Ever noticed that young skiers and riders judgement about safety
seems to be a bit lax? Well, it's true! The frontal lobe of our
brains (where choice and judgments are made) is still developing
into a person's twenties. Therefore parents and/or adult chaperones
need to emphasize that kids are not to duck ropes or ignore signs
or go out of bounds. The Responsibility Code is a good place to
Kids, if allowed to ski unsupervised by an adult, should know
where they are allowed to go and where and when they are to meet
with their family or group. Cell phones or two-way radios are
helpful. Kids should be instructed to call 9-1-1 in case of
separation or getting lost. At the very least, kids should carry
maps and phone numbers for an adult's cell phone and know where
they are staying.
Ski or snowboard school instructors accomplish these lessons in
fun ways, dipping into their "bag of tricks" to help learners and
promote fun and safety on the slopes.
Here's a fun "quiz" to help generate a discussion with your kids
(answers in story and listed below.)
1) I/we know and can recite the 7 tenets of the RESPONSIBILITY
2) It is okay for kids to ski without adult supervision as long as
they are with other kids, stay in control, have a trail map, and
know the Code.
3) If I go off the marked trail and follow tracks, I will always
come out at the lift area where I am skiing.
4) If I go off trail to explore, I should have a cell phone,
partner, and backpack with survival items.
5) There is no danger of avalanche or deaths in the backcountry of
eastern resorts, including Killington and Pico.
6) Of the 46 people who got lost at Killington and Pico earlier
this year, the majority had taken a wrong turn at a confusing trail
7) Of the 46 people who got lost at Killington and Pico this year,
the majority were locals who enjoy the backcountry.
8) All trails at Pico Mountain lead to one base area so people
can't get lost.
9) You can learn how to safely navigate Killington with a free Meet
the Mountains Tour.
10) There are lots of cool ways to enjoy the mountains other than
These seven points ensures one's well-being at any ski
• Always stay in control.
• People ahead of you have the right of
• Stop in a safe place for you and others.
• Whenever starting downhill or merging, look
uphill and yield.
• Use devices to help prevent runaway
• Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed
• Know how to use the lifts safely.
Inherent in "observe all posted signs and warnings" is the
admonition to ski within an area's boundaries and to pay attention
to trail markings, whether for a closed trail (usually a rope
across it) or a ski-area boundary marker on a sign or rope located
along a trail's edge.
Numbers 1, 2, and 8 are discussion generators; answers will vary.
Numbers 3, 5, 6, 7 are false. Numbers 4, 9 and 10 are true.