This time of year, our Mountain Operations team is hard at work making snow, grooming, and opening new terrain as fast as mother nature allows us to do so. Trails, Glades, and the Uphill Routes are opened based on Ski Patrol’s assessment of conditions, and their ability to facilitate rescue. If a Trail, Glade or Uphill Route is closed - it is for good reason (which may not be apparent to you at the rope). Please respect all closures, as they are in place for your safety and the safety of our rescue staff. Failure to do so may result in the loss of ski privileges, and nobody wants that.
MOUNTAIN RESPONSIBILITY CODE
The National Ski Association Areas created "Your Responsibility Code" as a way to help skiers and riders be aware of the different risks that may happen while on the mountain, that both common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Below you will see the seven points of Your Responsibility Code.
- Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
KNOW THE CODE: IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
TRAIL RATING SYSTEM
WHAT THEY MEAN
- Green Circle: Easier
- Blue Square: More Difficult
- Black Diamond: Most Difficult
It's your responsibility to know how to use and ride the lift safely.
- As a chair passes you at the "Wait Here" sign, move ahead quickly to the "Load Here" sign and line up evenly. When the next chair comes behind you, sit on the seat, and slide back as far as you can - to keep from falling off the chair.
SIT BACK, SIT STILL, HOLD ON
- Sit way back to keep from falling from the chair and enjoy the ride to the top. No horsing around, it's dangerous when you are riding up in the air.
AT THE TOP, PLAN AHEAD TO UNLOAD
- At the "Unload Here" sign it is time to get off. Stand up, and ski down the ramp. Watch for others ahead and ski around them. Move out of the way quickly, so others can unload too.
- Need assistance? Ask the lift attendant for help. Smallest kids should load closest to the attendant.
- Remove & carry packs. Do not use phones, music or games while loading or unloading.
- It is OK to miss a chair and wait for the next one.
- When loading, watch for approaching chair and then sit to the back once seated.
- Drop something? Let it fall. Any item dropped can be picked up later.
- Absolutely NO horseplay on the lifts.
To learn more about lift and mountain safety, click here
GLADES, TREE SKIING AND BACKCOUNTRY
Glades are named on the map and are opened and closed by Ski Patrol.
Explore all of the glades within the Jay Peak boundary but make sure you have:
- The required advanced skills.
- Ski in groups of 3.
- Common sense.
- Do not enter glades/woods after 3:00 PM. Glades are not routinely swept by Ski Patrol.
Woods are in-bound sections of forest that are not named on the map and are not opened or closed by Ski Patrol.
OUT OF BOUNDS
Andre’s Paradise and Beaver Pond Glades hold some of our favorite tree skiing and snowboarding on the hill. However, most people who cross the boundary line of these glades get lost.
There is a double ridge-line at the boundary line. Most think they are on their way back to the resort, but in fact are venturing further and further away into gully-filled flats (Black Falls) that will involve hours of strenuous hiking and traversing. If you don’t know where you’re going, you will put your life, your friends’ lives, and your rescuers' lives at risk. Trust us; this is not as much fun as staying in-bounds within of Andre’s Paradise.
However, in the case of emergency – if you are lost or injured – Ski Patrol will rescue you.
Many people equate Jay Peak with tremendous backcountry and they are right; the backcountry that surrounds the ski area is some of the best you will find. It is also potentially dangerous. Know before you go. Be smart. Note: when we talk backcountry, we mean off property/outside the skiing and riding boundary. We usually refer to in-bounds forest as glades or woods.
For backcountry wilderness travel, to possibly get lost, wait for a rescue, and maybe even spend a night in the woods. At a minimum, carry (and know how to use):
- Map, GPS and Compass
- Skins/touring skis or splitboard and/or snow shoes
- Phone and/or radio
- Food and water, enough to spend the night
- Extra batteries, keep them warm
- Extra layers
Tell someone where you intend to go and when you intend to return. It’s not a good idea to venture into unfamiliar terrain. Go with a guide, or someone who knows the area well. And, always ski with at least two competent partners.
Know the Risk
We may not have a high risk of avalanche, but Jay Peak is home to some of the coldest, windiest, and most severe weather in the country. Even a minor injury in the backcountry can quickly turn fatal, as prolonged exposure to the elements can cause hypothermia, dehydration, and in the worst case, death.
How much does a rescue cost?
The cost of a backcountry rescue is calculated based on the number of rescuers, fuel, supplies, and transportation costs, multiplied by the number of hours the rescue takes. The minimum price tag is much more than a season’s pass (often upwards of $1000 for a short, 4 hour rescue).
TERRAIN PARK SAFETY
Jay Peak Parks adheres to the guidance, logos, and signage developed through the Park Smart Freestyle Safety Program. All of Jay Peak Parks and Safety Signage are designated by an orange color
Jay Peak Terrain Parks may contain jumps, hits, ramps, banks, fun boxes, jibs, rails, quarter pipes, and other constructed or natural terrain features.
While you're in the parks you may see our Park Crew doing a mid day rake run to freshen up the take offs and landings of some features. If you see a member of Park Crew raking at a feature please know the feature is CLOSED until they have finished raking and signified that it is clear to drop.
PRIOR to using Freestyle Terrain, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with Freestyle Terrain and obeying all instructions, warnings and signs.
Park Smart is all about safety - having the knowledge and the plan to enjoy freestyle terrain. The five points of Park Smart include:
Start Small | Work your way up. Build your Skills.
If you are just getting into the park for the first time, or first time that day, start with the smaller stuff and work your way up. If you aren’t sure about how to use a feature, build your skills first.
Freestyle terrain comes in different shapes and sizes, so starting out, look for small progression parks and features and then work your way up to medium or large parks and features.
Make a Plan | Every Feature. Every Time.
Every time you ski or ride on freestyle terrain, have a plan for each feature you are going to use. Remember, your speed, approach and take-off will directly affect your maneuver and landing.
When first inspecting the jumps consider the following elements of each jump, and remember ATML:
A The approach zone is for setting your speed and stance
T The take-off zone is for making moves that start your trick
M The maneuver zone is for controlling your style
L The landing zone is for getting straight and riding away clean.
Always Look | Before you drop.
Before getting into freestyle terrain observe, all signage and warnings. Use your first run as a warm up and familiarize yourself with the park layout and features. Remember that features change constantly due to weather, usage and time of day, so it is important to continue to inspect features throughout the day.
Respect | The features and other users.
Always have respect for terrain park features, as well as other skiers/riders.Only one person on a feature at a time – wait your turn and call your drop-in. Always clear the landing area quickly.
Also respect all signs –stay off closed features. Respect is important both in-park, as well as the rest of the mountain, so be smart when you are heading down the slopes or over to the lift.
Take it Easy | Know your limits. Land on your feet.
Ride within your ability and consider taking a lesson if you want to build your knowledge, skills, and bag of tricks. Stay in control both on the ground and in the air – know your limits.
Remember you can control how big or small you take a feature by varying your speed and take off.
Inverted aerials increase the chance of serious injury and are not recommended.
WINTER UPHILL TRAVEL POLICY
Before traveling up the mountain, please prep for your visit by completing our waiver form (must open with Google Chrome).
AirFlare Search Technology
If you find yourself in need of help, you can be invisible to a Ski Patrol Team just a few feet off a run. AirFlare transforms your mobile phone into a rescue beacon detectable up to a 1/2 mile away.
Introducing AirFlare, the app that transforms your mobile phone into a rescue beacon. AirFlare transforms your mobile phone into a wilderness rescue beacon that provides search teams multiple ways to find you on or off the grid. AirFlare adds no weight or bulk to your pack, works with limited or no cellular service, extends off-grid battery life to a week or longer and requires no user action to be searchable. By leveraging the cell phone already in your pocket, AirFlare is a low cost, easy to use and a tool you don't need to remember to pack. AirFlare search technology never blinks, sees through trees and over rugged terrain - helping search teams find you quickly and reliably. AirFlare also provides a number of self-help features. For example, the ability to determine the exact location of a friend or family member with a push of a single button.