This is my absolute favorite week of the year. Better than Christmas, Fourth of July, or the annual bone digging contest in August. This week is National Safety Awareness Week. It’s funny because really EVERY DAY is safety awareness day at Steamboat, but this is a special week where we go all out to make sure everyone knows the safety efforts of the resort. Starting tomorrow Gondola Square turns into Safety Central where guests can participate in programs, demonstrations and contests, as well as meet Patrol Members, USFA Snow Rangers, Terrain Park Rangers and of course me! Here’s a full run down of what’s taking place at Steamboat Ski Area this weekend
■Meet Patrol: The individuals, who help keep the mountain safe, along with the United States Forest Service Snow Rangers, will be onsite in Gondola Square January 18-21 to provide information and answer questions about mountain and slope safety.
■Patrol Open House: Stop by PHQ at the top of Sundown Express or Patrol Headquarters at the top of the Gondola, January 18-21, to out get an inside look at these Patrol stations and their responsibilities.
■Park Rangers: The designers, testers and maintainers of Steamboat’s Terrain Parks will be in Gondola Square January 18-21 sharing the ParkWise code.
■Bear the Safety Dog: As the resort’s official Safety Dog, I will be in Gondola Square January 18-21. Take a picture with me or just come by to say “HI”.
■Snow Safety/Avalanche Awareness: On Friday and Sunday, January 18th & 20th, Steamboat Patrol will host special seminars on snow safety and avalanche awareness. The seminars are free to the public and meet at the Yurt at the top of Pony Express Chairlift at 10:30am both days.
■Know the Code Contest: Skiers and Riders will randomly be stopped on the slopes by members of Steamboat’s Patrol. If they know at least three of the seven parts to the Responsibility Code they’ll receive a prize. Contest runs Jan. 18th through 21st.
■Billy Kidd One O’Clock Run: Free clinic by Steamboat’s Director of Skiing, who will be joined by Patrol.
■FREE Mountain Tours: Join Steamboat’s Ambassadors with SlopeWise & Safety Information from Patrol at 10:30am at the top of Vagabond Trail.
■FREE Racing: Any guests who can tell the attendant one of the seven topics of the Responsibility Code races free at the NASTAR training course.
■Grooming Reports, daily snow reports and individual chairlift message boards will feature safety messages throughout the week. In addition, Signage across the mountain continues to promote safe riding, jibing, slow zones and deep snow/tree wells.
Also, did you know that my friends at Steamboat take safety so seriously they actually created their own program to further educate skiers and riders on how to have fun and be safe on the slopes. Steamboat’s SlopeWise initiative is an overarching campaign built upon safety programs in place, as well as ParkWise (terrain park program), SafetyWise (employee program) and the resort’s Code of Conduct, in conjunction with the NSAA Responsibility Code, which makes it extremely clear that every user of the mountain, regardless of ticket or pass type, understands what is expected, and how the consequences of their actions can impact their ability to enjoy the slopes.
So this week's lesson is the best way to play on the mountain is to be safe every day and this week we're actually celebrating being safe. Have fun, Ski & Ride with Care. -