5 Tips for Avoiding a Legal Mess While on The Slopes

October 11, 2019

Colorado Springs

(719) 309-3000

Grand Junction

(970) 287-1173

Whether skiing or boarding is your activity of choice on a beautiful winter day, the goal of a day on the mountain is to have fun.  Unfortunately, there are times when folks get hurt and end up needing a lawyer to battle an unfair insurance company. The best way to avoid needing a lawyer is to stay safe out there on the mountain.  There are five easy ways to avoid injuries on the slopes.

1. Always ski or snowboard under control.
Every person on the mountain is required to be in control of their speed and direction at all times while skiing or snowboarding.  Sometimes, icy runs, poor light conditions, or someone making an unexpected turn or having an unexpected fall can lead to a loss of control.  When this happens, the best option is to get to a complete stop as soon as possible to avoid the chance of running into another person and causing an injury to either party.  Also included in this category is aggressive skiing/boarding. It’s important to be thoughtful of others while on the slopes. While each person has the right to go as fast as they want, that right ends where the space of the next skier or border begins.  Aggressive behavior is dangerous and needs to be avoided to keep everyone safe. One final tip that can help you remain under control is to be aware of the terrain you’ll be operating in. When exploring new areas of a mountain, take it easy the first time or two down any run so you can get a basic idea of where any possible dangers, steep sections, large moguls, etc. are located.  

2. Never ski or snowboard under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while skiing or snowboarding is dangerous. Just like when driving, alcohol and drugs change one’s ability to react rapidly.  This ability is critical in situations where there can be lots of people in a relatively small space, and where all of them are making quick turns at the same time. Add to this weather, wind and snow conditions, and it’s easy to see why everyone needs to be in “full control” of their faculties, i.e. BE SOBER!

3. Always check your equipment before each day on the slopes.
If you are renting equipment, you can be almost assured that the equipment will be fully functioning and “safe”.  If you own your own equipment and it’s not new, it’s important to be sure that the safety features of skis and snowboards are fully functioning.  Specifically, this includes the brakes on ski bindings and the binding-straps on snowboards. Imagine the damage that can be inflicted by a “runaway” ski or snowboard flying down a mountain unattached!!!  

4. Never ski or snowboard in unauthorized areas. 
There are certainly areas that are not “official” ski resorts.  Places like mountain passes oftentimes offer incredible powder and terrain but the vast majority of ski and snowboard days take place in the structured boundaries of ski resorts.  If skiing anywhere in Colorado, always stay “in-bounds”. Not only can skiing or boarding out of bounds cause you to lose your pass, it can also have potential legal ramifications if you were to cause an avalanche, get hurt, hurt someone else, get lost, etc.

5. Always report people who are skiing or boarding aggressively or out of control.
Sometimes people get out of hand when skiing or snowboarding.  They might be aggressively skiing/boarding or out of control while on the slopes.  They might also be acting aggressively toward other skiers or boarders by being either verbally or (hopefully not) physically abusive.  Oftentimes this is caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Regardless of the reason, this type of behavior is unacceptable and must be reported to ski patrol or resort officials immediately.  If you have to report someone to authorities, take careful note of the clothing the person is wearing (color of hat, coat, pants, etc.) as that will be the primary way for them to be recognized by resort officials.  Also, be specific with the place the incident happened and the details of the situation. Unless there is an emergency, DO NOT interact directly with the person involved in the aggressive behavior. This can lead to an escalation of the person’s agitation or aggression and create more problems than it can solve.

At Ramos Law, we want everyone to Get Home Safe.  That includes getting home safe after a great day of skiing or snowboarding.  We hope these 5 tips help you have a safe and enjoyable day on the mountain. If you were injured by a skier or snowboarder, we are here to help you know what to do next.  Call our personal injury law firm in Colorado and Arizona today at 303-733-6353 and we’ll walk you through the entire process.