U.S. ski areas have improved trail systems by following various configuration and maintenance customs and practices. Some of these customs and practices address specific safety issues such as slope gradients and widths, trail intersections, beginner areas, side-hills, abrupt turns, separating divergent ability skiers, surface grooming, and the presence of snow-making machinery and other man-made structures on ski trails. This paper describes these safety issues and categorizes U.S. ski area configuration and maintenance customs and practices that address them according to a known “safety hierarchy.”
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