Stoking the season, part 4: Slopeside ‘shrediquette’ (with video)
Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a four-part series about preparing for ski season. The series will touch on physical preparation, gear tuning and fit as well as what to do once you’re at the mountain.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — We’ve all seen that person. They come hauling down the hill with little regard to their surroundings and cut someone else off, spraying snow in the process.
Whether it’s a boarder or a skier, it’s just plain rude and irks and endangers everyone on the trail around them.
Here are some simple do’s and don’ts to avoid being that person.
1. Do leave plenty of space between yourself and others around you. Downhill skiers and riders have the right of way, since they can’t see you, but you can see them.
“The recommendation is 15 feet to help avoid collisions,” said Maren Franciosi, digital communications manager at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. “If you do collide with someone around you, it’s required under the Colorado Skier Safety Act to exchange contact information in case something comes up later.”
2. Do stay in control.
3. Do know your limits.
“When you push yourself for one last run, that’s most likely the time where you’re going to be injured,” Franciosi said. “If you need to take the gondola down, that could extend your season, rather than ending it abruptly.”
4. Do ask for help from any employee you see.
“Even if they can’t help answer your question, they can direct you to someone who can,” Franciosi said.
5. Do be aware that the ground you are stepping on may be slippery or icy.
“In a wintery environment, conditions are always changing,” Franciosi said. “We see sun, we see the sun go down, and things get slick. Something that might have been a dry surface may have turned slippery quickly.”
1. Don’t duck ropes or go into closed terrain.
“There’s a reason why it’s closed, and that’s for your safety,” Franciosi said. “Please always observe signs and warnings on all runs.”
2. Don’t engage in horseplay on the chairlift.
3. Don’t lose focus when skiing or riding.
4. If you don’t know, don’t go.
“We use that a lot with backcountry. A lot of people will go out with a friend one time and try to go, again. That comes into play quite a bit,” Franciosi said. “Going into the backcountry requires a lot of skill and knowledge. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
5. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated.
It’s easier than ever before to stay hydrated with the four new “comfort stations” around the base that offer free water, sunscreen and tissues.
Just as if you were going on a hike, whatever you pack in, you have to pack out. Don’t leave trash on the mountain.
Lifts can be a huge cause of stress and annoyance, even on the most perfect of powder days. When approaching the chair lift line, slow down. Do your best to not run over the back of a board or skis in front of you. Listen to the lift operators, and stay safe on the ride by facing forward and not fooling around. Stay patient with families with small children, and remember, some people may be riding for the first time.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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