SAM Magazine—Lakewood, Colo., Jan. 25, 2019—January is National Safety Month (NSM), and resorts across the country have been offering safety related events and programs to support the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) initiative.
In the East, Stratton, Vt., is running a Mountain Safety Passport program and offering guests a limited edition sticker upon completion. Sugarbush, Vt., will host a meet and greet with the Vermont Adaptive Team on Jan. 26 to help raise awareness for safety around adaptive lessons.
On MLK weekend, Loon, N.H., offered discounted helmets, set up a Safety HQ, ran a safety-themed Instagram giveaway, and hosted safety quizzes with free hot chocolate for those who completed them.
Further south, Blue Mountain, Pa., had a number of safety related events in mid-January. The mountain operated a chair simulator, hosted safety trivia, ran a scavenger hunt, and had a “bars for bars” program where guests received candy bars for using the chairlift restraint bar. Whitetail, Pa., will also run NSM events this coming weekend, Jan. 26-27, with safety awareness tents, free hot chocolate and opportunities to talk with ski patrol and the mountain safety team.
Many resorts in Colorado are participating in NSM. Powderhorn is offering a $75 product where guests can ski or ride with a patroller. Loveland, Copper, and Arapahoe Basin all offered safety weekends on Jan 13-14. Aspen Snowmass will host a safety week Jan. 25-31, with ski patroller meet and greets, avalanche dogs, safety booths and terrain park safety demos.
Ski California is launching its own Ski California Safety Day this year on Jan. 26. Ski California member resorts are hosting a number of safety related activities that weekend. Big Bear is running a scavenger hunt that guests can participate in through social media. Mammoth will be drawing visuals on the snow to help guests develop better spatial awareness and has already hosted several helmet decorating sessions to get kids involved with NSM.
It has been a prolific avalanche season already, and a number of areas have incorporated avalanche safety into their NSM events. Crested Butte, Colo., hosted avalanche safety demos throughout January and made avalanche dog training visible to the public. Monarch Mountain, Colo., has a permanent Beacon Basin Training Park for guests to practice using transceivers, and also promoted avalanche awareness and backcountry safety during NSM. Kirkwood, Calif., will be offering free hot dogs, the chance to meet the avalanche dogs and beacon training and practice this weekend. Also this weekend, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Calif., will have an avalanche dog demo and beacon training with the Sierra Avalanche Center.
At the end of the month, NSAA will honor top-performing resorts with safety awards and will name the winners of its yearly safety-poster drawing contest and photo contest.
Report by Katie Brinton