Staying Safe on the Snow…..Some helpful tips for new skiers and snowboarders……..
Just remember that everyone was a beginner once and they all had a first day. Your instructor will have all the information for you on how to get started. Stop by the lesson desk in the Welcome Office to sign up for your lesson.
You can have a lot of fun if you are warm and dry. The best way to dress for winter weather is to wear layers. In general, the three main layers are: 1. Wicking 2. Insulating 3. Weather protection.
The Wicking Layer is the layer worn next to your skin, usually consisting of long underwear. Make sure this first layer fits snugly, but not tight in order to wick efficiently.
The Insulating Layer is the middle layer that includes sweaters, sweat shirts, vests and pullovers.
The Protection Layer is the exterior layer, generally a shell and pants, that serve to guard against the elements of winter. It should repel water from snow, sleet or rain and block the wind, while also letting perspiration evaporate.
Up to 80 percent of your body’s heat can escape from an uncovered head, so wearing a HAT is essential when it’s cold. These days, wearing a WINTER SPORTS HELMET whenever skiing or snowboarding is considered standard practice, and we highly always recommend a helmet.
SUNGLASSES do much more than make you look cool – they protect your eyes from damaging solar radiation. GOGGLES are necessary when it’s snowing.
GLOVE and MITTENS should also be waterproof and breathable and especially not too tight so that they restrict the warm air movement inside.
WELCOME TO BOOT CAMP
Properly fitted boots with the right flex are essential for controlling your skis and keeping your feet warm. But what should a boot feel like?
A properly fitted ski boot should feel like hands gently clasped around your ankles. Your heels should not slip up and down, your calf muscles shouldn’t feel pinched. The boot should feel comfortably snug, but you should be able to wiggle your toes just a little bit. Boots that are too tight cause your feet to get cold, cramp, or go to sleep. You can’t do anything on the slopes if you can’t feel or move your feet.
NOT: Cotton. Tube. Thick. Ribbed. Doubled.
YES: Wool / poly blend. Sewn-in heel. Medium weight. Smooth.
They’re not for stabbing unfriendly skiers or snowboarders. Ski poles help skiers keep their balance and help initiate turns on the slopes. They’re also great for cleaning the snow off your boot soles and pointing out hot skiers from a distance.
Recent innovations have been rapid. If your skis were built a decade ago, you’re working too hard to have fun! See the Rental Shop about a modern fun and easy to use ski.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY CODE
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
MT CODE 23-2-736: DUTIES OF A SKIER
(1) A skier has the duty to ski at all times in a manner that avoids injury to the skier and others and to be aware of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing.
(2) A skier:
(a) shall know the range of the skier’s ability and safely ski within the limits of that ability and the skier’s equipment so as to negotiate any section of terrain or ski slope and trail safely and without injury or damage. A skier shall know that the skier’s ability may vary because of ski slope and trail changes caused by weather, grooming changes, or skier use.
(b) shall maintain control of speed and course so as to prevent injury to the skier or others;
(c) shall abide by the requirements of the skier responsibility code that is published by the national ski areas association and that is posted as provided in 23-2-733;
(d) shall obey all posted or other warnings and instructions of the ski area operator; and
(e) shall read the ski area trail map and must be aware of its contents.
(3) A person may not:
(a) place an object in the ski area or on the uphill track of a passenger ropeway that may cause a passenger or skier to fall;
(b) cross the track of a passenger ropeway except at a designated and approved point; or
(c) if involved in a skiing accident, depart from the scene of the accident without:
(i) leaving personal identification; or
(ii) notifying the proper authorities and obtaining assistance when the person knows that a person involved in the accident is in need of medical or other assistance.
(4) A skier shall accept all legal responsibility for injury or damage of any kind to the extent that the injury or damage results from inherent dangers and risks of skiing. Nothing in this part may be construed to limit a skier’s right to hold another skier legally accountable for damages caused by the other skier.
- INHERENT RISKS AND DANGERS Include but are not limited to: 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; the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities; cliffs; extreme terrain; jumps; freestyle terrain; and in-bounds avalanches on un-groomed terrain.
- GROOMING Snowcat activity occurs during operating hours. Be on the lookout for these machine, and never ski within 50ft of an operating snowcat.
- SNOWMAKING Snowmaking occurs in the areas served by the Good Luck and Meadow Mountain lifts, as well as the Backyard. Never ski near an operating snowgun due to high pressure hoses, high voltage electrical lines, heavy/wet snowfall, and variable snow surfaces.
- CLOSURES Areas of the mountain will be closed throughout the season due to various hazards. Do not enter closed areas. If you enter a closed area your lift ticket will be revoked and you may not be allowed back at Great Divide.
- BOUNDARIES Area boundaries are marked with “OFF AREA” disks. Beyond these signs the terrain is not maintained or patrolled, there is no easy return to lift service. Unmarked cliffs, mine holes, avalanche areas, and wire fences are common outside area boundaries. Backcountry travelers enter at their own risk.
- TREE-SKIING Many forest areas are in their natural state and have not been prepared or maintained for Snowsports activity. Learn the character of these areas, reduce your speed, wear a helmet and eye protection, go with a group, and be careful.
- OUTER VALLEYS
- Rawhide and Wild West Chairlifts are not open every day- be aware of the daily schedule for these lifts and pay attention to signage at the load and unload of The Mount Belmont Chairlift and in the outer valleys.
- Do not drop below Northwest Passage or Red Tail trail when the Wild West and Rawhide chairlifts are closed. There is no easy return to lift service below these roads, and the runs below the road are not patrolled when these lifts are closed.
- SKI PATROL Patrollers are on duty at all times. If you encounter an accident or injury, someone should stay at the scene to assist the injured party while another person reports the location to any Great Divide employee or ski patroller.