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Skiing and Snowboarding Safety

The Kids are Ready to Hit the Slopes Rescue worker and dog Night Skiers Enjoying Keystone

Keystone Ski Resort opens October 31 for the 14/15 season! 

2014/15 season passes are now on sale! Purchase Now for the Guaranteed Lowest Price.  

Keystone mountain biking is currently closed.  Keystone Mountain Biking will open for summer on June 13, 2014.  More information coming soon.
Keystone mountain biking is currently closed.  Keystone Mountain Biking will open for summer on June 13, 2014.  More information coming soon.
Kids Posing for a Photo


Heads Up - Know the Code, It's Your Responsibility

The Keystone Skier and Snowboarder Responsibility Program is designed to communicate, educate and enforce the basics of responsible, courteous skiing and snowboarding as outlined in Your Responsibility Code and the Colorado Skier Safety Act.

Ski Patroller and a Avalanche Dog

Ski Safety

1. Your Responsibility Code Keystone is committed to promoting skier safety. In addition to people using traditional alpine ski equipment, you may be joined on the slopes by snowboarders, telemark skiers or cross-country skiers, skiers with disabilities, skiers with specialized equipment and others. Always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing and snowboarding that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Know your ability level and stay within it. Observe “Your Responsibility Code” listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

    1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop
        or avoid other people or objects.

    2. People ahead of you have the right of way.
        It is your responsibility to avoid them.

    3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail,
        or are not visible from above.

    4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail,
        look uphill and yield to others.

    5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

    6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off
        closed trails and out of closed areas.

    7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge
        and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Be advised that Keystone does not mark all potential obstacles or hazards. When marked, poles, flags, fencing, signage, padding or other forms of marking are used to inform the skier/rider of the location of a potential obstacle or hazard. These markers are no guarantee of your safety. It is part of your responsibility under the Your Responsibility Code and the Colorado Ski Safety Act to avoid all obstacles and hazards. Learn more about safety on the mountain at  www.nsaa.org.


2.
Colorado Ski Safety Act. The Colorado legislature, recognizing risks that are inherent in the sport, has passed the Colorado Ski Safety Act, which provides inherent risks of the sport and relative responsibilities of the "skier" and the ski area. You must obey the Act. Under the Act, any person using the facilities of a ski area is considered a skier. A summary of the inherent risks is listed below:

WARNING
Under Colorado law, a skier assumes the risk of any injury to person or property resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing and may not recover from any ski area operator for any injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing, including: changing weather conditions; existing and changing snow conditions; bare spots; rocks; stumps; trees; collisions with natural objects, man-made objects, or other skiers; variations in terrain; and the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities.

The Ski Safety Act was amended in 2004 to include CLIFFS, EXTREME TERRAIN, JUMPS AND FREESTYLE TERRAIN as inherent dangers and risks of the sport.

Skiers and Riders should be advised that a green circle, blue square or black diamond at Keystone is not necessarily the same as a green circle, blue square or black diamond at other resorts. The system is a relative rating of trails at each resort and does not compare trail difficulty between resorts. Skiers and Riders should begin with the easiest terrain and then move up in difficulty as their ability permits in order to understand the relative rating at Keystone.

EXTREME TERRAIN
Extreme Terrain contains cliffs, very steep slopes as well as rocks and other hazards. Skiing or boarding Extreme Terrain is for EXPERTS ONLY. 


3.
Freestyle Terrain Areas are designated with an orange oval and may contain jumps, hits, ramps, banks, fun boxes, jibs, rails, half pipes, quarter pipes, snowcross, bump terrain and other constructed or natural terrain features. Prior to using Freestyle Terrain, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with Freestyle Terrain and obeying all instructions, warnings and signs. Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground, and in the air. Use of Freestyle Terrain exposes you to the risk of serious injury or death. Inverted aerials are not recommended. You assume the risk.

Freestyle Terrain has designations for size. Start small and work your way up. Designations are relative to this ski area.

    MAKE A PLAN. Every time you use Freestyle Terrain, make a plan for each feature you
    want to use. Your speed, approach and takeoff will directly affect your maneuver
    and landing.

    LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP. You are responsible for inspecting Freestyle Terrain before initial use
    and throughout the day. The features vary in size and change constantly due to snow conditions,
    weather, usage, grooming and time of day. Do not jump blindly. Use a spotter when necessary.

    EASY STYLE IT. Always ride or ski in control and within your ability level. Do not attempt Freestyle
    Terrain unless you have sufficient ability and experience to do so safely. You control the degree
    of difficulty you will encounter in using Freestyle Terrain, both on the ground and in the air.

    RESPECT GETS RESPECT. Respect Freestyle Terrain and others. Only one person on a feature
    at a time. Wait your turn and call your start. Always clear the landing area quickly. Respect all
    signs and do not enter Freestyle Terrain or use features when closed.


4.
Electronic Devices. Keystone discourages the use of electronic devices – cell phones, music players, or earphones – while skiing and snowboarding, or loading and unloading lifts.


5.
Lift Safety. Under Colorado law, you cannot board a lift unless you have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to negotiate or to use such lift safely or until you have asked for and received information sufficient to enable you to use the lift safely. You may not use a lift or any ski trail when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


6.
CAUTION – snowcats, snowmobiles and snowmaking may be encountered at any time.


7.
Slow Zones. Certain areas (indicated on the map in yellow) are designated as SLOW ZONES. Please observe the posted slow areas by maintaining a speed no faster than the general flow of traffic. Space and speed are especially important in these areas. Fast and aggressive skiing will not be tolerated.


8.
Helmet Use. Keystone encourages our guests to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of winter sports helmets. Regardless of whether or not you choose to wear a helmet, every winter sport participant shares responsibility for his or her safety and for that of others using the ski area facilities.


9.
Backcountry Warning. Pursuant to the Colorado Ski Safety Act, the ski area assumes no responsibility for skiers going beyond the ski area boundary. To access the backcountry, use designated gates only. Areas beyond the ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained. Avalanches, unmarked obstacles and other natural hazards exist. Be aware: the backcountry avalanche hazard may be extreme. Rescue in the backcountry, if available, is the responsibility of the Summit County Sheriff. It will be costly and may take time.


10.
High-Altitude Environment. Some visitors may experience symptoms associated with [Resort Name]’s high altitude. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, restless sleep, coughing and difficulty in breathing. If symptoms persist or if you have a concern about your health, you should seek medical attention.

Terrain Park Safety

View Smart Style Video

  • Know your Limits and ability level and select the appropriate Freestyle Terrain for you.


  • Your condition, speed, balance, body movements, alignment, trajectory and maneuver difficulty will DIRECTLY AFFECT YOUR DESIRED OUTCOME.


  • Know the intended use of the Freestyle Terrain you have chosen. For example, some features are intended to be used in a series with no stopping and some individually with stopping areas; jump takeoffs are for jumping and rail takeoffs are for entering onto rails.


  • Your actions can take you out of balance and cause serious injury or death, no matter how the feature is designed or where you land. Land on your feet!


  • Transitions are changes in the shape and pitch of the snow or feature, or changes from one type of sliding surface to another. Transitions can be gentle or abrupt, and demand that users be alert and respond to them with accurate movements.


  • Know where to Land. The SWEET SPOT is between the "knuckle" and center of the landing zone. Even if you land on or near the sweet spot, you can still be seriously injured or die if your landing posture is not correct.


  • INVERTED MANEUVERS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.


  • BE AWARE that features change constantly due to snow conditions, weather, usage, grooming and time of day.


  • Read and obey all posted signs, instructions and warnings before using Freestyle Terrain.


  • Some resorts designate features as small, medium and large. Be aware these ratings are determined by size, not degree of difficulty, and are relative only to that resort.
 

FOUR MAIN POINTS OF SMART STYLE:

1. Make a Plan


Every time you use Freestyle Terrain, make a plan for each feature you want to use.

Your speed, approach and takeoff will directly affect your maneuver and landing.

2. Easy Style It


Know your limits and ski/ride within your ability level

Look for small progression parks or features to begin with and work your way up

Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground and in the air

Do not attempt any features unless you have sufficient ability and experience to do so safely

Inverted aerials increase your risk of injury and are not recommended

3. Look Before You Leap


Before getting into freestyle terrain observe all signage and warnings

Scope around the jumps first not over them

Use your first run as a warm up run and to familiarize yourself with the terrain

Be aware that the features change constantly due to weather, usage, grooming and time of day

Do not jump blindly and use a spotter when necessary

4. Respect Gets Respect


Respect the terrain and others

One person on a feature at a time

Wait your turn and call your start

Always clear the landing area quickly

Respect all signs and stay off closed terrain and features

Know the Code

Be sure you Know the Code: You're Responsibility Code provides safety tips while on the slopes. Smart Style is a terrain park specific safety program that you should check out before using terrain parks.

    • Each feature can be broken down into 4 zones. Identify these zones and have a plan
      before using any Freestyle Terrain.

    • Approach zone is the space for setting your speed and stance to use the feature.

    • Takeoff zone is for making moves that start your trick.

    • Maneuver zone is for controlling your body in the air and setting up for landing.

    • Landing zone is the prepared slope between the knuckle and the runout beyond it.

Skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country and other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

    1. Always stay in control.

    2. People ahead of you have the right of way.

    3. Stop in a safe place for you and others.

    4. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.

    5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

    6. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.

    7. Know how to use the lifts safely.

    8. Be safety conscious and KNOW THE CODE. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

High Altitude Awareness


Above 8,000 feet, altitude illness affects 20 percent to 30 percent of visitors from low elevations to some degree. The first thing most people notice is a shortness of breath, especially when exercising. In addition, the heart is likely to beat faster and one may develop nausea, unusual tiredness, headache, or have difficulty sleeping. Those with one or more of these symptoms may have Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If the symptoms do not subside shortly, a doctor should be called. Upon arrival in this area, take it easy for the first day or two. Drink two or three times more water or fluid than usual. Limit alcohol consumption for two or three days and minimize caffeine intake. Limit salty foods and increase carbohydrate consumption. Most importantly, listen to your body. Do not push the limits of your physical capabilities.

What to Bring

Tip - Gear to bring for winter trips to Keystone

Temperatures range from 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Avoid wearing cotton clothing in winter because it absorbs moisture and doesn't insulate when it's wet. Click here for more tips on what to bring.

Uphill Access

Non-Lift Uphill Access to Keystone Mountain

Keystone Resort and the United States Forest Service encourage use of public land.  Please be aware that public lands comprising Keystone Resort ski area under permit to Vail Associates, Inc. d/b/a Keystone Resort by the United States Forest Service (USFS).  While enjoying these permitted lands, you must abide by Keystone Resort and USFS restrictions and recommendations, including those summarized below.

Keystone Resort's uphill access policy for the 2014-15 season. While the resort opens for lift-serviced skiing and riding on Friday, Oct. 31, planned early season grooming and snowmaking operations on the River Run trail will limit uphill access through the early part of November due to safety concerns.

Once early season operations are complete on River Run, an announcement will be made and guests may then enjoy uphill access while abiding by the following guidelines:
  • Must not impede or obstruct ski area operations at any time.
  • Public uphill access is prohibited when ski area lifts are open; all guests must be off the trails by the beginning of public lift operations each morning.
  • Pets are not allowed on the ski area at any time. 
  • Uphill access may be restricted at other times throughout the season due to slope maintenance operations, which create unsafe conditions. 
  • Guests using the ski area for uphill access must abide by all posted signs, including all closed signs. 
  • Under Colorado law, any person using any of the facilities of a ski area is considered a skier. You have many duties under Colorado law, including controlling your speed and course at all times and maintaining a proper outlook. Using a ski area for any purpose can be hazardous and you assume all risks. People traveling uphill are bound by the “Your Responsibility Code” and the Colorado Ski Safety Act.
For additional information regarding uphill access, contact the Keystone Ski Patrol at 970-496-3100.


Use of Ski Area Facilities

Please be advised that, under Colorado law, any person using any of the facilities of a ski area is considered a skier.  You have many duties under Colorado law, including controlling your speed and course at all times and maintaining a proper outlook.  Using a ski area for any purpose can be HAZARDOUS and you assume all risks.

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