(location: Aspen Mountain, Colo.; photo: Scott Markewitz)

It’s National Safety Month at U.S. Ski Resorts

Lakewood, CO – Every January, ski and snowboard resorts across the U.S. participate in the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSAA) National Safety Awareness Month to help ensure the safety of mountain visitors both on and off the slopes. This year, skiers and riders will find a variety of fun and informative safety initiatives at participating resorts.

Previously celebrated for a single week in January, the NSAA has expanded the event’s visibility by having it span the entire month. Part of the nationwide initiative includes a poster drawing contest, a photo contest and a competition among participating resorts for safety awards.

State ski associations are getting in the act, too. “In years past, Vermont’s resorts have participated in the National Ski Areas Association’s National Safety Week, but now they have extended the effort to last the entire month of January,” said Ski Vermont Director of Marketing and Communications, Sarah Wojcik. “In doing this we have been able to expand our safety awareness efforts statewide and ensure that all skiers and snowboarders who visit Vermont are educated about safety practices and the importance of using common sense on the slopes. We want everyone to get out on the hill this season to make memories, have fun and be safe, and this month is dedicated to doing just that.”

Around Vermont, Bromley Mountain will feature an event each Saturday in January hosted by different departments around the mountain, where guests will have the opportunity to participate in activities like a mock accident with Ski Patrol. Look for an interactive display in Killington’s Ramshead Base Lodge Saturdays and Sundays from January 7 – 29, plus Monday January 16,. There, kids can talk with Mountain Ambassadors, color safety-themed posters covering the seven points of Your Responsibility Code, and get their picture taken with Know the Code, or take a safety awareness quiz, decorate a helmet cover and walk away with some fun prizes. Each week in January will have a separate focus at Stratton Mountain, such as park safety, lift education, trail safety and the responsibility code, and feature safety raffle prizes from Smith Helmets in the Base Lodge.Okemo will promote Vermont’s own PHAT team (Protect Your Head at All Times) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on January 16, educating skiers and riders about helmet use. On Sunday, January 22, Okemo’s photo team will be out and about in search of the best Helmet Head.

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Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts is also hosting a Helmet Head photo contest, as well as a Smart Style video contest. They’ll also participate in the NSAA Safety Poster contest and hold a “Know the Code” Contest all month long.

Events scheduled across Colorado include hands-on activities with ski patrol like bringing guests on patrol sweeps at the end of the day, demonstrations with resorts’ highly trained avalanche dog and increased awareness about helmet use.

(location: Aspen Mountain, Colo.; photo: Scott Markewitz)
(location: Aspen Mountain, Colo.; photo: Scott Markewitz)

Safety Month activities at Aspen/Snowmass continue at Aspen Highlands through Jan. 11, then transition to Buttermilk Jan. 12-18 and Snowmass from Jan. 19-25, before wrapping up at Aspen Mountain Jan. 26-31. Each mountain will showcase safety through an array of demonstrations, activities, prizes and more. Arapahoe Basin is hosting a Safety Village in the Base Area this weekend, where guests will have the chance to meet the Arapahoe Basin Avalanche Rescue Dogs, receive a Jr. Ski Patrol Badge and enjoy a piece of safety cake. Representatives from Centura Health’s Think First program will be talking about the importance of helmets and will give away 100 helmets (donations are happily accepted). Ski Cooper has installed a new safety station in the base lodge, next to the guest services desk, which highlights a variety of safety topics. This year there will a particular focus on the dangers of tree wells and snow immersion. Throughout January, there will be a safety scavenger hunt for children 8 to 16, and children who get all the correct answers will receive a gift card and be entered to win a 2017-2018 season pass. Throughout the month of January, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is rewarding its guests’ good safety behavior. When guests are “Caught Being Safe” by a resort Safety Committee Member, they may receive a resort gift card as a symbol of the resort’s appreciation for skiing and snowboarding safely.

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This is, of course, just a limited sampling of National Safety Week activities at resorts across the country. Check with your favorite resort to participate in their festivities.

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