Colorado skier safety bill fails to make it out of committee vote

Colorado skier safety bill fails to make it out of committee vote

Based on an article from the Vail Daily by Nate Peterson

I am sure many of you have either seen or heard news. I believe it is worthy of some thought. I am not advocating for what the bill proposes. However, some of the general tenants of the bill are things that should be internalized by ski resorts/areas. Sharing such information with the public does not have much value, in my opinion.

Having a safety plan is a box that should be checked. Such a plan should be reviewed annually in the context of a review of incidents of the prior year. The history of incidents should be reviewed as to where they took place on the hill, the conditions of most accidents, what type of incidents were incurred. The minds of 99% of ski patrol directors and staff in reviewing this data will undoubtedly make decisions that will enhance safety going forward. The ethos of ski patrol is safety, and the ski industry is lucky to have the men and women who serve as patrollers. There would be no compromise on safety.

I will venture into the danger zone by saying the unfortunate part of this overall discussion, lack of transparency, is necessitated by the looming threat of litigation. This threat destroys the relationship between those who care very much about safety, ski patrollers, and those who get injured. The message of don’t say a word gets passed down from lawyers, insurance providers, and upper management. Unfortunately, in our litigious society, the answer to this part of the equation is probably unanswerable.

As introduced into the Colorado Senate, my other concern with this bill is that it opens a door for taking information from the ski resorts/areas with no boundaries on who will have access to the information and how it will be used. Having people who don’t have in-depth knowledge of skiing and its risks accessing this data and making judgments, regulatory rules, and laws is very concerning. Lift accidents are an example where those without knowledge have attacked the safety of ski lifts, claiming that the ski industry is not concerned about the safety of people riding ski lifts. Generally, having data without the knowledge of what the data is about is dangerous.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the last we will hear on this topic. I am afraid that eventually, bills will be passed in states around the country; when I am not sure. Being prepared for the future with the tools to gather the data is something all ski resorts/areas need to address.

Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


Please click on the images to learn more

Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

Please click on the images to learn more.

Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

Please click on the images to learn more.


The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

Please click on the images to learn more.


  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.