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Emily Post Hits the Slopes

Have a great time enjoying your favorite winter sport, but don't forget to bring Emily along with you!


No matter what your winter sport - snowmobiling, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowboarding, your safety and the safety of others is your first concern.

  • OA_emilypostskiing_WONever go alone, venture off the trail or onto trails that are closed.
  • Always ski or ride in control.
  • Stay on trails and at speeds that match your ability.
  • Wear proper clothing and protective gear.
  • Use safety straps to keep your equipment from injuring others.
  • Do not ski or ride under the influence of alcohol or other substances which impair your judgment, reactions or coordination.
  • Lend assistance whenever necessary.

Downhill Skiing

  • All skiers must adhere to the skier's responsibility code.
  • When entering a trail or starting downhill, yield to other skiers.
  • When skiing downhill or overtaking another skier, you must avoid the skier(s) below you. If you are overtaking a skier on a narrow trail, yell 'on your left (right)' to indicate on which side you are passing.
  • Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  • Ski slowly through novice areas and the lower slopes, especially when heading for lift lines. Novices don't have the skills to move quickly.
  • Be patient, courteous and helpful in lift lines.

Cross Country Skiing

  • Ski in the direction indicated and obey all trail signs. Keep right on two-way trails.
  • Yield to skiers coming downhill. A climbing skier should yield to a descending skier.
  • Keep the trail clear. Move off the trail when you stop for a break or as soon as possible after a fall.
  • An overtaking skier should yell 'Track' or 'on your left (right)'when approaching a slower skier. The slower skier should step off the track to the right, and allow the faster skier to pass.
  • Don't walk or snowshoe on ski tracks. Fill in and level sitzmarks or other depressions so as not to create a hazard for others.
  • Leave your dog at home, unless you are going to a dog friendly facility. Dogs can ruin a good set of tracks. For some dog friendly areas, visit: http://www.xcski.org/ski_snowshoe_info.php?SubPage=8
  • Keep the trail clean. Pack out what you pack in, including orange peels! Don't leave human waste near a trail or watercourse.
  • Respect private property.
  • Don't ski on snowmobile trail systems, unless it is permitted. Visit http://www.xcski.org for more information.


If you are snowshoeing at a ski area, show courtesy by keeping off groomed ski tracks and giving skiers the right of way. If you are not at a ski area, respect private property and all posted signs, and don't litter.

For more on snowshoeing, visit http://www.greenmountainclub.org/ and find out about their Annual Snowshoe Fest!


Snowmobile trail systems are made possible through the generosity of thousands of private property owners. Since permission is required to ride on private land, most snowmobilers must join a club or association in order to be able to ride on the trail system. In Vermont, the fine for riding unlicensed is $110.

  • Respect private property and remember to say thanks!
  • Don't litter.
  • Obey all trail signs. Stop before crossing any public roadways.
  • Travel at a safe speed.

Snowmobilers and cross country skiers often find themselves at odds. Skiers are looking for a quiet outdoor experience. It can be downright scary to have a loud, 2-stroke vehicle zoom by you at 40-50 mph. If you are snowmobiling in a multi-use area and sharing with cross country skiers and snowshoers, remember to give them a brake. Throttle back and pass at a slow and quiet speed. A friendly wave is always a good idea.

To find snowmobile organizations in the US or Canada, visit http://www.vtvast.org/links.html. Our thanks to VAST, the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, for information on snowmobile etiquette.


Once known as the enfant terrible of the slopes, snowboarding is the fastest growing, and maturing, winter sport. Many resorts have built snowboard parks so riders have their own place to play. Snowboarders also follow the skier's code of responsibility:

  • When entering a trail or starting downhill, yield to other riders.
  • Downhill riders or skiers have the right of way.
  • Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  • And don't jump if you can't spot your landing point!


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