Investigation Reveals Dearth Of Ski Slope Safety Details

Posted on February 10, 2014

With the Winter Olympics in full swing, there are some people from around California who may be inspired to take to one of the state’s many ski resorts for a long weekend or even a week away from home.  But you must realize that there are certain hazards that must be understood, and safety in some instances will require vigilance on your part.

You can start by taking a look at a recent story from the Bay Area news branch of NBC.  That entity recently launched an investigation into the safety procedures in place at a variety of ski resorts in and around Lake Tahoe, and they discovered that getting ahold of safety information proved rather difficult.

What they requested was basically readily available materials that outline how the resorts handle matters of personal safety.  That could be information pertaining to how injured skiers are taken care of, but there are other matters that could also fall under this purview.  The agency requested details about how the resorts put together signage, what went into developing the trails, what the edge of the resort could be considered, and what sorts of policies are in place to reduce the risk of and damage created by impacts in the midst of skiing.

NBC Bay Area reports that, in every single instance, they were unable to get ahold of this vital information.  In its place was information geared toward the steps skiers themselves may be able to take to reduce the risk of an injury on the slopes.

This highlights the fact that there is currently no required uniformity in how resorts ensure the safety of guests.  It’s not for lack of trying by lawmakers either.  There have been legislative proposals in recent years that have failed to secure the backing necessary to become law.  In the meantime, skiers will have to be content knowing that there is theoretically a safety plan available, even if it goes to the government while being kept out of sight of the average consumer.  A California Ski Industry Association representative points out that the government reviews the plans of those entities that exist on public land.

Barring access to such materials, it will be largely up to skiers to use the utmost caution on the slopes.  Conduct research on resorts to figure out which ones would be conducive to safety given your skill level.  Always take along the appropriate equipment (like a helmet and well-fitting skis) so that accident chances are reduced and injuries resulting from said accidents are minimized.  And remain well within your abilities; don’t try an expert course if you’re out skiing for the first time in your life.

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