The widespread winter storm that entered Colorado last Wednesday has blanketed all corners of Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) in snow, delivering powerful powder days at all 21 CSCUSA resorts.
This most recent weather system has dumped up to 79cm on grateful snow-riders. Since the storm began last week, CSCUSA resorts have received an average of 51cm of new snow, while 18 resorts have recorded double-digit snow totals and seven resorts have enjoyed 60cm or more of fresh powder.
This welcome dusting of snow comes as CSCUSA celebrates National Safety Month by hosting special safety-related programs and activities to raise awareness and demonstrate the many ways they work to keep the slopes safe every day. Here’s just a taste of what some of the resorts have to offer this month…
Arapahoe Basin is hosting its annual Safety Village on January 18 and 19. A-Basin’s patrollers will be in the base area, accompanied by their trusty avalanche dogs, to talk about the Responsibility Code. Representatives from Centura Health’s Think First! helmet safety program are giving out helmets to guests for suggested donations. Ski area staff are handing out cake to kids who ‘Know the Code’, and avalanche dog trading cards with the Code printed on them are available as well.
Aspen/Snowmass are hosting a variety of on-mountain demos, avalanche dog drills and kids’ poster contests. The theme of the week of January 19 to 25 at Aspen Mountain is ‘Skiing Aspen Mountain Responsibly’. Aspen Mountain is hosting daily avalanche beacon drills and avalanche dog demonstrations.
Guests are welcome 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. Guests are also encouraged to swing by the weekend Safety Zone Tents where Copper Mountain Safety Patrol staff are providing safety educational material and handouts.
Copper Ski Patrol is also allowing 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 are 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, which 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.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is hosting a different safety awareness topic for each day of the month. Safety information is available for all guests and employees at the Guest Services table in the base area. For dog-lovers, the Crested Butte Ski Patrol is hosting Dog Demo Days every Saturday this month. 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.
Loveland is celebrating Safety Month over the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday weekend, January 18 to 20, with ‘Know the Code’ competitions. The terrain park crew are focusing on safety with handouts on the Smart Style program and helping educate skiers and riders as they make their way through the terrain park over that weekend. The Loveland Ski Patrol is conducting free beacon classes as well as avalanche awareness info – and patrol dogs will be there as well.
Ski area staff are distributing Know the Code business-size cards at the ticket windows with lift tickets. Monarch’s safety mascot, Safety Sam, will be skiing the mountain interacting with guests, and Know the Code gold bars will be hidden around the area for guests to find and take to Guest Services to win a prize.
Guests who talk about the Responsibility Code to Winter Park employees will be entered into a prize draw to win a 2014-15 Winter Park Resort adult season pass. Posters created by local students depicting an element of the Responsibility Code are on display at the Winter Park Base. The posters will be judged on how the safety message is conveyed and overall creativity and the winners will get a chance to spend the day with the Winter Park Ski Patrol.
The Wolf Creek Ski Patrol and Flight for Life are 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 the top of Tranquility Trail. After the drill, guests are invited to meet Wolf Creek's Ski Patrol and their team of avalanche dogs.