By Jeff Cavagnino
Stratton takes safety very seriously. We commit much of our training and orientation of staff each year to safety. We strive to keep our employees safe and the same goes for our volunteers. We have 60 paid and volunteer ski patrollers. We have 40 volunteer safety patrollers. They put in countless hours making sure trails are safe before we open, staffing our terrain parks, monitoring our slow zones, helping injured guests and sweeping the mountain at the end of the day.
Two years ago we began a complete over haul of our on mountain padding. We have spent $550,000 in total on new snowmaking hydrant and lift tower padding. We are one of only a few resorts that have a trail crew (8) dedicated to the maintenance of those pads. They work every day digging pads out of the fresh snow, raising them as the snow level climbs and making sure they are properly attached.
We want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience on the slopes. Safety on the slopes is a necessity and is a priority for every skier and snowboarder. The National Ski Area Association has developed a code of conduct that skiers and snowboards need to abide by when on the slopes. Below are some of the code that are most important.
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely
Here are some additional safety tips when you head out for a day of skiing or snowboarding:
- It is wise to wear a helmet in order to help prevent head and spinal injuries.
- Be aware of other skiers and snowboarders and keep a safe distance between you and others.
- Respect the different levels and abilities of others on the slopes.
- Do not attempt another run if you are tired or injured.
- Ski each run according to your level.
- Maintain your equipment regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly.
- Use proper goggle lenses to be able to “read” snow accordingly
During our busy ski days, skiing and snowboarding on a crowded trail can be difficult. Especially when the trail gets narrow, it can be hard work to navigate through other skiers. Skiing and Snowboarding safely on crowded trails is necessary for everyone’s safety and well-being. For a safe and pleasant ski experience, follow these tips:
- Keep your speed under control at all times. On a crowded trail, it is necessary to maintain control. It will be easier for you to ski around people when you are traveling at a moderate pace.
- Don’t stop in the middle of the trail. If you need to stop, stopping suddenly in the middle of a trail can be a hazard when people are trying to ski around you. Instead, slow your pace down and look uphill to find a moment where you can safely pull over.
- Ski and Snowboard under control. Make sure that you always ski under control on a crowded trail – it isn’t the time to find jumps or race your friend.
- If you’re passing another skier or snowboarder, call out which side you will be passing them on. For example, if you were to pass another skier on their right, you could call out anything from “Right side” to “On your Right.”
- Show others skiers and snowboarders respect. Try and be as respectful as possible to other skiers on the trail – don’t cut anyone off, and if there are young children, give them as much room as possible.