At Sugar Bowl, your safety and enjoyment is our number one priority.
How to be prepared for and handle a mountain emergency.
SKI PATROL and EMERGENCIES call (530) 426-6727, or 9-1-1.
Ski Patrol Locations are found throughout the resort. Ask any uniformed resort employee for directions:
First Aid – lower level of Judah Lodge past Special Tickets; Village Lodge past the Hotel front desk down the corridor from the Gondola terminal.
Ski Patrol block houses – are found at the top of the following lifts: Mt. Disney Express, Mt. Lincoln Express, Jerome Hill Express, Mt. Judah Express and Summit Chairlift.
MOUNTAIN SAFETY PATROL
You’ll see Mountain Safety personnel in their bright yellow jackets throughout the day in slow zones and high traffic areas helping guests and controlling the flow of traffic. With your help, we look to create a safe skiing/riding culture for our community of mountain lovers!
IN CASE OF INJURY
If someone is injured, do not remove their skis or board, but place your own or other crossed skis/snowboard uphill from the injured person; do not move them unless absolutely necessary. Call Patrol at (530) 426-6727, or if outside resort operation hours, call 911. Stay with the injured person until Patrol arrives. Patrol will ask for the number of the phone from which you are calling, your location on the mountain, a description of the injured person, and the nature of the injury.
TAHOE FOREST HOSPITAL
Tahoe Forest Hospital, 11 miles from Sugar Bowl Resort in Truckee at 10121 Pine Avenue, provides emergency care 24 hours per day. Call (530) 587-6011.
Know the Code - It's Your Responsibility
The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) developed Your Responsibility Code to help skiers and boarders be aware that there are elements of risk in snow sports that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. The Seven Points to Your Responsibility Code:
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid 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 you are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging, 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.
THIS IS A PARTIAL LIST. BE SAFETY CONSCIOUS.
Sugar Bowl is committed to promoting skier/rider safety to its guests and employees.
In addition to people using traditional alpine ski equipment, you may be joined on the slopes by snowboarders, snow bladers, mono-skiers, telemark skiers, or skiers with disabilities using adaptive equipment. All equipment must have metal edges and bindings. Use of any other equipment, such as sleds, snow skates, snow decks, toboggans, tubes, trays, saucers, personal snow bikes, etc., is strictly prohibited on resort premises.
OBJECTS ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR - STAY IN CONTROL AND ABLE TO STOP.
NSAA developed the "Objects are Closer Than They Appear" campaign to shine a spotlight on the first tenet of Your Responsibility Code: Always stay in control and be able to stop and avoid other people or objects.
- Check Your Speed.
- Warning, Objects Are Closer Than They Appear.
- Fixed Objects Don’t Move – You Do!
- Factoid – At 27mph You Need 60 feet and 1½ Seconds to Avoid a Tree.
- Defensible Distance – Do You Have It?
HELMET USE - EQUIPMENT & BEHAVIOR ARE PRIMARY SAFETY MEASURES.
Practice Responsible Lift Use
TIPS FOR SUCCESS (Your Responsibility Code #7).
According to our friends at NSAA, using and riding chair lifts in a responsible manner is one of the primary safety considerations for all skiers and boarders. It’s YOUR Responsibility to know how to use and ride the lift safely. Here are some tips:
- Need assistance? Ask the lift attendant for help.
- Remove & carry packs. Children in packs are not allowed on chairlifts at Sugar Bowl.
- 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 the 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!
Kids On Lifts
SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 55” TALL.
Small children that have difficulty loading and sitting on the chair will need assistance from adults. It is our goal to identify these children and pair them with an adult. Chair riding position is critical and we do not want anyone leaning on the safety bar. All guests should be seated with their backs and bottoms firmly on the chair and holding onto the armrest, seatback or safety bar if they can maintain the proper seating position. Our safety practices are focused on several key areas:
It is everyone’s responsibility to adhere to Kids on Lifts safety protocols. This is a partial list.
|In December of 2011 our community suffered a great loss. John Marco Henderson, age 7, died after falling from the Mt. Lincoln chairlift while skiing with the Sugar Bowl Ski Team. Sugar Bowl Corporation and Sugar Bowl Ski Team have worked with John’s parents to investigate how this accident occurred and determine what steps could be taken to prevent a similar tragedy. At Sugar Bowl, safety remains our highest priority.
Reporting Skier Collisions - It's The Law!
Placer County Code § 9.28.040 requires when involved in a skiing collision with other skiers which results in bodily injury to another person, a skier shall not depart from the scene of the accident without first leaving his or her name and address with the ski patrol in the ski area where such injury occurred. Failure to report shall constitute a misdemeanor. Per § 9.28.090 A., any person convicted of a misdemeanor for violating the provision of Section 9.28.040 shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment in the County Jail not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
CONTACT SKI PATROL IMMEDIATELY IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN OR WITNESS A COLLISION RESULTING IN INJURY AT (530) 426-6727.
Sugar Bowl is committed to promoting skier/rider safety in all its terrain parks.
SMART STYLE - PARK SMART - RESPECT GETS RESPECT.
Along with the NSAA, we introduce you to the Smart Style - Park Smart Terrain Park Safety initiative. The Smart Style - Park Smart Terrain Park Safety Program has five main messages:
- START SMALL. Work your way up. Build your skills.
- MAKE A PLAN. Every feature. Every time.
- ALWAYS LOOK before you drop.
- RESPECT the features and others.
- TAKE IT EASY. Know your limits. Land on your feet.
PRACTICE PARK ETIQUETTE
Do not stop or ride through landings. If there are boards or skis in front of a jump, the jump is closed so go around the feature. When not using features, stay off to the side of the trail, out of the way. Use features in the manner in which they are intended. Don't jump off the sides of the takeoffs.
Code of Conduct, Three Strikes Program, and more
CODE OF CONDUCT – STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOR
The standards listed below are not exhaustive, but they are the most prevalent behaviors that generate guest complaints, dissatisfaction and injury. These behaviors are not permitted at Sugar Bowl and depending on severity, may result in education or application of the Three Strikes Program.
- Failure to abide by the 7 points of Your Responsibility Code (above).
- Line cutting.
- Malicious throwing – snowballs or any other items/objects.
- Talking on cell phones while loading/unloading lifts.
- Malicious spraying of others.
- Failure to observe posted boundary, closure and warning signs, bamboo and ropes.
- Excessive speed in slow zones and in congested areas (lift mazes, base areas).
- Failure to abide by the directions of resort personnel.
- Violation of Federal, State or County statutes, codes or ordinances
- Theft of resort or individual’s property, including ticket/pass fraud
- Unlawful consumption of drugs or alcohol
- Verbal or physical assault
- Jibbing and/or bonking resort property outside terrain parks
- Public nudity or indecency
- Hit and run skiing and/or riding
- Skiing/riding in a closed area or closed avalanche zone
- Malicious throwing – snowballs or other items resulting in bodily harm or property damage
THREE STRIKES PROGRAM – ENFORCING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
For violations of the Code of Conduct we use a severity and escalation approach to consequences. First time violations of mild severity will likely result in education and a warning. Relatively minor violations where the guest’s response escalates the situation may result in a higher degree of consequences. More severe and subsequent documented violations will result in privilege suspensions up to and including revocation of lift tickets and season passes, and in the event of violation of statute/law, referral to law enforcement.
- 1st violation/strike is usually accompanied by a warning and continued privileges, depending on the nature of violation and attitude displayed.
- 2nd violation/strike is accompanied with discipline. Tickets generally are revoked and season passes are suspended for 1-14 days depending on guest attitude and the type of violation.
- 3rd violation/strike will result in ticket revocation and indefinite suspension of ability to purchase tickets. Passes are suspended indefinitely.
- Employees are held to a higher standard; code of conduct violations or illegal activities will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
DRONE POLICY (UAS)
At Sugar Bowl Resort, the use of drones and radio-controlled model aircraft, which are currently considered an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), is a public and guest safety concern, and, where cameras are used, a potential privacy issue. Drones are not allowed to be used by the public at Sugar Bowl Resort, both at the base areas and on the mountain. The safety and privacy of our guests is our primary concern.
Ski or ride with a buddy.
DEEP SNOW SAFETY – SNOW IMMERSION SUFFOCATION (SIS)
Skiing and snowboarding off the groomed runs and in deep powder is one of the most exciting and appealing parts of our sport. However, if you decide to leave the groomed trails you are voluntarily accepting the risk of a deep snow immersion accident. A deep snow, or tree well immersion accident occurs when a skier or rider falls into an area of deep unconsolidated snow and becomes immobilized and suffocates. Deaths resulting from these kinds of accidents are referred to as a SIS hazard or Snow Immersion Suffocation.
Know the current conditions and ski or ride with a partner and keep your partner in sight at all times.
Know Before You Go
UPHILL TRAVEL POLICY
Uphill travel within the resort and its surrounding areas by means of skinning, snowshoeing, hiking and running have gained popularity at Sugar Bowl. Skiers and riders must review and accept the terms of the Uphill Use Policy by downloading and completing this form . The rules and regulations set forth in the Uphill Travel Policy were developed in conjunction with the USFS, and the form must be signed and returned to the Judah Lodge Special Tickets offer before traveling uphill at Sugar Bowl Resort either during operating hours or after the resort has closed for the day.
In addition to a completed Uphill Travel Policy form, a valid season pass or Uphill Travel ticket is required to access Sugar Bowl Resort.
Uphill Travel Pass and Ticket Options:
|Any valid Sugar Bowl Resort Season Pass (rates vary by pass type and age)|
|1-Day Uphill Ticket (No lift access)||$30|
|Uphill Travel Season Pass (no lift access)||$159|
|1-Day Up & Out Ticket (provides 2 lift rides)||$43*|
|*Guests must be on skis or snowboard to ride chairlifts, no foot passengers are allowed.|
For daily status on Uphill Travel routes call (530) 426-6775 or click here.
Backcountry safety starts with you: Pay attention at all times. Here is what you need to know before venturing outside the ski area boundary.
Sugar Bowl, in conjunction with the USFS maintains an open boundary policy. The area beyond the ski area boundary is in its natural state and entering the backcountry involves significant risks including those posed by deep snow, avalanches, steep terrain, cliffs, cornices and other terrain variations. We do not regularly perform avalanche mitigation or ski patrol support beyond our boundary and take no additional measures to mitigate the hazards to which skiers/boarders might be exposed. Persons skiing or riding beyond the ski area boundary assume all risks inherent in the backcountry. Before you leave the ski area boundary, please take the time to educate yourself about the backcountry.
For detailed backcountry access educational resources and the current backcountry report for the North Tahoe region visit the Sierra Avalanche Center website.
Always stay within sight and voice with a partner while skiing/riding in the backcountry. Only access the backcountry through the following Backcountry Gates, only when designated as “OPEN”. Refer to the resort trail map for these specific gate locations:
|A. Flower Ridge||D. Judah Bowl #2||G. Anderson's|
|B. Tower||E. Roller||H. Patrol|
|C. Judah Bowl #1||F. Crest|
KIDS ON LIFTS PROGRAM
Goals and Guiding Principles:
Small children that have difficulty sitting on the chair will need assistance from adults. It is our goal to identify these children and pair them with an adult. Chair riding position is critical and we do not want anyone leaning on the safety bar. All guests should be seated with their backs and bottoms firmly on the chair and holding onto the armrest, seatback or safety bar if they can maintain the proper seating position.
- Our safety practices are focused on several key areas
Identifying children that will have trouble loading, riding and unloading lifts
- Pairing these children with adults
- Loading children into the chair including lowering the bar
- Educating everyone on the proper way for children to ride the lift. The Kids on Lifts safety talk is covered at the onset of all age-appropriate lessons.
- Raising the bar at the right time and unloading
It is everyone’s responsibility to identify adherence to Kids on Lifts safety protocols.
Beginning in the 2012/2013 ski season (and moving forward), Sugar Bowl implemented the following safety program:
- Under 55” Program:
- ALL children under 55 inches in height MUST be accompanied by an adult
- The Under 55” program requires that lift operators lower the restraining bar for all riders under 55” even if they are riding with an adult. The 55” height guideline includes ski/snowboard equipment.
- A single child, accompanied by an adult, should sit on the operator side of the chair next to the adult
- Two children should sit on either side of the adult
- Children with poles should hold them in “one hand” and on the inside of the chair so that they can hold onto the armrest.
- Cameras: Strategically placed web-based cameras were installed at the loading terminals of most chairlifts to capture the loading process and monitor lift operator practices and guest conduct. The lift loading process is monitored by the dispatch office and recorded for safety and training purposes. The data is maintained for a minimum of 72 hours unless there is a lift loading incident resulting in an injury requiring ski patrol assistance. In the event of such an incident, the recorded data will be maintained by Sugar Bowl for at least two years. Ongoing data collection and analysis will occur to identify areas for safety improvement.
- Seat Targets: Seat targets were placed on all seats of Sugar Bowl chairlifts to help guide riders to the recommended position.
- Lift Operator Training: Lift Operators receive monthly training on chairlift safety and periodic feedback on their individual safety practices.
- Sugar Bowl Mountain Sports Learning Center: Children ages 4 and 5 are placed in lessons with a 3:1 student to instructor ratio (this 3:1 ratio does not apply to lessons where chairlifts are not utilized by students). All day and group lessons offering a 3:1 student to instructor ratio are available for children ages 6 to 12. Students receive chairlift safety education at the beginning of each lesson.
- Sugar Bowl Ski Team Coach Training: All ski team coaches receive training that includes chairlift safety training, four times annually.
- Ski Team Chairlift Protocol: Sugar Bowl Ski Team Mini-Mites (generally 4 year olds) and Mighty Mites (generally 5 and 6 year olds) ride the chair with an adult, coach or qualified team sweeper.
- Supervised Load: Sugar Bowl Ski Team Development Team 1 members (generally ages 7 and 8) have a “supervised load” by a coach. A “supervised load” means that a coach or a trained adult will observe each ski team member load onto the chairlift.
- Ski Team Training: Ski team members receive specific and repeated training on chairlift safety. This training will be conducted at least once per month.
- Educational Program: Sugar Bowl implemented and maintains a chairlift safety and educational program for Sugar Bowl guests.
- Chairlift Incident Investigation: Sugar Bowl established and maintains a mechanism for thorough, timely investigation and analysis of chairlift incidents which result in injuries requiring patrol assistance.
- Chairlift Safety Promotion: Sugar Bowl and the SBSTF assisted the National Ski Area Association (NSAA) in promoting the John Henderson Chairlift Safety Initiative when it launches later this season.
- Outreach: Sugar Bowl will continue its outreach to other resorts, the NSAA and the CSIA to discuss and share best practices with regard to chairlift safety.
Communicating the Kids on Lifts Policy to children Under 55":
- “Back to Back” - Child’s back must be on the back of the chair. No arching of the back. Children must not lean on the bar.
- “Bottom on Target” - Child’s bottom must be covering the “seat target”.
- “Face Forward and Sit Still” - The child must always face and maintain full contact with chair
- “No Fooling Around” – Children on the lift must behave. No horseplay will be tolerated.
- “Hold on Tight” – The child should either hold the armrest if seated on the outside or hold the back of the seat if seated in a middle position.
- “Keep Bar Down” – The safety bar is to be down and remain down after leaving the loading zone. Red circular signs on towers approaching the unload zone emphasize this by stating “Keep Bar Down”.
- “Raise Bar” – The bar is not to be raised until the chair is even with the green circular sign stating “Raise Bar”.
Remembering John Henderson
Numerous interviews were conducted during the investigation. While many people recalled fragments of the accident, there were conflicting accounts and few direct eyewitnesses. As a result, we cannot state with certainty, exactly what happened. We do know that John was on the chair with two other members of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team and that their coach allowed them to load without supervision. We also believe the chair lift restraint bar was not lowered properly at the loading terminal and that children of this age were unable to lower the bar themselves. We found no evidence of horseplay or foul play. Ultimately our safety practices were insufficient to prevent this tragedy.
As a result of this tragedy, we reviewed existing policies, procedures and best practices relating to the loading, riding and unloading of the chairlifts at Sugar Bowl. We have implemented a comprehensive Safety Program that includes the following changes: restraining bars will be lowered for all minors under 55 inches in height (including equipment); increased adult supervision of children in the ski school and on ski team; and installation of strategically placed cameras on the majority of chairlifts to continuously monitor and improve chairlift loading practices. The Safety Program will be distributed widely and is available on the Sugar Bowl website.
Sugar Bowl is committed to pursuing the highest safety standards and we are working with the National Ski Areas Association and the California Ski Industry Association to increase chairlift safety awareness throughout the nation. The Board of Directors, management and entire staff of Sugar Bowl Resort and the Sugar Bowl Ski Team are dedicated to the continued focus on and development of a culture of safety. We look forward to feedback and assistance from our entire community in this effort.
John John's Way, is a run on Disney named in John Henderson's honor. During your next trip to Sugar Bowl, take a run down John John's Way as a tribute to a life taken too soon.