SV Shred: National Ski Safety Week

Happy kids wear lids!

Sun Valley celebrates safety!

By Mike McKenna

Adhering to the general philosophy that it’s a lot more fun to play it safe and be smart than it is to wind up in the Emergency Room, each winter the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) celebrates "Ski Safety Week."

Sun Valley is once again taking part in the national party to promote safe and responsible skiing and boarding. And the great news–besides the fact that ski patrollers are giving out coupons for free cocoa!–is that these annual reminders are working.

According to Mike Lloyd, Sun Valley’s Ski Patrol Director, Baldy is one of the safest ski areas in the country, boasting a mere 1.7% accident rate (per thousand skiers); almost a full point below the national average.

"We definitely see a positive impact from this program," Lloyd says.

To help keep Baldy and Dollar Mountains safe, fun places to shred, here are some of the highlights from this year’s National Ski Safety Week (January 14-22).

Know the Code!

It’s the responsibility of every skier and snowboarder to know and adhere to the Responsibility Code. It’s what you agree to when you buy a ski pass at just about every resort on the globe. In case you need a refresher, or a member of the Ski Patrol asks you (every day this week they’re giving out 100 coupons for free hot cocoa to kids who know the Code), here’s a refresher:

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.

Lids on Kids

Since wearing a "Brain Bucket" is no-brainer when you’re skiing or snowboarding, Sun Valley is supporting the Lids of Kids. The program reminds shredders of a few basic guidelines:

-Wearing a helmet when participating in snow sports is a smart idea. Besides the overwhelming safety benefits of wearing a helmet, they tend to be warmer than simply wearing a hat.

-One size does not fit all. Make sure to follow some fitting guidelines before hitting the hill in headgear.

-Heads Up, Set an Example: Skiing and riding in a responsible and safe manner isn’t just important for your own sake. It’s sets a good example for kids of all ages (and sometimes it’s the adults who need to be reminded how to follow the Responsibility Code the most).

Sign On

Besides plastering both Baldy and Dollar Mountains with posters promoting the Responsibility Code, Sun Valley is also holding a Kid’s Poster Contest. Entries can be picked up at Dollar Mountains’ Children’s Center. Good luck and be safe!