While there are clear differences between skiing and snowboard, when it comes mountain etiquette and safety the same codes apply to both and regardless of what is strapped to your feet, it’s important to aware of the basics.
THE OFFICIAL RULES
The best list of mountain rules is the NSAA website’s Skier Responsibility Code which hopefully you already know; otherwise here’s the first half of the list:
Mistake #1: You’re not in control…not really…
Solution: It’s your responsibility to always stay in control. That means being able to stop or avoid other people or objects. This truly is the most basic of rules. If you’re having trouble with this, stop reading and sign up for a quick lesson with Mammoth Mountain’s Ski and Snowboard School.
Mistake #2: You thought you had the right of way.
Solution: Did you know people ahead of you have the right of way and it’s your responsibility to avoid them. In other words, it’s up to the person BEHIND to react to what happens; they are responsible in an accident. Mammoth Mountain has several intersecting and merging trails, so sometimes this rule can feel confusing.
Mistake #3: You’re sitting in the middle of the run.
Solution: Don’t stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above. If you need to rest or stop to wait for your slower friends, stay as close to the side of trails as possible. Go one step safer and only stop by signs or trees, which can keep you from getting hit by an out-of-control skier/rider.
Mistake #4 You come careening into a run without looking up hill.
Solution: Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others. This is especially important when emerging from trees back onto a trail. As a kid, I was seriously guilty of darting in and out of trees, terrifying skiers when I’d pop back on the run. I get it. So this is a reminder to all you speed demon daredevils: Slow down when reentering busy trails.