Be safer and have more fun by following these winter guidelines.
Planning Your Vacation
Get in shape to ski and board -do not ski and board to get in shape. Skiing and snowboarding are exciting, vigorous winter sports. Always make an honest assessment of your physical and skiing/boarding abilities. The weather can change radically and rapidly, so plan to bring or buy goggles, sunglasses, sun protection, a helmet or hat and clothing that make it possible for you to dress in layers.
What to Wear
(1) Helmet Usage: Snowshoe Mountain highly recommends wearing helmets for skiing and riding. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet usage. The primary safety consideration, and obligation under Your Responsibility Code, is to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner. No helmet can protect the wearer against all head injuries or prevent injury to the wearer's face, neck or spinal cord. Be aware that multiple head injuries, even if you wear a helmet, can cause life threatening injuries. Whether you use a helmet or not, always ski/ride responsibly and within your ability, and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing and riding experience.
(2) Layers of clothing are best. They can be added and removed in order to better regulate your body temperature.
(3) Base Layers: long underwear, preferably, polyester or wool/poly blend; a turtleneck or long sleeve shirt, then sweater, fleece, or sweatshirt.
(4) Socks: thin wool or poly socks for skiing or snowboarding, thick ones are too bulky, and don't keep your feet as warm.
(5) Outer Layers: coat and pants or bibs should be warm, water resistant and comfortable; gloves or mittens, mittens are warmer if you tend to get cold hands; helmet or hat that covers your ears and stays on your head during physical activity (80% of heat is lost though your head); glasses or goggles; sunscreen and lip balm are important to use at high altitude.
High Elevation Tips
The top of the mountain lies 4,848 feet above sea level. The air is thinner and less oxygen is available. People coming from lower elevations, especially sea level, may experience headaches, nausea, insomnia, and loss of appetite. This usually occurs within the first 48 hours. The best remedy is to take it easy your first day here: increase fluid intake, decrease salt, alcohol and caffeine intake, and select high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods. Be aware that an increase in elevation can also accentuate existing health problems. If you have a respiratory or vascular illness, consult your physician before your trip. Seek medical assistance if problems persist or get worse.
West Virginia Skiing Responsibility Act
The West Virginia Legislature has recognized that skiing/riding as a recreational sport is hazardous to skiers and riders, regardless of all feasible safety measures which can be taken. Each skier/rider expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for any injury, loss or damage to person or property which results from participation in the sport of skiing/riding including, but not limited to, any injury, loss or damage caused by the following: Variations in terrain including freestyle terrain; surface or subsurface snow or ice conditions; bare spots, rocks, trees, other forms of forest growth or debris; collisions with pole lines, lift towers or any component thereof; collisions with snowmaking equipment; collisions with other natural and man-made objects or other skiers; or the failure of skiers/riders to ski/ride within their own abilities.
Your Duties Under the West Virginia Skiing Responsibility Act
(1) No passenger shall:
a. Board or embark upon or disembark from an aerial passenger tramway except at an area designated for such purpose;
b. Drop, throw or expel any object from an aerial passenger tramway;
c. Perform any act which interferes with the running or operation of an aerial passenger tramway;
d. Enter the boarding area of or use any aerial passenger tramway without requesting and receiving instruction on its use from Snowshoe Mountain, unless the passenger has the ability to use it safely without instruction;
e. Engage in any harmful conduct, or willfully or negligently engage in any type of conduct which contributes to or causes injury to any person; or
f. Embark on an aerial passenger tramway without the authority, expressed or implied, of Snowshoe Mountain.
(2) Each skier/rider shall have the sole individual responsibility for knowing the range of his or her own ability to negotiate any ski slope or trail, and it shall be the duty of each skier/rider to ski or board within the limits of the skier's/rider’s own ability, to maintain reasonable control of speed and course at all times while skiing or riding, to heed all posted warnings, to ski or board only on a skiing/riding area designated by Snowshoe Mountain and to refrain from acting in a manner which may cause or contribute to the injury of anyone.
(3) If while actually skiing or riding, any skier/rider collides with any object or person; the responsibility for such collision shall be solely that of the skier/rider or skiers/riders involved and not that of Snowshoe Mountain.
(4) No person shall place any object in the skiing/riding area or on the uphill track or any aerial passenger tramway which may cause a passenger or skier/rider to fall.
(5) No skier/rider shall cross the track of any T-bar lift, J-bar lift, platter lift, conveyor lift or similar device, or a fiber rope tow except at a designated location, nor shall any skier/rider place any object in such an uphill track.
(6) No person involved in a skiing/riding accident shall depart Snowshoe Mountain Resort without leaving personal identification, including name and address, with an employee of the Snowshoe Mountain Ski Patrol or without obtaining assistance when that person knows or reasonably should know that any other person involved in the accident is in need of medical or other assistance.
(7) A ski or snowboard used by a skier while skiing or snowboarding shall be equipped with a strap or other device capable of stopping the ski or snowboard should the ski or snowboard detach from the skier. No skier/rider shall fail to wear retention straps or other devices to help prevent runaway skis or snowboards.
(8) Each skier/rider has the duty to maintain control of his or her speed and course at all times when skiing/riding and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers, riders and objects. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing/riding downhill to avoid collision with any person or objects below him or her.
(9) No skier/rider shall ski or board on a ski slope or trail that has been posted as "Closed."
(10) No skier/rider shall use any ski slope while such person's ability to do so is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or by the use of any controlled substance or other drug or while such person is under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance or other drug.
(11) Each skier/rider has the duty to heed all posted information and other warnings.
(12) Before beginning to ski/ride from a stationary position or before entering a ski slope or trail from the side, the skier/rider shall have the duty to avoid moving skiers/riders already on the ski slope or trail.
**This list is a partial list of duties that have been slightly modified from the Act. Please refer to the West Virginia Code Chapter 20 Article 3A for additional information.
Violations of the West Virginia Skiing Responsibility Act may result in loss of ticket/pass, fines, and/or imprisonment.
on the slopes
(1) If you have not skied or ridden before, we recommend that you take a lesson. Trained instructors can teach you more quickly and safely than learning on your own or from a friend. The Snowshoe Mountain Ski and Snowboard School is a good way to improve or refresh your skills as well as to become familiar with the mountain.
(2) Sit back and enjoy the ride. Always read the loading and lift information boards. If uncertain how to load or unload a certain chairlift, ask the attendant for instructions or help. Do not lean forward.
(3) Arrange a meeting place and time in case someone becomes separated from skiing companions.
(4) Be "predictable" when skiing/riding. Do not suddenly swerve away from the direction you have been traveling.
(5) The sun's intensity at this elevation is far greater than at sea level. Always wear eye and skin protection, even on cloudy days. On cold windy days protect against frostbite.
(6) If you drop a glove, etc., from a lift into a closed area or onto a run too difficult for your ability, note the number of the nearest lift tower and report it to the top lift attendant. The ski patrol will try to retrieve it and leave it at the bottom of the lift.
(7) "Go with the flow". If you are passing most skiers on the trail, you are probably skiing too fast. Observe the areas posted as "Slow" or “Trails Merge” and slow down no matter what your ability level. Always look uphill when entering a “Trails Merge” area. Fast or reckless skiing and riding can result in injury to you or others and perhaps the loss of your lift ticket/pass.
(8) Check message boards at the top of the lifts for any messages from the ski patrol. For example: injured skier in your party.
(9) Sledding of any type is not allowed at Snowshoe Mountain’s slope and trail system. Tubing is available at the Silver Creek Area.
(10) Snowcats, snowmobiles, snowmaking and other equipment may be encountered at any time. Stay clear.
(11) It is your responsibility to learn which trails are open. Do not enter closed trails by going through the trees. Refer to the daily snow report for current information on trail openings/closings as well as conditions. Obtain and review a current trail map/
(12) Any activity other than downhill skiing or snowboarding may be prohibited or restricted within the ski area. It is your responsibility to contact the Snowshoe Mountain Safety Department for details.
(13) Fencing, poles, padding and other markings are intended to alert you to certain hazards, not to protect you from injury. Not all obstacles are marked.
(14) Per Local Law, smoking is prohibited in public buildings.
(15) Snowshoe Mountain discourages the use of headphones, earbuds and earpieces while loading and unloading lifts or while skiing and snowboarding. These devices restrict your ability to hear what’s around you.
(16) Be alert for wildlife and do not approach or feed. Watch for low hanging, or falling limbs and trees.
(17) Backcountry warning: Snowshoe Mountain assumes no responsibility for skiers or riders going beyond the resorts designated trails, slopes, and glades. Areas beyond the designated trails, slopes, and glades are not patrolled or maintained. Unmarked obstacles and other natural hazards exist. Rescue in such areas may be slow and subject to fees.
(18) Drones: The use of drones is only permitted with the express written consent of Snowshoe Mountain. The use of any personal drones is strictly prohibited.
(19) Share the slopes. Enjoy a lifetime of skiing and riding!
Be alert for wildlife and avoid wildlife encounters. Dear and bear as well as fox, chipmunks and ground squirrels and other wildlife may be seen. Do not approach or feed. Keep the wildlife wild and keep your distance to help avoid injury.
Your Last Run of the Day
End the day on a positive note. Stop skiing with the first signs of fatigue.
Use caution walking especially in buildings, in the village, on walkways and in parking lots. Melting and freezing as well as water and snow accumulation, can cause surfaces to become slippery any time of the day or night. Try to clean the snow off the bottom of plastic ski boots to help prevent a slip and fall. Use footwear with good tread and/or use commercially available products made for the bottom of shoes and boots to give better traction.
Road and Weather Conditions change rapidly in the mountains. . Plan ahead and know before you go – go to http://wv511.org/ for information on road conditions. Take the time to clear ice and snow from all windows and lights for good visibility. Roads may be slick so stay a safe distance from other vehicles. Stopping distances may also be increased. Avoid braking on ice and use lower gears to control your speed.
Enjoy Your Visit!