We want everyone to be able to safely enjoy the slopes this winter. We have partnered with our member areas and industry leaders to promote safe and responsible enjoyment while skiing and snowboarding. MN Ski Areas Association along with National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and other industry partners have create several safety programs. We encourage you to review this page and familiarize yourself on these programs.

Your Responsibility Code

In 2022 NSAA released an updated responsibility code. These updates are important to know and understand. The first Skier Responsibility Code was released in 1962. Over the last 60 years NSAA have made updates to the code. Released in 2022 the Your Responsibility Code has grown from 7 points to 10. The previous points have been updated to modernize language. In 2022 two new points were added. One focuses on the importance of not skiing or snowboard will under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The second new point focuses on what to do when you get into an on-mountain incident.

This season, ski areas across Minnesota and the country will begin to adopt this language. However, it takes some time to make new signage and get everyone on the same page! You can expect to see this 2022 Code used more widely over the next three seasons. In the meantime, take a moment to read this Code; talk with your kids or friends who are new to the slopes; and remember that staying in control is the best way to stay safe on the slopes. 

Chairlift Safety

Riding the ski lift can be one of the best parts of the day – the views are beautiful, your legs get a rest, and you get to catch up with friends, family, or make a new friend! But, it’s important (and part of Your Responsibility Code) to know how to load, ride and unload all lifts safely. Not sure what to do at a lift? Ask an attendant or ski patroller for help. Learning how to ride the lift is also one of the features of a ski lesson, and another reason it is worth discovering snow with a pro.

Here are some tips for riding the chairlift.

  • Be familiar with the type of lift you are riding, and ask for help if you need it.
  • Before loading, remove backpacks and secure loose items. Remove pole straps from wrists.
  • Look over your shoulder to watch the chair approach.
  • Sit all the way in the chair, with your back to the seat rest.
  • If the lift has a restraint bar, wait until everyone is seated, and slowly reach up and lower the bar. Do not attempt to lower the bar if you cannot reach it! Adults should always help kids to lower the bar.
  • Be aware of your surroundings while riding the lift. If you drop something, let it fall! You can always ask ski patrol for help retrieving the lost item.
  • As you approach the top terminal, prepare to raise the bar. Look for signs advising you to do so to help with your timing.

Smart Style

The Minnesota Ski Areas Association, National Ski Areas Association and Burton Snowboards would like to welcome you to the “Park Smart” Terrain Park Safety initiative. Park Smart is the evolution of the original Smart Style program. A cooperative effort with the help of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) and National Ski Patrol (NSP) that emphasizes the proper use of terrain parks while delivering a unified message.

The Park Smart video below, along with, work together to emphasize the importance of safety in terrain parks across the country. Please visit the for a comprehensive look at the Park Smart program.

Avoiding Collisions

Collisions are one of the most preventable accidents on the slopes. The easiest way to prevent a collision is to follow Your Responsibility Code, especially point number one: Ski and snowboard in control. But it can be difficult to communicate the importance of this to teenagers and those who consider themselves to be “experts.”

This video from the Ride Another Day initiative is meant to emphasize everyone’s role in slope safety.

Additional Resources

In 2002, Lids on Kids debuted as a resource for consumers to learn about helmet use in skiing and snowboarding. This site contains FAQs about helmet use, fit and sizing information, general slope safety information, related articles and games, and testimonials about helmet use from well-known athletes, including US Ski Team members. The site has received nearly 2 million hits since it was created. The tagline, “A Helmet-It’s a Smart Idea,” is printed on posters and promotional cards at resorts nationwide.

Discover Snow is a non-profit program to help introduce people of all ages to mountain recreation, specifically skiing and snowboarding. We believe that playing outside with friends and families can be one of the biggest supporters of mental and physical health, and the most fun. We hope to make your mountain experiences easier and more affordable by providing helpful tips and deals from our members. The program is managed by the National Ski Areas Association, with input and support from its member ski areas and businesses.