At Sugarbush, our goal is to provide a safe, consistent, and fun mountain experience for all of our guests by enforcing personal responsibility and respect for others and our environment. If you are having an on-hill emergency, please dial 911. If you do not have a phone, advise a uniformed Sugarbush employee.

Emergencies: 911
Ski Patrol Dispatch: 802-583-6567
Guest Services: Lincoln Peak- 802-583-6590 Mt. Ellen- 802-583-6867
Ski and Ride School : 802-583-6542
Snow sports offer us a great way to enjoy winter and all it has to offer. There are certain inherent risks with snow sports and our goal is to provide guests with a safe and enjoyable mountain experience. Safety starts with you: proper preparation, common sense, and personal awareness can help you reduce your risk on the slopes and ensure everyone has an exceptional winter experience. The Skier & Rider's Responsibility Code is the foundation of ski area safety. Know the code:

1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.
2. People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.
3. Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.
4. Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
5. You must prevent runaway equipment.
6. Read and obey all signs, warnings, and hazard markings.
7. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
8. You must know how and be able to load, ride, and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.
9. Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
10.If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

Your knowledge, decisions, and actions contribute to your safety and the safety of others. If you need help understanding the code, please ask a ski area employee.

Published by the National Ski Areas Association
LOOK: Look behind for chair coming into the load area.
LOAD: Remove ski pole straps from wrist and hold them in one hand, freeing the other, and sit on the chair.
LOWER: Lower the bar promptly. The bar should remain down until indicated at the top of the lift.
LIFT: Raise the bar once indicated to do so by the signs at the top of the lift.
STAND: Once at the unload ramp, stand and unload safely.
LEAVE: Clear the ramp area quickly to alleviate congestion around the unload ramp.

Special considerations for children:

  • A small child (defined as a child shorter than 51" to the top of their helmet) may be assisted by the lift operator unless instructed differently by their parent or guardian.
  • Children should sit on the outside next to the armrest for added security.
  • Remind children to sit against the backrest.

Our qualified lift staff can assist with loading small children and guests of any age. Don't hesitate to ask for lift assistance, if needed.

Backpack Guidelines
During summer and fall operations, small kids and infants are allowed in front-loading carriers (Bjorn, Ergo baby), but should not remain in larger backpack style carriers. Infants in a backpack style carrier can be taken out and held by the guest while another carries the backpack during chair ride. Guests can carry larger backpacks/paragliders but they may not wear them. The maximum occupancy of the chair is two riders with two backpacks.

During winter operations, small children and infants are not allowed in either front-loading carriers or backpack style carriers. Larger backpacks/paragliders are also not allowed during winter operations. Small backpacks, such as a camelback, may be worn while riding the lift.

We recommend riders move their small backpack to the front of their torso so their back touches the back of the chair and straps don't dangle. It is the guest’s responsibility to check for loose equipment before exiting the chairlift.

Terrain parks offer a set of challenges and risks that may not be present on other parts of the mountain. Terrain parks are designated with an orange oval and features will differ between resorts but may contain jumps, take-offs, ramps, banks, fun boxes, jibs, rails, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, snowcross, bump terrain, and other constructed or natural terrain features. Before using terrain parks, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the terrain and obey all instructions, warnings, and signs.

Be Park SMART:
- Start small and work your way up. Build your skills.
- Make a plan for every feature, every time.
- Always look before you drop.
- Respect the features and other users.
- Take it easy and know your limits.

Learn more about Park SMART by visiting NSAA:

Skiing in deep powder snow at a ski resort is a unique and exhilarating experience, but it comes with its share of hidden dangers, namely tree wells and snow immersion suffocation. These hazards —often underestimated or overlooked by skiers and riders— pose a significant risk in areas with heavy snowfall and tree-lined slopes.

What are Tree Wells?:

  • Tree wells are hollow spaces that form around the base of trees when snow accumulates but doesn't completely fill in the area directly beneath the branches: leaving a void composed of low hanging branches, loose snow, and air. Tree wells can be incredibly deep, oftentimes deep enough to completely submerge a full grown adult male.
  • These voids can be hidden from view by the tree’s low hanging branches and there is no easy way to identify if a particular tree has a dangerous tree well by sight. All tree wells should be treated as dangerous.
  • Skiers and snowboarders may inadvertently fall —usually headfirst— into these wells while riding through treed areas. Even experienced skiers can be caught off-guard.

Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS)

  • Snow immersion suffocation (SIS) occurs when a person becomes trapped in deep snow, with their head below the surface leaving them unable to breathe properly.
  • Besides falling into tree wells, merely falling in deep snow can lead to this perilous condition. 30% of SIS accidents occur in areas of deep snow other than tree wells which includes steep drops, creek beds, below cliffs, etc.
  • Once trapped in a tree well or deep snow, individuals often struggle to free themselves while the loose snow packs in around them, immobilizing them while breathing becomes difficult.
  • Even if the head is only slightly submerged, inhaling snow can block airways, leading to suffocation within minutes. This is a life-threatening situation that can lead to suffocation within minutes.
  • Panic and disorientation can exacerbate the situation, making it challenging to escape.
  • Many underestimate the strength necessary to free themselves from deep snow. In 90% of cases, self-rescue is impossible and outside assistance will be required.

Mitigation and Safety Tips

  • Skiers and snowboarders should be aware of the risks associated with tree wells and snow immersion suffocation, especially in areas with heavy snowfall and tree-lined slopes.
  • These hazards are at their highest during and after periods of intense snowfall. Powder fever can exacerbate the dangers as skiers overlook the risks while chasing untracked turns in deep snow.
  • It is essential to ski with a buddy who can provide aid in case of an emergency. Do not lose sight of each other. Ski short pitches and stop to regroup often.
  • If you lose sight of your partner, assume they need help and render assistance immediately.
  • Carry necessary safety equipment, including an avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel, to increase your chances of rescue in deep snow situations. Having a whistle somewhere accessible can be a great way to alert others to your location.
  • Learn how to use this equipment effectively, routinely practice using this equipment and consider taking avalanche safety courses.
  • If you must fall, attempt to fall feet first to maintain your airway.
  • Avoid skiing too close to trees or dense forests, especially in unfamiliar terrain.

What to Do If You Go Down

  • Remain calm and slow down your breathing to conserve air.
  • Do whatever you can to keep your head above the surface of the snow including rolling, grabbing tree branches or the tree trunk. If possible, keep your feet below the level of your head.
  • If immersed, create space around your face to ensure a clear airway while waiting for assistance.
  • Yell or whistle to alert others to your location.
  • If possible, use your cell phone to call ski patrol or emergency services.
  • Trust that help is on the way.

What If Your Friend Goes Down

  • Don’t leave to get help. Stay with your partner.
  • Call for additional resources with your phone. Yell and whistle for assistance from others nearby.
  • Evaluate the scene for your own safety. Do not put yourself in danger during the rescue.
  • Begin rescue efforts immediately. Dig directly towards your partner’s airway, being careful not to knock more snow into the hole. Clear all snow from their mouth, nose and face and maintain their access to air throughout the rescue
  • Do not pull out the victim the way they fell in. Tunnel in towards the head from the side. Expand this tunnel until they can be extricated.
Skiing in deep snow can be a great experience, but it is essential to understand the hidden dangers of tree wells and snow immersion suffocation. Being aware of these hazards, practicing safe skiing techniques, and being prepared with the right equipment can significantly reduce the risks associated with skiing in deep snow conditions.

For all community guidelines, visit our Health and Safety page.
To view our Uphill Access policy, visit the Uphill Travel Policy page.
Sledding and tubing are not permitted in the ski area at any time of the day or night.

  • Ski terrain is not suitable for sledding, tubing, or anything of the like and may increase the risk of losing control and colliding with objects (natural or man-made). Doing so may lead to serious injury or death.
  • Maintenance of the resort is a 24-hour operation. Snowmaking, grooming, and chairlift maintenance occur during and outside of operational hours. During these operations, unauthorized persons on the premises expose themselves to extreme hazards. In addition to the dangers posed by the highly pressurized snowmaking equipment, our snowcats and snowmobiles continually traverse the slopes during grooming activities.
  • Any mountain access outside of our operating hours must follow our Uphill Travel Policy.
Only resort users with approved snow-sliding devices will be permitted to ski and ride on resort property. All sliding devices must have a retention device.


  • Downhill Skis
  • Snowboards
  • Telemark Skis
  • Mono Skis
  • Sit Skis
  • Mono Skis
  • Cross-Country Skis
  • Boot Skis
  • Snow Skate
  • Snow Surfers
  • Skis/Snowboards with plastic edges
  • Tandem Devices
  • Sleds, tubes, or toboggans
  • Body sled
  • Fat tire bikes

While staying and/or visiting with us, we ask that you kindly observe the following rules for the comfort of all our guests:

  • In accordance with our local dog ordinances, dogs must be kept on leash and under your control at all times.
  • Please pick up after your dog. You may use scoop bags provided in our base areas and deposit them in appropriate trash receptacles.
  • Unfortunately, your furry friends cannot go everywhere with you when visiting with us. Dogs are not permitted in the following locations:
    • On lifts
    • On ski trails during operating hours
    • In our retail & food establishments
    • Only well behaved dogs under strict owner control are permitted on food patios
    • On our Golf Course
    • In the School House and Day School
    • At the SHARC
    • Please consult our Front Desk Attendants to inquire whether a facility is dog friendly prior to entering.
  • If you are a Clay Brook guest, you may leave your dog crated in specially designated dog-friendly rooms, provided he/she does not bark.
  • In summer, leashed dogs are welcome on our designated hiking trails and disc golf course.
  • Please do not tie your dog up and leave it unattended anywhere on our property. This includes trees, fences, car bumpers, ski or bike racks, chairs and tables, etc. Unattended dogs will be reported to our local dog warden.
  • Due to frequent weather changes associated with our mountain environment, we highly recommend you not leave your dog in an unattended vehicle.
  • If your dog behaves aggressively, causing property damage and/or bodily injury to a person or other pet, you will need to remove him/her immediately from our property. Your aggressive dog will not be welcome back for future visits and you will be responsible for any incurred damages.

By adhering to the above, you help insure all of us, especially your pets, have a great time visiting Sugarbush Resort!

Due to safety and privacy concerns, Sugarbush Resort prohibits the operation or use on or above Resort property of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public — including model aircraft by recreational users and hobbyists — without the prior written authorization from Sugarbush Resort.

This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone use by media or journalists operating above or within the area boundaries. This prohibition extends to any devices launched or operated from Resort property, as well as any launched from private property outside of the Resort boundaries.

Please contact a resort representative if you have any questions or if you seek prior authorization to operate any such devices.

Any authorized operation of drones on or above Resort property will be governed by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations, local law enforcement, and U.S. Forest Service rules, as well as those policies separately established by this Resort, which may include certification, training, insurance coverage, indemnification requirements, and waivers or releases of liability.

Any violation of this policy may involve suspension of your access privileges to the Resort, or the revocation of your season pass, as well as confiscation of any prohibited equipment, and may subject violators to any liability for damages, including, but not limited to, damages for trespass, violations of privacy, and physical injuries to persons and/or property, as well as legal fees.
In accordance with The Vermont Clean Indoor Air Act, Sugarbush Resort prohibits smoking or vaping inside any of our buildings, as well as within 50 feet of all resort facilities. New for the 2018-2019 Season, Sugarbush has decided to designate the entire base areas of Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen as Smoke Free Zones. Sugarbush also prohibits the use of marijuana on resort premises.
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