Alpine Responsibility

Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb has identified 'uncompromising safety' as a core value for our company. Our Mission Statement for the Whistler Blackcomb Safety Department is: "To create the safest possible mountain experience for our guests and staff."

Message from Whistler Blackcomb Patrol:

As friendly reminder, when engaging is our favorite activity of Skiing and Snowboarding, as there always is risk of injury. Many factors in the mountains can lead to such injuries and everyone has should have the responsibility to watch out for their safety.

Mountain Sense is a general knowledge someone acquires for the dangers around them in Mountain environment. It starts with the general understanding that it takes conditioning to be out all day on the Ski slopes. Everyone gets tired and thirsty when spending a day out enjoying the mountains. In addition, there are many more Hazards around you to negotiate which can lead to not only Physical fatigue but also some mental fatigue. Managing on Piste traffic can be challenging for people who are not practiced or don't regularly deal with such action. The Skier's Responsibility Code is in place to try to manage this situation, but does not give someone all the required experience.

Patrol has a few reminders for personnel and guest Safety, which we would like to share to enhance everyone Mountain Sense.

  • Be aware of where you stop on piste, make sure others can see you if they come fast. If you lead a group plan ahead and stop where you feel everyone including other skiers/boarders will not collide. Make sure you don't create a bottleneck, be aware how much room your group takes up on the slope or lift areas. Plan ahead.
  • Think of Fatigue, many visitors here for one week, might not be conditioned to ski/board long days. Warm up in the morning and stretch it out, then tone it down in the afternoon. Avoid difficult terrain such as moguls in afternoons or end of a day. Plan to finish on a good note.
  • Don't cut across a run from one side to the other without a good look that no one is coming, avoid abrupt change of direction without a shoulder check. If you exit out of the trees into a ski run, check you are not cutting anyone off.
  • Plan to move away from lift areas, making your meeting point well outside the lift off-load zones, as some of these areas are tight. It is more relaxing for guests to move a little further out of traffic to get orientated and make plans on where to ski/board next.

These are just a few points to share with friends and guests when out there enjoying the Mountain. Please, take the time to plan each run and help us make everyone have a safe and pleasant experience. Thank you.

Helmet Usage

Whistler Blackcomb 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 the Alpine Responsibility Code, is to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner.

Alpine Responsibility Code

1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

  • Be aware conditions on the mountain do change, so adjust your usage accordingly.

2. People ahead of you have the right-of-way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

  • Do not pass people to close at high speed, you may not be able to avoid them if they fall or make an unexpected sharp turn. Be aware Snowboard riders have a blind side and may not see you on that side. Snowboarders have to check their blind side before turning across a busy ski run and make sure they are not turning into a fast skier. There are regular collision on ski hills do your best to avoid these situations.

3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.

  • Stopping under convex rolls should be avoided at all time as others cannot see you. If you fall and have to stop in such a place, have some one stop above you to protect you from on -coming traffic. Crossed skis or arms designate this temporary detour.

4. Before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.

5. If you are involved in or witness a collision or accident, you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to Ski Patrol.

  • It is important to give clear information for First Aid purposes. Similar to motor vehicle incidents the involved parties must exchange contact information for insurance purposes.

6. Always use proper devices to prevent runaway equipment.

  • It is your responsibility to have functioning ski brakes, snowboard retaining devices and make sure your gear is secure when taken of your feet. A run away ski or snowboard is very damaging if it impacts with another person and you will be found personally liable for any damage caused by your equipment.

7. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings.

  • Also use common sense for your safety and the safety of others. Realize that signs do change with conditions.

8. Keep off closed trails and closed areas.

  • Areas are closed for a good reason, conditions are not safe to proceed or not adequate to pursue your current activity. It is or goal to have all the terrain available for your enjoyment.

9. You must not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through use of alcohol or drugs.

10. You must have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to safely load, ride and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask the lift attendant or Ski Patrol.

Tree Well Information And Safety Tips

Natural hazards such as tree wells occur within and outside of the ski area boundary. Whistler Blackcomb would like to remind all guests to ski and ride with care, obey all mountain signage, and ski/ride with a partner or group.

A tree well is a hole or depression that forms around the base of a tree while snow accumulates. A tree well incident occurs when a person falls, head first, into an area of deep snow around the base of a tree and becomes immobilized. The more the person struggles the more entrapped in the snow they become. The risks of a tree well accident or fatality can be reduced by following these basic practices:

  • Always ski or ride with a partner
  • Keep your partner in sight and stay in visual contact so they can see you if you fall
  • Stay close enough to either pull or dig each other out