Schweitzer Mountain Resort is committed to providing a safe, fun place for you and your family to play. Our slopes are some of the least crowded anywhere, and our safety patrol is constantly on the lookout for new ways to make your experience as safe as possible. One of the most important parts of safety on the slopes is education.
The animals here are wild and you should never approach them, no matter how calm they appear to be. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and moose and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals including deer and elk. Never leave small children near wild animals.
Never feed wildlife or leave food/garbage unattended. Animals that become habituated to human food may display aggression toward people.
Follow best practices for recreating in bear country: be alert, make noise, hike or bike in groups, do not run, carry bear spray and know how to use it. When viewing bears along roads, use pullouts and stay in your car. Never pursue a bear to take its picture.
If a bear has noticed you and is paying attention to you, additional strategies can help prevent the situation from escalating.
- Identify yourself by talking calmly so a bear knows you are human. Remain still; stand you ground but slowly wave your arms. The bear may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. a standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.
- Stay calm and remember that bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Bears may react defensively by woofing, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws and laying their ears back. Continue to talk to the bear in low tones; this will help you stay calmer and it won't be threatening to the bear. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack. Never imitate bear sounds or make a high-pitched squeal.
- Pick up small children immediately.
- Hike and travel in groups. Groups of people are usually noisier and smellier than a single person. Therefore, bears often become aware of groups of people at greater distances, and because of their cumulative size, groups are also more intimidating to bears.
- Make yourself look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground).
- Do NOT allow the bear access to your food. Getting your food will only encourage the bear to make the problem worse for others.
- Do NOT drop your pack as it can provide protection for our back and prevent a bear from accessing your food.
- If the bear is stationary, move away slowly and sideways; this will allow you to keep and eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears. Do NOT run, but if a bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Bears can run as fast as a racehorse both uphill and down. Like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees.
- Leave the area or take a detour. If this is possible, wait until the bear moves away. Always leave the bear an escape route.
- Be especially cautious if you see a female with cubs; never place yourself between a mother and her cubs and never attempt to approach them. The chances of an attack
Bear attacks are rare; most bears are only interested in protecting food, cubs or their space. However, being mentally prepared can help you have the most effective reaction. Every situation is different, but below are the guidelines on how brown bear attacks can differ from black bears. Help protect others by reporting all bear incidents to a Schweitzer employee immediately. Above all, keep your distance from bears!
If you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or building. If escape is not possible, try to fight back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear's face and muzzle.
Brown/Grizzly Bears (extremely rare to see in the area but they do exist)
If you are attacked by a brown/grizzly bear, leave your pack on and PLAY DEAD. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. Remain still until the bear leaves the area. Fighting back usually increase the intensity of such attacks. However, if the attack persists, fight back vigorously. Use whatever you have at hand to hit the bear in the face.
Your Responsibility Code
Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, nordic and 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. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.
Always stay in control.
People ahead of you have the right of way.
Stop in a safe place for you and others.
Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
Know how to use the lifts safely.
KNOW THE CODE. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. This is a partial list. Be safety conscious. Officially endorsed by: NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION. Prepared by the National Ski Areas Association.
- Crossed skis means someone needs assistance
- If you are injured have someone cross his or her skis above you or lay their snowboard above you. This makes it easier for the ski patrol to find you and makes others on the hill aware that you are there.
- Send someone to the nearest lift operator and give them exact location, noting trail name, tower number, skiers right or left of run, etc.
Slow zones are our beginner areas and congested areas. Please slow down through these areas. Please report violators to the Ski Patrol. Clothing descriptions are helpful. Violators will lose their ticket or pass.
Your lift privileges may be revoked for reckless skiing and snowboarding defined as:
- Jumping into runs
- Jumping blind. Jumping blind means you can't see the landing. Have a spotter and make sure the area is clear before you jump.
- Inverted aerials
- Skiing/ snowboarding faster than the flow of traffic in congested or high traffic areas
- Skiing/snowboarding fast in Slow Zones
- Skiing/snowboarding out of control? If someone suddenly appeared 20 feet below you would you be able to stop or avoid them? If not you are out of control. Make turns and slow down. Give others enough room to avoid collisions. Call out on your left or on your right when passing near someone.
- Swinging, bouncing, or jumping from chairs. (RCW 79A.45.030) Chairs aren't designed for bouncing, swinging or abrupt weight loss out of the chair. It may damage the lift and/or cause it to derail injuring others.
- Disorderly conduct, loud or abusive language, drunkenness, use of illegal drugs, throwing trash or other objects from the lift.
- Removing signs or hill markings. If you take away the marking someone may be unaware there is a hazard and get hurt.