By Eva Potter
We’ve all been on the slopes when a newbie has come barreling down the slope seemingly headed toward you without the skills to safely avoid you. Evasive action is one way to avoid such a collision, but the best way is for everyone on the slopes – skiers and riders alike – to follow commonsense rules so everyone can enjoy the experience.
Every year in January, many ski areas all over the country observe National Safety Week to shine the spotlight on ski resort safety. This year it takes place Jan. 19 – 27, 2013. The goal of safety week is to educate skiers and snowboarders about personal responsibility using easy-to-remember rules that will allow everyone have a great time on the slopes. This year, Holiday Valley and HoliMont have many fun and educational activities planned for all ages.
Safety Manager Justin Latimer oversees our HoliMont’s Safety Week activities. He meets with instructors to go over safety information and works with children enrolled in the ski school to ensure they understand the “rules of the road.” Children can look forward to receiving safety-themed coloring books to help learn how to stay safe on the slopes. HoliMont’s Safety Patrol reviews the Article 18 safety code and skier responsibilities with all incoming groups, so everyone is on the same page right from the very beginning.
The Holiday Valley Safety Patrol Scavenger Hunt challenges guests to find at least four different Safety Patrollers on the hill and to approach them. Each patroller will ask the guest a safety question. When the guest correctly answers four questions from different patrollers, they earn a prize.
The Spin to Win wheel offers another chance to win prizes when you learn about safety and answer questions with Guest Services staff.
Be ready to answer some on-the-spot safety questions from Cash Chair Safety Patrollers, who will select guests riding up the chairlifts, and win a Holiday Valley gift certificate or consolation prize.
Even the younger set can learn about safety by participating in the Creekside Children’s Program Coloring Contest.
Holiday Valley encompasses hundreds of acres of varying terrain for thrilling skiing and riding adventures, which include potential dangers and risks. These may include trees, uneven terrain, changing conditions, bare and/or icy spots, natural and manmade objects, snowmaking equipment that may or may not be operating, and other skiers, snowboarders or people using the slopes. Please remember some slopes and gladed areas are not groomed or equipped with snowmaking. Always use caution and abide by the Responsibility Code and New York State’s Article 18, which is posted at the Holiday Valley information boards. Remember, safe skiing and riding is not only everyone’s responsibility, it’s also the law.
A Few Commonsense
Ski and snowboard safely by learning the Responsibility Code and explain them to your children.
Get in shape before you hit the slopes. It’s no fun when you’re so sore that you can’t ski the next day.
If it is cold, dress properly (including a hat), protect your face and take frequent breaks.
Be alert for changing snow conditions as the weather changes and during snowmaking operations.
Always use sunscreen and eye protection, even on cloudy days.
Carry ID and a phone number to call at all times for use in an emergency.
If you’re unfamiliar with a resort, get a free trail map. You can always ask the Holiday Valley staff for directions, lift use, trail difficulty ratings or any other information.
Keep your equipment in good condition and check your binding settings each year. Make sure you tune your skis or board regularly. You’ll make better turns and your equipment remain reliable.
Know your limits and say no to those crazy friends who double dog dare you to ski The Wall when you know you’re not ready. Stay on terrain within your ability and take a break before you become too tired. Wobbly legs can lead to accidents.
1. Stay in control.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way.
3. Stop in a safe place for you and others.
4. When starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
7. Know how to use the lifts safely.
Terrain Park Smart Style
• Terrain parks and features are located on the slopes of Holiday Valley for skiers and snowboarders.
• Elements you might encounter include half pipes, quarter pipes, table tops, banked turns, rails, boxes, barrels.
• Inverted aerials are prohibited.
• Please obey posted signs as serious injury or death can occur.
• Use caution as elements and conditions may change daily and variations exist.
Look Before You Leap – Scope out jump first before you hit it. Know your landings are clear, then clear yourself from the landing area quickly.
Easy Style It – Start small and work your way up. (No inverted aerials).
Respect Gets Respect – From the lift line through the park.