Safety tips for the slopes

MARQUETTE — There is still plenty of time to hit the ski hill for skiing or snowboarding, but make sure you’re safe.

“Just try to have fun out here though, we’re not the police of ski patrol,” said Alpine Ski Patrol Michael Ryan, “we just want to have fun and make sure everybody else is having fun safely. While you’re hitting the slopes before spring comes there are people making sure that you’re safe.

“We take safety pretty seriously here,” Ryan said, “we check the lifts every day, we check all the features in the train park every day, everything gets groomed every night. Additionally the ski patrol says they are looking out for things that could potentially be dangerous.

Ryan said these could be “a big ice spot or a drop off going down into the woods, snow making materials.” While others are working hard to make sure you have a safe and pleasant time on the slopes, they’re absolutely some things you can do as well.

Jesie Melchiori, General Manager of Marquette mound said “Making sure you’re aware of your surroundings, never playing around on the chair lift, skiing with a buddy.” And, if you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, Ryan says it’s a good idea to learn what you’re doing before hitting the big hills.

“If it’s your first time or you’re a novice on the hill you probably need a lesson so you can actually get down the hill safely,” he said. “If you’re on the hill and don’t know what you’re doing you’re a danger to yourself and others.”

And while it’s not required at Marquette Mountain, wearing a helmet is recommended.

“I always to the kids, you know, it’s not because I think you’re a bad skier or snowboarder,” Melchiori said. “But there are other people out there that are not always safe and not always paying attention.”