Here, snowboarding and skiing safety comes first for all of our guests and employees. That's why we’ve put programs into place to educate guests and promote the safety of everyone on the mountain.

Always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk involved in skiing and snowboarding, knowing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce risk.

Know your ability level and stay within it. Observe “Your Responsibility Code” and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

Slope Safety

Vail Resorts takes the safety of our guests and employees very seriously. All skiers and riders are responsible for skiing and riding responsibly, complying with the Responsibility Code and avoiding collisions with other skiers and riders. The Resort may suspend or revoke skiing/riding privileges for reasons including but not limited to the actions listed below:

  1. Careless and Reckless Skiing or Riding
    • Violating the Responsibility Code
    • Violating federal, state or local law
    • Skiing/riding in a manner that is dangerous or irresponsible.
    • Causing a collision resulting in physical injury or damage to property
  2. Inappropriate Behavior: Including but not limited to vulgar language or gestures, deliberately knocking down barriers, jumping fences, spraying guests with snow, spitting on guests/employees, verbal altercations, harassment.
  3. Destruction of Resort Property
  4. Skiing or Riding in Closed Terrain
  5. Failure to Present Valid Ski Pass
  6. Failure to Stop or Yield to Resort Personnel
  7. Impairment by Alcohol/Drugs
  8. Underground Teaching
  9. Violent, Intentionally Harmful, or Destructive Acts
  10. Egregious Behavior or Multiple Infractions of Safety Standards 

For ski/ride related infractions, the guest must complete the period of any suspension and attend a violator class presented by the Resort before skiing/riding privileges are reinstated. For non-ski/ride related infractions, the guest must complete the period of any suspension and meet with a member of Resort Management before skiing/riding privileges are reinstated.

The Resort may also ban violators from one or more resorts and other company properties, on a temporary or permanent basis. The Resort reserves all rights to pursue the recovery of any and all damages, including through legal action.

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In Case of an Accident or if you get Lost

Backtrack onto a maintained trail. If you have cell phone reception, call 775.586.6900, wait for someone to answer and do not hang up until all pertinent information has been gathered. First Aid is available at the top of the gondola, seven days a week, during normal operating hours.

Construction Warning

Major improvements and maintenance occur during the summer. Please be aware of construction and maintenance, and obey all posted signs and warnings. You may encounter construction vehicles on any mountain road. When using these routes, please obey all signage. Be cautious and yield the right-of-way.

Reminder from Smokey

Smoking is prohibited in the gondola, on the lifts, at the mid-station observation platform, in the forest and on-mountain due to fire danger. Report fires from any on-mountain emergency phone or call 775.586.6900

Sun Protection


At 9,000 feet, exposure to the sun is 40% greater than at sea level. We recommend sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher, as well as eye protection.

Lightning and Thunderstorms

Brief afternoon thunderstorms are common in the mountains. When you see a storm developing, return to the top of the gondola or seek shelter. Precautions include staying clear of chairlift houses, towers, power lines, open ski runs, lone trees and signposts, as well as keeping off ridge tops. Lifts may close on occasion, due to weather.

High-Altitude Environment

If you live at lower elevation, you may tire more easily. Take it easy at first. Plan short trips until you get acclimated and drink plenty of water. Some visitors may experience symptoms associated with Heavenly's high altitude. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, restless sleep, coughing and difficulty in breathing. If symptoms persist or you are concerned for you health, seek medical attention.

Adequate Clothing

Mountain weather changes quickly and there is usually at least a 10-degree temperature difference from the bottom to the top of the gondola (it's colder up top).

Keep Wildlife Wild

You are responsible for your safety and the safety of wildlife. Please help keep wildlife “wild” by not approaching or feeding animals as they may become aggressive. Our food may harm animals or even cause them death. Maintain a safe viewing distance. If an animal approaches you, it is your responsibility to move away and maintain a safe distance.


Please do not litter. Pack it in, pack it out.




1. Make a Plan 
Every time you use freestyle terrain, make a plan for each feature you want to use. Your speed, approach and takeoff will directly affect your maneuvering and landing.

2. Easy Style It 
Know your limits and ski/ride within your ability level. Look for small progression parks or features to begin with and work your way up. Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground and in the air. Do not attempt any features unless you have sufficient ability and experience to do so safely. Inverted aerials increase your risk of injury and are not recommended.

3. Look Before You Leap 
Before getting into freestyle terrain, observe all signage and warnings. Scope around the jumps first, not over them. Use your first run as a warm-up run and to familiarize yourself with the terrain. Be aware that the features change constantly due to weather, usage, grooming and time of day. Do not jump blindly and use a spotter when necessary.

4. Respect Gets Respect 
Respect the terrain and others. One person on a feature at a time. Wait your turn and call your start. Always clear the landing area quickly. Respect all signs and stay off closed terrain and features.


Above 8,000 feet, altitude sickness affects 20-30 percent of visitors from low elevations to some degree. The first thing most people notice is a shortness of breath, especially when exercising. In addition, your heart is likely to beat faster and one may develop nausea, unusual tiredness, headaches or have difficulty sleeping.

Those with one or more of these symptoms may have Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If the symptoms do not subside quickly, call a doctor. 
Upon arrival, take it easy for the first day or two. Drink two or three times more water than usual. Limit alcohol consumption for two or three days and minimize caffeine intake. Limit salty foods and increase carbohydrate consumption. Most importantly, listen to your body. Do not push the limits of your physical capabilities.

Uphill Travel

Uphill access (non-lift access) at Heavenly is only permitted between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m., outside of lift operating hours. Users must call 530-542-6922 for approved routes, current conditions, and safety information before traveling uphill. All users must begin returning to the base no later than 15 minutes prior to the first lift opening.>

Non-lift access at Heavenly, such as uphill “skinning”, hiking, snowshoeing, may present high danger of personal injury to participants or others, and therefore may be limited or forbidden based on conditions, on-mountain activity and/or mountain policy.

Uphill access is not allowed while pre-season mountain preparations are in progress, during low snow conditions when the resort or portions of it are not open to the public; during avalanche mitigation work, and/or during other resort operational work impacting public areas.

  • All uphill users must call 530-542-6922 for current conditions, approved routes and safety information before traveling uphill.
  • Those traveling uphill are bound by the Skiers Responsibility Ordinances of El Dorado County and Douglas County
  • Uphill access is not allowed when early-season mountain preparations are in progress, low snow conditions when resort or portions of the resort are not open to the public, during avalanche mitigation work.
  • When uphill access is allowed, users must remain near the center of the trails or off of the trails, and use the same route to return to the base area that they came up on
  • People travelling uphill must not impede or obstruct ski area operations at any time.

  • Proper ski retention devices are required
  • Once up the hill no one may ride a lift without a lift ticket or pass
  • Dogs, other than service dogs, are not allowed