Sign gardens. Grilling in the sunshine. Happy avalanche dogs. Free swag and food! All in celebration of NSAA’s Safety Month!
You might have noticed the presence of the new SAFERmtn Team around Snowbasin this year. New this season, the SAFERmtn Team is working hard to educate Snowbasin patrons about responsible riding and they are having a ton of fun while doing it.
In celebration of Safety month, SAFERmtn hosted a Safety Basecamp at the base of the Middle Bowl Lift. Saturday, Sunday and Monday of MLK weekend, skiers and boarders were greeted with free food, free swag, demonstrations and education.
Ski Patrol had a beacon park up and running where young and old alike learned first-hand how a beacon works and how to search for someone who is buried in an avalanche.
Snowbasin patrollers had the avalanche dogs out doing demonstrations. I was able to meet Flint (age 3) and his handler Casey. I learned it takes roughly two years to train a dog in search and rescue.
Shelley Ekman, one of the new safety ambassadors, shared, “we want people to feel free to ask questions and have conversations with us.” Truthfully, many of us shy away from patrol or safety employees. So I took my chance to ask a few questions of my own.
“Sometimes the safety rules can get overwhelming or are easily forgotten when powder stoke takes over. What is one thing you’d really like us to remember?”
Shelley replied, “I always remind people to read and follow the signs, especially the Slow signs. But the definition of slow can be different for everyone, right? So it is important that we ski or ride at the same speed or slower than the guests around us in those higher traffic zones.”
I asked Ski Patroller and handler of Jigs (Snowbasin rescue dog), Eric Landretch, a similar question about how we can support their work on the mountain. “Please come on up and ask us questions! Even when we are with the dogs or out working. Regarding the dogs, please ask permission to approach them and be super cautious with your skis or boards around them.”
The SAFERmtn team has been working hard this season to make skiing safe. If you missed the fun and festivities, check out the Safety Cabin, circulating around the resort this season. Stop by, say hello and answer a safety question to win cool prizes. The second Safety Cabin will be launching every Friday on Needles Gondola. The lucky cabin riders will have a chance to win giveaways and be entered into a weekly drawing!
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