A Guide to Ski Resort Etiquette — A Public Service Announcement courtesy of Higher Ground

John Devitt

Rules of etiquette are funny things.  These secret codes are often unwritten but one must learn to understand and practice them if one is to become an accepted member of society.  In fact, it is often considered inappropriate to tell someone they are not following proper etiquette unless; they are specifically asking whether they are being rude, or the person is under your instruction, such as is the case with a parent, babysitter, teacher, or supervisor.  So we will politely discuss proper etiquette as though we all need a little instruction.  If this offends you, then I suggest visiting the following link: http://www.wordworx.co.nz/seriously.html otherwise, please continue reading.

Recently, a friend of mine was telling me about how while they were participating in a winter sport at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, they came over one of the rollers only to find a group of winter sport participants stopped dead in the middle of the run.  Luckily my friend wasn’t going that fast and was able to check their speed enough to go around them safely.  Etiquette prevents me from either naming the person or the sport being participated.  Furthermore, etiquette prevented my friend from making any sort of statement, either positive or negative to the group of winter enthusiasts who were an endangerment to others on the mountain.  Silly etiquette, getting in the way of safety and opinions and stuff.

The truth is there are very few rules to enjoying the mountain.  Most people are enjoying their day so much, that they really don’t care about anything other than the snow.  However, there are a few things that irk anyone throughout their day on mountain.  Through a highly scientific and accurate series of guerilla interviews of “locals,” “non-locals,” “visitors,” “tourists,” “just living heres,” “re-locals,” “seasoners,” and “Australians” at popular environs of socialization throughout Revelstoke, here are a sampling of the “rules” most frequently mentioned.

Please note that this list is presented in no particular order.  This is in order to prevent any personal emotional connection inferred by the reader’s present state of mind thereby leading them to believe these items are written and directed specifically to said individual.  Please visit: http://www.wordworx.co.nz/seriously.html for more information. Now, onto the “rules”:

  • Always warn others when bringing down the safety bar on the chairlift.  No one likes being bonked in the head.
  • Be aware of your surroundings!  Keep your head on a swivel and know where others are regardless of who has the right of way.
  • Like to dart in and out of the trees?  Check uphill before reentering the run to make sure you don’t slam into someone.  In fact, always look uphill when merging onto another run!
  • No friends on a powder day!
  • Never stop in the middle of a run!  Do it off to the side so you are not an obstacle that other skiers have to avoid. 
  • Never stop in a blind spot!
  • Try to keep a consistent line going down the hill.  Don’t take up the entire width of the run by zigzagging.  Skiers behind you that are faster than you are trying to anticipate where you will go so they can pass you safely.  If you take a sudden wide turn to one side it may take them by surprise and cause a crash.  If you need to cut across the hill, look uphill before you make your move.
  • In the Day Lodge don’t hog the whole table.  When its lunchtime and the restaurant is busy try to keep your helmets, gloves and stuff off the table or in a small area to allow others to join you.  There is nothing more aggravating than walking around with a tray of food looking for a place to sit especially when you see all these chairs taken up with clothing and stuff.
  • Watch your gear in the lift line.  People don’t really like their skis or boards run over or poked with poles.
  • Don’t laugh at others when they crash, laugh with them.  Remember you were learning once too, and if you don’t crash once in awhile it means you’ve stopped trying to learn.
  • Try to avoid telling mountain staff who are working that day just how awesome it is up there and what they’re missing.  Believe me, they know, and would much rather be up there with you.
  • Always smile, wave, say hello and wish a wicked day of shredding the gnar gnar to anyone you see!

Proper etiquette suggests I thank you for reading and direct your attention to this link: http://www.wordworx.co.nz/seriously.html prior to suggesting you go play in the snow for a while.