Intrawest, a large resort operator that runs Stratton, Mountain Creek, Whistler, and several others, has issued new helmet rules for the 2009-2010 ski season.
Intrawest is recommending that all skiers and snowboarders visiting their resorts wear helmets and have made it mandatory for anyone under 17 to wear a helmet while participating in their Ski and Snowboard School Programs, as well as for all students participating in freestyle terrain park programs, regardless of their age. Previously, there had been an “opt-out clause” allowing parents to waive the right for children to wear a helmet, but that now has been removed.
Starting in the 2010-2011 season, Intrawest will join Vail in requiring all on-mountain employees to wear helmets. They will also be placing an increased focus on showing helmets on skiers and snowboarders in visuals for their web sites and advertising.
“Intrawest is working in conjunction with the ski industry to establish important best practices on behalf of our resort guests and employees,” said Bill Jensen, chief executive officer at Intrawest. “Together, we have established a new baseline for helmet use at our resorts that has received strong support from the NSAA and CWSAA. We will continue to work with all of the ski industry associations in the United States and Canada to raise awareness of this important initiative and the obligation of everyone to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner.”
We think it’s a positive step that will help to prevent a lot of injuries and one that will catch on at other resorts as well. Killington does not currently require helmets for any mountain activities.