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Alyeska is a member of the National Ski Area Association, and as such we adopt the same general mountain safety codes and regulations found across the country that are part of the NSAA system.
First and foremost, skiing and riding safely is everyone's responsibility. While on the slopes, you will see people using alpine skis, telemark skis, snowboards, and other specialized equipment such as the adaptive skis used by skiers with disabilities. You will see skiers of all levels - from beginners enjoying their first day on the slopes to expert skiers with years of experience. It is always your responsibility, regardless of the equipment used or the level of skier that you are, to be courteous to others and to be aware that skiing safely makes the ski slopes safer for all of us.
Alyeska is a large mountain with difficult and dangerous terrain and skiing and riding are dangerous sports. We do our best to inform guests of the possible hazards associated with snow sports. We do our best to mark hazards and dangerous terrain appropriately. We also actively open and close certain areas of the mountain often due to Snow Safety considerations, ski conditions, or darkness.
Our beginner ski zones and high skier traffic areas are important to us and we refer to these areas as “Slow” zones. We label them as such on our trail maps and with signs and banners as you ski through each of these areas. We encourage guests to ‘Go with the Flow’ in these areas, ski only as fast as the skier next to you. Our least favorite part of the job is to be the police on the mountain. We do our best to keep an eye on people skiing around to ensure everyone is skiing safely and within their limits.
Alyeska has set Enforcement Guidelines based on the Skier Responsibility Code and Mountain Safety Concerns for behavior on the mountain. When an individual crosses these lines, we have to step in and be the police, and we have no tolerance for unsafe behavior at Alyeska. We have a relationship with the Department of Natural Resources and due to this relationship we issue DNR citations to individuals in violations of certain rules. In addition to loss of lift privileges and fines we also require all ‘violators’ to take the Mountain Education Test, a tool used to help educate.
Inherent Risk of Skiing
Under Alaska law, the risk of an injury to person or property resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing rests with the skier. Inherent dangers and risks of skiing include changing weather conditions; existing and changing snow conditions; bare spots; rocks, stumps and trees; collisions with natural objects, man-made objects, or other skiers; variations in terrain; and the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities. If you are involved in a collision with another skier/boarder you must stay at the scene until ski patrol arrives.
The National Ski Area Association and Burton Snowboards have developed the "Smart Style" Freestyle Terrain Safety initiative, a cooperative effort to continue the proper use and progression of freestyle terrain at mountain resorts.
1. MAKE A PLAN
Every time you use freestyle terrain, make a plan for each feature you want to use. Your speed, approach and take off will directly affect your maneuver and landing.
2. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP
Scope around the jumps first, not over them. Know your landings are clear and clear yourself out of the landing area.
3. EASY STYLE IT
Start small and work your way up. (Inverted aerials not recommended).
4. RESPECT GETS RESPECT
From the lift line through the park.
Know the signs of the international trail marking system. They explain the degree and difficulty for each trail.
|Easiest||More Difficult||Most Difficult||Expert Only||Freestyle Terrain|
The system of difficulty markers is relative and only valid at this area. This system is not necessarily the same as a similarly rated trail at another ski area. Skiers/boarders should begin with the easiest trails regardless of ability level, until familiar with the trails at the area. During periods of low visibility or other inclement weather and snow conditions, the degree of difficulty of the ski/snowboard run my change. Know your ability level and stay within it.