Have you got the right gear for these wintery conditions? Be safer and have more fun by following these winter guidelines.
Planning Your Vacation
Get in shape to ski-do not ski to get in shape. Skiing is an exciting, vigorous winter sport. Always make an honest assessment of your physical and skiing abilities. The weather can change radically and rapidly, so plan to bring or buy goggles, sunglasses, sun protection, a helmet or hat and clothing that make it possible for you to dress in layers.
What to Wear
Helmet Usage: Winter Park Resort recommends wearing helmets for skiing and riding. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet usage. The primary safety consideration, and obligation under Your Responsibility Code, is to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner.
No helmet can protect the wearer against all head injuries or prevent injury to the wearer's face, neck or spinal cord or body parts other than your head. Be aware that multiple head injuries, even if you wear a helmet, can cause life threatening injuries. Whether you use a helmet or not, always ski/ride responsibly and within your ability, and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.
Layers of clothing are best. They can be added and removed in order to better regulate your body temperature.
Base Layers: long underwear, preferably, polyester or wool/poly blend; a turtleneck or long sleeve shirt, then sweater, fleece, or sweatshirt.
Socks: thin wool or poly socks for skiing or snowboarding, thick ones are too bulky, and don't keep your feet as warm.
Outer Layers: coat and pants or bibs should be warm, water resistant and comfortable; gloves or mittens, mittens are warmer if you tend to get cold hands; helmet or hat that covers your ears and stays on your head during physical activity (80% of heat is lost though your head); glasses or goggles; sunscreen and lip balm are important to use at high altitude.
High Altitude Tips
The base of the mountain lies 9,000 feet above sea level. The air is thinner and less oxygen is available. People coming from lower elevations may experience altitude sickness. This usually occurs within the first 48 hours. You may experience headaches, nausea, insomnia, and loss of appetite. The best remedy is to take it easy your first day here: increase fluid intake, decrease salt, alcohol and caffeine intake, and select high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods. Be aware that high elevation can also accentuate existing health problems. If you have a respiratory or vascular illness, consult your physician before your trip. Seek medical assistance if problems persist or get worse.
The Colorado Legislature established as a matter of law that certain dangers and risks are inherent in the sport of skiing and snowboarding. Under Colorado law, a skier assumes the risk of any injury to person or property resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing and snowboarding and may not recover from any ski area operator for any injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing including: changing weather conditions, existing and changing snow conditions, bare spots, rocks, stumps, trees, collisions with natural objects, man-made objects or other skiers, variations in terrain, and the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities.
Colorado Law includes cliffs, jumps, extreme or freestyle terrain as inherent dangers and risks of skiing.
Skiing and riding can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, or other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.
Your Responsibility Code and Colorado Ski Safety Act
- Always stay in control, 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 onto 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.
- Skiing is a positive environmental experience. Please help us care for the environment.
- Colorado Law prohibits riding the lifts or skiing while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If you are involved in a collision resulting in an injury, Colorado Law requires that you give your name to a ski area employee before you leave the vicinity. Witnesses are encouraged to contact a ski area employee.
- Do not enter closed lands adjoining a ski area.
- Winter Park has zero tolerance on closed trail violations. Violator’s pass will be revoked for the season.
- Do not disembark from a chairlift except at a designated area.
Violations of the Colorado Ski Safety Act may result in fines up to $1000 and/or imprisonment.
On the Slopes
- If you have not skied before, we recommend that you take a lesson. Trained instructors can teach you more quickly and safely than learning on your own or from a friend. The Winter Park Ski and Ride School is a good way to improve or refresh your skills as well as to become familiar with the mountain.
- Always read the loading and lift information boards. If uncertain how to load or unload a certain chairlift, ask the attendant for instructions or help. Do not lean forward; sit back and enjoy the ride.
- Arrange a meeting place and time in case someone becomes separated from skiing companions. Notify someone in your group if you decide to leave the resort.
- Be "predictable" when skiing. Do not suddenly swerve away from the direction you have been traveling.
- The sun's intensity at this elevation is far greater than at sea level. There is 50% more UV Rays at 10,000' than at sea level. Always wear eye and skin protection, even on cloudy days. On cold windy days protect against frostbite.
- If you drop a glove, etc., from a lift into a closed area or onto a run too difficult for your ability, note the number of the nearest lift tower and report it to the top lift attendant. The ski patrol will try to retrieve it and leave it at the bottom of the lift.
- "Go with the flow". If you are passing most skiers on the trail, you are probably skiing too fast. Observe the areas posted as "Slow" and slow down no matter what your ability level. Fast or reckless skiing and riding can result in injury to you or others and perhaps the loss of your lift ticket.
- Check message boards at the bottom and top of the lifts for any messages from the ski patrol. For example: injured skier in your party or temporary lift closures.
- Sledding of any type is not allowed at Winter Park Resort except in the small designated sledding area uphill of the Private Lesson Center.
- Snowcats, snowmobiles, snowmaking and other equipment may be encountered at any time. Stay clear.
- It is your responsibility to learn which trails are open. Do not enter closed trails by going through the trees.
- Any activity other than downhill skiing or snowboarding may be prohibited or restricted within the ski area. It is your responsibility to contact Winter Park senior management for details.
- Fencing, poles, padding and other markings are intended to alert you to certain hazards, not to protect you from injury. Not all obstacles are marked.
- Smoking of any kind is prohibited while in lift lines, while riding lifts in buildings or while on ski-able resort terrain. Per Colorado Law, smoking is prohibited in public buildings and in public areas.
- Winter Park discourages the use of music players and cell phone earpieces while loading and unloading lifts or while skiing and snowboarding.
- Be alert for wildlife and do not approach or feed. Watch for falling limbs and trees.
- Caution – deep snow or tree wells can expose you to the risk of snow immersion, injuries or fatalities. Educate yourself on how to reduce the risks and always ski or ride with a partner and keep them in site especially in or near trees. If someone becomes immersed, DO NOT leave to get help. Go directly for their airway and keep it clear. For further information visit www.deepsnowsafety.org.
- Avalanche warning: While rare within the resort, avalanches may occur both inside and outside of the posted ski area boundary at any time WITHOUT WARNING. Become educated on how to reduce the risks through your own actions and awareness. Visit www.avalanche.org to contact the Winter Park Ski Patrol for information or location of beacon practice areas.
- Backcountry warning: The ski resort assumes no responsibility for skiers or riders going beyond the ski area boundary. Areas beyond the boundary are not patrolled or maintained. Avalanches, unmarked obstacles and other natural hazards exist. Rescue in the backcountry, if available, will be costly and may be slow.
- Drones: The use of drones is only permitted with the express written consent of Winter Park Resort. The use of any personal drones is strictly prohibited.
- Share the slopes. Enjoy a lifetime of skiing!
Be alert for wildlife and avoid wildlife encounters. Moose and bear as well as fox, chipmunks and ground squirrels and other wildlife may be seen. Do not approach or feed. Keep the wildlife wild and keep your distance to help avoid injury. Moose are unpredictable and may charge especially if dogs are present. All dogs must be on leash or under voice command at Winter Park Resort or in the Village.
What to Do if You are in an Accident or See an Injury/Illness
Resort Ski Patrollers are available on the mountain and are identified by red or blue or black uniforms with white crosses. They can be contacted by using a mountain emergency phone (red box with white cross) or through a lift operator. At lodging properties, parking lots and in the Village please call 9-1-1 for assistance.
In case of injury:
- Do not remove the injured person's skis.
- Cross your own skis uphill from the incident and send someone to report the location, type of injury and description of the injured skier.
- If you are reporting an injury on the mountain via a cellular phone, call the Ski Patrol at 970.726.1480. Cell phone coverage may be limited.
Your Last Run of the Day
End the day on a positive note. Stop skiing with the first signs of fatigue.
Use caution walking especially in buildings, on walkways and in parking lots. Melting and freezing as well as water and snow accumulation, can cause surfaces to become slippery any time of the day or night. Try to clean the snow off the bottom of plastic ski boots to help prevent a slip and fall. Use footwear with good tread and/or use commercially available products made for the bottom of shoes and boots to give better traction.
Take the time to clear ice and snow from all windows and lights for good visibility. Roads may be slick so stay a safe distance from other vehicles. Stopping distances may also be increased. Avoid braking on ice and use lower gears to control your speed.
Enjoy Your Stay!