Safety Month: Know The Code

When the mountain first opened in 1947 there was an all-volunteer ski patrol made up of ten men and seven women organized by Otto Ost, an original member of the Hellroaring Ski Club. Equipped with toboggans, first aid supplies, and red flags to mark hazards, this crew nicknamed “Satan’s Mountaineers” were all skilled skiers and trained in American Red Cross first aid. It was their duty to oversee mountain safety and to help guests when needed.


While skiing is an inherently fun activity it also has inherent risks. That is why every January the entire ski industry recognizes National Safety Month. It’s an excellent opportunity for all of us to stop and think about the importance of being safe, and using common sense on the slopes.

As the sport of skiing became more and more popular the National Ski Areas Association established “Your Responsibility Code” in 1966 as a code of ethics for all skiers at ski areas. It is meant to help skiers and snowboarders be aware that there are elements of risk in snowsports and that common sense and personal awareness can help minimize the risk. As a skier or snowboarder this is your code!

Know the Code

Anyone who buys a pass or a lift ticket must follow this code comprised of seven points.

1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
Knowing and following your code will make our mountain a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone who skis and rides the mountain. Be courteous and respectful of other skiers and snowboarders out there that are different skill levels. They are also here to have fun.