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Mountain Safety

Mountain Safety

Should you become injured while skiing or riding at SilverStar Mountain Resort, you can rest assured that our patient care, patrol staff and rescue equipment are some of the best in the industry.

SilverStar Patrol is composed of Professional Patrollers, Paramedics and Ski Doctors. These professionals train daily to ensure their skills remain sharp and compliant with the latest current practise.

Our clinic is equipped with some of the latest primary care medical equipment aimed at treating a wide range of injuries or medical issues. This clinic can be found in the village behind the Snowsports Adventure Centre. If you are unable to come to the clinic please call 250.558.6048 for assistance on the mountain.

Winter Hours of Operation: Open seven days a week, during regular resort operating hours and dates.

Alpine Responsibility

Safety is the responsibility of everyone on the mountain, staff, guests and patrol. Many of our guests come to stay at SilverStar more than one day so here are some tips to stay safe on the slopes.

1. Be aware of where you stop on piste, make sure others can see you if they come fast or over a roll where visibility is limited. If you’re with a group plan ahead and stop where you feel everyone including other skiers/boarders will not collide.

2. Think of fatigue, many visitors are here for vacation and might not be conditioned to ski/board long days. Warm up in the morning and stretch it out, then tone it down in the afternoon. Avoid difficult terrain such as moguls in afternoons or end of a day. Plan to finish on a good note.

3. Don't cut across a run from one side to the other without a good look that no one is coming and avoid abrupt change of direction without a shoulder check. If you exit out of the trees into a ski run, look up hill to check you are not cutting anyone off.

4. Plan to move away from lift areas both top and bottom. It is more relaxing for guests to move a little further out of traffic to get orientated and make plans on where to ski/board next.

ALPINE RESPONSIBILITY CODE

1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid other people or objects. Be aware conditions on the mountain do change, so adjust your usage accordingly.

2. People ahead of you have the right-of-way. It is your responsibility to avoid them. Do not pass people too close at high speed as you may not be able to avoid them if they fall or make an unexpected sharp turn. Be aware snowboards have a blind side and may not see you on that side. Snowboarders have to check their blind side before turning across a busy ski run and make sure they are not turning into a skier. There are regularly collisions on ski hills; do your best to avoid these situations.

3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above. Stopping under convex rolls should be avoided at all times as others cannot see you. If you fall or have to stop in such a place, have some one stop above you to protect you from on -coming traffic. Crossed skis stuck in the snow are a recognized symbol to designate this temporary detour.

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 or accident, you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to Ski Patrol. It is important to give clear information for First Aid purposes. Similar to motor vehicle incidents the involved parties must exchange contact information for insurance purposes.

6. Always use proper devices to prevent runaway equipment. It is your responsibility to have functioning ski brakes, snowboard retaining devices and make sure your gear is secure when taken off your feet. A run away ski or snowboard is very damaging if it impacts with another person and you will be found personally liable for any damage caused by your equipment.

7. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings. Use common sense for your safety and the safety of others. Ski Patrol changes warning signs daily to reflect the conditions.

8. Keep off closed trails and closed areas. Respect all closed signs; while the run may look good from the top, Patrol only closes runs to due significant safety reasons. It is our goal to have all the terrain available for your enjoyment.

9. You must not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through use of alcohol or drugs. SilverStar Mountain is committed to the safety of our guests and has a no tolerance policy on guests who are impaired through the use of drugs or alcohol being out on the slopes.

10. You must have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to safely load, ride and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask the lift attendant or Ski Patrol.

Mountain Signage

The following signs are displayed around SilverStar Mountain Resort, please take the time to familiarize yourself with them and understand they are for your benefit.

SKI AREA BOUNDARY

This sign indicates the edge of Silver Stars patrolled area. Skiing or riding outside the area boundary is strongly discouraged as the terrain and forests are thick and can be very remote. People requiring rescue from the backcountry may be charged for their rescue.

In Bounds Not Patrolled

There are three areas within SilverStar’s area boundaries which are not controlled for avalanches or hazards, and are not patrolled: Alder Point, Eldorado Cliffs and Deer Park. Skiing and boarding are not permitted when these areas are marked with closed signs. Skiing and boarding when the terrain is open is only recommended for expert riders who are capable of self-rescue.  Hazards may exist in these areas such as tree wells, avalanches and marginal conditions. Always ski with a partner if you are accessing these areas. 

MARGINAL SKIING

Marginal Conditions signs are used to identify runs that have limited snow cover, but are still determined “skiable” with caution. These runs may have exposed rocks, creeks, grass and dirt. Incurring damage to your skis or snowboard on these runs is likely. Ski Patrol may mark some hazards on these runs but cannot reasonably mark all hazards, so ski with care and be prepared for the unexpected. If the Marginal Conditions signs are out at the top or bottom of the lifts, this indicates that all or much of the terrain in the area can be expected to have unmarked hazards, so do ski with caution.

CLOSED AVALANCHE HAZARD

The Avalanche Closure is used for temporary closure of areas within the ski area. Avalanche Closures are used to keep Employees and Guests out of harm’s way while active avalanche control is taking place or when the hazard is too high and control is not possible. Lift access privileges will be revoked for entering these areas when closed for control.

CLOSED

When a run or area is marked with closed signs it is for a specific reason. 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.

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.

Helmet Usage

SilverStar recommends wearing helmets for skiing and riding. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet usage.

Tree Well Information and Safety Tips

Natural hazards such as tree wells occur within and outside of the ski area boundary. A tree well is a hole or depression that forms around the base of a tree while snow accumulates. A tree well incident occurs when a person falls, often head first, into an area of deep snow around the base of a tree and becomes immobilized. The more the person struggles the more entrapped in the snow they become. The risks of a tree well accident or fatality can be reduced by following these basic practices:

  • Always ski or ride with a partner
  • Keep your partner in sight and stay in visual contact so they can see you if you fall
  • Stay close enough to either pull or dig each other out

For additional information on tree well and mountain safety visit www.deepsnowsafety.org

Avalanche Safety

When people think of SilverStar they think great powder but with all that fun fluffy snow comes the risk of avalanches. SilverStar patrol works very hard to reduce the risk however no amount of control can bring the risk to zero in a mountain environment. Be aware of where you are, ski with a friend, ski in line of sight with your friend, and visit the Canadian Avalanche Center for more information. http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go tobogganing at SilverStar?

There are no safe tobogganing areas at SilverStar therefore tobogganing is not permitted. If you’re looking for a sliding adventure check out Tube Town which is included in the SilverStar One Pass.http://winter.skisilverstar.com/tube-town-adventure-park

How do you make sure no one is left on the mountain after close? (Or Why does patrol put ribbons up on Main Street?)

SilverStar is a unique mountain as it has a mid-mountain Village which cannot be reached from below Main Street Ski way. SilverStar patrol begins their sweep at 3:00pm starting with the closure of Putnam Creek (the Back Side). Closures go up at the Putnam gates, followed by Main Street, Silver Woods and Village Gates. It is extremely important to not duck the gates for “one more run” as you may find yourself at the bottom of a closed lift. If the gates are up and you need to get back to areas such as The Knoll or other ski in areas SilverStar provides a shuttle service from the Village. http://winter.skisilverstar.com/my-village/in-resort-shuttle

Can I ski out of bounds if I accept responsibility for my actions?

No. SilverStar does not have suitable slack or back country skiing. We are surrounded by a vast wilderness of thick dense forest which is not easily navigated. Lift privileges will be revoked for skiing out of bounds.

Can I tour or “skin up” SilverStar?

No. Skinning or ski touring is not permitted at SilverStar. Skiing uphill poses a great risk to yourself and other guests who are traveling downhill and may not have time to react. You will be escorted down off the mountain by patrol and lift privileges may be revoked.

Why can't I go as fast as I want when there's no one else on the run?

The Slow Zones are on beginner runs or in areas of high traffic. One of the biggest users of 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 run and quickly without warning veer over and cross the run 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 such as on Whiskey Jack or at the bottom of Comet.

How fast is too fast?

Many people forget what it was like to be a beginner skier or snowboarder and having to worry about whether there is enough space to attempt a turn. So think about giving people some space and remember that you must always be in control whether you are on an expert run or in a Slow Zone. If you are in the air, you have no control over your speed or direction therefor jumps and hits are not allowed in Slow Zones. Verbal warnings are usually issued to remind you to slow down.

What should I do if I see something I think is unsafe?

Patrol always wants to know if you think something is unsafe or needs to be corrected. The mountain environment is very dynamic and changes minute by minute so please alert patrol.

Where can I find Patrol?

There are several locations to find patrol around the mountain. There is a patrol hut located at the top of Comet, a small hut beside Paradise Camp, as well as the clinic located in the village, or simply call 250 558 6048.

What if I get lost after going out of bounds?

If you find yourself lost on SilverStar Mountain, immediately stop traveling and call Patrol at 250-558-6048 for assistance. Stay where you are and Patrol will find you.SilverStar Patrol does not operate outside of ourski area boundary, and will request assistance from Vernon Search and Rescue if required. For more information please visit Vernon Search And Rescue. http://www.vernonsar.ca/

Drone (UAV – Unmanned Air Vehicle) use

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

Commercial use of Drones (UAVs) may be permitted on approved basis, please contact SilverStar Ski Resort Ltd. Director of Operations for further info (a Transport Canada Special Flight Operations Certificate – SFOC and adequate Liability Insurance will be required as a minimum as part of the approval process).