Second annual Safety Day on Saturday |

Second annual Safety Day on Saturday

Staff Report

Ski California and its member resorts will proactively educate skiers and snowboarders on safety this weekend at mountains all around Lake Tahoe.

The 2nd annual Ski California Safety Day will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, and each resort will host events and activities designed to engage and educate guests about skiing and riding safely.

From deep snow safety education, to proper chairlift loading and riding, and opportunities to ski or ride with ski patrol, resorts will offer creative and fun ways for guests to learn and understand the best safety practices and their personal responsibility when skiing or riding.

“While skier and snowboarder safety is something our resorts are focused on all season long, Ski California Safety Day is an opportunity to draw even more attention to the importance of safety as guests make important decisions about how they ski and ride and interact with others on the mountain,” said Michael Reitzell, Ski California president. “Over seven million people ski and snowboard in California and Nevada annually. While the risk of serious injury remains extremely low, we are proactive about educating those who participate in winter sports about the importance of safety when skiing and riding.”

As part of Ski California’s safety initiatives, a new chairlift safety video has been unveiled, the fourth in the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide video series. It can be viewed online on Ski California’s YouTube channel at

In addition to sharing safety related information through their social media channels (#SkiCalifornia and #SkiSafety) and through dissemination of the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide, participating resorts will offer the following activities on Ski California Safety Day this year.

Northstar California: Guests are invited to open the mountain with patrol on a first-come, first-served basis by pre-registration, and all are welcome to participate in a Northstar Avalanche Rescue Dogs demonstration with live burial at mid-mountain.

National Ski Patrol will host a safety scavenger hunt and raffle, and lift operators will give small candy “Bars for Bars Down” on select lifts. Mountain Safety will hand out resort branded trail maps to guests demonstrating safe skiing and riding behavior, and on the safety day will kick off Northstar’s first day of this year’s Junior Ski Patrol program.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows: At both Squaw and Alpine, education will be the name of the game on Safety Day. Guests are encouraged to visit the safety booths at both resorts to learn more about the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide, Responsibility Code and how to Share the Mountain.

Prizes will be offered for correct answers, and those who take selfies with their helmet on and tag #skicalifornia and #skisafety will be entered into a raffle with the chance to win goggles, Yeti mugs and more. A meet and greet with the Squaw and Alpine patrol dogs is also scheduled from 9-11 a.m.

Sugar Bowl Resort: The resort will encourage guests to take selfies with the Ski California Mountain Safety guide in “scavenger hunt” style at specific spots around the mountain. This will include things like: with a patrol dog, patroller, in front of the Sugar Bear Kids on Lifts Height signs, in front of any “merge” or trail sign, or any TV monitor playing the Kids on Lifts safety video. All eligible photos will be entered into a random drawing for a $250 gift card. Sugar Bowl will also host a poster contest for kids ages 12 and under. Focused on lift safety, kids participating in Sugar Bowl’s ski school programs will have an opportunity to design safety posters that will be reviewed by Sugar Bowl’s Safety Committee. Winning posters will be displayed at the resort and on the Sugar Bowl website, with prices including a $250 gift card for first place, $100 gift card for second, and a helmet, Sugar Bowl logo shirt and stuffed animal for third.

Tahoe Donner: Focusing on chairlift safety, Tahoe Donner will provide demos and education, and encourage guests to follow instructions provided by new chairlift safety signage posted on lift towers. Resort employees will also distribute the Ski California Mountain Safety Guide and discuss the skier and rider responsibility code at the base area.

Boreal / Woodward Tahoe: With a focus on helmet safety, Boreal / Woodward Tahoe will partner with the nonprofit High Fives Foundation on Safety Day to offer tools to help guests personalize their helmet.

In addition, the resort will broadcast the “Helmets are Cool” video throughout the in-resort digital displays and on social media to help extend the reach of High Fives’ campaign designed to reframe the conversation about helmets and show how cool they really are.

Homewood Mountain Resort: Five interactive stations will be set up in the resort’s base area from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where patrollers and ski instructors will give short demonstrations on topics including deep snow and cold weather safety, safe riding distance and chairlift safety. There will also be opportunities to meet Ruckus, their avy dog, and free helmet rentals will be offered all day.

Diamond Peak: Fun and educational activities will include “Safety Selfies” with the opportunity to win prizes, meet and greets with the new patrol director and patrol dog, “Know the Code” quizzes, and a Park 101 session that includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Village Terrain Park to learn about construction, safety, maintenance and etiquette.

On Ski California Safety Day, resort guests can also enjoy live music, sweep the mountain with ski patrol and more.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: Skiers and riders will be welcomed with free hot chocolate and coffee for those who stop by the welcome booth outside the Main Lodge to review Responsibility Code, terrain park and other safety info.

On the mountain, the resort’s ski patrol will be at five different locations around the mountain discussing safety practices and engaging guests in an “On-Mountain Safety Poker Run.” Cards can be picked up at the welcome booth. A kids’ fun course at the Galena Spines Terrain Park will offer terrain park safety tips, with an opportunity to meet the patrol dogs at the bottom of the fun course at 12:30 p.m.

Heavenly Mountain Resort: Throughout the day, guests will be encouraged to participate in different events taking place around the resort, with opportunities to collect raffle tickets that offer the chance to win prizes, including Helly Hansen jackets and a T2 shovel, beacon and probe combo at the end of the day.

Events include terrain park safety clinics at Groove Park, avalanche dog demonstrations, and Avalanche Beacon Park and Backcountry Preparedness where guests must successfully discover a beacon in the practice park at Sky Meadows to earn a raffle ticket.

A “Helmet Head” photo booth at Stein’s will encourage guests to take a picture and post it to social media wearing their helmet and tagging #skicalifornia #skiheavenly. And, to encourage chairlift safety, resort employees will be at the top of First Ride, Patsy’s and Canyon lifts at different times throughout the day to award raffle tickets to guests who rode with the bar down, didn’t raise it too soon and safely unloaded the lift.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort: A variety of departments will be involved in guest education experiences. Lift operators will give small candy “Bars for Bars Down” on chairs 6 and 9. The resort’s terrain park staff will have stickers and candy for those who are smart stylin’ through the park, and ski patrol will have hot dogs and avalanche dogs at the top of chair 2. Resort guests can also expect a beacon basin and airbag demonstration, and banners with the skier responsibility code on Kirkwood Meadows Drive as they arrive at the resort.

Sierra-at-Tahoe: The day will begin with an avalanche dog demonstration and a mock scenario that will demonstrate their ability to locate and dig out people that have been buried. Patrollers will cover other topics like tree well and inversion hazards, and general mountain safety.

Later in the day, Sierra’s Ski Patrol will demonstrate how to use a beacon and discuss backcountry hazards, what equipment to have, and how to stay safe in the trees and off-piste terrain.

Throughout the day, mountain hosts and guest service representatives will be handing out Ski California Mountain Safety Guides. Guests are invited to swing by the Sierra tent on Solstice Plaza between 1-3 p.m. to show their safety guide and enter a raffle for a pair of Dragon Goggles and other prizes. As a bonus, those who can recite the skier and rider responsibility code will be entered in a second raffle for a pair of Wells Lamont gloves.

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