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Heavenly Lodging

Heavenly Mountain Safety

At Heavenly Mountain Resort, snowboarding and skiing safety comes first for all of our guests and employees. That’s why we’ve put programs in place to educate our guests and promote the safety of everyone on the mountain. Please follow these snow safety tips below to ensure a safe and fun Lake Tahoe vacation experience.

Watch the video below to get a behind-the-scenes look at the important work our Patrol team and avi dogs do each day.

Heavenly is committed to promoting skier safety. In addition to people using traditional alpine ski equipment, you may be joined on the slopes by snowboarders, telemark skiers or cross-country skiers, skiers with disabilities, skiers with specialized equipment and others. Always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing and snowboarding that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Know your ability level and stay within it. Observe “Your Responsibility Code” listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.

4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.

5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Backtrack onto a maintained trail. If you have cell phone reception, call 775-586-6900. Wait for someone to answer; do not hang up until all pertinent information has been gathered. First Aid is available at the top of the Gondola, 7 days a week, during normal operating hours.

Major improvements and maintenance occur at Heavenly Mountain Resort during the summer. Please be aware of construction and maintenance and obey all posted signs and warnings. You may encounter construction vehicles on any mountain road. When using these routes, please obey all signage. Be cautious and yield the right-of-way.

Smoking is prohibited in the Gondola, on the lifts, at the mid-station observation platform, in the forest and on-mountain due to fire danger. Report fires from any on-mountain emergency phone or call 775-586-6900.

At 9,000 feet, exposure to the sun is 40% greater than at sea level. We recommend sunscreen with a protection factor of 15 or higher, as well as eye protection.

Brief afternoon thunderstorms are common in the mountains. When you see a storm developing, return to the top of the Gondola or seek shelter. Precautions include keeping off ridge tops and staying clear of chairlift houses and towers, power lines, open ski runs, lone trees and signposts. Lifts may close on occasion, due to weather. Please take this into consideration.

If you live at a lower elevation, you may tire more easily. Take it easy at first, plan short trips until you are acclimated and drink plenty of water. Some visitors may experience symptoms associated with high altitude. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, restless sleep, coughing and difficulty breathing. If symptoms persist, you should seek medical attention.

Be aware, mountain weather changes quickly and there is usually at least a 10 degree temperature difference from the bottom to the top of the Gondola.

You are responsible for your safety and the safety of wildlife. Please help keep wildlife “wild” by not approaching or feeding them. Animals may become aggressive. Our food may harm animals or even cause them death. Do not approach wildlife. Maintain a safe viewing distance. If an animal approaches you, it is your responsibility to move away and maintain a safe distance.


The most important prevention step is to remain on groomed runs, resisting the urge to ski or snowboard through the trees during deep powder conditions, no matter how inviting the untracked powder looks.  If you choose to ski or snowboard in the ungroomed, deep snow areas with trees, remember:

  • Ski/ride With a Partner. It is critical to ski or ride with a partner who remains in visual contact at all times. In many cases, some of the deaths which have occurred due to tree well incidents may have been avoided had 1) the person been with a partner, 2) the partner saw the person fall, and 3) the partner was close enough to assist digging the victim out in a timely manner.
  • Every Second Counts. It does no good for your safety if you are under the snow and your partner is waiting for you at the bottom of the lift. If you have any question about what a "timely manner" is to assist someone in a tree well, hold your breath now as you are reading this and the amount of time until you need air is approximately how much time your partner has to help get you out of danger. Other factors such as creating an air pocket or the nature of how you fall into the well may extend this critical timeframe.
  • Maintain Visual Contact. Visual contact means stopping and watching your partner descend at all times, then proceeding downhill while he or she watches you at all times. IF YOU LOSE VISUAL SIGHT OF YOUR PARTNER, YOU COULD LOSE YOUR FRIEND.
  • Carry Backcountry Gear. Carry the same personal rescue gear as backcountry skiers or snowboarders: Transceiver, Shovel, Probe, and Whistle.
  • Remove Your Pole Straps. If you are a skier, remove your pole straps before heading down a powder slope. Trapped skiers have difficulty removing the pole straps, which can hamper efforts to escape or clear an air space to breathe.

WHAT IF I GO DOWN? Hopefully, your partner will have seen what happened and will come to your rescue within minutes. If not, experts advise staying calm while waiting for assistance. Survival chances are improved if you maintain your air space. Over time, heat generated by your body, combined with your rocking motions, will compact the snow, and you may be able to work your way out. 

  • If you are sliding toward a tree well or a deep snow bank, do everything you can to avoid going down: grab branches, hug the tree, or anything to stay above the surface.
  • If you go down, resist the urge to struggle violently. The more you struggle, the more snow will fall into the well from the branches and area around the well and compact around you.
  • Instead of panicking, try first to make a breathing space around your face. Then move your body carefully in a rocking manner to hollow out the snow and give you space and air.


- Know your Limits and ability level and select the appropriate Freestyle Terrain for you.

- Your condition, speed, 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 takeoffs are for jumping and rail takeoffs are for entering onto rails.

- 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. 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 that users 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.


- BE AWARE that features change constantly due to snow conditions, weather, usage, grooming and time of day.

- Read and obey all posted signs, instructions and warnings before using Freestyle Terrain.

- Some resorts designate features as small, medium and large. Be aware these ratings are determined by size, not degree of difficulty, and are relative only to that resort.


1. 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.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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.

Heavenly encourages our guests to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of winter sports helmets. Regardless of whether or not you choose to wear a helmet, every winter sport participant shares responsibility for his or her safety and for that of others using the ski area facilities.

Children's Ski School Helmet Policy
Heavenly recommends the use of helmets for children 14 years and younger while participating in our children's ski school programs. Parents or guardians who decide their child (14 years and younger) will not wear a helmet while in a ski school program will be required to decline helmet use in writing on the ski school release agreement prior to their child's participation.

Above 8,000 feet, altitude illness affects 20 percent to 30 percent of visitors from low elevations to some degree. The first thing most people notice is a shortness of breath, especially when exercising. In addition, the heart is likely to beat faster and one may develop nausea, unusual tiredness, headache, or have difficulty sleeping. Those with one or more of these symptoms may have Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

If the symptoms do not subside shortly, a doctor should be called. Upon arrival in this area, take it easy for the first day or two. Drink two or three times more water or fluid than usual. Limit alcohol consumption for two or three days and minimize caffeine intake. Limit salty foods and increase carbohydrate consumption. Most importantly, listen to your body. Do not push the limits of your physical capabilities.


Call the uphill travel hotline number for details on access: 530-542-6922

Non-lift access to ski area facilities; such as uphill snowshoeing, hiking or "skinning", may present high danger of personal injury to participants or others and therefore may be limited or forbidden based on conditions, on-mountain activity and/or mountain policy.

View the Heavenly Trail Map to plan your time on the mountain.

Heavenly Weddings


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