The snow is fresh and the sun is shining. This is a great month to be on the slopes. At Keystone January is Skier Safety month. There are some great daily activities for beginning skiers and some solid reminders for the more advanced skier.

If you are comfortable skiing the Blue Terrain doing an end of the day. Trail Sweep with the ski patrol is a great reminder of what we already know about staying safe on the slopes. This event happens daily at 3:30 PM. The meeting place is the Ski Patrol Headquarters in the basement of the Summit House. Meet there and join the Ski Patrol as they make a run to be sure all skiers are down the mountain after the lifts close.

For the younger skiers and riders, a day spent working on the Schoolmarm Scavenger Hunt will serve as a good reminder of all the safety tips learned in ski school. Stop at the River Run Guest Service Office to pick up a clue sheet, spend th

e day on Schoolmarm looking for clues and practicing safe skiing, return your completed sheet to the office for a prize.

In addition to the activities being offered to remind skiers of the safety precautions, there are always a few tips that will keep us all safe on the slopes. 

1.Exercise in advance. You will have much more fun on the slopes if you're in good shape. Work your way up to skiing by exercising year-round on a regular basis.

2.Use proper ski equipment. Don't borrow equipment. Rent from a ski shop or the ski resort. When buying equipment, make sure your boots fitted properly. In both cases, make sure your bindings are properly adjusted. 

3.Wear a helmet. Wearing protective headgear while skiing makes good sense. The most important tip to all parents and guardians -is to give a child no choice but to wear a helmet.

4.Prepare for the weather. Wear layers of clothes and wear a helmet liner, a hat, or a headband. Wear gloves or mittens. Bring an extra pair in case the first pair gets wet.

5.Get proper instruction. Sign up for ski lessons (either individual or group). Even experienced skiers polish up their skills with a lesson now and then.

6.Wear goggles. Wear ski goggles that fit properly around your helmet. If you wear eyeglasses, buy goggles that fit comfortably over your eyeglasses or consider prescription goggles.

7.Take a break. If you're tired, take a break and rest for a while in the lodge. While you're resting, make sure you eat and drink enough. Water is very important at high altitude!

8.Skiing burns a lot of energy! When it's the end of the day, there's no need to try and get in a last run, or two, if you are tired. It's better to quit while you're ahead and save your energy for next time.

9.Ski with a friend. It's always safer to ski with a friend so he can watch out for you and vice versa. Prearrange a meeting place in case you get separated and use cell phones to stay in touch. Be sure you have cell service in the area where you are skiing….or use walkie talkies.

10.Respect your limits. Do not ski trails that are above your skill level. Trails will be clearly marked (Green Circle, Blue Square, Black Diamond) as to what level skier they are appropriate for. Stay in control of your skis and focus on the trail you are skiing. Accidents happen more readily when we are distracted.

11.Follow the rules. Do not go off-trail. Obey posted trail closure and other warning signs. They are there for a reason.

12. KNOW THE CODE. Remember that skiers who are in front of you, and below you, on the trail have the right-of-way.

Have fun and be careful out there!