKenna, who works with the children’s skier safety program, could impart one piece of wisdom onto ski area guests, it would be to remember personal responsibility and the responsibility code.

“Safety on the slopes is everyone’s responsibility. Ski safely – not only for yourself, but for others as well,” she said. “Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate what others around you will do.”

National Safety Awareness Week started on Saturday and continues through the upcoming weekend. Events, clinics, activities, promotions and prizes happening at various resorts are all aimed at one thing: motivating safe skiing and riding while highlighting the Skier Responsibility Code and various resort safety measures.

“Safety week is to help make the public aware of how to be proactive about their own safety,” McKenna said. “It makes them aware of what tools are available to keep them safe and remind our guests that the ski patrol and mountain safety teams are always here to answer questions.”

Copper Mountain opted to recast and rephrase some basics of on-mountain safety with initiatives such as Go Wet Yourself, Sport a Skid Lid and Practice Bromance. The initiatives were launched over the weekend with tents set up across the mountain. But employees will continue to engage guests throughout the season by wearing buttons that encourage asking questions about staying hydrated on the mountain, why noggin-protection is important, and the benefits of skiing with a buddy.

Also throughout the week, safety posters designed and submitted by Frisco Elementary students are hung at Jack’s Bar and Grille in Center Village at Copper. The posters illustrate messages from the Skier Responsibility Code. Winning posters have been made into signage that will stick around during the season along Alliroo Alley (located between towers 25 and 29 under the American Flyer).

At Keystone, a Summit County Sheriff will be on the hill with a radar gun – on any trail at any time on Wednesday and Friday. Guests can stop and ask to have their normal skiing speed checked.

And this weekend, Keystone’s ski patrol will be out on Dercum Mountain to provide a behind-the-scenes look at their tools and equipment used to care for the sick and injured, perform a lift evacuation or assess avalanche risk.

The Breckenridge ski patrol has its open house throughout the week, and guests can do trail checks with patrollers and accompany them on end-of-the-day sweeps.

Breckenridge is also rewarding safe skiing throughout the week by entering offering prizes to those “caught” skiing safely.

Many mountains took advantage of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend to focus on safety with a broad audience ranging from avid skiers to the holiday visitors.

Folks at Arapahoe Basin earned pieces of cake if they correctly answered questions about the Skier Responsibility Code and Smart Style Code posed by the mountain’s risk manager and patrollers, spokeswoman Kimberly Trembearth said. The tent, its cake, brochures and buttons disappear this week, but informational posters remain up and children in ski school will continue to color educational drawings designed by the National Ski Areas Association.

Guests elsewhere had chances this weekend to tour ski patrol headquarters, participate in prize giveaways for learning various safety measures, see the Flight-for-Life helicopter, visit with avalanche dogs, learn about helmet safety, watch beacon demonstrations, learn about avalanche awareness and more.

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