Vail Ski Patrol’s skiing and snowboarding safety tips

Feb. 10, 2015

Tips for safe skiing and ridingA few quick tips from Vail Ski Patrol to make sure you stay safe while you’re having fun on the mountain!

1) Don’t stop where you can’t be seen
Before you come to a full stop, look around you and be sure that your presence won’t come as a surprise to anyone skiing up behind you – this means avoiding stopping in a dip, around a sharp corner, etc.

2) Look uphill when you’re coming out of the trees
Love going into the trees for a little off-piste exploration? That’s fine, just know that when you come out of the trees, the people on the run do have the right of way. Be sure to look uphill before coming out of the trees and yield to any oncoming skiers or riders.

3) What to do if you come across an accident
If you see someone that’s fallen and want to help, first secure the area by crossing skis or planting a snowboard uphill from the person. If the person happens to be just past a roll in the slope, do this on the top of the roll so that no one accidentally skis or rides into the scene. If you are not able to place a ski or snowboard as a warning, stand above the person and wave your arms to warn other skiers and riders away from the area.

Once the area is secure, call Ski Patrol’s emergency line at 970-754-1111 or have someone go find an emergency phone, lift house or mountain employee to make the call. Patrol will need to know where the accident has taken place so be as precise as you can in describing the trail name and location. Patrol will first send out a scout to confirm the location and call in the appropriate staff for the injury.


If you ever have questions, Ski Patrol is happy to help! You can either call them on their non-emergency line at 970-754-4610 or stop by one of the Ski Patrol stations located around the mountain (marked on the trail map). They also have extra loaner gear on hand in case you happen to have forgotten/dropped mittens, hats, poles and a variety of other commonly misplaced items.