Two skiers

By Lynn Rosen, images courtesy of PNSAA


Crystal Mountain, WA
Crystal Mountain

If it’s snowing, chances are it’s time to grab your gear and head out for some joy - skiing and riding in the white stuff we all love so much. Every year as the region’s ski areas open for the season, snow-lovers make their way to the mountains, well-intentioned to have fine fun and safe adventures.

The Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association (PNSAA) wants you to stay safe and make good decisions on the slopes. To this end, they’ve released its new digital Mountain Safety Guide. Originally developed by Ski California, this guide has proven instrumental in educating skiers and snowboarders on best practices, situational awareness, and responsible decision-making on the slopes.

What better place to start instilling safety protocols than with kids and first-timers of any age. The responsibility code is the basic book of rules of the road for boarding and skiing. Here are the basic courtesies and obligations contained in the responsibility code. You can find a more expanded version of the code as well as a number of cool and helpful videos at Click on this link for further information on each safety rule.

Two skiers
1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.

Friends skiing
2. Avoid the people ahead or downhill of you. They have the right-of-way.

Two akiers atop mountain
3. Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.

Family snowboarding
4. Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.

Skier and boarder kids stopped on trail
5. Prevent runaway equipment.

Closed sign at ski area
6. Read and obey all signs, warnings and hazard markings.

Ski area trail closed sign
7. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

Ski area cableway with family
8. Know how and be able to load, ride, and unload lifts safely.
If you need assistance, ask the attendant.

Ski area chair lift
9. Do not use the lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Ski area incident reporting
10. Share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee
if you are involved in a collision or incident.

Once you’ve gone through the responsibility code and additional related safety videos and tips, click on the link below to take their safety quiz for entry into a raffle for a season pass to the PNSAA resort of your choice. Give it a shot, 'cause you can’t win if you don’t play. Good luck!

About the Author

  Lynn Rosen is an Emmy award-winning TV broadcaster, producer and director, and has been on the Journalism and Theatre faculties at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. She’s also a theater critic, travel writer, published author, fearless skier and belongs to the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) and the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).   Lynn Rosen