Letter to the editor: Ski resorts should do more to promote responsible, safe behavior | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Ski resorts should do more to promote responsible, safe behavior

Katherine F. Jeter
The Alliance For Skier & Rider Responsibility president

The preventable deaths from injuries that have occurred on the ski slopes of Summit County — four within a one-month time frame — should be a clarion call for action toward new safety initiatives. Unfortunately, what is echoing back from the county’s ski resorts and the entire ski industry is a deafening, dangerous silence.

There are simple, cost-effective ways to promote awareness and reward responsible behavior on the snow while still having fun on our glorious mountains.

The Alliance for Skier & Rider Responsibility, established in 2019, has worked to promote the Responsibility Code that outlines good conduct on the mountain and in the lift line:

  • Stay in control
  • People ahead of you have the right of way
  • When starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment
  • Observe signs and warnings and keep off closed trails
  • Know how to use lifts safely

We are grateful for the partnership with Summit Mountain Rentals and Summit Resort Group that has produced posters and flyers with the Responsibility Code for Summit Stage buses and lodging packets. But so much more can and must be done to reduce the number of preventable deaths and life-altering injuries on ski slopes.

We call upon ski resorts and the wider ski industry to do more to champion responsible and respectful behavior. Whether it’s placing safety videos on the screens in rental shops, attaching the Responsibility Code to hard goods, or making introductory lessons more affordable to ensure people begin as they are meant to continue — safely and in control — the industry could easily promote safety along with big air, daring descents and powder shots.

Together we can keep our mountains safer and more fun.

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