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Safety & Risk Awareness

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort


Skiing, snowboarding and other activities that take place at ski areas involve the risk of injury. The information contained in the Safety and Risk Awareness section of this website is intended to inform you of the risks, dangers and hazards that you may encounter at a ski area and help you to stay safe while enjoying these activities. Whether you are a participant in these activities or a parent or guardian of a minor participant, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the Safety and Risk Awareness information on this website.

Snow Patrol

If you require assistance from ski patrol on the mountain, dial 1 (250) 439-5420

Exclusion of Liability - Assumption of Risks

The use of ski area premises and facilities and participation in activities at ski areas involves various risks, dangers and hazards. It is a condition of your use of the premises and facilities and your participation in these activities that you assume all risk of personal injury, death or property loss resulting from any cause whatsoever, including negligence, breach of contract, or breach of any duty of care on the part of the ski area operator. Your legal responsibility as a user of the ski area premises and facilities or participant in activities at the ski area is explained in the following notice, which you will see posted at the ski area.

Skiing & Snow Boarding

Skiing, snowboarding, and cross country skiing (nordic) involves various risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to the following:

  • Boarding, riding and disembarking ski lifts;
  • Changing weather conditions;
  • Avalanches;
  • Exposed rock, earth, ice, and other natural objects;
  • Trees, tree wells, tree stumps and forest deadfall;
  • The condition of snow or ice on or beneath the surface;
  • Variations in the terrain which may create blind spots or areas of reduced visibility;
  • Variations in the surface or sub-surface, including changes due to man-made or artificial snow;
  • Variable and difficult conditions;
  • Streams, creeks, and exposed holes in the snow pack above streams or creeks;
  • Cliffs; crevasses;
  • Snowcat roads, road-banks or cut-banks;
  • Collision with lift towers, fences, snow making equipment, snow grooming equipment, snowcats, snowmobiles or other vehicles, equipment or structures;
  • Encounters with domestic and wild animals including dogs and bears;
  • Collision with other persons;
  • Loss of balance or control; slips, trips and falls;
  • Accidents during snow school lessons;
  • Negligent first aid;
  • Failure to act safely or within one’s own ability or to stay within designated areas;
  • Negligence of other persons; and NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE OPERATOR.

Alpine Responsibility Code

The Alpine Responsibility Code provides the basic rules of conduct and must be followed by all using the terrain, and is consistent across all Ski Areas of Western Canada.

  1.  Always stay in control. You must 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.  Do not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  4.  Before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5.  If you are involved in or witness a collision/accident you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol.
  6.  Always use proper devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  7.  Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings.
  8.  Keep off closed trails and obey area closures.
  9.  You must not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs.
  10.  You must have sufficient physical dexterity, ability, and knowledge to safely load, ride, and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask the lift attendant.

Lift Safety

If unfamiliar with a lift's operation, first watch others and learn, or ask for assistance.

  • Slow down before approaching the entrance to a lift.
  • Have your lift ticket visible to the ticket checker.
  • Obey all posted instructions.
  • Load and unload only at designated areas.
  • To speed up everyone's ride, group up before reaching the lift loading platform.
  • Be polite and courteous at the loading area.
  • Use caution, raise poles and remove pole straps from wrists at loading and unloading ramps at mid-station.
  • Remove backpacks and camel-backs before riding chairlifts.
  • Always lower the safety bar.
  • If you fall while getting off the lift, keep your head down and crawl quickly out of the way.
  • Swinging, bouncing or otherwise abusing lift equipment can be dangerous. If alone, sit in the middle of the chair.
  • Make certain no loose clothing is caught in the lift before unloading.
  • Remove stereo headsets before reaching the lift-loading and unloading platform.
  • If lift stops, or moves slowly backwards, never attempt to jump off.
  • Move quickly away from the unloading area.
  • When riding a lift with small children, help them load and unload. Do not allow them to ride the lift alone. You are responsible for your children and their actions.

Ski Area Premises

Safety Signage

Ski Area Boundary - Not Patrolled


This sign indicates the edge of Kicking Horse Mountain Resorts’ patrolled area. Skiing or riding outside the area boundary is strongly discouraged as the terrain is not avalanche controlled or patrolled and can be very remote. People requiring rescue from the back country may be charged for their rescue.


closedRuns may be closed for several reasons such as trees have fallen onto the run, ditches or holes have rendered the run unsafe, race or other events are taking place, or perhaps machinery is operating. Lift access privileges will be revoked for entering these areas when closed. Passes will be revoked for breach.

Marginal Skiing


This sign identifies runs that have limited snow cover, but are still “skiable” with caution. May have exposed rocks, creeks, etc. Damage to your equipment is likely. Ski with care and prepare for the unexpected. If signs are out at the top or bottom of the lifts, this indicates that all or much of the area has unmarked hazards.

Avalanche Danager

avalanche-closedjpgThis sign is used for permanent or temporary closure of areas within the ski area. Avalanche Closures keep Employees and Guests out of harm’s way while active avalanche control is taking place or when the hazard is too high. Lift access privileges will be revoked for entering these areas when closed for control.

Slow Zone

Slow Zone banners and signs mark an area or areas of the mountain where many trails converge or skiing fast poses a risk of injury or collision. Failure to ski slowly and in control in the slow zones may result in lift privileges being revoked.



Speed and Collision Safety

Complementing the Responsibility Code, #RideAnotherDay promotes three actions every skier and rider can take to help keep themselves and those around safer on the slopes. These three actions are:

Be Ready  – Be ready to slow down or avoid objects or other people at any time. Ski and ride 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.

Stay Alert  – Stay alert to what’s going on around you, especially other skiers and riders. Being aware of those around and changing conditions will help you have a fun and safe day on the hill.

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 and riders lots or room, especially if you are passing them. There’s plenty of space out there, so there’s no need to crowd each other.

By doing these three things every run, you’ll be helping keep the slopes safe and enjoyable, for you and everyone else.

Avalanche Skills Training

All winter outdoor enthusiasts need to educate themselves about avalanche hazard and safe travel in the winter backcountry. Our Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course, offered through our Big Mountain Centre, is an excellent resource for those interested in winter backcountry recreation who haven’t been formally trained about avalanche hazards. It is also a prerequisite for the CAA level 1 course.