Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Safety
All sports come with some level of risk and mountain sports even more so. With proper preparation and understanding of your own skill level, equipment and weather conditions, risks can be minimized and injuries prevented. To ensure a successful, safe and happy vacation be sure to read through the on-mountain responsibilities, rules and regulations and always follow posted signs and the directions of the Whistler Blackcomb safety team or your activity guide.
Ski and Snowboard Safety at Whistler Blackcomb
The Alpine Responsibility Code
The points listed in the Alpine Responsibility Code are the rules of the road when you are on the mountain. The Mountain Safety Team, the Ski Patrol, and the Terrain Park Rangers will stop and let guests know when they are not following the code. Failure to follow the Alpine Responsibility Code could result in consequences ranging from a one-on-one Safety Awareness Seminar with a Ski Patroller to a lifetime suspension from Whistler Blackcomb.
Please respect all ropes, signage and ski area boundary markers. All may indicate possible dangers that may not be readily apparent. In particular, the snow making water reservoirs on both mountains are roped off from public access, clearly signed and should be avoided.
Whistler Blackcomb recommends wearing helmets for skiing and riding. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet usage. The primary safety consideration, and obligation under the Alpine Responsibility Code, is to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner.
Tree Well Information And Safety Tips
Natural hazards such as tree wells occur within and outside of the ski area boundary. A tree well is a hole or depression that forms around the base of a tree while snow accumulates. A tree well incident occurs when a person falls, head first, into an area of deep snow around the base of a tree and becomes immobilized. The more the person struggles the more entrapped in the snow they become. The risks of a tree well accident or fatality can be reduced by following these basic practices:
- Always ski or ride with a partner
- Keep your partner in sight and stay in visual contact so they can see you if you fall
- Stay close enough to either pull or dig each other out
Avalanches naturally occur in the mountains. Learn more about this natural phenomenon, and learn how to manage the risks if planning to travel in avalanche terrain. This information is useful for skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers and those frequenting backcountry areas.
Informative courses in avalanche safety, awareness, and terrain assessment are available through a number of places in Whistler:
The courses have been designed and recognized by the Canadian Avalanche Association. Instructors are qualified and experienced. All courses include manuals and handouts.
Tips for Travel in Avalanche Terrain
The following are tips for travel in Avalanche terrain. These tips are not a substitute for avalanche awareness training and experience.
- Avoid large, steep, lee bowls, gullies and cornices
- Choose safer routes: ridge tops, valley floors, dense timber and low angle slopes
- Never have more than one person on a slope at any time
- Don't stop in the middle of the slope, move to a safe place
- Watch each person on the slope and stay in voice contact
- Have a plan: know who is going to go first, where to stop and where the escape route is
Whistler Mountain Bike Park Safety
Whistler Blackcomb strongly suggest that full face helmets, full length gloves, biking armor and a full suspension bike be used in the Bike Park. If you are new to the mountain-biking program at Whistler Blackcomb, or the Parent or Guardian of a younger rider, please familiarize yourself with the mountain-biking activities on offer as there are excellent introductory mountain-biking lessons and beginner mountain-biking terrain available. More challenging terrain and features should not be attempted until the rider has the appropriate skills, experience and equipment to effectively negotiate such trail sections. Carrying a mobile phone and having a local emergency contact is recommended.
Mountain Bike Responsibility Code
Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Mountain Bike Responsibility Code and keep safety your number one priority.
Mountain Bike Checklist
The trails of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park are rough and demanding on bike and body. Before riding always inspect your equipment or have it checked by a qualified bike mechanic. Helmets are mandatory in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
Helmets are mandatory in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.