Snow etiquette

Human activity works best when you have some basic understanding of people act in crowds–as in, say, traffic laws. But did you know there are some “traffic laws” in the slopes? These laws, plus some basic consideration for others, makes snowboarding and skiing safer and more pleasant.


Don’t do this! These three riders are obstructing the exit are from a chairlift.

Safety first
One place to start is the responsibility code, which was created by the National Ski Area Association.

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

Though not part of the responsibility code, the guidelines are useful for your own safety as well as for the general well-being of the world of snowboarding.

A little courtesy
Here’s our unofficial list of principles to live by on the slopes and at the hill. As a rule, be aware of how your actions may affect everyone else. As someone said many years ago, love your neighbor as yourself; treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. How can you practice that?

  1. If you’re in a group of snowboarders who are sitting down to buckle up, be sure you aren’t blocking the people who are descending the hill or getting off the lift.
  2. Riding on terrain that’s a little more challenging than what you’re used to? Good idea. Riding on terrain that is way over your heard? A stupid idea that may get you — and someone else — hurt.
  3. Be nice. Don’t cut in line when you’re waiting for  chair.
  4. Respect “go slow” zones on the mountain. It’s good behavior, and it may save you from being sent packing by the ski patrol.
  5. Want to try human slalom practice? Great. Get some friends together and do it on an uncrowded slope. Don’t use victims in a go-slow zone.
  6. Respect the ears of the other people on the lift. If you keep listen to tunes, keep the volume under control. If you must make or receive a phone call, keep it short. Nobody likes to be captive to someone else’s conversation
  7. Do your part to minimize the wait for the chair lift, especially on crowded days. One way to do this is to use every seat on a chair. If you’re riding a four-seat chair and there’s only two of you, ask the solo rider or skier to join you; if you’re a single, ask to join up. It will get people through the line faster.
  8. Being a spectator (“gaper”) in a terrain park is fine. Just stop far away from the takeoff or landing areas of any feature, and don’t get anyone’s way.
  9. If a skier has suffered a yard sale (a fall resulting in gear scattered across the slope), help out if the opportunity presents itself. If, for example, you see a skier 50 yards downhill from a stray pole, ride over the pole and take it to the skier. It’s the helpful thing to do and builds a good image for snowboarding.
  10. If you see someone skiing or riding rather slowly and tentatively, give that person a wide berth. You may be under control, and know that you’re under control, but close “fly-bys” can rattle a person.

One Response to Snow etiquette

  1. Daniel says:

    Yeah nice article about the lgeend of snowboarding. Craig is one of the greatest person in snowboarding world. Too bad that he died already. But I believe his memories will still remain in our hearts.

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