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Winter Safety

At Spirit Mountain we pride ourselves in providing an environment for safe skiing, snowboarding, and fat biking. Ultimately, ski, snowboard, and fat bike safety on the mountain is each person’s responsibility, and each person plays a key part in the safety of our recreation area. Ask any patroller and they will tell you that they are happy to be of assistance on the slope, but they would prefer to be ON the snow keeping a watchful eye, rather than providing first response care. Nothing ruins a great day of fun on the slopes as much as an accident that didn’t have to happen. 

Following the Skier Responsibility Code will help ALL skiers and snowboarders have a safer mountain experience. For freestyle skiers and riders, the Smart Style Guide is a must-read before you enter any of our parks or freestyle terrain. These ski safety tips can help keep yourself and others out of harm’s way.

On the Slopes

  • At no time, does Spirit Mountain allow any use of motorized vehicles by the public on any portion of Spirit Mountain property (other than marked parking lots).
  • Always ride or ski in control and within your ability. Do not ride or ski too fast or recklessly. Do not ski slopes too difficult for your ability.
  • When walking or climbing always keep to the side of the trail or slope.
  • If you have a collision resulting in an injury to another person it’s your responsibility to stay at the collision site until the Ski Patrol arrives. All injuries must be reported before leaving Spirit Mountain. 
  • Inverted aerial maneuvers (flips) are not recommended.
  • It is your responsibility to control your body on the ground and in the air. Always clear the landing area quickly. Never jump blindly. Use a spotter when necessary. Look before you leap! One user on a terrain feature at a time. Inspect terrain before using and throughout the day.
  • Do not ride or ski beyond ‘CLOSED AREA’ signs into a closed area.
  • Do not build up jumps, schuss, or ski out of control. Schussing means skiing straight down the hill extremely fast and/or recklessly.

On the Lifts

  • DO NOT jump out of chairlifts. Jumping could result in serious injury or death. Jumping out of chairs will result in pass/lift ticket confiscation and could result in a permanent ban from Spirit Mountain.
  • Snow passes/lift tickets must be permanently attached by wire wicket to the skier, so that the passes are easily visible to lift operations.
  • Your season pass must be worn on the outermost body and visible at all times.
  • A skier/rider who is alone when entering the lift line should call out “single” so that others may ride the chairlift with him on double, triple or quad lifts.
  • Remove pole straps from wrists before loading on chairlifts. Stand close together in the loading area.
  • Absolutely no cans or bottles are to be taken on ski lifts or ski slopes.
  • Do not cut lift lines. Only Spirit Mountain patrollers and instructors are allowed to enter the lift line ahead of those already waiting.
  • Get on and off lifts only at loading and unloading areas. Do not swing or bounce chairs while riding chairlift. Do not cross operating rope tow tracks.
  • Observe all signage for proper lift protocol.
  • Ask attendant for help if needed
  • Visit the kids on lifts for additional information for children and parents.

Etiquette and Behavior

  • Be courteous to and respectful of others. Do not use rude language and/or behavior.
  • No carry-in beer and alcoholic beverages will be allowed on Spirit Mountain premises. Such beverages will be confiscated.
  • Do not bring skis, snowboards or poles into the lodge.
  • “Brown Bagging” or bringing in outside food is allowed only in permitted areas.
  • Snowboarders must follow Your Responsibility Code. Do not sit at the top of the run in such a way as to block the starting area or otherwise obstruct any area of the slope.
  • Do not abuse rental equipment. Do not go on dry pavement with skis on.
  • Snowball throwing will not be tolerated at Spirit Mountain. 
  • A ski area representative (including any employee in uniform, not just Ski Patrollers) upon finding a person skiing/riding in a careless, inappropriate or reckless manner, could dispense consequences ranging from a one-on-one Safety Awareness Seminar with a Ski Patroller to a lifetime suspension from Spirit Mountain. So take it easy out there. Give people some space!

Guests and users of Spirit Mountain’s lifts, tows, carpets, trails, features, etc. are required to possess a valid daily lift ticket or season pass. If a person is found to be using our facility and services without paying, he/she is in violation of our established policies and will be considered a violator. Violators will be fined $100 plus the cost of a daily lift ticket at the window rate. Refusal is determined as theft of services and can result in the trespassing of violator(s) and law enforcement involvement.  

These actions may not be construed to create an affirmative duty on the part of the ski area operator to protect skiers from their own or from another skier’s carelessness or recklessness. If you do not agree with the above, then do not use the facilities at our ski area.

Skiing in its various forms, including the use of snowboards and snow skates, is a dangerous sport with inherent risks. These risks include loading, riding and unloading from ski lifts, variations in snow, steepness and terrain, ice, moguls, rocks, trees and other forms of forest growth and debris (above or below the surface), bare spots, lift towers, utility lines an poles, fencing, snowmaking and snow grooming equipment, and other forms of natural or man-made obstacles on and off designated trails, as well as collisions with equipment, obstacles or other skiers. Trail conditions vary constantly due to weather changes and skier use. Inherent in the sport is the risk of permanent, catastrophic injury or death.

Accepting these risks is a part of the challenge of man against the mountain and the elements. To enjoy skiing, you must also know and be willing to accept the limits of your ability. Skiing challenges your physical condition and may cause stress. You will reduce the risk of skiing and enjoy it more if you are in good physical condition.

Your Responsibility Code

The National Ski Areas Association established “Your Responsibility Code” in 1966 as a code of ethics for all skiers on the mountain. Today, the code reflects not only skier safety, but snowboarder and lift safety as well. The points listed in the Your Responsibility Code are the rules of the road when you are on the mountain. So, whether you ski with one board or two, or use other specialized equipment, always show courtesy to others so that your paths don’t cross.

It is important to remember that there are elements of risk in mountain activities that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Please note, violations of Your Responsibility Code, and the following additional rules, ordinances and/or guidelines may result in criminal prosecution, civil liability and/or loss of lift privileges without compensation or refund:

  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.

Drone Policy 

Out of safety concerns for our guests, employees and resort property, Spirit Mountain prohibits the operation or use of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public without prior written authorization. This extends to any drones launched outside of resort boundaries. Please call (218) 624-8500 if you have any questions or seek authorization to operate drones. Any violation of this policy may involve suspension of your skiing or snowboarding privileges, or the revocation of your season pass, as well as confiscation of drone equipment, and may be subject to damages as well as regulatory fines.

Smart Style

Smart Style is a terrain park specific safety program that you should check out before using terrain parks.

The 4 MAIN POINTS OF Smart Style:

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 maneuver and landing.

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

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

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 

Please visit the NSAA park terrain safety page for additional information & details on terrain park usage, safety and best practices.

It’s up to YOU to be Snow Smart & Park Smart and enjoy!

Orange Oval

The orange oval is used to designate freestyle terrain on the mountain. Look for the orange oval on trail maps; trail signs, and lifts to identify freestyle terrain.

You are in control: what you need to know before using freestyle terrain

  • Know your limits and ability level and select the appropriate freestyle terrain for you. Your physical condition, speed, controlled balance; body movements, alignment, trajectory and maneuver difficulty will directly affect your desired outcome.
  • Know the intended use of the freestyle terrain you have chosen. For example, some features are intended to be used in a series with no stopping and some individually with stopping areas; jump ramps are for jumping and rail ramps are for entering onto rails.
  • Inspect the features that you are about to use. A daily inspection run through the park is always advisable as features may have changed from prior usage. This is particularly important if you have not used the park before.
  • Your actions can take you out of balance and cause serious injury or death no matter how the feature is designed or where you land. AVOID THE BACKSEAT – LAND ON YOUR FEET!
  • Transitions are changes in the shape and pitch of the snow or feature or changes from one type of sliding surface to another. Transitions can be gentle or abrupt and demand users to be alert and respond to them with accurate movements.
  • Know where to land. The “sweet spot” is between the knuckle and center of the landing zone. Even if you land on or near the sweet spot you can still be seriously injured or die if your landing posture is not correct.
  • Inverted maneuvers are not recommended.
  • Be aware that the features change constantly due to snow conditions, weather, usage, grooming and time of day.

Read and obey all posted signage, instructions and warnings before using any freestyle terrain.

Mountain Biking – All Seasons

Always utilize the IMBA rules of the trail when riding at Spirit Mountain Bike Park, and please follow the code & rules as well while enjoying our trails!

Please Note: Summer Operations: On days when the lift is not running & trails are open; Happy Camper is the uphill return trail.  Use caution when ascending & descending Happy Camper on these days.  On days when the lift is running, there is no uphill trail usage as safety is our utmost priority for all guests. 

Winter Operations: Mountain Biking is only allowed during mountain bike operations which is listed on our fat biking page

Please Note II: Trails may open and close at various times during operations due to conditions and/or maintenance. 

Mountain Bike Responsibility Code: 


  1. Ride in control & within your ability level. You must be able to avoid other people or objects.
  2. Stay off the lifts, trails, and out of the bike park if your ability is impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue.
  3. Wear a helmet. It is mandatory. Other protective equipment is strongly recommended.
  4. Inspect your bike or have it checked by a qualified bike mechanic before you ride.
  5. Be sure you have the physical dexterity, ability, and knowledge to safely load, ride and unload lifts. Ask the Lift Attendant for assistance if you need it.
  6. Be aware of changing conditions on trails and features. Inspect features before use and throughout the day.
  7. Stay on marked trails. Ride only in the direction indicated by trail markers. Obey all signs and warnings. Do not cut switchbacks. Keep off closed areas.
  8. Avoid riders ahead of you. They have the right of way.
  9. Look uphill and yield to other riders when entering a trail or starting downhill.
  10. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  11. If you are involved in or witness a collision or accident, you must identify yourself to the Bike Patrol or a staff member.
  12. Do not feed, provoke or approach wildlife.

It is your responsibility – park privileges will be revoked for breach of this code

Bike Park Rules

Mountain biking and bike terrain expose you to risk of serious injury or death. Prior to using the trails and terrain, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with all instructions and warnings and to follow your responsibility code.

  1. All users of the bike park, trails, lift and features must have a valid ticket.
  2. Ride only on designated trails and do not ride on roads.
  3. There are associated risks to your bike and person when using the chairlift. Spirit Mountain is not responsible for injury or damage. You assume all risk.
  4. In riding, jumping and using this terrain, you assume the risk of serious injury.
  5. For your safety and the preservation of trails, take note and abide by closed areas, hazard markings and signage.
  6. Pedestrians and other bikers may be encountered at the top and bottom of the lift, as well as on the trails. Always use caution and dismount during times of heavy traffic.
  7. ATV’s, trucks, heavy machinery and maintenance personnel may be encountered at any time. Use caution.
  8. The lift and bike park may close at any time for inclement weather. Seek shelter during lightning storms and other weather. Tickets are non-refundable.

Bear Aware

The slopes of this resort are a forested environment. These slopes are home to many bears and other wildlife. Please use caution during your visit and obey the following:

  • Keep a good distance from all bears
  • Do NOT feed the bears
  • Make noise as you travel the area and terrain
  • Try not to startle the bears
  • Leave no trace of your visit (bring out what you brought in
  • Always travel the slopes in groups
  • Try to stay close to your group members