On Saturday, February 13, 23 year old Kyle Cryblskey suffered fatal injuries while landing a jump in a terrain park at Mt. Hood Meadows.
On behalf of the entire team here at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, we want to express our deepest condolences to Kyle’s family. Words seem so inadequate at a time like this. We can only imagine the grief and sorrow they are feeling.
Kyle’s untimely passing has impacted all of us here at Mt. Hood Meadows greatly. Although we did not know Kyle, it is evident that he had great passion for snow boarding and the outdoors in general. We share that same passion and will continue to do so in his honor.
Kyle’s family is urging everyone to wear helmets when skiing or snowboarding. We want to use this blog to help educate guests about helmets, as well as the Smart Style approach to riding terrain parks. Sharing this knowledge here may prevent such a tragedy in the future.
Smart Style Information
The National Ski Areas Association has developed the "Smart Style" Freestyle Terrain Safety initiative, a cooperative effort to continue the proper use and progression of freestyle terrain at mountain resorts, while delivering a unified message that is clear, concise, and effective.
1. MAKE A PLAN - Every time you use freestyle terrain, make a plan for each feature you want to use. Your speed, approach and take off will directly affect your maneuver and landing.
2. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP - Scope around the jumps first, not over them. Know your landings are clear and clear yourself out of the landing area.
3. EASY STYLE IT - Start small and work your way up. (Inverted aerials not recommended).
4. RESPECT GETS RESPECT - From the lift line through the park.
The four points of Smart Style are printed in our trail map and on our web site. Signs are also posted at the entrance to our terrain parks.
This video explains how the Smart Style points apply to responsible park riding.
The video is aimed at educating guests on how to use freestyle terrain properly, and integrates the four points of Smart Style with the ATML method: Approach, Take-Off, Maneuver, and Landing. The video highlights an instrumental message in freestyle terrain use: avoid the backseat and land on your feet.
Skiing and snowboarding have always had risks, but they also have an excellent safety record. Skiers and snowboarders have less than a one in a million chance of being seriously injured or dying on the slopes. Serious head injuries account for only 2.6 percent of overall skiing/snowboarding injuries. Each skier or snowboarder’s behavior has as much or more to do with the safety of the sports as does any piece of equipment. If you choose to wear a helmet or use other types of equipment to protect yourself, be sure you understand the limits and proper use of that equipment. Don’t let safety equipment give you a false sense of security.
- A helmet can make a difference in reducing or preventing a head injury from a fall or other impacts. However, no helmet can protect the wearer against all foreseeable impacts and injuries to the head. You should be familiar with and/or memorize the "Your Responsibility Code.”
- A helmet's fit is most important. It's helpful to have an experienced sales person assist you with fit. A properly fit helmet will be comfortable with no pressure points. A helmet is not an item that you want to grow into. Mt. Hood Meadows sells and rents helmets.
For those that have read this far – thank you. Please ride safely and share these messages with others.
Here are some links that provide additional information regarding safety on the slopes.
-- Meadows Team