Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and other activities that take place at ski areas involve the risk of injury. This information 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.
Exclusion Of Liability – Assumption of Risk
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.
Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing Risks
Nordic skiing and snowshoeing involves various risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to the following:
- changing weather conditions; 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 lighting which may reduce visibility;
- variations in the surface or sub-surface, including changes due to man-made or artificial snow;
- variable and difficult conditions;
- streams, creeks, lakes, and exposed holes in the snow pack above streams or creeks;
- exposed holes on or adjacent to the trails;
- cliffs; crevasses;
- snowcat roads, road-banks or cut-banks;
- collision with natural or man-made objects including bridges, fences, snow making equipment, snow grooming equipment, snowcats, snowmobiles or other vehicles, equipment or structures;
- encounters with domestic and wild animals;
- collision with other persons;
- loss of balance or control; slips, trips and falls;
- accidents during snow school lessons;
- infectious disease contracted through viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi which may be transmitted through direct or indirect contact;
- negligent first aid;
- failure to act safely or within one’s own ability or to stay within designated areas;
- travel within or beyond park boundaries;
- negligence of other persons;
- and NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE OPERATOR and its directors, officers, employees, instructors, agents, representatives, volunteers, independent contractors, subcontractors, sponsors, successors and assigns.
As a condition of purchasing any cross country ski or snowshoe pass or ticket, the passholder must read and agree to the Pass Release Agreement/Waiver. The Release waivers can be reviewed here:
Cross Country Responsibility Code
The Cross Country 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.
When using the Lost Lake Nordic snowshoe trails you must wear an anti-slip device on your feet (snowshoes or Yaktrax). Ask the attendant in the ski shop before you go for a report of the daily conditions as one or the other (snowshoes or Yaktrax) may be more appropriate for the conditions that day.
Stay on the marked snowshoe trail and stay off the Nordic ski trails. All trails have been signed with corresponding colours to mark the trails (red, blue, orange, purple). The distances and difficulties can be found on the ski area map as they do not use the traditional Green, Blue, Black trail rating system of difficulty. When snowshoeing remember that adventuring in the mountains can be more difficult terrain than you may be used to; please be prepared and read “the know before you go” section below.
Know before you go!
In addition to the Cross Country Responsibility Code, here are some additional tips to keep you safe and enjoy your day on the trails:
- Plan ahead for variations in weather. Dress appropriately and have properly tuned gear. Warmth and visibility are key safety components.
- UV rays are reflected from the snow surface. Always wear sunscreen, and goggles or sunglasses, even on cloudy days.
- Cold temperatures increase the likelihood of frostbite. Dress warm, bring extra layers and keep an eye on exposed skin. Go inside immediately if skin begins to turn white.
- Take note of the conditions. When the snow surface is hard and fast, it is easy to ski/ride at high speed, increasing the risk for serious injury if you fall and slide. Be aware of changing snow surface conditions.
- Keep hydrated and carry a snack with you to keep you fuelled.
- Ski with a buddy. Identify meeting points with your group in case you become separated. All group members should know where to meet should separation occur.
- Don’t over do it. Be aware of fatigue, many visitors are on vacation and might not be conditioned to ski/snowshoe long days. Warm up in the morning and stretch it out, then tone it down in the afternoon.
- Snowcats and snowmobiles may be encountered during operating hours. Give these vehicles plenty of space.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Be mindful of where you stop, for your safety and the safety of other skiers. When resting, move over to the side of the run. Never stop under a roller or on a blind corner, as uphill skiers will not be able to see you.
- When skiing and snowshoeing, be aware of other skiers and snowshoers. Be courteous and respectful to others.
Check out this great video to learn about safety and etiquette while on the Nordic trails.
Speed and Collision Safety
Complementing the Cross Country Responsibility Code, #RideAnotherDay promotes three actions every skier and snowshoer can take to help keep themselves and those around safer on the trails. These three actions are:
Be Ready – Be ready to slow down or avoid objects or other people at any time. Ski and walk 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 trail, groomed or otherwise.
Stay Alert – Stay alert to what’s going on around you, especially other skiers. Being aware of those around and changing conditions will help you have a fun and safe day on the trails.
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 trail, 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 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, you’ll be helping keep the trails safe and enjoyable, for you and everyone else.
Slow Zone banners and signs mark an area or areas where trails converge, base areas and where skiing fast poses a risk of injury or collision. Green trails are also generally considered to be slow zones. Please approach these areas slowly and with extreme caution. Not only is there higher traffic volumes in these areas, but they are often frequented by young children, beginners and seniors.
One of the biggest users of Green trails and Slow Zones are children. Children don’t have a high awareness of what other people are doing and are easily distracted. They might be on one side of the trail and quickly without warning veer over and cross the trail without checking to see if anyone is coming. Kids and adults that are learning to ski also tend to fall on terrain transitions (knolls) and can be trying to recover from a crash in an area that can’t be seen from above.
Failure to ski in control may result in Nordic trail privileges being revoked.
How fast is too fast?
Many people have a hard time remembering what it was like to be a beginner skier or snowshoer so think about giving people some space. Next, remember that you must always be in control whether you are on an expert trail or in a Slow Zone. This is the fifth point of the Cross Country Responsibility Code.
Ski Area Premises
When visiting a ski area, the premise is not limited to the ski trails and snowshoe trails– many Nordic ski areas will have day lodges, parking lots, restaurants, walkways, access roads and other ski area facilities. You will come across signage throughout the ski area premise that are important to respect and understand. Please pay close attention to all signage. It is present for the safety of both guests and employees. Failing to follow the directions on these signs may result in the loss of your ticket or pass. It is your responsibility to be aware of ski area signage at all times.
Ski Area Boundary
Most ski areas mark their operational boundaries with fencing or signage. The terrain within the ski area boundary is patrolled by the ski patrol and some hazards are marked. The area beyond the ski area boundary is neither controlled nor patrolled by the ski patrol. Some ski areas permit skiers and snowshoers to travel beyond the ski area boundary into the backcountry. Backcountry travel can be very hazardous and requires specialized equipment, training and experience. Some ski areas may close their ski area boundaries or portions of the boundary. A closure sign must be respected and obeyed. Breach of a closure could result in the loss of ski area privileges and other sanctions.
Skiing and snowshoeing on closed runs and areas is strictly prohibited. Runs are closed for several reasons: general maintenance, trees have fallen onto the trail, grooming deficiencies on trail, ditches or holes have rendered the run unsafe, a race or other events are taking place, or perhaps machinery is operating. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings. Ignoring these messages may put you at greater risk.
Failure to obey trail closures may result in Nordic trail privileges being revoked.
Marking, Flagging, Fencing
There are a number of different signs and markers to indicate conditions, boundaries and warnings on the Ski Area Premise.
All poles, 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 part of your responsibility under the Cross Country Responsibility Code to avoid all obstacles or hazards, including those that are so marked. Inbound terrain includes natural hazards including cliffs and trees. Ski with caution, unmarked objects and hazards may exist.
STANDARD ADDITIONAL SIGNAGE THAT YOU COULD ENCOUNTER:
- Marginal Conditions
- Hard and Fast
- Experts Only
- Road Crossing – please remove skis
- Railway Crossing – please remove skis
- Steep Hill
- Icy Conditions
- Snow Shed Area (For buildings not trails)
Relative Trail Difficulty
The designation of trail difficulty is set by each ski area individually. Skiers should be advised that a Green (beginner), Blue (Intermediate) or Black (Expert) trails are not necessarily the same as a similarly rated trail at another area. Skiers 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 each ski area.
Walking in ski areas should not be overlooked as a risk, with potential for serious injuries. There are many wet, icy, slippery surfaces through the ski area premise. Slips, trips and falls are common and all users should take precautions at all times when travelling throughout a ski area. Ski boots and many types of other footwear do not provide good traction, and extra caution should be used when walking.