Start Gate – Recreation Rules and Safety

Ski Rules and Tips

Group members will experience a very special adventure if they have never skied before! And experienced skiers can expect wonderful spring skiing at Winter Park Resort.

Every group member MUST read and understand the following information:


KNOW THE CODE. IT’S YOUR RESPOSIBILITY as prepared by the National Ski Area Association:

  1. Always stay in control.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. You must avoid them.
  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. Do not disembark from lift except at a designated area.
  8. Persons involved in a collision that cause injury, requires you to provide your name to ski area employee before leaving vicinity
  9. Violations may result in fines up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment


The Ski Safety Act of 1979 became law in Colorado on July 1, 1979. Please read this information. Highlights of the Act are listed here:

  • Do not board a lift unless you feel confident that you have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to use the lift safely. Please follow the instructions of the lift operators.
  • Do not throw or expel any object from a lift while you are riding on the lift.
  • Your skis must be equipped with a strap or other device capable of stopping your skis if they become unattached while skiing.
  • Each skier solely has the responsibility for knowing the range of his own ability to negotiate any ski slope or trail and to ski within the limits of such ability.
  • It is your responsibility to maintain control of your speed and course at all times and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid objects and other skiers. Careless and reckless skiers will have their skiing privileges revoked.
  • It is unlawful for you to ride a lift or to use any ski slope or trail when your ability to do so is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or any drug.
  • If you are involved in a collision with another skier that results in injury, it is unlawful for you to leave the vicinity of the collision before you have left your name and current address with a member of the Ski Patrol.
  • It is unlawful for you to ski on any slope, land or trail that has been posted CLOSED. Closed trails and slopes will be marked. Roped off areas also designate that area as being closed.
  • It is your obligation and responsibility to heed all posted information and other warnings, and refrain from acting in a manner which may cause or contribute to your injury or the injury of any other skier or person. Please read and heed all posted information and warnings.

Tips for Winter Skiing and Snowboarding

  • If possible- get in physical shape prior to skiing. Don’t try to ski yourself into shape.
  • While lessons are only required for beginners- any skiers/snowboarders with previous ski experience are encouraged to receive beginner ski lessons to further reinforce their fundamental skiing/snowboarding techniques along with use of ski equipment and ski lift skills.
  •  Skiing and snowboarding require a mental and physical presence. A slower warm-up run prepares both for the day ahead.
  • The key to successful skiing/snowboarding is CONTROL. To have it- you must be aware of your technique, the terrain and skiers/snowboarders around you. The Ski Area Patrol has the right and will take your ski lift card away from you if a skier is caught skiing out of control, or chance being fined.
  •  Be aware of the snow conditions and how they can change. As snow conditions turn firm (early morning hard frozen snow or refreeze toward end of day) – the snow terrain gets hard and fast.
  •  DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! Physical exertion, temperature and altitude can cause dehydration- even if you do not feel thirsty.
  •  Don’t go to the slopes loaded down with extra personal belongings. Carrying skis and poles is enough! Money, sunscreen and lip balm should be carried in a secure pocket, or in a back pack.
  • A good sunblock or sunscreen (30 SPF minimum) and lip balm are absolutely necessary. 45+ SPF is recommended. Sunburn is immediate with the glare, wind, and altitude. This is not only for your comfort and appearance, but for your musical performance! Bring your own for the first day of skiing, since there will no time to purchase on your 1st day of recreation.  Whether persons are wearing make-up or not, they should always wear sunblock or sunscreen!
  •  We strongly recommend your lift card be placed in a pocket that does not contain often retrieved items. This virtually eliminates misplacing it.
  • Sunglasses or tinted ski goggles are absolutely necessary! The sun’s glare off the snow will burn your eyes if unprotected. Sunglasses or goggles also protect eyes from snow and wind.
  •  Prearrange a meeting place and time in case someone gets separated from your skiing group. Look at a ski trail map and see how one simple turn at a trail intersection can lead to an entirely different destination. Without a prearranged meeting place/time- you may not find your skiing group again for the day within the ski area’s 3,060 acres. Of course cell phone communication is possible- but many cell phone company providers have weak cell signals on the mountain and should be tested prior to relying of this method of communication.
  • NEVER SKI ALONE. Please ski with at least one group member that skis at your level of skiing.
  • DO NOT BE THAT “SHOW OFF” SKIER THAT IS JUST ASKING FOR INJURY TO YOU OR OTHERS!! This is the most common reason for skiing injures. Furthermore- snow skiers and snowboarders are not exempt from laws that protect other visitors of the ski area. Criminal prosecution and civil suits can be brought against persons who ski or snowboard in a manner causing injury or harm to others.
    • Green= Easiest (beginner)
    • Blue= More difficult (intermediate)
    • Blue/Black= More difficult (advanced intermediate)
    • Black= most difficult (expert only)
  • If you find yourself on a slope that exceeds your ability level- always leave your skis/snowboard on and slowly sidestep down the slope.
  • Do not come to a stop in high ski traffic areas, within the main ski path or ski trail, and/or immediately beyond a trail’s blind curve or blind descent. Be sure that you are visible by all skiers and in a location that other skiers can safely avoid possible bodily impact. Look behind you first to make sure that other skiers are not immediately behind wherever you stop.
  • STOP SKIING WHEN YOU FEEL FATIGUED. A few moments rest, taken frequently, will make your day much more fun! Please don’t make that last run of the day if you are tired!!!!
  • Check the chalkboards at the bottom and top of lifts for any messages from the ski patrol. Also, emergency messages to your group may be left on these chalkboards since the ski patrol has telephone contact with the attendants at each lift.
  • In case of an emergency, a group member can be paged at any mid-mountain warming houses/restaurants. If any problem should arise, contact any ski resort employee. This can be a lift attendant, ski patrol, warming house/restaurant employee or the Ski Area Information in the BALCONY HOUSE at the Winter Park base. These employees can help you. While the festival staff is not on the ski slopes with your group- you may contact us at anytime. See “Emergency Contacts” in the WPSMF Online table of contents.
  • In the unlikely event that you need medical attention on the slopes- lay down and leave skis on, place your skis in a vertical upright crossed position uphill from you and ask any nearby skier to assist you by going to the nearest emergency phone on the trails (marked on trail maps in RED) or the nearest lift/warming hut/ski base and call the ski patrol. You can then be assisted to the medical clinic located at the base of the slopes.
  • With 134 ski trails from which to choose and 25 lifts, we offer this suggestion: Let mid mountain warming hut/restaurants be your base of operation. Skiers do not need to ski to the base each run and to take a lift back to the top of the mountain. There are plenty of lifts and trails accessible from mid mountain, with shorter lift waiting lines than at the ski base. Also, during the spring, the snow conditions are usually better, higher on the mountain. There are numerous beginner and intermediate slopes at the upper levels with well marked trails. Keep your trail maps with you, and take the time to read them before you take a new lift.
  • SKIING THROUGH TREES AND GLADES IS NOT PERMITTED! While trails through trees may exist and being skied upon by others- skiing is allowed only on marked/groomed trails. Not only does the danger include impacting with a tree, but falling within the tree wells that surround trees. In other words- the unpacked snow immediately surrounding a tree can be over 10 feet deep, which a skier can easily sink within and not be seen, or climb out before suffocating.  Watch this video for more information.
  • ALL SKIERS MUST READ AND FOLLOW ALL POSTED SIGNS AT THE SKI AREA, AND TRAIL MAP INFORMATION, BEFORE SKIING. Signs and trail maps show all Terrain Zone markings, Trail Markings, Service markings and Lift information! For example- Skiing is not permitted outside of the Ski area boundaries, on closed trails and on unmarked trails. There are SLOW Skiing areas that must be obeyed. Skiing is not permitted through unmarked trails and through trees due to snow depths and above ground/below snow objects. Some ski lift destinations will not have an appropriate trail level to ski down from, based on your skiing ability or skill level. Trail Maps can be viewed online at http://www.winterparkresort.com prior to your arrival- or obtained within the ski area upon your arrival. Or get the new Winter Park Resort mobile app with many features.


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