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As with many ski resort towns across the world, one of Whistler’s primary concerns for all visitors revolves around safety while skiing. There are several types of accidents that can occur while skiing, many of which can be avoided if proper rules are followed.
Avalanche Safety: One of the biggest dangers for people who choose to ski in the backcountry is the risk of triggering an avalanche. Avalanches are so powerful that almost nobody can run from them or survive them once they’ve begun. For anyone choosing to backcountry ski in Whistler, either a course in avalanche safety should be taken prior to the trip, or rules on how to make good decisions while backcountry skiing should be read and completely understood before backcountry skiing is attempted. The Canadian Avalanche Centre offers regular bulletins on avalanche safety in Whistler; be sure to check conditions before starting out.
Skiing Safety: In Whistler, there are patrols on all of the mountains who try to enforce skiing rules so that nobody gets hurt. However, it’s impossible for them to catch every single person who is not aware of the regulations of the mountain. The most important rule that must be followed is slowing down in “Slow Zones.” Anyone not obeying the rules of the mountain can have their ski pass suspended for either the day or forever!
In case an accident does occur, there are several area hospitals and medical centers. For anyone traveling to Whistler from another country, Canada has a different health care system from the United States and other countries, so it’s important to check prior to the trip on what should be done if medical attention is needed while on vacation.