Mount Washington Ski Patrol provides mountain safety to guests and staff. The Ski Patrol team is committed to a fun and safe snow environment which is achieved through education, awareness, staff training, signage, traffic control, frequent offender enforcement and RCMP support.
The team is broken down into three main departments:
- Snow Safety and Avalanche Control
- First Aid and Rescue
- Safe Slopes
Snow Safety and Avalanche Control is comprised of 15 members who continually assess the snow pack and implement a variety of methods to control any avalanche hazard within the operational boundary of Mount Washington Alpine Resort. These methods include physically "ski cutting" slopes or using explosives to create controlled avalanches thus alleviating the danger. The Snow Safety team begin their morning at 5:30 am. There are a variety of tasks that include collecting data and forming a plan for the day's avalanche control. Snow Safety members also produce the morning snow report and the snow phone. Avalanche control is usually completed before 9:30 am and allows for the Snow Safety member to conduct further assessments of the slopes, assist in training, and provide first aid to guests. At the end of the day, members await the start of an organized sweep at the top of the mountain. Here the member will sign up for the run sweep of their choice and ride down that run in a coordinated effort to ensure that there is no one left on the mountain after closing.
First Aid and Rescue is comprised of 30 members and is complimented with an additional 75 member volunteer team that provides the mountain with an abundance of well trained First Aid and Rescue personnel. A morning safety meeting outlines the morning's duties, training schedule and run sweeps for each member. The member begins most days by skiing a designated run to ensure that it is free of hazards or obstructions including boundary line inspection, sign deployment, or placement of hazard markings. The member will then engage in a number of tasks that can range from attending to a workers injury in the kitchen to providing an injured guest with first aid treatment. Throughout most days there is training available for members which can include avalanche rescue skills, First Aid skills and rope rescue skills. At the end of the day, members await the start of an organized sweep at the top of the mountain. Here the member will sign up for the run sweep of their choice and ride down that run in a coordinated effort to ensure that there is no one left on the mountain after closing.
Safe Slopes is comprised of a six member team. The Safe Slopes team enforce the Alpine Responsibility Code throughout the entire mountain. The Safe Slope team is a compliment to the Ski Patrol and assist when required. Safe Slopes members start their day ensuring that all designated signage and barriers are in place. Members will also assist with other morning duties such as sweeping a run for any debris or hazard before opening the mountain to the public. These individuals are also tasked with the unique job of providing a physical presence in areas that have been deemed as a Slow Zone. Depending on the weather, snow conditions and volume of customers, members could also be tasked with ensuring that a boundary rope is in place and has been adequately cleared of snow. The Safe Slopes team may participate in training exercises with First Aid and Rescue as time and volume allows. Again, the weather plays a large role in how that day's slopes might be managed. The presence of new snow and obscured vision tends to slow riders down and having members set up for speed control might not be warranted. Members continue to do hourly run assessments of the Slow Zones to ensure that as the volume increases so does the physical presence of these members. At the end of the day, members await the start of an organized sweep at the top of the mountain. Here the member will sign up for the run sweep of their choice and ride down that run in a coordinated effort to ensure that there is no one left on the mountain after closing.
Safety at Mount Washington takes top priority. A commitment to promoting responsibility and awareness to all mountain users can reduce the inherent risk of Skiing or Snowboarding. With a little common sense and careful consideration of others, we can all enjoy a safer environment. Do the right thing on the mountain - be safe!
Observe and Obey These Signs
Alpine Responsibility Code
There are elements of risk that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Regardless of how you decide to use the slopes, always show courtesy to others. Please adhere to the code listed below and share with others the responsibility for a safe outdoor experience. Be aware! Ski and ride with care.
- Always stay in control. You must be able to stop, or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right-of-way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
- Before starting downhill or merging into a trail look up hill and yield to others.
- If you are involved in or witness a collision or accident you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol.
- Always use proper devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe and obey all posted signs.
- Keep off closed trails and closed areas.
- You must not use lifts or terrain when your ability is impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs.
- You must have sufficient physical dexterity ability and knowledge to safely load, ride, and unload lifts. If in doubt ask the lift attendant.
- Plan ahead for variations in weather and be aware of changing snow surface conditions
- Only ski and snowboard in areas compatible with your ability
- After falling on the slopes or chairlift ramp move away quickly to avoid becoming an obstacle for other skiers or riders
- Slow skiing areas are intended for beginner skiers. Passing or jumping are forbidden in these areas
- It is your responsibility to maintain control of both your speed and course at all times
Mount Washington's inbound terrain includes natural hazards including cliffs and cornices. Ski with caution, unmarked objects and hazards may exist.
Safe Slopes Program
Here at Mount Washington, we believe that people should feel safe and comfortable so they can enjoy a relaxed ski run without the worry of reckless skiers and riders. All of our Safe Slope members are working to continually preserve this safe environment. Ensuring both our guests' and employees' awareness of the alpine responsibility code helps keep the slopes safe for everyone.
Our Mountain Safety team can't be missed. You can find them, wearing high-visibility vests, patrolling the "Slow Zones" and any other area that could become congested. These team members are on the lookout for skiers and riders traveling too fast or displaying reckless behavior. Often only a verbal warning will correct these issues but on occasion skiing and riding privileges are suspended.
You can help the Safe Slopes members by using common sense, courtesy and ensuring that you are skiing or riding in control and slowly through a Slow Zone without jumping.
How to Report an Accident
Firstly remember not to touch or move an injured person as their injuries could be made worse if the person is moved incorrectly! Place a pair of crossed skis or a snowboard upright in the snow uphill of the injured skier or snowboarder (or at the nearest visible spot if the person is in a blind spot). Inform the nearest Lift Operator or Ski Patrol personnel. Report as exact as possible the location of the injured , noting trail name, lift tower, etc.
Tobogganing is permitted at the Nordic area at Raven Lodge only at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
- visit the Nordic Snow Report for status
A much better sliding option is the Ozone Snow Tubing Park. The Ozone provides a safe and controlled sliding environment. The best part is you don't have to walk uphill - there's a lift!