January is National Safety Month at Colorado Ski Resorts and we were so excited when we saw the photos of these beautiful and well trained hero’s wearing fur coats. Dogs of course!
Throughout January resorts are working to educate guests about on-mountain safety and responsibilities. This is happening with a variety of activities at the resorts and in some cases in local mountain communities with resort staff visiting local schools to educate kids on safe skiing and snowboarding.
Avalanche Dog Demonstrations during Safety Month
Resorts across the state are doing special demonstrations and some resorts’ highly-trained avalanche dogs will show off their impressive skills in avalanche response simulations, an annual favorite for guests.
Skiing and snowboarding safely is important all throughout the season. From wearing appropriate gear and equipment and using a helmet to riding under control and within one’s abilities, safety is essential to having a good day on the mountain.
Arapahoe Basin will be hosting its annual Safety Village on Saturday and Sunday, January 18-19, 2014. A-Basin’s Patrollers will be in the base area, accompanied by their trusty avalanche dogs, talking about the Responsibility Code. Representatives from Centura Health’s Think First! helmet safety program will be giving out helmets to guests for suggested donations. Ski area staff will hand out cake to kids who “Know the Code,” and will have avalanche dog trading cards with the Code printed on them available as well. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
During the month of January, guests are welcome and encouraged to stop by Copper’s on-mountain ski patrol duty stations to enjoy a warm cup of free hot chocolate and meet patrollers and avalanche dogs. Stop by either Patrol Headquarters, which is located at the top of the Excelerator lift, and/or Timberline Patrol which is located off of the American Flyer lift. Guests are also encouraged to swing by the weekend Safety Zone Tents where Copper Mountain Safety Patrol staff will discuss and provide safety educational material and handouts.
Also during the month of January, Copper Ski Patrol will allow guests to join in on patrol sweeps on weekends, which is the process patrol goes through when closing the mountain at the end of the day. Patrol will have the avalanche beacon training center open for guests as well and will be doing avalanche dog drills at the top of the American Flyer lift.
Additionally, Copper is featuring two new safety-related programs, including mountain intelligence and safety messaging through its new app: Sherpa. Wearing one earbud and plugged into smartphones, Sherpa delivers terrain updates, secret stash updates and tips on how to stay safe on the slopes.
The second new program is the Siesta Zones or rest areas. These are nylon fenced areas on the mountain where guests can pull behind and get out of the main stream of skiers to rest their legs, adjust their equipment, etc. These Siesta Zones will be located throughout the mountain in high-interest areas. For more information, visitwww.coppercolorado.com.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is having each of its departments host a different safety awareness topic for each day of the month, giving safety information for everyone. Safety information will be available for all guests and employees at the Guest Services table in the base area through the month as well. For the dog lovers, the Crested Butte Ski Patrol will be hosting Dog Demo days, every Saturday in January. Check out the four-legged, hard working crew at the top of Painter Boy, as they find buried people in this impressive simulated training exercise.
For the kids, join the Crested Butte Fire Department and EMS for Touch a Truck on Saturday, January 18. And finally for the inquisitive ones, the lift operators will be posting different safety trivia on their status boards, to keep guests guessing all day long through the month. For more information, visit www.skicb.com.
The Loveland Ski Patrol will be conducting free beacon classes as well as avalanche awareness info. The patrol dogs will be there as well. Hydration and sun safety will also be a part of the safety booth. The Forest Service plans on attending to help educate people about the environment and danger of being exposed to the elements. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.
Safety Month will be recognized at Wolf Creek with the Wolf Creek Ski Patrol and Flight for Life working together on Avalanche Burial Drills. Wolf Creek Ski Patrol along with their avalanche dogs will be flown from the snowshed parking lot in the Flight for Life helicopter to Prospector Bowl Ridge. From the ridge the dogs will work their way down, practicing on a two person burial drill. The public is able to view the drill from top of Tranquility Trail. After the drill is completed, guests are invited to meet Wolf Creek’s Ski Patrol and their team of avalanche dogs. Guests are taught the value of the avalanche dogs and the timely rescue efforts they provide. Guests are also given skier safety and winter survival tips.
Wolf Creek also promotes the Responsibility Code to skiers and snowboarders who participate in both group and private lessons. Each element of the code is taught and reviewed at the beginning of each lesson by the ski school instructor. As the lesson progresses the instructor promotes and points out examples of guests using the Code. The beginner lift, Nova, has a printed board displaying all seven elements of the code for beginner ski. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.
Other Colorado Ski Resorts are offering other educational safety activities and you can read about those here.
It’s cold out there folks so if your dogs aren’t trained for avalanche duties and they have to walk around on the city streets, you might want to consider some boots. We’ve listed a large variety here for your to browse. If you are in the market for Ski and Snowboard supplies you can Save 50-80% Off Ski and Snowboard Yard Sale at SportsAuthority.com
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Photo Credits: Monarch Mountain; Tripp Fay, Copper Mountain; Nathan Bilow, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Justin Schaefer, Loveland; Arapahoe Basin; Jason Lombard, Wolf Creek