Last March, we hosted a trip to Camelback. We got 4 beginners to try snowboarding. It was exciting! A week after, one of Camelback's lifts just fell, injuring a dad and his kids. We haven't been back to Camelback and won't be.
In January and Feb 2019, we hosted several groups of beginners at Hunter Mountain. It was a big year for Hunter since they'd just opened 2 new trails. However, to draw more visitors, they mislabeled those two new trails as easier than they actually were. 3 experienced skiers died on those trails in March 2019. We haven't been back to Hunter and won't be.
Here's the deal. Despite ski patrols, big, greedy, brand-name mountains don't care about your safety or satisfaction, especially if you're a beginner. Ski patrols are underpaid, understaffed and overworked and can't cover the entire mountain. Some big-mountain patrols even criticize beginners who end up on trails they shouldn't have been on and need rescue. So it's basically up to you to know what you're doing and be safe.
One of the best ways to be safe is to ALWAYS wear a helmet and always stay in areas where you feel most confident. Additionally, consider wrist guards, stay in groups, speak up if your equipment doesn't feel right, and if at all possible, know the trail you'll be on and avoid icy patches.
Skiing and snowboarding is as safe as you make it. Ski and ride safely with us to smaller, beginner-friendly, independent mountains, including the upcoming shuttle to Montage Mountain, PA on Jan 28. Equipment and lessons included at no additional cost.