Safety in the Snow

Snow surface safety and the mountain operations involved enable you, to make the most of every day on the slopes. These efforts, led by Ski Patrol in partnership with Lift Operations, Lift Maintenance, Grooming, and Mountain Safety, may include avalanche mitigation, closure of specific zones, and preparation of transportation corridors that guests use to access our mountain terrain.

Avalanche Awareness

Deep piles of snow or the first warm day in a week  are two of our favorite things, but they also might take extra attention to prepare the snow surface before we can let you have it safely. 
Below, we’ve compiled a few key pointers for avalanche-prone days (those marked by rapidly changing conditions):
  • Some terrain will be closed, either temporarily or for the day. Ski Patrol decides if they can mitigate avalanche danger with snow safety operations (which yes, include dynamite!), or if some zones may need to remain closed for the day.
  • Remember when venturing into steeper terrain (35°-45° pitch) that avalanche danger is higher. Slough (or sluff) avalanches can happen with many types of rapidly changing conditions, not just deep powder!. Learn more about them here.  
  • Prepare for deep snow days by taking a backcountry course with us or with a local provider
  • Get the avalanche forecast to Know Before You Go


Learn More Here

Resort Boundaries

So you want to go to our lift-accessed backcountry? Great, but make sure you’re prepared first. We’ve put together a list of considerations and tips on Our Multi-use Mountain page (so be sure to read it!), but below are a few key points:
  • You can be catastrophically injured or even die if you exit the Resort and are not properly prepared or educated on the risks.
  • Areas beyond the Resort’s ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained. Avalanches, unmarked obstacles and other natural hazards exist.
  • If you are going to leave the Resort’s ski area and access out-of-bounds terrain, use designated exit points on our boundary lines (also known as gates)
  • You assume the risk that you may not be able to re-enter the Resort from the out-of-bounds terrain.
  • The Resort has no responsibility for skiers going beyond the ski area boundary.  
  • Be aware: the backcountry avalanche hazard may be extreme. Rescue in the backcountry, if available, is the responsibility of the Eagle County Sheriff. It will be costly and may take time.
  • Your safety is your responsibility.
Learn More Here


Snow Safety Infographic explains Above Surface (Tree Wells), On surface (Changing Snow Conditions), and Subsurface (Hidden Obstacles) hazards
The Reward
Practicing safety in all snow conditions doesn’t just keep you going all day—it makes for a great season. Below, some highlights.

Ready for your next great vacation?


Book Now
The links provided on this page are for informational purposes only.  Vail Resorts does not endorse or approve the content on the sites and bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the sites. Contact the site owner for answers to questions regarding their content.
Return to Safety & Experience