You may have heard about the “Skier Responsibility Code” if you’re new to downhill skiing, but you might not know exactly what that means. While your ski instructor will hopefully give you a few pointers about safety and etiquette, many novice skiers are in the dark about the finer details regarding the code. As a result, they often come off as inconsiderate to other skiers without realizing it.

First of all, let’s take a look at the “Skier Responsibility Code.”

  • Stay in control and be prepared to stop or avoid other people and obstacles.
  • Avoid those ahead of you. They have the right of way.
  • Never stop on a trail or where you aren’t visible from above.
  • Yield to others uphill before starting downhill or merging onto a trail.
  • Use proper devices to avoid losing equipment.
  • Stay out of prohibited areas.
  • Do not use the lift unless you have the knowledge and ability to do so safely.

It is your responsibility to know this code and to follow it. Fortunately, this should be posted in some form at every ski resort. The wording may be different depending on where you go, but the rules will remain the same.

Skiing and Riding Courtesy

In addition to following the responsibility code, you should keep the following courtesy guidelines in mind wherever you go downhill skiing.

  • Never wave your poles around or plant them on someone else’s skis or board. Children are the biggest offenders here, but some irresponsible adults have been known to accidentally hit or poke someone else with a wayward pole.
  • Give novice or younger skiers some extra room. Nobody likes a jerk who intimidates newbies by showing off.
  • Help people in need. Accidents happen to the best skiers, and you’ll never know when someone will need some medical attention. Either help a fallen skier up yourself or find someone who can.
  • Wait in line with your group if you all want to ride the ski lift together. A clustered ski lift can be extremely dangerous.
  • Don’t smoke when you’re riding the lift. You may be outdoors, but you’re still too close to people who might not appreciate it.
  • Throw your trash in the appropriate receptacle. Don’t just leave it on the ground. The slopes take pride in their cleanliness and aesthetic.