Skiers and snowboarders may be more safety conscious in light of recent lawsuits and arrests for irresponsible skiing, but the National Safety Awareness Week aims to add other reasons for safe skiing, including fun activities and special workshops.Jan. 16, 2001–With any luck, skiers will be a little more wary and responsible by Jan. 19. National Safety Awareness Week will be celebrated from Jan. 13-19 across the U.S. to heighten slope safety awareness and demonstrate the precautions that ski resorts take with regards to skier and snowboarder safety and education. This year marks only the second annual Safety Week, although the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has been emphasizing slope safety awareness for many years.
As part of this year’s Safety Week, the NSAA, National Ski Patrol, Professional Ski Instructors of America, American Association of Snowboard Instructors, and participating ski associations and resorts are pushing the Safety Initiative 2000 campaign, “Heads Up. You’re Responsible.” The campaign began last year as an effort to reduce the frequency of accidents and to unify the industry to focus on a proactive, strong safety message.
Some resorts will host backcountry awareness and skills clinics along with other safety-heightening activities such as contests, ski patrol open houses, and health and fitness workshops.
The National Kids’ Poster Contest is also an important component of the ski industry’s safety efforts as it encourages children to get in on the action and think responsibly and creatively about their sport. Resorts host local contests and wining entries will be forwarded to the NSAA for a national competition. Prizes will be awarded and the winning poster(s) will be featured in SKI Magazine’s October 2001 issue.
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy the slopes, always be courteous to other skiers and be aware that elements of risk are common in skiing. Observe the NSSA Skier Responsibility Code listed below and responsibly share the great experience skiing affords you with the other visitors on the mountain.
1. Always stay in control.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way.
3. Stop in a safe place for you and others.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
7. Know how to use the lifts safely.
At least 35 resorts plan to host Safety Week activities this year. For more information about specific resort events visit: www.nsaa.org