Safety and Conduct
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Deer Valley Ski Patrol: 435-645-6804
Guest Services: 435-645-6658
Skier Services: 435-645-6648
SKI PATROL LOCATIONS AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Professional patrollers are present on the mountain daily, providing guest information and emergency assistance. Patrol buildings are located at the top of the following chairlifts: Sterling Express, Empire Express, Lady Morgan Express, Carpenter Express, Northside Express, and the Mountaineer Express and Jordanelle Express Gondola. If you witness an accident, please notify a Ski Patroller or a Lift Operator, or call 435-645-6804 or 435-649-1000. To protect an injured skier, cross your skis vertically in the snow uphill from the accident until a Patroller arrives.
Snowsports offer us a great way to enjoy winter and all it has to offer. There are certain inherent risks with snowsports and our goal is to provide guests with a safe and enjoyable mountain experience. Safety starts with you: proper preparation, common sense, and personal awareness can help you reduce your risk on the slopes and ensure everyone has an exceptional winter experience. The Skier's Responsibility Code is the foundation of ski area safety. Know the code, it's your responsibility.
Your knowledge, decisions, and actions contribute to your safety and the safety of others. If you need help understanding the code, please ask a ski area employee.
Published by the National Ski Areas Association.
LOAD: Remove ski pole straps from wrist and hold them in one hand, freeing the other, and sit on the chair.
LOWER: Lower the bar promptly. The bar should remain down until indicated at the top of the lift.
LIFT: Raise the bar once indicated to do so by the signs at the top of the lift.
STAND: Once at the unload ramp, stand and unload safely.
LEAVE: Clear the ramp area quickly to alleviate congestion around the unload ramp.
Special considerations for children:
- A small child (defined as a child shorter than 51" to the top of their helmet) may be assisted by the lift operator unless instructed differently by their parent or guardian.
- Children should sit on the outside next to the armrest for added security.
- Remind children to sit against the backrest.
Tree Well, Deep Snow, and Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS)
WHAT ARE TREE WELLS?
- Tree wells are hollow spaces that form around the base of trees when snow accumulates but doesn't completely fill in the area directly beneath the branches: leaving a void composed of low hanging branches, loose snow, and air. Tree wells can be incredibly deep, oftentimes deep enough to completely submerge a full grown adult male.
- These voids can be hidden from view by the tree’s low hanging branches and there is no easy way to identify if a particular tree has a dangerous tree well by sight. All tree wells should be treated as dangerous.
- Skiers may inadvertently fall —usually headfirst— into these wells while riding through treed areas. Even experienced skiers can be caught off-guard.
SNOW IMMERSION SUFFOCATION (SIS)
- Snow immersion suffocation (SIS) occurs when a person becomes trapped in deep snow, with their head below the surface leaving them unable to breathe properly.
- Besides falling into tree wells, merely falling in deep snow can lead to this perilous condition. 30% of SIS accidents occur in areas of deep snow other than tree wells which includes steep drops, creek beds, below cliffs, etc.
- Once trapped in a tree well or deep snow, individuals often struggle to free themselves while the loose snow packs in around them, immobilizing them while breathing becomes difficult.
- Even if the head is only slightly submerged, inhaling snow can block airways, leading to suffocation within minutes. This is a life-threatening situation that can lead to suffocation within minutes.
- Panic and disorientation can exacerbate the situation, making it challenging to escape.
- Many underestimate the strength necessary to free themselves from deep snow. In 90% of cases, self-rescue is impossible and outside assistance will be required.
MITIGATION AND SAFETY TIPS
- Skiers should be aware of the risks associated with tree wells and snow immersion suffocation, especially in areas with heavy snowfall and tree-lined slopes.
- These hazards are at their highest during and after periods of intense snowfall. Powder fever can exacerbate the dangers as skiers overlook the risks while chasing untracked turns in deep snow.
- It is essential to ski with a buddy who can provide aid in case of an emergency. Do not lose sight of each other. Ski short pitches and stop to regroup often.
- If you lose sight of your partner, assume they need help and render assistance immediately.
- Carry necessary safety equipment, including an avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel, to increase your chances of rescue in deep snow situations. Having a whistle somewhere accessible can be a great way to alert others to your location.
- Learn how to use this equipment effectively, routinely practice using this equipment and consider taking avalanche safety courses.
- If you must fall, attempt to fall feet first to maintain your airway.
- Avoid skiing too close to trees or dense forests, especially in unfamiliar terrain.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GO DOWN
- Remain calm and slow down your breathing to conserve air.
- Do whatever you can to keep your head above the surface of the snow, including rolling, grabbing tree branches or the tree trunk. If possible, keep your feet below the level of your head.
- If immersed, create space around your face to ensure a clear airway while waiting for assistance.
- Yell or whistle to alert others of your location.
- If possible, use your cell phone to call ski patrol or emergency services.
- Trust that help is on the way.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR FRIEND GOES DOWN
- Don’t leave to get help. Stay with your partner.
- Call for additional resources with your phone. Yell and whistle for assistance from others nearby.
- Evaluate the scene for your own safety. Do not put yourself in danger during the rescue.
- Begin rescue efforts immediately. Dig directly towards your partner’s airway. Take care not to knock more snow into the hole. Clear all snow from their mouth, nose, and face, and maintain their access to air throughout the rescue.
- Do not pull the victim out the way they fell in. Tunnel in towards the head from the side. Expand this tunnel until they can be extricated.
Skiing in deep snow can be a great experience, but it is essential to understand the hidden dangers of tree wells and snow immersion suffocation. Being aware of these hazards, practicing safe skiing techniques, and being prepared with the right equipment can significantly reduce the risks associated with skiing in deep snow conditions.
As part of this global mountain community, we invite you to review our community guidelines and expectations. These shared principles keep everyone safe, accountable, and regarded with respect. All guests and employees are expected to observe the following guidelines and share the mountains.
Practice safe skiing habits by following YOUR Responsibility Code.
- Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.
- People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.
- Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.
- Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
- You must prevent runaway equipment.
- Read and obey all signs, warnings, and hazard markings.
- Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.
- Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.
- Take personal responsibility for your actions and safety.
- Be aware of your physical limitations, and ski terrain appropriate for your ability level.
- Arrive prepared for varied mountain conditions.
RESPECT AND INCLUSION
- Treat everyone with respect, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic.
- Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or any other protected characteristic will not be tolerated.
- Our mountains are for everyone to enjoy free from discrimination, hate speech, harassment, personal attacks, and vulgar behavior.
- Respect and protect our natural environment.
Uphill Travel Policy
Snowmaking operations, grooming equipment, snowmobiles, and other operational exercises can present hazards to uphill users on a 24-hour basis. Deer Valley Resort cannot represent to the public that there is a safe area or time to allow uphill travel or access into the resort from the backcountry.
Those seeking an uphill travel experience can access the Bonanza Flat Conservation Area, 1,534 acres of backcountry terrain adjacent to Deer Valley Resort. This terrain can be accessed by parking at the trailhead just east of Empire Canyon Lodge on State Highway 224. Access to the Bonanza Flat Conservation Area is via Guardsman Pass from the trailhead. Please note, backcountry skiers are not allowed to ski into Deer Valley Resort boundaries from this area.
- Resort terrain is not suitable for sledding, tubing, or anything of the like and may increase the risk of losing control and colliding with objects (natural or man-made). Doing so may lead to serious injury or death.
- Maintenance of the Resort is a 24-hour operation. Snowmaking, grooming, and chairlift maintenance occur during and outside operational hours. During these operations, unauthorized persons on the premises expose themselves to extreme hazards. In addition to the dangers posed by the highly pressurized snowmaking equipment, our snowcats and snowmobiles continually traverse the slopes during grooming activities.
Approved Sliding Devices
APPROVED SNOW SLIDING DEVICES:
- Downhill Skis
- Telemark Skis
- Mono Skis
- Snow Blades
APPROVED ADA ADAPTIVE SNOW SLIDING DEVICES:
- Sit Skis
- Mono Skis
- Cross-Country Skis
- Boot Skis
- Snow Skate
- Snow Surfers
- Skis/Snowboards with Plastic Edges
- Dual Board Snowboards
- Tandem Devices
- Sleds, Tubes, or Toboggans
- Body Sled
- Fat Tire Bikes
- Ski Bikes
- Snow Trikes
- Snow Scooters
- Snow Deck
Tips for Avoiding a Collision
Complementing Your Responsibility Code and its 10 tenets, the Snow Angel Foundation - Ride Another Day, promotes 3 actions every skier can take to help keep themselves and those around safer on the slopes.
1. BE READY
Be ready to slow down or avoid objects or other people at any time. Ski in such a way that you are always able to control yourself regardless of conditions and avoid others and objects you may encounter on the run, groomed or otherwise.
2. STAY ALERT
Stay alert to what’s going on around you, especially other skiers. Being aware of those around and changing conditions will help you have a fun and safe day on the hill.
3. PLAN AHEAD
Ease up at blind spots, check uphill when merging onto trails, and give other skiers plenty of room when passing. Look out for spots on the run where traffic merges or you can't see what's coming next. If you are unfamiliar with a run, take it easy the first time down it and make note of places where you'll want to slow down, such as cat tracks and rollers. Also, give other skiers room (KNOW the ZONE), especially if you are passing them. There's plenty of space out there, so there's no need to crowd each other.
KNOW THE ZONE
EVERY SKIER GETS 15 FEET
While on the hill, avoid collisions by giving others 15 feet of space on all sides. If kids are present, go slower and give them even more space. Know that skiers can turn suddenly, so stay in control to obey the 15-foot zone.
PEOPLE HAVE THE DOWNHILL RIGHT OF WAY
1. It is your responsibility to avoid skiers downhill from you.
2. Give all skiers at least 15 feet of space when passing.
3. Watch your speed and pay attention to others' sudden changes in direction and speed.
IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A COLLISION OR INCIDENT
If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee. Your knowledge, decisions, and actions contribute to your safety and the safety of others. If you need help understanding the code, please ask a ski area employee.
PARK CITY CRIMINAL CODE 8-2-8 C & D
Any skier involved in a collision resulting in injury to any person shall immediately stop at the scene of such collision and provide such care and treatment to any injured person as is reasonably necessary and must give his or her name, address, and phone number to a member of the ski patrol before leaving the vicinity of the collision.
Snow Safety/Avalanche Mitigation
Avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing. Deer Valley’s efforts reduce the risk of avalanches; however, avalanches may occur at any time both inside and outside the resort’s boundaries. Deep snow and tree wells can create a suffocation hazard. Do not ski alone.