The Skier Responsibility Code: It is a Real Thing

The Skier Responsibility Code: It is a Real Thing

We get to have some fantastic conversations with customers who visit Canyon Sports looking to rent skis in Utah. One of the more recent conversations involves something known as the Skier Responsibility Code. Yes, it is a real thing. It is an official code that all the major ski resorts follow and enforce. It’s not just an unwritten code between skiers and snowboarders.

The point of the Skier Responsibility Code is to promote safety. It is to eliminate needless accidents that could lead to injury or death. Whether you’re new to Utah skiing or have been on the slopes for years, you and your fellow skiers and snowboarders are better off when everyone knows and follows the code.

Six Decades Old

The Skier Responsibility Code is nothing new. It was actually developed by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) way back in 1962. In the more than 60 years since the code has been in effect, everyone on the slopes has been safer.

It is worth noting that the NSAA updated the code in 2022 to make it more in line with modern skiing and snowboarding. Prior to the update, the code included just 7 points. It now has 10. If you aren’t familiar with them, we encourage you to take the time to learn and understand them before you hit the slopes again.

The 10 Points

By now, we’re assuming you are dying to know what the Skier Responsibility Code says. We get it. Here are the ten points, borrowed directly from the NSAA website (thanks to the Association for publishing them):

  1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.
  2. People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.
  3. Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.
  4. Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
  5. You must prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Read and obey all signs, warnings, and hazard markings.
  7. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  8. You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.
  9. Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  10. If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

As we mentioned earlier, all major ski resorts follow and enforce the code. We suspect that even lesser-known ski resorts have adopted it, too. How would you know? By looking for appropriate signage. The Skier Responsibility Code is normally printed on bright yellow signs with black text. The signs are also outlined in red.

An Extra One for the Road

Each of the 10 points in the code speaks for itself. However, we would like to offer one more for the road: shut off your devices while on the slopes. Consider skiing and snowboarding like driving. Keeping your devices off and safely stored in a pocket will eliminate any chance of having an accident while being distracted by social media or a text.

Along those same lines, a recent Ski Utah blog post recommends not using Bluetooth speakers to crank your music while you ski. Not only do other skiers not necessarily appreciate your musical tastes, but you also don’t need the distraction.

Know the code before you ski or snowboard. If you need ski equipment rental, know that Canyon Sports is the place to go. We still have single-day rentals available through the end of the 2023-2024 season.