One of my pet peeves, and based on the many forums, social media channels and the like that we follow, it pulls a few other chains too...and that is snow field etiquette...
I'm not talking skier vs boarder rivalry, xc vs downhill, moguls vs gates, one piece vs bib and brace, fluoro vs bland, helmet vs helmet hair ...etc...but “simple, plain old fashioned, down right, let's all have a great time, kumbaya, thanks very much” type thoughtfulness.
One thing we religiously plough into our kids is that a "please and a thank you" gets you further than not...and being considerate of others is an obligation, rather than your choice… and let's face it, on balance, application of the same makes for a civilised society...(and ski field!).
Everyone loves getting away…having a holiday, a short break, or taking a day trip somewhere…in general, we begin to plan, trawl through advisory sites, search on average 28 different venues and prices, start saving, squirrel away the pennies, make a few sacrifices, weigh up the alternatives...then eventually book that holiday, short break, or day trip somewhere, in the hope of having an amazing experience and cramming in as much as is possible…
That experience ultimately distils down to one key objective...to have a bit of fun...You might bond with family, meet new people, try a new wine (or two) or indulge in foods you might not have tried before...or even, when here at Falls Creek, switched the skis for a snowboard, or cross country sticks, throw on some snowshoes, take a snow mobile tour, try ski touring or take a backcountry guided tour. But ultimately, you go on a holiday, or take a quick break to have some fun and most of all… escape and take away from it some great memories, a few selfies, a bit of “Go Pro” footage and a social media post or two.
The one amazing fact that most visitors to Falls Creek in winter have in common with everyone else out on the snow fields is they are here for exactly the same thing...everyone is united by the snow, the thrill of snow sports and have come here to experience our amazing alpine village, ski resort and the simply stunning high plains.
The varied level of capability and familiarity with the resort and snow field etiquette ranges from zero to exemplary.
So, here’s a few tips…these aren’t just for the newbies..ie.) Where do I leave my gear when I’m on a break or grabbing a bite to eat? (hint: in or on a rack! Not left lying on the snow for others to trip over, kick or stumble across – or at the very least, place them away from a thoroughfare, if the racks are full); ie.) Where do I stop, sit and do up my boots/bindings/adjust my helmet, or wait for others in the party? (hint: not in the unloading area off a lift)…
If in doubt, on what or how…just ask! Falls Creek has a fabulous reputation for its friendliness and awesome towies, instructors, shuttle drivers, ski patrollers, hospitality and resort staff etc…they too are here for a great time and ultimately ensuring that you are too.
I’m not trying to be the fun police, but it’s the little stuff that matters…and that little stuff can undo all the great stuff!ken
The Alpine Responsibility Code attempts to sum it up. Anyone who straps on planks, a board, XC sticks, snow shoes etc, has an obligation, a responsibility to other members of the tribe, to at least do their bit to ensure every day on snow, is a great (and safe) day on snow…
Respect gets respect - From the lift line, to the slopes, through the park and resort.
Common sense, a bit of personal awareness and courtesy ensures everyone has the best opportunity to have a great day or night.
There are no exemptions to the above…though a powder day comes close…even though “there are no friends on a powder day” or ”you snooze you lose”…at Falls Creek there is enough terrain for all to get their fair share.
Ok, sermon over.
On to another favourite topic…the weather…by the time you’re reading this, it is forecast to be puking…refer to my last paragraph above.
Now get out there and have some fun.
Stuart Smythe - CEO, Falls Creek Resort Management