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Mountain Safety

Female ski patroller skiing in powder

basic copy talking about our commitment to safety.

Responsibility Code

The National Ski Areas Association established “Your Responsibility Code” in 1966 as a code of ethics for all skiers on the mountain. The code reflects not only skier safety but snowboarder and lifts safety as well. Ultimately, safe skiing and snowboarding is each guest’s responsibility. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid objects.

  1. Stay in control. People ahead of you have the right of way.  It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. Do not stop where you obstruct the trail or are not visible from above.
  3. Stop in a safe place for you and others. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, yield to others.
  4. When starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must know how to load, ride, and unload safely.

The Ten-Foot Rule

In order to minimize on-mountain accidents and enhance safety for our guests, Purgatory skiers/riders must stay outside a 10-foot radius of any and all other skiers/riders while in their path of decent. By staying at least 10 feet away from other skiers/riders, the chances of a collision are reduced dramatically. The Ten Foot Rule also promotes respect and courtesy toward people of all ages and abilities on the mountain. Purgatory Pro Patrol, Mountain Safety and Mountain Management enforce the Ten Foot Rule in high traffic areas so that everyone has a safe experience at Purgatory Resort.

Colorado Ski Safety Act

Recognizing risks that are inherent in the sport, the Colorado legislature passed the Colorado Ski Safety Act, which describes inherent risks of the sport and relative responsibilities of the skier and the ski area.

Warning: Under Colorado law, a skier assumes the risk of any injury to person or property resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing and may not recover from any ski area operator for any injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing, including: changing weather conditions; existing and changing snow conditions; bare spots; rocks; stumps; trees; collisions with natural objects, man-made objects, or other skiers; variations in terrain; and the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities. The Ski Safety Act includes cliffs, extreme terrain, jumps and freestyle terrain as inherent dangers and risks of the sport.

Park Smart

The terrain parks at Purgatory Resort are a great place to take your skiing and snowboarding to the next level, but we always want to make sure our park riders are safe. It is important to be mindful of your ability level and not take on anything too challenging. Our parks are designed for skiers and riders to progressively learn how to handle different features. Some resorts designate features as small, medium and large. Be aware these ratings are determined by size, not degree of difficulty, and are relative only to that resort. Freestyle Terrain use, like all skiing and riding, exposes the user to the risk of serious injury. Prior to using freestyle terrain, it is the user’s responsibility to become familiar with all instructions and posted warnings and to follow Your Responsibility Code and PARK SMART. Learn more about park safety at terrainparksafety.org.

Tips for Avoiding Collisions

Complementing the Responsibility Code and it’s 7 tenets, #RideAnotherDay promotes 3 actions every skier and rider can take to help keep themselves and those around safer on the slopes.

1. Be Ready

Be ready to slow down or avoid objects or other people at any time. Ski and ride in such a way that you are always able to control yourself regardless of conditions and avoid others and objects you may encounter on the run, groomed or otherwise.

2. Stay Alert

Stay alert to what’s going on around you, especially other skiers and riders. Being aware of those around and changing conditions will help you have a fun and safe day on the hill.

3. Plan Ahead

Ease up at blind spots, check uphill when merging onto trails, and give other skiers plenty of room when passing. Look out for spots on the run where traffic merges or you can’t see what’s coming next. If you are unfamiliar with a run, take it easy the first time down it and make note of places where you’ll want to slow down, such as cat tracks and rollers. Also, give other skiers and riders lots or room, especially if you are passing them. There’s plenty of space out there, so there’s no need to crowd each other.

By doing these three things every run, you’ll be helping keep the slopes safe and enjoyable, for you and everyone else.