By Ron Kubicki, Director of Holiday Valley Snowsports School

Welcome everyone to the 2014-2015 season. We have been turning wheels at the Valley for several weeks now with some up and down weather. Due to some excellent work by our snow makers and groomers, though, we have enjoyed some very good snow conditions.

Traffic has been light, but with the holidays looming, you can expect the slopes to bear a bit more downhill traffic. Skiing and riding, like many things in our lives, now subject us to somewhat crowded conditions. Traffic, movie lines, grocery stores and malls all tax our patience. Skiing and snowboarding often have their own challenge, too. On any holiday or weekend on the slopes, there can be upwards of 10,000 people at the resort, but with 13 lifts, 58 slopes and 1,100 acres, it may not seem that busy. Needless to say, you certainly are sharing lift lines and slopes with other skiers and riders, all of whom are all here to enjoy their time with friends and family.

We all know that none of these people move at the same speed or take the same track down the slope — everyone has their own way to enjoy the slopes. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind to ensure you and others enjoy a safer and better time on the slopes

1. Always stay in control. You must be able to other people or objects.

2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.

4. Before starting downhill or merging onto a trail look up and yield to others.

5. If you are involved in or witness a collision or accident, you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol.

6. Always use proper devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

7. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings.

8. Keep off closed trails and areas.

9. You must have sufficient knowledge to ride a lift. If in doubt, ask the lift attendant.

10. Do not drink to excess while skiing or snowboarding.

All of these are simply common sense and common courtesies to extend to each other. Clipping someone’s skis because you are too close to them, blasting through slower groups or lessons, launching yourself from the trees or an adjoining trail in front of downhill traffic is dangerous to others as well as yourself.

Share the pleasure of the natural beauty we all share by being a good citizen and conscientious downhill traveler.

Don’t forget that the best way to improve your skills and learn new techniques and tactics is to take a coaching session from our PSIA/AASI Certified School.

Learn… Turn… Smile… Repeat.