Alpine Responsibility Code
We all know that as thrilling as snow recreation activities are, there are inherent risks involved. Thankfully, these can be minimised and reduced by ensuring you always show courtesy to others on the slopes and of course with the use of common sense, protective equipment and personal awareness.
Some of these risks include rapid changes in weather, visibility and surface conditions, as well as natural and artificial hazards such as rocks, trees, stumps, vehicles, lift towers, snow fences and snowmaking equipment. So it's vital that we all remember that respect gets respect, from the lift line, to the slopes right through the park and the resort!
Know and Observe the Code. It's YOUR Responsibility
- Stay in control and avoid other people and hazards.
- Use appropriate protective equipment, especially helmets, to minimise the risk of injury.
- You must have the ability to use each lift safely. If in doubt ask the lift attendant.
- Obey all signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails and areas.
- It is your responsibility to avoid and give way to people below and beside you.
- Do not stop where you are not visible from above or where you obstruct a trail.
- Before starting downhill, or merging into a trail, look uphill and give way to others.
- Use care to prevent runaway snowboards.
- If you are involved in or see an accident, alert and identify yourself to Resort Staff.
- Be aware that it is dangerous to ski, board or ride lifts if your ability is impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Failure to observe the code may result in cancellation of your ticket or pass by Resort Staff.
Ski Patrol Team
To ensure the safety of people in the snow, Hotham Alpine Resort maintains a highly skilled Ski Patrol Team throughout the winter months. Patrollers at Mt Hotham are easily recognisable by their uniforms, they wear red and black with a large white cross on the back and a smaller cross on each arm. It's also important to note that our patrollers are qualified and trained in many aspects of rescue in the Victorian alpine areas and all are trained in advanced emergency care. Their main responsibilities are to:
- Minimise the risk of injury and exposure to hazards for all resort users
- To educate resort users about safe and appropriate behaviour in the Alpine environment
- Administer first aid assistance to injured persons on the snow
- Transfer those requiring further medical attention to the Ambulance Service and then onto the Hotham Medical Centre
- In conjunction with the Victorian Police and other emergency services to search for and rescue skiers lost in Alpine areas
- Serve the public with other assistance and skiing information
- Improve safety standards within the resort.
Snow Safety Tips
The Victorian alpine environment is a beautiful destination for your winter or summer holidays and it's a venue for many challenging and exciting activities including skiing and bushwalking! However the Victorian Alps can be hazardous if visitors are careless or irresponsible, so planning and preparation are the keys to having a safe and enjoyable alpine experience.
When planning your trip to the alps, select a resort or area which caters for you and your group's needs as facilities vary widely between resorts and various parts of the Alpine National Park. It is important to prepare your vehicle, organise your clothes and equipment, improve your fitness, organise lessons, take special care with children and arrange to leave details of your trip. If you plan with care and you'll have a terrific time.
Driving on Alpine Roads
Like skiing, driving in snow and ice conditions is an acquired skill. Extreme care is required when driving on alpine roads particularly in winter.
Alpine weather is notoriously unpredictable and a fine sunny day can quickly deteriorate into cold, wet, high wind or blizzard conditions. Your clothing must be versatile and you should have ready access to protective clothing.
Skin and Eye Protection
Sunburn can be a serious problem - even on cloudy days! In addition to protective clothing, always use a good sunscreen with a high SPF and protect your eyes from the with high quality sunglasses or goggles. On sunny days wear a wide brimmed hat to protect your face.
Mount Hotham Skiing Company (MHSC) in conjunction with the Australian Ski Areas Association ‘ASAA’ strongly recommends the wearing of helmets for skiing and riding. Skiing and snowboarding in a controlled and responsible manner at all times is the primary safety consideration for all skiers and boarders. In addition, MHSC require guests wear helmets while undertaking certain activities and programs within the resort.
- All guest participants in what is generally known as Kids and Children’s Snowsports School Programs (Mighty Mites & Kids Klub) must wear an accredited ski or snowboard helmet. These helmets are FREE to participants in these programs or through Hotham Sports outlets in conjunction with equipment rental.
- All guest participants, in Snowsports School or other resort race programs, which involve or include terrain parks, pipes, skier/boarder cross and/or race courses will be required to wear an accredited ski or snowboard helmet.
- All guest participants, in pre-organised school group lessons, must wear an accredited ski or snowboard helmet.
Food provides energy for movement and for maintaining your body temperature. The risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) can be reduced by having good meals, maintaining fluid intake and stopping when tired. Popular high energy foods include nuts, chocolate bars, hot drinks, soups, cheese and dried fruit.
Let someone know before you go. Check in when you return. Trip Intention forms are widely available from resort administration offices and police stations.
Start your training well before the ski season or your trip. Training sessions must be regular and frequent - at least 3 times per week. Always warm up before an exercise session. Children, as well as adults, benefit from a pre-season fitness program.
Children's needs for learning and equipment, are different to those of adults. Skis, boards, boots and bindings can be bought new or secondhand but should be specifically made for children, not adapted for them. Equipment should be properly fitted by a reputable ski shop - remember that children only need light ski binding settings. Warm, protective clothing and head gear (ie a helmet) should always be worn by children.
Tobogganing can be dangerous and great care should be taken. At resorts, tobogganing is available only in designated areas on approved hard plastic moulded toboggans which are readily available for purchase or hire within the resort. Inflatable and foam core toboggans ARE NOT ALLOWED due to the likelihood of punctures. Away from resorts, find a gentle slope free from rocks and trees, with a safe run out at the bottom. If you have any questions regarding snow toy products approved for use within the resort please contact the Resort Management Board on 03 5759 3550.
Statistics prove that the more experienced skiers/boarders have less accidents and the best way to gain that experience is to take lessons. In any professional snowsports school instruction, training and coaching always progresses from the level the student has already attained.
Always check your equipment before using it. Prior to the winter season have your equipment serviced and checked.
The Alpine environment is fragile. Please treat it with care and respect, so that others may enjoy it after you. Make sure you use waste and recycling bins. Please DO NOT discard cigarette butts, general litter, apple cores etc into our alpine environment, this pollutes higher catchment waterways.
Common sense and care will reduce the risk of loss or theft. Know where to locate your skis/board at all times. Operation Identification is a program aimed at theft prevention and involves marking your equipment for easy identification (we suggest your driver's licence number with state prefix).
Making it snow
We now have more snow on tap, than ever before! From the top of the Summit to the bottom of Heavenly Valley, from Green runs to Blacks, snowmaking has us covered. With extensive snowmaking increasing the chance of reliable snow conditions, you can book your snow trip earlier with confidence, knowing you can ski and ride more of Hotham's terrain more often.
Our snowmaking system utilises recycled water from the Hotham Village water treatment plant. After completion of our most recent snowmaking expansion project in 2017, Belinda Trembath, General Manager of Mount Hotham Skiing Company, explains “In the right conditions, we can make 600 cubic metres more snow than we could before!”
Hotham boasts a total of 33 hectares of skiable terrain covered by snowmaking with 104 snowguns.
2016/2017 Snowmaking Investment Stats:
- Total investment: $4.4 million
- 24 new TechnoAlpin fan guns (bringing our fleet to 104 guns!)
- 2.4 kilometres of water mains
- 24 new snowmaking outlets
- The Summit area 18 hydrants
- Increased Capacity: an additional 288,000 litres of water can be turned into snow per hour of operation.
- 40% increase in skiable area covered by snowmaking