Ski California will host its sixth annual Safety Day on Saturday, January 27, with resorts in California and Nevada planning to offer a variety of safety-themed activities and experiences. The theme of Ski California Safety Day will be centered around the first four points of NSAA’s Your Responsibility Code to educate guests about the importance of skiing and riding in control, how to avoid collisions with other people or objects, and their role in being resorts’ partner in safety.
Ski California will also make a new video produced by the nonprofit High Fives Foundation as part of their B.A.S.I.C.S. series central to its Safety Day education efforts. The video, sponsored by Ski California and the National Ski Areas Association in collaboration with the Snow Angel Foundation, features Travis Ganong and Amie Engerbretson, and introduces the triangle of safety – speed, space, and self – in support of the “Ride Another Day” campaign. It will be released Jan. 25, 2024 and available in the award-winning Ski California Mountain Safety Guide and on Ski California’s YouTube Channel.
“Your Responsibility Code was developed to give skiers and riders consistent information about how to recreate safely on the slopes and what their role in safety is,” said Mike Reitzell, Ski California president. “Our member resorts have planned a host of creative ways ahead of and on Safety Day to engage guests on these and other responsibilities.”
In addition to using their social media channels and hosting on-site activations throughout the month, resorts will continue to leverage the Mountain Safety Guide throughout the season to offer education to guests. Created as a tool to educate skiers and riders about staying safe and making good decisions on the slopes, the Mountain Safety Guide offers information relevant to winter sports enthusiasts of all experience and ability levels, including:
- What to know before you ski & ride
- Being safe on the slopes: staying in control, avoiding collisions, riding lifts, and more
- Snow safety, including deep snow and avalanche awareness
Readers of the guide will also learn all 10 of the responsibilities featured in the newly updated Your Responsibility Code and the Ski California member resorts’ commitment to safety.
Here’s what some Ski California member resorts are doing to support Safety Day this year:
- Bear Valley Mountain Resort: Activities are planned throughout the day, including awarding special prizes to the first 10 people in line at Mokelumne Express wearing goggles and a helmet. Chocolate bars will be provided at the top of Mokelumne Express to the first 100 people who ride the chair with the bar down. At 11 a.m., Beary the Bear will host “Your Responsibility Code” trivia on the sundeck with opportunities to win Bear Valley swag. The Bear Valley Ski Patrol will hold a beacon search presentation and practice session, and safety-related snow sculptures will be at the entry of every chairlift. Reba Sports will also offer a 10% discount on helmets all day.
- Big Bear Mountain Resort: The resort will host a digital scavenger hunt focused on deep snow and chairlift safety that guests can use their phones or Instagram to participate in. After completing the checklist of things to do during the day, prizes will be awarded at the end of day with specials from Athletic Brewing and more.
- China Peak: Follow China Peak on social media to take part in a helmet giveaway and watch safety videos featuring the resort’s ski patrol. On Safety Day, guests will be invited to meet ski patroller Rich Bailey and his patrol dog Nadia at the base area. Safety trivia participants will have a chance to win a China Peak gift card, and those who post a photo next to a safety sign or poster promoting the Mountain Safety Guide and tag @skichinapeak or @skicalifornia will be entered into a drawing for a helmet up to $100 in value from China Peak Sports.
- Diamond Peak: Fun and educational activities are planned on the mountain including #skisafety bingo, opportunities to meet the resort’s Ski Patrol Director Kari Brandt and patrol dog, Fred, to learn what they do to help keep people safe, and to earn prizes from ski patrol for making good decisions on the slopes throughout the day. Advanced skiers and riders will also be invited to shadow ski patrollers during the end of day sweep of the mountain. To participate, guests should meet outside the patrol shack at the top of Crystal Ridge at 3:50 p.m. on Saturday.
- Dodge Ridge: The week leading up to Safety Day, Dodge Ridge will share daily safety tips on social media. On Jan. 27, the resort will offer a 15% discount on helmets at their sports shop, a scavenger hunt that includes clues around the mountain and prizes for those who complete the hunt, ski safety trivia at the top of the mountain, a safety information tent, and a trail ride from the top of Chair 7 down Quicksilver Run with one of the resort’s expert ski patrollers. Learn firsthand about staying safe on the slopes, including signs, boundaries, keeping a distance, merging lanes, and staying in control.
- Heavenly Mountain Resort: Heavenly will host a voluntary challenge course for interested participants that focuses on codes 1-4 of Your Responsibility Code. The challenge course will be fenced off and present tasks such as avoiding obstacles and staying in control, proper spacing, stopping in appropriate locations, and restarting with alertness uphill. Participants will be playing for some Heavenly logo gear and may even get to skip a lift line!
- Kirkwood Mountain Resort: From avalanche awareness training including avalanche dog demos, patrol meet and greet, warm-up stretches with Doc the Dog, on-mountain Responsibility Codes quizzes, and more, Kirkwood will provide guests with ample opportunities to learn and celebrate Ski California’s sixth annual Safety Day. The avalanche dog demos will take place by the ice rink at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., while the patrol meet and greet will be set up at the top of Chair 2 until 2 p.m. Guests can win awesome swag for participation and even a chance to help patrol conduct an end-of-day sweep and close down the mountain this season.
- Mammoth Mountain: On-snow safety messaging will be visible under busy lifts including Broadway Express, Stump Alley Express, Eagle Express, Canyon Express and Schoolyard Express with messages that include ‘stop on the side,’ ‘know the zone,’ and ‘people below you have the right of way.’ A safety themed Mammoth beanie drop will award guests with a complimentary beanie if they can recite one of four safety messages the resort has been promoting over the past month. In addition, the resort will continue to use its social media channels with safety themed posts that include links to the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide. In-resort messages will also be posted in heavily trafficked areas around the resort to educate guests about safety on the slopes.
- Mountain High: On the mountain the resort will promote helmet use with giveaways and specials in their retail stores, and through helmet decorating for those participating in ski school lessons. A scavenger hunt will be used to educate guests about Your Responsibility Code.
- Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: Participate in a “trivia hunt” at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. Guests will visit 10 spots on the mountain and answer safety trivia questions to be entered into a raffle for prizes.
- Mt. Shasta Ski Park: Ski patrollers will be at the top of the lifts offering guests the chance to answer mountain safety related questions to win Ski Park swag. The resort will also highlight the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide both on social media and in person to educate skiers and riders about on-mountain safety topics.
- Northstar California Resort: Northstar will celebrate the sixth annual Ski California Safety Day with fan-favorites like avalanche dog demos, snowcat and snow gun show and tells, and a "Your Responsibility Code" scavenger hunt courtesy of ski patrol with a chance to win some epic prizes. These activities will be offered all day at Mid Mountain with the two avalanche dog demos kicking off at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. next to Arrow Express. Guests may even see the infamous Captain Safety gliding around the mountain!
- Palisades Tahoe: Guests are invited to learn how the Palisades Avalanche Patrol Dogs and Alpine Avalanche Rescue Foundation (AARF) dogs do their jobs. Watch as they demonstrate their abilities by searching for human scent under the snow! Avalanche Rescue Dog demonstrations will take place on the Alpine side of the resort at 2 p.m. at the Treeline Cirque mid-station, and at 10 a.m. at the top of the Funitel (outside). Over the weekend, Alpenglow Expeditions will offer an AIARE Level 1 hybrid course, and leading up to Safety Day, the resort’s Surf Report will include details about a reels-based Smith helmet scavenger hunt giveaway on social media.
- Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort: Watch the resort’s ski patrol team in a live demonstration as they show off the hard-working skills of their Avy dogs and their handlers. Sign-up to tour the mountain with one of Sierra’s Mountain Hosts to learn facts about Sierra-at-Tahoe and the NSAA Responsibility Code, or stop by the National Ski Patrol booth in the Plaza to learn more about hand-only CPR, “Stayin’ Alive” and Stop the Bleed. The resort will also share Mountain Safety Guide related trivia, avy dog videos and other safety information on its social media channels leading up to Safety Day.
- Sugar Bowl Resort: Summit Avalanche Dogs will host one of the stops of Sugar Bowl’s annual Poker Run on January 27, spreading the word about the resort’s dog program. The resort will also share safety related content on its social media channels and will host “Apres and Avy Awareness” events February 7 and March 13 at 3 p.m. These interactive beacon training activities will take place outside at the Judah Lodge, and all levels are welcome. Apres will follow at the Sierra Vista Bar in the Judah Lodge. Hosted by Andy Anderson of the Sierra Avalanche Center, no lift ticket is required for these events, however it is recommended that participants bring a beacon to participate.
- Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort: Exciting and educational activities are planned around the Downhill Ski Resort highlighting best practices for safe skiing. The resort will also host safety-themed scavenger hunts for the whole family, national coloring contests, snow science and safety, and share safety tips and information through their social media channels. And don’t forget to check out the Mountain Safety Guide posters around the resort. Bonus: guests will receive 25% off on Smith helmets and goggles by participating in Ski California Safety Day!
Skiers and riders are encouraged to review and learn the information contained in the award-winning Ski California Mountain Safety Guide and take the quiz at the end for a chance to win a 2024-25 Ski California Gold Pass (value $3,800) at https://safety.skicalifornia.org/.