While most skiers and snowboarders focus on trail conditions and weather ahead of their trips to Mammoth Mountain, there is another factor that can make or break a trip that many people forget to consider.
Other skiers and riders on the mountain.
Other riders are hard to predict and as a result collisions and falls cause serious injuries at Mammoth Mountain every year. The good news is that there is plenty of mountain and snow for everyone to share, but the team at ASO Mammoth has put together an etiquette and safety guide with a few guidelines to make sure everyone on the mountain has a safe day!
Skiers and Riders in front of you have the right of way
The most important guideline for Mammoth Mountain and every other mountain you’ll ever ski or ride is that the rider in front of you has the right away.
Imagine trying to focus on your line or making it to the end of a run without falling while constantly checking behind you to make sure you aren’t cutting anyone off. It’s impossible to do safely, so when you’re riding you should always give the skier or rider in front of you the right of way.
This rule is especially important when trails are merging, so take extra caution in these areas!
Give Plenty of Space and Don’t Stop below Blind Spots
Falls and hazards on the trail are unpredictable, so always give other riders plenty of room as a general rule. For example, all over Mammoth Mountain are turns, hills, and terrain that riders coming down the mountain cannot see around until they’ve passed them. If another rider or skier takes a fall in one of these areas then riders coming downhill will have to stop or swerve suddenly, and if you’re riding too close you could cause an accident.
Of course, you should never sit or stop below a drop off, blind spot, or turn for your own safety and everyone else’s anyway. Whenever you stop on a trail, look behind you to make sure you and anyone with you is visible to everyone coming down the mountain.
Keep an Eye on Your Gear
It may look funny seeing someone chase their ski, pole, or board down a run, but runaway ski and snowboard gear can cause serious accidents when it finally stops. Many rental shops like
ASO Mammoth offer leashes to make sure new riders are never separated from their gear, so if you’re new to skiing or snowboarding seriously consider renting a leash with your gear to make sure that you don’t have to buy a board that shattered against a tree or even worse, apologize for hurting someone.
Be Patient with Yourself and Others
On one hand, exploring new runs and terrain is the best way to progress as well as have fun. On the other, riding terrain that doesn’t match your skill level can be dangerous to yourself and others.
It’s ok if you struggle to get off a lift and fall a few times. What’s not ok is obstructing technical lines or advanced features in a terrain park because you aren’t ready to ride them yet. Riders and skiers in these areas can’t afford surprises more so than anyone else on the mountain, so pay attention and don’t put yourself in a bad spot by overestimating your skill.
If you do see someone who is struggling because they’re riding beyond their skill level, or just struggling to ride in general, help them out however you can. The sooner they’re safely down the mountain, the sooner the trail or feature is safe for the next rider.
Don’t Forget that Mammoth Mountain is a Lava Dome
You shouldn’t worry about eruptions while riding or skiing Mammoth Mountain, but you should be aware that Mammoth Mountain is lava dome. The volcanic activity in the area makes it incredibly important to stay within the boundaries of the ski area as there are pockets of carbon dioxide on the mountain. Since it’s heavier than air, carbon dioxide pools underneath snow making these areas deadly to anyone who falls in them. If you see signs marking dangerous gases, give those areas a wide berth and stick to the marked boundaries.
Follow this rule and the other guidelines in this guide to make sure you and everyone else on
the mountain has an excellent and safe day!