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Safety Tips – Snow Code for Snowsports

In the vast majority of things we do, acting responsibly is the best way to avoid injury, and snowsports are no different. If you behave in an appropriate manner while you’re out on the slopes, your chances of hurting yourself – or someone else – are significantly reduced.

And it’s important to note that there is a Snow Responsibility Code that sets out the desirable behaviour for skiers’ and snowboarders’ behaviour when they’re on the snow. It is promoted and enforced across all snow areas, and irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated!

But don’t think that it’s all directed at curtailing your fun; the eight points of the Code are about behaving in a commonsense manner that will keep you safe on the mountain.


The Snow Responsibility Code:

1. Stay in control at all times
Know your ability, start easy, be able to stop and avoid other people. Losing control is the number one cause of falls.
2. People below you have the right of way
The skier or boarder downhill of you has the right of way. Don't forget to look above before entering a trail.

3. Obey all ski area signage
Signs are there for your safety. Keep out of closed areas. 

4. Look before you leap
Scope out jumps first. Ensure the area is clear of others and use a spotter on blind jumps.

5. Stop where you can be seen
When stopping, try to move to the side of the trail and make sure you can be seen from above.

6. Don’t lose what you use
Equipment must be secured while walking or stashing. This goes for rubbish too! Remember to take all your waste with you so it doesn’t become a hazard for others (or the environment). 

7. Stay on scene
If you are involved in or witness an accident, remain at the scene and identify yourself to the ski patrol.

8. Respect gets respect
Right from the lift line, to the slopes, and through the car park – treat others as you would want to
be treated.


www.avalanche.net.nz is fantastic for getting the most recent information on avalanche risk levels at popular mountains around the country.

If you are heading into the backcountry and alpine terrain, check here first. And remember, avalanches happen in summer too.


avalanche-safety-cover   avalanche-rescue-cover

Avalanche Pamphlets
You can download the Avalanche Safety and Avalanche Rescue pamphlets from the online store here


Snow Safety Code
You can download the Snow Safety Code from the online store here


Mountain Safety Council managed websites
Mountain Saftey CouncilAdventure SmartAvalanche.net.nzNational Incident Database