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Safety & Conduct

Our goal is to provide a safe, consistent, and fun mountain experience for our different guest segments by enforcing personal responsibility and respect for others and our environment.

SIS/Tree Well Safety

SIS/Tree Well Safety

It's extremely important to keep SIS (Snow Immersion Suffocation) safety at top of mind. Please ski/ride with a partner and be aware of potential SIS locations. 

A tree well/ Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS) accident can happen when a skier or snowboarder falls  into a tree well or area of deep loose snow and becomes immobilized and trapped under the snow and suffocates.

  • Ride with a partner

  • Avoid the base of trees when skiing and riding in deep snow

  • If you are going to fall attempt to do so feet first

  • The more snow, the higher the risk

A tree well/ Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS) accident can happen when a skier or snowboarder falls  into a tree well or area of deep loose snow and becomes immobilized and trapped under the snow and suffocates. Falling headfirst is the most common position SIS incidents occur. 

  • Breathing becomes difficult when trapped under snow as loose snow packs in around you. Without an immediate rescue you can suffocate.

  • The easiest way to avoid an SIS incident is to ski or ride with a partner and use extra caution when deep, loose snow exists - especially where trees exist.

  • Odds of surviving an SIS incident when skiing/riding alone are low.

  • Prevention of falling into a tree well or area of deep snow is extremely important, odds of surviving deep snow immersion are low.

  • 90% of people involved in Tree Well/ SIS hazard research experiments could NOT rescue themselves. 

  • If a partner is not there for immediate rescue, the skier or rider could die extremely quickly from suffocation - in many cases, the time corresponds to drowning in water.

During SIS hazard research experiments, 90% of the research participants could not rescue themselves. Skiing/riding with a partner is crucial as death from drowning can occur in the same amount of time it takes in water.

 About Tree Wells

  • A tree well is a depression that forms around the base of a tree that contains a mix of low hanging branches, loose snow and air.

  • Evergreen trees in particular (fir, hemlock, etc) can have large, deep tree wells that form when low hanging branches block snow from filling in and consolidating around the base of the tree.  These voids can be hidden from view by the tree’s low hanging branches.

  • There is no easy way to identify if a particular tree has a dangerous tree well by sight therefore, treat all tree wells as dangerous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Well/ SIS accidents happen in ungroomed terrain.  

  • Most Tree Well/ SIS accidents happen where there is a combination of deep powder and trees, exactly where a vast majority of powder hounds want to ski/ride. 

  • Big storms make for epic powder days, but they also make for some extremely dangerous Tree Well/SIS conditions.

  • The more fresh snow the higher the risk!

  • Staying on groomed runs can greatly reduce the risk of an SIS incident.

  • SKI OR RIDE WITH A PARTNER!

 

What to do if you do go down:

  • Yell or use a whistle to get your partners attention.

  • Do whatever you can to keep your head above the surface of the snow. Roll around, grab tree branches or the tree trunk, anything to keep from descending further. 

  • If possible, keep your feet below the level of your head.

  • If you become immersed: Make a space around your face and protect your airway/stay calm/trust your partner is on their way.

  • If possible, use your cell phone to call Mammoth’s emergency hotline: (760)934-0611

  

What to do if your partner does go down:

  • Don’t leave to get help – Stay with your partner!

  • Call for additional resources. Use a whistle or yell for assistance. If possible, call (760)934-0611

  • Evaluate scene safety for yourself.

 

Immediately begin snow immersion rescue efforts:

  • Go directly for the airway, and make sure to keep it clear.

  • Be careful not to knock more snow into the hole.

  • Do not try to pull victim out the way they fell in. Instead, determine where the head is and tunnel in from the side.

  • When tunneling directly for the airway be careful not to knock more snow into the hole.

  • Continue expanding the tunnel to the airway until you can extricate the body. 

 

Safety measures for ungroomed terrain:

  • Ride or ski with a partner and keep them IN SIGHT at all times.

  • Ski or ride in control.

  • Give tree wells a wide berth and look at the open spaces between the trees, not at them.

  • Skiers should remove ski pole straps.

  • Use common sense and look after one another out there.

 

Carry Safety Equipment:


- Cell phone with (760)934-0611 on speed dial

 

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safetyinitiatives
Emergency Hotline

Emergency Hotline

This is our emergency hotline. If you do not have a phone, advise a lift operator or any uniformed employee of the nature and location of the injury and a description of the injured person. 

Your Responsibility Code

Your Responsibility Code

Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country and other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

  •  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.

    This is a partial list. Be safety conscious.
    Officially endorsed by: NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION.
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    Mountain Safety Guide

    Mountain Safety Guide

    Ski California and its member resorts in California and Nevada designed this guide to educate guests on how to ski and snowboard responsibly and safely. Please review the information provided and follow these guidelines on and off the slopes to enhance both the fun and safety of all guests.

    Download Mountain Safety Guide

     

    Guest Standards

    Guest Standards

    The list of standards below is not exhaustive, but they are the most prevalent behaviors that generate guest complaints, dissatisfaction and injury.  These behaviors, depending on severity, may result in education or application of the three strikes program.

    Corrective Action Guidelines

                                          

                                       Low Level                               Medium Level                     Severe

    Code of Conduct

    Continued day/multi-day ticket, season pass privileges

    May result in 24-hour to 10-day suspension day/multi-day, season pass

    May result in ticket or pass being revoked

    Responsibility Code

    Continued day/multi-day ticket, season pass privileges

    May result in 24-hour to 10-day suspension day/multi-day tickets, season pass

    May result in ticket or pass being revoked

    Penal Code

    24-hour to 10-day suspension for day/multi-day ticket, season pass

    May result in evaluate ticket, pass being revoked

    May result in ticket or pass being revoked

    Skiing/Riding in Closed Areas

    Day ticket revoked.

     Multi-day ticket forfeits remainder of infraction day and the following day (they cannot choose a different day)Season pass, 10 day suspension.

    Pass revoked for passholders on 2nd offense

     

     

     

    Collisions

    Education (suspensions are discretionary depending on investigation outcome.

    Day/multi day/pass pulled for 24 hours or more

    24-hour-10-day season pass suspension 

    Ticket revoked

    10 day season pass suspension

    Pass revoked

    Lost Equipment

    Start with educating, depending on severity the incident may be elevated to:

    Day ticket revoked

    24-hour suspension day/multi-day ticket or season pass

    24-hour suspension day/multi-day ticket or season pass

     

     

     

     

    Guest (and Employee) Conduct Standards
    Conduct Standard
    1. Profanity should not be tolerated in and around company property. Explain to the guest that there are many families present, and ask them to please refrain from using profanity. We insist that guests respect other guests, and so we require them to conduct themselves to the highest possible level, not the lowest common denominator.
    2. No smoking in public areas and/or lift lines. Smoking is not tolerated in public spaces such as lift lines or anywhere within fifty feet from building entrances. Smoking on chairlifts is not prohibited, but guests should be asked to honor other guest requests concerning smoking.  
    3. Intoxicated skiers/riders are not permitted to enter lift line mazes or ride lifts.  This is for their safety, and for the safety of others. Ask them to exit the lift line. Discrete and responsible alcohol consumption by guests who are of legal drinking age is permitted in lift lines and on lifts. Those consuming alcoholic beverages in lift lines and lifts will be more closely monitored for intoxication. Open containers are not allowed beyond the RFID gates. Pull skiers/riders aside and, while providing education, attempt to determine whether they are sufficiently intoxicated to be a danger to themselves or others. If so, you may need to suspend their pass privileges for the remainder of the day.
    4. Cutting/ducking into full lift lines or in front of others is prohibited. In addition to educating the guest, the guest should be asked to leave their position in line and enter again from the back of the line. Reckless or malicious ducking of intersection rope or flagging is prohibited and may require additional education and/or corrective action.
    5. Malicious throwing of snowballs or other items at individuals or property is prohibited. In instances where bodily harm or property damage occurs, the guest/employee may also be referred to law enforcement.  Any type of snowball throwing can lead to injury to bystanders; therefore, we ask all guests and employees to refrain from this activity. Skiers/riders who think they are just having fun should be educated that an errant snowball can seriously injure another skier, particularly children.
    6. Littering is not tolerated on MMSA property or Forest Service land. In addition to educating, ask the guest to pick up their trash.
    7. Distraction. Talking on cell phones is not allowed beyond the RFID gates for public safety. Politely ask the guest to end their call.
                            
    Skier/Rider Responsibility Code
    1. Out of control skiing or snowboarding, unable to avoid other people or objects.
    2. Reckless skiing or snowboarding.
    3. Malicious spraying of others.
    4. Excessive speed in slow zones such as going faster than the flow of traffic and at the base area of all lifts including congested areas.
    5. Jumping of slow fences and/or ducking of intersection flagging.
    6. Improper or unsafe trail merging.
    7. Failure to use retention device (*Refer to Equipment Retention Policy)
    8. Failure to observe signs and warnings

    Penal Code
    1. Vandalism: Tagging, graffiti, defacing resort property (PC594).
    2. Theft of resort or individual’s property.
    3. Fighting (PC415).
    4. Drugs.
    5. Verbal or physical assault involving another guest or employee.
    6. Jibbing and, or bonking resort property outside of terrain parks.
    7. Public nudity or indecency.
    8. Hit and run skiing or riding (PC653).
    9. Skiing/riding in a closed area or closed avalanche area (PC602r).
    10. Malicious throwing of snowballs or other items resulting in bodily harm or property damage.
    11. Penal Code Violations will result in ticket/pass suspension and/or referral to law enforcement, for assistance notify Ski Patrol at ext-3296 (channel 1A 543) see documentation procedure below.

    Collisions
    1. It can sometimes be difficult to assess fault in a collisions. Frequently, the collision is the fault of both parties and/or the parties will each blame the other.
    2. Most people are truly sorry after collisions and accidents.
    3. All collisions involving injury must be documented. Ask both parties for identification, and clearly inform each party that they are not permitted to leave the scene until you give clearance to do so. Collect the most reliable identification you can obtain from the party: driver’s license, State-issued ID, passport, season pass, day ticket, etc..
    4. Do a fact investigation, and obtain a description of the incident from each party. Frequently, other skiers/riders may stop to provide witness statements.   
    5. Only assess fault where it is readily discernible through the circumstances, the parties’ statements, and/or credible witnesses.
    6. Make every effort to gather factual information from all parties and witnesses involved in a nonjudgmental manner. This information is critical as it may be used by each party in the future.
    7. If fault can be assessed against one party, determine the level of corrective action necessary based on all of the circumstances of the collision.

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    Kids on Lifts

    Kids on Lifts

    To make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible, we strongly suggest that you take the time to review the following 11 Kids-on-Lifts Safety Tips with your children before they take their first chairlift ride.


    1. Your small child (defined as a child shorter than 51" to the top of their helmet) may be assisted by the lift operator unless instructed differently by their parent or guardian.

    2. A small child should not ride a chairlift alone.

    3. A small child should sit to the far outside of the chair next to the armrest for added security.  

    4. A small child not seated next to an armrest should be accompanied by an adult.

    5. When riding a fixed grip chairlift with your child (chairlifts that do not automatically slow down while loading and unloading), position them on the side next to the lift operator.

    6. If your child uses ski poles they should take the straps off of their wrists and hold them in the hand away from the outside of the chair while loading.

    7. Once they are ready they should quickly move from the Wait Here signs to the Load Board. They should remember "Boots on the board".

    8. As the chair approaches the load board your child should turn to the outside of the chair, reach back with their free hand, and grab on to the vertical pole. They should remember "Turn, reach, and grab."

    9. Your child should hold on to the vertical bar next to them all the way up the chairlift. They should remember "Hold on".

    10. Your child should sit all the way back in the chair with their back touching the back of the chair. They should remember "Sit all the way back".

    11. Your child should sit still until they reach the Unload Here signs. They should remember to "Sit still".

    Our qualified lift staff can assist with loading small children, guests of any age.  Don't hesitate to ask for lift assistance, if needed.

     


    View Safety Tips
    NSAA Recommended Safety Tips

    NSAA Recommended Safety Tips

    The NSAA has tips for before and during your day on the hill.

    Tips for Prior to Hitting the Slope

    • Get in shape: Don't try to ski yourself into shape. You'll enjoy skiing more if you're physically fit.

    • Obtain proper equipment: Be sure to have your ski or snowboard bindings adjusted correctly at a local ski shop. You can rent good ski or snowboarding equipment at resorts.

    • When buying skiwear: Look for fabric that is water and wind-resistant. Look for wind flaps to shield zippers, snug cuffs at wrists and ankles, collars that can be snuggled up to the chin and drawstrings that can be adjusted for comfort and keep wind out. Be sure to buy quality clothing and products.

    • Dress in layers: Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. For example, dress in polypropylene underwear (top and bottoms), which feels good next to the skin, dries quickly, absorbs sweat and keeps you warm. Wear a turtleneck, sweater and jacket.

    • Be prepared: Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Bring a headband or hat with you to the slopes, 60 percent of heat-loss is through the head. Wear gloves or mittens (mittens are usually better for those susceptible to cold hands).

    • Wear sun protection: The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think, even on cloudy days!

    • Always wear eye protection: Have sunglasses and goggles with you. Skiing and snowboarding are a lot more fun when you can see.

    Tips for while on the Slopes

    • 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.

    • ALWAYS SKI OR RIDE WITH A BUDDY: When skiing or riding in deep powder, it is often difficult to get up after a fall. It is especially difficult for snowboarders as their board can anchor them down. Ski Patrol states that it is imperative for skiers and snowboarders to use the buddy system in these conditions. Always arrange a meeting place when you get off a chair, such as the bottom of a chairlift, in case you do get separated. Ensure that the meeting place is close by in case your buddy needs help. If your buddy does not turn up, either search for them immediately or ask a Mammoth Mountain employee to assist you.

    • Warm-up: The all-important warm-up run 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.

    • Curb alcohol consumption: Skiing and snowboarding do not mix well with alcohol or drugs.

    • Know your limits: Learn to ski and snowboard smoothly—and in control. Stop before you become fatigued and, most of all have fun.

    • If you’re tired: Stop skiing. In this day and age of multi-passenger gondolas and 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.

    • Your Responsibility Code: Always follow the seven safety rules of the slopes laid out in the Responsibility Code above.

    View Safety Tips
    Park Smart

    Park Smart

    Freestyle Terrain areas are designated with an orange oval and may contain jumps, take-offs, ramps, banks, fun boxes, jibs, rails, half pipes, quarter pipes, snowcross, bump terrain and other constructed or natural terrain features. Prior to using Freestyle Terrain, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the terrain and obeying all instructions, warnings and signs. Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground, and in the air. Use of Freestyle Terrain exposes you to the risk of serious injury or death. Inverted aerials are not recommended. You assume all risk.

    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 small features and work your way up. If you aren’t sure about how to use a feature, build your skills first.

    When starting out, look for small progression parks and features and then work your way up to medium or large parks and features. Freestyle Terrain comes in different sizes so make sure and start small and work your way up before going into larger parks.

    Make a Plan

    Every Feature. Every Time.

    Every time you use 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.

    ATML
    When first inspecting the jumps consider the following elements of each jump:
    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 run and to familiarize yourself with the park layout and features

    Remember that the 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.

    One person on a feature at a time.

    Wait your turn and call your drop-in.

    Always clear the landing area quickly.

    Respect all signs and stay off closed features.

    Remember that respect is important both in the park, and on the rest of the resort. So be smart when you are heading down the mountain or to the lift and save your best tricks for the park.

    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.

    Remember you can control how big or small you take the feature by varying speed and take off.

    Inverted aerials increase the chance of serious injury and are not recommended. 

    Watch Smart Style in action with this video, courtesy of the NSAA.

    View Safety Tips
    Avalanche Rescue System

    Avalanche Rescue System

    Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol utilizes standard 457 kHz avalanche transceivers and the RECCO avalanche rescue system to facilitate rapid location of burials.  Neither of these systems prevent avalanches or guarantee location or survival. Knowledge and common sense are the most efficient way to avoid accidents.

    Drone Policy

    Drone Policy

    Based on safety concerns for guests, employees, and resort property, as well as concerns for individual privacy, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resorts prohibit the operation or use of unmanned aerial systems (commonly referred to as drones) by the general public – including recreational users and hobbyists. Drone use is permitted only upon obtaining written authorization from Management. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone used by media or journalists operating above or within any Mammoth Resorts boundary. Violation of this policy may result in loss of lift privileges and/or prosecution under applicable law. Please contact a resort representative in Administration if you have any questions.

     

     
    Sun Safe on the Slopes

    Sun Safe on the Slopes

    To ensure you have a safe and fun day on the slopes, remember these tips to protect you from the sun and its radiation. 


    Wear pants, long sleeves, and gloves even on warm days. 
    Put on a hat or helmet that covers your ears.
    Wear 100% UV protection goggles or sunglasses.
    Apply generous amounts of SPF 30+ sunscreen on exposed skin every two hours.
    It’s not the heat of the sun that causes skin damage but radiation from the sun. 
    What to look for in sunblock:

    SPF 30 or higher
    Broad Spectrum
    Zinc Oxide, titanium dioxide or both

    Eye Protection

    Eye health is important for everyone. Skiers and snowboarders spend long hours on the snow which can increase your risk of eye health issues. Fortunately, wearing good quality sunglasses and goggles, that offer UV-protection are a great way to significantly reduce these risks. Below are several resources you can check out to learn more about the importance of wearing eye protection when you're enjoying the slopes.
    View Sun Safety Tips

    Skier/Snowboarder Liability

    WARNING: Snowboarding, skiing, and other snow related activities contain numerous inherent risks that may result in personal injury, death, or property damage.

    YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.

    Holders must follow MMSA's rules and "Your Responsibility Code."

    USER ASSUMES ALL RISKS INHERENT IN THE SPORT. This Pass may be suspended or revoked without refund for failure to comply with rules, misconduct, nuisance, reckless behavior, or fraudulent use. This Pass is non-transferable. Holder is bound by all MMSA rules, the Release of Liability and Indemnity Agreement, and the Conditions of Use.

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