Mountain Safety

Mountain Safety is a Partnership!

The Mountain Safety Guide is produced by Ski California and is the result of collaborative efforts of Member Resorts and many other industry professionals to provide universal safety education. It is supported by several key organizations, including the NSAA, APP, NSP, USFS, PSIA-AASI, High Fives Foundation, and Sierra Avalanche Center.

Bear Valley Mountain is a proud member of Ski California.

Bear Valley Mountain Resort has a no uphill policy for foot traffic and uphill touring traffic.

Mountain Safety Guide

Skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed in many ways. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.

Safety on the Mountain

  • It is your responsibility to maintain control of your speed and course at all times.
  • Obey all signs and posted closures.
  • Ski or Ride with a partner when leaving the groomed trails.
  • Inverted aerials are not allowed.
  • Be prepared for changing weather; Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Bring extra layers, hats and gloves – even on sunny days.
  • Slow skiing areas have been designated for beginner and congested areas. Slow down and go with the flow.
  • Avoid skiing through groups, classes and race courses.
  • After falling on the slopes or chairlift ramp, move away quickly to avoid becoming an obstacle for others.
  • Any person who boards a ski lift shall be presumed to have sufficient ability to use it. The ski area has no duty to provide you with instructions on riding any lift, but you must follow written and verbal instructions given.
  • To report an accident: Cross skis above the injured person and inform the nearest Lift Operator or Ski Patroller. Report exact location, noting trail name, lift tower number, etc. give as much information as possible.
  • Take a lesson. Like anything, you’ll improve the most when you receive some guidance. The best way to become a good skier or snowboarder is to take a lesson from a qualified instructor.
  • Take an all-important warm-up run, it prepares you mentally and physically for the day ahead.
  • The key to successful skiing/snowboarding is control. To have it, you must be aware of your technique, the terrain and the skiers and snowboarders around you. Be aware of the snow conditions and how they can change. As conditions turn firm, the skiing gets hard and fast. Begin a run slowly. Skiing and snowboarding require a mental and physical presence.
  • If you find yourself on a slope that exceeds your ability level, always leave your skis on and side step down the slope. Snowboarders should keep their board on and sit low to the ground, using their edge to slow their sliding. In soft conditions snowboarders may take off their snowboard, have the leash around his/her wrist to prevent a runaway board, and walk down the hill.
  • Drink plenty of water. Be careful not to become dehydrated.
  • If you’re tired, rest. With high-speed chairlifts, you can get a lot more time on the slopes compared to the days of the past when guests were limited to fixed grip chairlifts.

Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

  • Always stay in control.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way.
  • Stop in a safe place for you and others.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
  • Know how to use the lifts safely.

Know the code. It’s your responsibility. Officially Endorsed by National Ski Areas Association

Bear Valley Mountain views using and riding chair lifts in a responsible manner as one of the primary safety considerations for all skiers and boarders. A skier’s behavior has as much or more to do with the safety of the sport as does any piece of equipment from helmet to chair lift. The following web site contains FAQ’s and safety tips on how to load, ride and unload responsibly as well as general skiing and snowboarding tips, coloring pages for kids.

Bear Valley Mountain encourages the use of helmets on the slopes. We urge skiers and riders to wear a helmet – but to ski or ride as if they are not wearing a helmet. Bear Valley Mountain views skiing and snowboarding in a controlled and responsible manner – not helmets only – as the primary safety consideration for all skiers and boarders. A skier’s/riders’ behavior has as much or more to do with the safety of the sport as does any piece of equipment. Please use the following link to Lids on Kids as a resource to learn more 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.

These difficulty designations are relative only to Bear Valley Mountain Resort and may not correspond to what you find at other skis areas. When new to an area, always start out on terrain well within your ability.

For safety, Bear Valley Mountain Resort recommends staying on designated, groomed trails. Those who choose to venture into more challenging terrain should be aware of their greater responsibility for protecting their own safety and the risks they pose to others. U.S. Forest Service rules allow Special Permit holders such as Bear Valley Mountain Resort to make rules that apply to all, regardless of whether a lift ticket has been purchased.

The Sierra Nevada’s deep maritime snowpack can create an unexpected danger of being trapped in the unseen void next to large trees. When skiing or riding off groomed trails in these conditions, always have a partner and keep each other in sight. LEARN MORE

We have 2 kinds of boundaries here at Bear Valley Mountain Resort. A Hard boundary will have a sign which reads: Closed/Ski Area Boundary and also a rope to help define the closed area. You are not allowed to exit or enter the ski area thru this type of boundary.  A Soft boundary will have a sign which reads: Ski Area Boundary and will have no rope. You may exit and re-enter the ski area at your own will thru this type of boundary. Our Soft Boundaries provide access points for travel outside of the Ski Area Boundary and our Hard Boundaries are for permanently closed areas.

“Ducking” Rope lines Prohibited

At Bear Valley Mountain Resort, ropelines are placed to restrict skier & snowboarder traffic – ducking under & jumping over them is prohibited; violators may lose privileges.

  • In some cases ropelines are placed to promote merging and reduce collisions,
  • In some cases ropelines are placed to direct traffic towards gates that may contain essential safety warning signage or may be closed to indicated closed terrain.
  • In some cases they are placed to indicate the boundaries of uniquely dangerous and potentially deadly areas—our Permanently Closed Areas.

California State Penal Code 602-r   (r) Knowingly skiing in an area or on a ski trail which is closed to the public and which has signs posted indicating the closure.Failure to comply with this code can incur a $1000 fine and or 6 months in jail

Pass holder must obey the SKIER SAFETY CODE for Alpine County (“the CODE”). The CODE describes each skier’s many duties and responsibilities and is important to all members of the skiing public. Violators of the CODE may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

WARNING: Under the Code, a skier assumes the inherent risk and dangers of skiing including but not limited to: changing weather conditions; variations or steepness of terrain; snow or ice conditions; surface or subsurface conditions, whether man-modified or not; bare spots; creeks; gullies; trees and other natural growth; rocks; stumps; lift-towers and other structures and their components; collision with other skiers or objects and a skier’s failure to ski within the skier’s own ability. Under the CODE, you cannot board a lift unless you have sufficient ability to use such lift, and skiers shall follow any written or verbal instructions that they are given by the ski area operator or its representative regarding the use of the lifts.

Avalanche control is a big part of our commitment to safety; there’s less than a 1% chance of getting caught in an Avalanche while skiing or riding inbounds. When you leave the groomed trails for the in-bounds or out-of-bounds backcountry it’s important to be prepared and know before you go!

Accepting the risk of skiing or snowboarding in the Backcountry beyond the boundary should only be considered with the following:

  • Proper avalanche education
  • Proper avalanche equipment & training (probe, shovel & beacon)
  • Backcountry travel knowledge and experience
  • Knowledge of local conditions including snow pack history

It’s important to be prepared and know how to use your beacon in the Backcountry. Hone your transceiver skills with our easy searcher practice system. This is a great opportunity to learn about using avalanche transceivers or to sharpen your skills. Located next to the front side terrain park, the BCA Beacon Basin has multiple ways to challenge yourself as you can search for virtual avalanche victims from one to multiple burials. The system is free and open 24/7. Check in with ski patrol for questions or assistance.

If you are a backcountry traveler, it is important to be prepared in the case of an avalanche or other natural event. Our Local Guide service M.A.S.(Mountain Adventure Seminars) offers all levels of Avalanche education and guiding services.

Tracks may lead beyond The Bear Valley Mountain Resort boundary to where there is NO avalanche control; Rescue, if possible, may be slow and costly to you. Remember that hiking, skiing or snowshoeing into closed areas is prohibited.

We hope you’ll never need to, but the day lodge has a First Aid/Patrol Room for those days you might’ve gone a bit too big! It’s located at the end of the lower lodge, underneath the Monte Wolfe Saloon’s deck.