January - Time to Look Backwards & Forwards on the Slopes!

January gets its name from the Roman god, Janus, who was the god of beginnings and endings, and often depicted as having two faces, looking both forward and backward. Two faces, two directions - a great visual for us as we come full force into winter. You see, it’s this time of year that more people get out on the mountain and we need to look both ways out on the slopes. I think Janus would agree that January is a great time to make sure we know and use the “Skier Responsibility Code” as we head into the peak seasons of skiing and riding.

What is the “Skier Responsibility Code,” you may wonder? Well, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) developed this code to remind skiers & snowboarders that there are risks to sliding on snow and that using common sense can help reduce accidents and injuries.

During peak days, Schweitzer can see roughly 5000 people on the slopes at any given time and even though we are lucky to have 2900 acres to spread out on, it’s still important to watch out for everyone else on the mountain. Here’s where we want you to be like Janus and look both forward and backward, if you will.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when skiing or snowboarding, enjoying the rush of a powder day or just the thrill of carving perfect corduroy but it’s up to us to keep each other safe on the mountain. Good common sense and looking out for other skiers and riders in our community helps us all have a better experience on the mountain. There are just a few simple things to keep in mind:

  1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Know the code. It’s your responsibility. Be safety conscious.

Schweitzer is lucky to be situated in such a great community that looks out for each other all year long and these points can be applied to our daily life too, not just when we are on the mountain. Be it when we are driving, out on the town, in the grocery store, or picking up kids at school, we can use the code, and continue look out for each other. If we can remember these things as we deal with our friends and neighbors, we can stay in control, yield the right of way, look both ways, and prior to getting involved with anything that seems over our heads, take time to learn about what we are doing.

Common sense, know the code, and look both ways - forward and back. Happy January, neighbors, friends, and skiers!