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Mountain Safety


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

There are elements of risk that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Regardless of how you decide to use the slopes, always show courtesy to others. Please adhere to the code listed below and share with others the responsibility for a safe outdoor experience.

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 involved in/witness an accident, remain at the scene and identify yourself to 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 closed areas.
9 Do not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through use of alcohol and drugs.
10 You must have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to safety load, ride and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask the lift attendant.

The Control Route

A behind the scenes look at the work our Mountain Safety team does to keep the terrain we love safe for you!

Relative Trail Difficulty

Skiers and riders should be advised that a Green Circle, Blue Square or Black or Double Black Diamond trail at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is not necessarily the same as a similarly rated trail at another area. The system is a relative system that is only valid at this area. Skiers and riders should work their way up, beginning with the easiest trails, no matter what their ability level may be, until they are familiar with the trails at this area.

Marking, Flagging, Fencing

Be advised that all poles and / or flags, fencing, signage and padding on equipment or objects or other forms of marking devices are used by the ski area to inform you of the presence or location of a potential obstacle or hazard. These markers are no guarantee of your safety and will not protect you from injury. It is your responsibility under the Alpine Responsibility Code to avoid all obstacles or hazards, including those that are so marked.

Helmet Usage

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort 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.

Alpine Precautions

  • Always wear sunscreen, goggles or sunglasses, and a hat, even on cloudy days.
  • Wear proper clothing to protect against frostbite.
  • Keep hydrated, drink plenty of fluids.

Drones or UAVs

Personal or recreational use of Drones or UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles) is NOT permitted at any time within the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Ski Area Boundary and/or Village.

Carrying Children

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort does not allow guests to ski or ride while carrying infants in any type of backpack or baby carrier. Guests who are riding the Gondola (to sightsee only) are allowed to carry children.

  • 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 camelbacks 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.


Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a mountain with some very steep terrain. Snow storms deposit huge amounts of fresh snow the Alpine Ridges. Avalanche conditions within the ski area can become extreme. During hazardous periods, areas within the ski area are closed until avalanche control work is complete work is complete and the skiing is safe. Be aware of closures and stay out of closed areas so that avalanche control teams can do their work. Lift pass suspensions may result.


The Mountains surrounding Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offer exciting and challenging terrain to the experienced traveler. There is a real danger of avalanches outside the ski boundaries. Skiers must be prepared to travel on their terms, there is no avalanche control or ski patrol rescue. The slopes are steep and the snow deep, traveling outside the boundary is recommended only for those people experienced and equipped to deal with serious avalanche dangers.



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 backcountry may be charged for their rescue.


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.


This 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.


Runs 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.



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.

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.

The program is offered every second weekend throughout the ski season for only $205 per person. The AST course focuses on avalanche hazard recognition and avoidance to help participants with their own decision making in the field. It is also a prerequisite for the CAA level 1 course. AST courses will be held on the following weekends this winter

December: 17-18, 2017 |  January: 7-8 & 21-22, 2018  |  February: 4-5, 18-19, 2018
March: 4-5 & 18-19, 2018  |  April: 1-2 & 15-16, 2018

This 2 day course covers avalanche terrain recognition and avoidance, companion rescue, and how to use the Avaluator, a decision support tool. All courses are taught by professional members of the Canadian Avalanche Association and have an instructor to student ratio of 8:1. French courses available upon request.

There is a minimum of 3 students required for each course. We also offer a one day Companion Rescue Skills courses available upon request at a cost of $95 per Person. (Minimum 3 students needed). Additional courses are available upon request.

Reservations are required, call 250.439.5467 for more details.