Telluride Ski Resort Director of Security John Cohn says the company has stepped up efforts to crack down on reckless skiers of late, but maintains that the resort’s policies pursuant to infusing a culture of safety on the slopes remain the same: “It comes down to the same old things: Space and speed. People have to know how to ski and board appropriately on this mountain,” he says, noting that ski patrol has resumed speed control duties this season in the absence of the Mountain Safety (“Yellow Jacket”) crew. “You may not see speed patrol up higher on the mountain, but in the lower areas there are so many people at so many different ability levels that people really need to be skiing in control.”
For this reason, guests on Telluride’s slopes will notice a more persistent ski patrol presence at high traffic zones on lower parts of the mountain.
It’s all part of a safety initiative first implemented when current owner Chuck Horning purchased the Resort.
“His first real passion was to make sure the ski area was made a more enjoyable, safer place to ski and snowboard,” Cohn says of Horning’s safety initiatives. “It’s been a work in progress, but these rules are definitely in effect.”
Those rules apply most significantly to collision incidents where one party is found “at fault.”
The at fault definition, pursuant to the Ski Safety Act, explains: “Each skier has the duty to maintain control of his speed and course at all times when skiing and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers and objects. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing down to avoid collision with any person or object below him.”
Any person found at fault in a collision at Telluride will face penalties, which will be determined by the severity of the incident. A no-injury collision warrants a 30-day revocation of ski area privileges; a one-year revocation for a collision causing an injury, and if it’s a second offense, a five-year revocation; a no-injury hit-and-run will merit one year off Telluride’s slopes; while a hit-and-run causing injury will mean you’re not skiing at Telluride for five years.
These stringent penalties show that Telluride means business, when it comes to reckless skiing.
According to Telluride Ski Resort CEO Dave Riley, creating a safe environment on the slopes for Telluride’s visitors, employees, and locals is of utmost importance to the company.
“In that context, we believe in strong consequences for inappropriate behaviors. It's not that hard to respect each other on the slopes, and we expect all our skiers and riders to act responsibly,” he said last week.
The Telluride Ski Resort invites those who wish to learn more about Telluride’s policies to contact Cohn at 728-7330.