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When Starting Downhill or Merging into a Trail LOOK UPHILL and YIELD to Others

Categories: Safety Guest Connection

Look uphill before merging Safety Blog

Responsibility Code #4

This one seems simple but its application can be far reaching. Mt. Hood Meadows is blessed with natural playground-like terrain where slopes are constantly changing pitch and aspect. We have trails all over our ridges and gullies with intersections where it can be unclear who is merging with whom. In these scenarios who yields to whom?  Let’s explore what the Responsibility Code can teach us.

Code #2 teaches us that those ahead have the right of way. Code #4 instructs stopped guests to look uphill and yield to those already traveling downhill before starting again. Those oncoming downhill travelers should be aware of your presence since you stopped in a safe and visible place according to code #3.  Furthermore, they should be in control (code #1) and capable of avoiding you. Remain stopped until traffic has passed. Be safe, be patient.

Code # 4 also offers guidance to those who like to explore both on- and off-piste terrain. When entering a trail from an off-piste location, yield to those already on that trail. When traversing (traveling across slopes instead of down) through off-piste terrain I recommend yielding to those in the fall-line. After all, we’re a chairlift up, sliding-on-snow down resort. Let’s respect those already enjoying the ride down as we travel to where we want to ski.

Let’s look at two common traverse routes here at Meadows.

When lower Heather Canyon is open, Jacks Woods can be accessed from a traverse beginning at the top of the Heather Chair; users passing through the Shooting Star basin should be vigilant - looking uphill to their left and yielding throughout their long left traverse.

South side traversers heading to the Easy Rider chairlift or the Fireweed, Zoo, Shipyard and Half Pipe freestyle terrain parks from Mt Hood Express should keep an eye on traffic coming downhill over their right shoulder. Please yield to these guests coming from Cascade or Vista Express as you cross their paths and join their trails.

Make safety your priority. Be aware of others and ski and ride defensively.  On busy days, keep your head on a swivel as trails and skiers' paths approach you and your intended route. If in doubt, please yield.  Be smart today in order to ride again tomorrow.

Have fun getting around our winter playground. Be aware, careful and respectful of others as you get to your lines. Then, enjoy the down!

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