Lake Tahoe resorts hosting special events for inaugural Ski California Safety Day |

Lake Tahoe resorts hosting special events for inaugural Ski California Safety Day

A skier rips down the slopes recently during a powder day at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
Brian Walker / Brian Walker Photography

Ski California and its member resorts will proactively educate skiers and snowboarders about safety on the slopes this weekend during a first-ever event.

Each participating resort on Saturday, Jan. 26, will host its own events and activities, all designed to engage with and inform guests about skiing and riding safely for Ski California Safety Day.

From avalanche and deep snow safety education, to proper chairlift loading and riding and opportunities to ski or ride with ski patrol, resorts throughout California and Nevada are offering creative and fun ways for guests to learn and understand safety practices and their personal responsibility when skiing or riding.

“There is a tremendous freedom of choice while skiing and riding,” said Michael Reitzell, Ski California president in a press release. “Ski California Safety Day is an opportunity for our member resorts to educate winter sports participants on the importance of safety as they decide what chair to ride, what runs to take, and how they interact with and respect fellow guests. Our member resorts see over 7 million visits each year, second most in the country. While the risk of serious injury remains extremely low, our priority is to educate those who participate in our sports about safety for themselves and others.”

While not an exhaustive list, in addition to sharing safety related information through their social media channels (#SkiCalifornia and #SkiSafety) and through dissemination of the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide, participating resorts will offer the following activities this weekend:

— Boreal/Soda Springs/Woodward Tahoe: on-snow progression for beginners (instructors seeking out skiers and rider with safety tips) and widespread distribution of the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide.

— Diamond Peak: opportunity for guests to “sweep” the mountain with ski patrol at the end of the day.

— Dodge Ridge: will hand out Ski California Mountain Safety Guides to guests, hold a safety poster coloring contest for kids, and play safety videos for guests.

— Heavenly Mountain Resort: the Mountain Safety team will engage with guests about speed, slow zones and how to avoid collisions. The lift operations and ski school teams will highlight chairlift safety and the industry-wide Kids on Lifts initiative. Avalanche awareness is another topic the resort will address, with community outreach to include the importance of skiing or riding with a buddy and engaging with ski patrol to learn about backcountry safety.

— Kirkwood Mountain Resort: at the top of Chair 2, avalanche rescue dogs and Kirkwood ski patrollers will offer avalanche safety information including best practices, and free hot dogs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. In the same area, the resort will set up its “beacon basin,” offering beacon training and practice. Lift operators and ski instructors will explain lift safety to kids riding Chairs 7 and 9.

— Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: free hot chocolate and coffee between 8 to 10 a.m. for those who stop by the welcome booth to learn about the Responsibility Code. A Responsibility Code themed “poker run” will encourage guests to ski to patrollers located at five spots around the mountain to learn about mountain safety, with the top five hands winning a helmet, goggles, gloves and gift card valid at the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe retail store. The resort will also set up a kids’ fun course and terrain park, with participating kids receiving a cookie and a chance to meet the resort’s patrol dogs.

— Northstar California Resort: avalanche rescue dog demonstrations and beacon testing, a snowcat show and tell with Northstar’s grooming team, and safety scavenger hunt with the National Ski Patrol highlight the resort’s many planned events. Lift operators will also offer candy bars for those who ride with the chairlift bar down.

— Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort: kids who are able to recite the Responsibility Code to their ski instructor or coach will receive a new pair of Spy goggles. The resort will also host a rail jam (helmets required), avalanche dog demo, beacon training with the Sierra Avalanche Center, and the premiere of a Sierra Team athlete’s new ski film.

— Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows: plans include free swag for those able to recite the Responsibility Code at the safety booths in the Village at Squaw Valley and at Alpine Meadows, and opportunities to meet the resorts’ avalanche rescue dogs. Guests will also be invited to learn more about the Mountain Safety Guide and Share the Mountain initiatives and take selfies for entry into a raffle.

— Sugar Bowl: guest education related to the resort’s robust lift safety programs and the Kids on Lifts initiative.

— Tahoe Donner: chairlift safety demonstrations from 10 a.m. to noon.

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