Mountain Safety

Your responsibility code

Know The Code. It's Your Responsibility

Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country or other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.
2. People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.
3. Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.
4. Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
5. You must prevent runaway equipment.
6. Read and obey all signs, warnings, and hazard markings.
7. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
8. You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.
9. Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
10. If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

Winter sports involve risk of serious injury or death. Your knowledge, decisions and actions contribute to your safety and that of others. If you need help understanding the Code, please ask any ski area employee.



Safety Information

Chairlift at Stevens Pass

To Report An Accident

  • Crossed skies means someone needs assistance.
  • If you are injured have someone cross his or her skis above you or lay their snowboard above you. This makes it easier for ski patrol to find you and makes others on the hill aware that you are there. 
  • Send someone to the nearest Lift Operator, Patroller, or other Stevens Pass employee and give them exact location, noting trail name, tower number, skiers right or left of run, etc. 
  • Mark the site by placing skis in an "X" or snowboard vertically above the injured person.

Trail designations:

Stevens Pass trail difficulty is based on the degree of difficulty for our area. We recommend starting your day on the easiest trails and progressing up to your ability level to help avoid injuries.

We have:

  • 11% easiest terrain
  • 54% more difficult terrain
  • 35% advanced terrain

Slow Zones

Slow zones are marked on the trail map. These areas are our beginner areas and congested areas. Please slow down through these areas. Please report violators to the Ski Patrol. Clothing descriptions are helpful. Violators will lose their ticket or pass.

Closed Areas

An area may be closed for safety considerations or avalanche danger. Violating a closure will result in loss of ticket or pass on initial contact. Responsibility Code #6 - RCW 79A.45.070

Your Lift Privileges May Be Revoked for:

  • Reckless skiing/snowboarding defined as jumping into runs or blind areas, inverted aerials, riding too fast in a SLOW zone or congested area, or riding out of control.
  • Swinging, bouncing, jumping or throwing objects from the chair.
  • Disorderly conduct, loud or abusive language, drunkenness, use of illegal drugs.
  • Riding in CLOSED AREAS.
  • Ducking ropes.
  • Removing or moving hill signs, bamboo, or ropes.

Out of Ski Area

The backcountry area outside of the Stevens Pass Ski Area boundaries is public land. However you must be aware of the potential for serious injury and costly rescue operations. However, you must be aware of the potential for serious injury and costly rescue operations. There is no avalanche control or patrol beyond the area boundary. Rescue from these areas is not guaranteed and if available, may be slow and costly. There may be times when hiking routes in the Ski area boundaries are closed due to avalanche danger or other safety concerns. Therefore, we recommend skiers/snowboarders stay within the resort boundaries for their own safety as well as the safety of others who may follow their tracks.

On Snow Vehicles

You may encounter vehicles such as snow groomers and snow mobiles anywhere on the mountain. Be on the lookout for warning sounds and lights to alert you to their presence. Yield to moving and avoid parked vehicles at all times.

Risk of Avalanche

While snow safety and avalanche mitigation efforts help reduce the risk of avalanches, avalanches and snow slides may occur at winter resorts both inside and outside the resort boundary. Avalanches are an inherent risk of the sport due to the nature of snow and its application on steep, mountainous terrain. Become educated on how to reduce the risk of avalanches through your actions and awareness.

Taking these steps may help reduce the risk of being injured or killed in an avalanche:

  • Always ski/snowboard with a partner and keep them in sight at all times.
  • Obey all signs and closures.
  • Know the avalanche danger by visiting:
  • Carry avalanche equipment such as transceivers, RECCO reflectors, probes and shovels when skiing/snowboarding in areas where avalanches may occur.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Visit or contact the Stevens Pass Pro Patrol for further information on the risks and prevention of avalanche-related injuries and deaths.
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Uphill Traffic Policy

Hotline: In order to travel uphill within the ski area boundary, please call our uphill hotline (206-812-7847) for current restrictions and check the yellow light on the clock tower. If the light is flashing, we are closed to uphill traffic

  • A yellow flashing light indicates that uphill traffic is not allowed. This light is located on the clock tower in the central plaza, in between the Granite Peaks Lodge and Pacific Crest Lodge.
  • Due to safety concerns, and in accordance with our Area Operating Plan approved by the Forest Service, Stevens Pass reserves the right to limit uphill traffic within the resort boundary at any time.
  • The alpine resort is closed to uphill traffic during periods of avalanche control, which typically occurs early morning, but may occur any time throughout the day.
  • The alpine resort is closed to uphill traffic any time there is an active winch cat operating anywhere in the resort.
  • Anyone seeking to travel uphill is required to call the trails hotline (206-812-7847) for current updates on potential restrictions. Traffic volume, special events, avalanche hazards, and other on mountain activities will be considered when restricting uphill travel.
  • Pets are not allowed on mountain at Stevens Pass. We cannot allow pets at any time, which includes during uphill access and normal operating hours. This allows for increased safety, especially outside of normal resort operating hours when snowmobiles and snowcats are present to prepare and maintain the mountain. While this restriction on pets has been in place at some resorts and is a new policy in others, has been put in place across our company to protect all employees and guests, including the pets themselves.
  • No emergency services outside of "normal" operating hours.
  • Uphill activities may present a high danger of personal injury.
  • User assumes risks & acknowledges that runs are not maintained for uphill access.
  • Motorized vehicles, snowmaking & other ski area operations may be encountered.
  • Stay towards the side of the trail.
  • Position yourself so that you are visible from above.
  • Wear brightly colored cloths.
  • Obey all pertinent signage.
  • Avoid all areas where machinery is operating.
  • Foot traffic is not permitted at any time within the permit boundary, including the Nordic Center, outside of designated walking areas. On-slope events may have designated walking areas. See Patrol for details.
  • Snowshoeing is not allowed at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort, but is encouraged at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center. All Nordic Center policies apply.
  • The Stevens Pass Nordic Center, located five miles east of the summit, accommodates uphill traffic by design for skinning, cross‐country and snowshoes on appropriately designated trails. A trail pass from Stevens Pass is required to use the Nordic Center trail system.

Additional Information:

  • Snowshoeing within the Nordic Center is restricted to designated snowshoe trails.
  • For a backcountry experience, the Lanham Lake trail is accessible from the Nordic Center parking lot. There is no snow control, Patrol, or trail maintenance provided by Stevens Pass in this area.
  • Users are advised to be prepared for winter travel in avalanche terrain. No Stevens Pass trail pass is required for this trail.
  • Areas adjacent to the Resort boundary, including the Nordic Center, receive no snow control, Patrol, or trail maintenance from Stevens Pass, and use is at one’s own risk. This includes out of bounds areas accessible from within the Resort boundary.
  • The US Forest Service provides guided snowshoe tours to the public during the season. Contact the Skykomish Ranger District for more information.
  • All lift conveyances require a valid daily lift ticket or season pass to ride. Uphill traveling skiers/boarders cannot ride a chairlift without a valid ticket or pass.
  • Snowshoers are not permitted on the lifts.
  • Special events may be granted exceptions to this policy upon consideration by Stevens Pass.
  • Please direct any questions regarding this policy to Ski Patrol.

Washington State Law

RCW 79A.45.030

You are the sole judge of your ability to negotiate any trail, run, or uphill track.

Because of the inherent risks in the sport of skiing/riding YOU must exercise reasonable care for YOUR own safety. If you are skiing/riding downhill, it is your duty to avoid any collision with any person or object below you.

Any person who boards a rope tow, ski lift, or other similar device shall be presumed to have sufficient abilities to use the lift. The ski area has no duty to provide you with instructions on riding any lift, but you must follow any written or verbal instructions that are given regarding the use.

No person shall:

  • Load or unload a ski lift except for designated areas.
  • Throw objects from lift.
  • Engage in any kind of conduct that may interfere with safe operation of the lift.
  • If you ride on a lift or tow without authority shall be considered a trespasser.

RCW 79A.45.050

If you are involved in a collision it is YOUR responsibility to identify yourself to the other party involved or the ski patrol and seek assistance if needed. If you leave the scene without identifying yourself and seeking assistance you will be guilty of a misdemeanor.

RCW 79A.45.070

Skiing in an area or trail closed to the public-Penalty.

A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if the person knowlingly skis in an area or on a ski trail, owned or controlled by a ski area operator, that is closed to the public and that has signs posted indicating the closure.

Park Smart

Freestyle terrain may include halfpipes, as well as terrain parks and terrain features. Freestyle terrain use, like all skiing/snowboarding, exposes you to the risk of serious injury or death. Prior to using freestyle terrain, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with all instructions and warnings and follow "Your Responsibility Code" and "Park Smart."

S - Start Small - Work your way up. Build your skills.

M - Make a Plan - Every feature. Every time.

A - Always Look - Before you drop.

R - Respect - The features and other users.

T - Take it Easy - Know your limits, land on your feet.

Nordic Safety

Skiers Responsibility Code

There are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.

  1. Maintain control of your speed and direction at all times.
  2. Ski in a manner that does not endanger others.
  3. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible to others.
  4. Obey all signs and posted warnings.
  5. Keep off closed trails
  6. Report all accidents.
  7. Watch for unmarked obstacles.

Trail Courtesy

For the enjoyment of all trail users, please keep the following points in mind:

  • Most trails are bidirectional - please stay on the right side of the trail.
  • A climbing skier should yield right-of-way to a descending skier.
  • Skiers should step to the far side of the track when overtaken by a faster skier.
  • Do not walk or skate ski across a groomed classic ski track.
  • Skiers pulling pulks should use the skate lane.
  • Fill your sitz marks.
  • Pack out garbage.
  • No foot traffic on ski or snowshoe trails.
  • Snowshoers must stay on the marked snowshoe-specific trails at all times, and cross ski trails only at designated locations.
  • Pets are not allowed on the trails, trailhead, or in the Cascade Depot and must remain on a leash in the parking lots.
  • Never enter onto the firing line or target area of the biathlon range unless properly cleared by the chief of course.
  • Sledding and sledding devices are not allowed within Stevens Pass' permit boundary area, except the designated snowplay sites when conditions permit at the Nordic Center.

Highway 2 Hitchhiking

US-2 No Pedestrian / No Hitchhiking Zone On Stevens Pass

In an effort to increase safety for pedestrians and motorists on U.S. Highway 2 over Stevens Pass, the Washington State Department of Transportation and Washington State Patrol have designated the six miles of highway between mileposts 60 and 66 a no hitchhiking zone. Violators are subject to $124 citations between Nov. 1 and Apr. 15.

Drone & Sledding Policies

Drone Policy

Recreational drone use by any guest or member of the public, for any reason, is not permitted on or over any Vail Resorts property.

Any violation of this policy may involve suspension of your access privileges to the Resort, or the revocation of your season pass, as well as confiscation of any prohibited equipment, and may subject violators to any liability for damages, including, but not limited to, damages for trespass, violations of privacy, and physical injuries to persons and/or property, as well as legal fees.

Sledding Devices 

To ensure safety, sledding and sledding devices are not allowed anywhere within the permit boundary area of the alpine ski area.

There are no Sled/ Tube and Snow Play areas at the Nordic Center for the winter 2020/21 season.