General Safety Information
On-Hill Emergency Contact
Call (530) 587-9430 for Ski Patrol emergency assistance
Ski patrollers are stationed at the top of our Eagle Rock Lift and at the Base Lodge. The first-aid room is located in the lower level of the Base Lodge at the base of the stairwell.
Report all accidents to the attendant at the bottom or top of the nearest lift. To summon help, use the international signal of crossing your skis in an “X” uphill of the injured skier or rider and contact Ski Patrol.
Tahoe Donner strongly discourages the use of electronic devices, including cell phones, personal entertainment and communication devices and any other electronic equipment that utilizes head/earphones while skiing and snowboarding or loading and unloading lifts.
Be advised that you cannot board a lift unless you have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to negotiate or to use such lift safely, or you have asked for and received information sufficient to enable you to load, ride and unload the lift safely. You may not use a lift or any ski trail when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Guests should be familiar with the use of chairlifts, including loading, riding, and unloading.
- We recommend all children 51 inches or under ride the chairlift with an adult.
- The chairlift operators will attempt to find an adult to ride with any child who is 51 inches and under unless otherwise instructed by a parent or guardian.
- Children who are 51 inches or under may be assisted to load and lower the Restraint Bar Device by the lift operator unless instructed otherwise by a parent or guardian.
- Children may ride the chairlift alone; however, we recommend an adult to accompany the child. Operators may attempt to find an adult to ride with any child who is 51 inches and under unless otherwise instructed by parent or guardian.
- We recommend children ride the outside seats of the chair. For single children, we recommend loading to the inside nearest the lift operator, and for two children, we recommend loading them to the outside positions (1, 3, and 4 spots depending on the chair).
- Using the Restraint Bar Device is highly recommended for all guests when they can do so safely.
- No horseplay on the chair. Snowballs cannot be brought on the chairlift.
- We recommend not using phones or other electronic devices while loading, riding and unloading chair.
- Remove ski pole straps from your wrists and hold them away from the chair and body while loading.
- We do not recommend wearing a backpack strapped to the back while riding the chair.
- We do not recommend adjusting equipment or other items while riding the chairlift.
- If you drop an item when loading, leave it. Do not attempt to pick it up. Lift operators send up on another chair.
- All guests should sit back, look forward and hold on while riding the lift.
- Do not hesitate to ask for help or assistance with loading the lift.
Helpful Chairlift Information
- Get equipment ready and take ski pole straps and backpacks off
- Wait at the “wait here” board
- Wait for a chair to pass, then come onto the loading ramp
- Stop when the skier or rider’s boots are over the ”load here” board
- Look to the outside of the chair, reach back and grab the outside of the chair
- “3-2-1” – sit back and put the bar down
- Bottom to bottom
- Sit all the way back
- Say “bar down” to others riding on the chair
- Put the Restraint Bar Device down at the “lower restraint bar” sign
- Do not lean on the Restraint Bar Device
- No horseplay while riding the chairlift
- Look forward
- Hold on
- Sit still until it is time to unload
- Adjust your equipment and only use your phone before or after the chair ride
- Raise the Restraint Bar Device at the top ramp at the “raise restraint bar” sign
- Sit still until you are at the “unload here” sign on the ramp
- Stand up at the “unload here” sign
- Clear the loading area
- If you fail to unload, sit back and hold on. Wait for the operator to assist you and provide instructions.
For more information and videos, visit:
Be cautious of snowcats, snowmobiles and other on-hill equipment that may be encountered at any time.
Certain areas are designated as slow zones. Please observe the posted slow zone areas by maintaining a speed no faster than the general flow of traffic. Fast and aggressive skiing and riding will not be tolerated.
Our staff is on the lookout for skiers and riders traveling too fast or displaying reckless behavior. A verbal warning will be given to correct fast and reckless issues, and skiing and riding privileges may be suspended.
- How fast is too fast? Many people have a hard time remembering what it was like to be a beginner skier or snowboarder. First, think about giving people some space. Next, remember that you must always be in control, whether you are on an expert run or in a slow zone. This is the first point of the Skier Responsibility Code. If you are in the air, you have no control over your speed or direction. Jumps and hits are not allowed in slow zones.
- Why can’t I go as fast as I want when no one else is on the run? Many of the slow zones are on beginner runs and where trails of different ratings converge. Where beginners, kids and more advanced skiers/riders converge, everyone needs to slow down and be aware of who is around them. Often, beginners and children haven’t developed this “run awareness” yet, and may not have the foresight or physical ability to avoid others. Going slow in these zones helps both beginners and advanced skiers navigate runs and avoid collisions!
Tahoe Donner Downhill requires all students under the age of 13 to wear an approved ski helmet when taking a lesson. We also recommend helmets for all our patrons. We have helmets available for daily rental, as well as for purchase at our retail location.
Lids on Kids
We believe in safety just as much as we believe in fun. You will see many of our on-mountain staff wearing helmets, and we encourage the use of helmets on kids as a way of having more fun and being safer! You can find more information about lids on kids by visiting the National Ski Patrol or by visiting Lids on Kids.
Know the Code – It’s Your Responsibility
WARNING: Skiing, snowboarding and other winter recreational activities involve inherent and other risks of injury and death. Trail conditions vary constantly because of weather changes and ski/snowboard use. Bare spots, stumps, ice, variations in terrain, moguls, forest growth, rocks and debris, lift towers, snowmaking and grooming equipment and other natural and man-made obstacles and hazards may exist throughout the area. You must assume the risks of personal injury and death related to participation in recreational activities within this ski area. Violators of hit-and-run skiing may be prosecuted under Section 653-i of the California State Penal Code. It is unlawful for persons under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug or under the combined influence to ski in a ski area (Sec. 12.134, Placer County ordinance).
Do not ski into CLOSED areas or beyond ski area boundaries; you may be prosecuted (CC 602.Q) or held liable for the cost of search and rescue.
Uphill Ski Policy
There is no uphill skiing allowed at the Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area unless authorization is provided in writing by the ski area management prior to for specific events or access.
Skiing Out of Bounds
The ski area assumes no responsibility for skiers or riders going beyond the ski area boundary. Areas beyond the ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained. Unmarked obstacles and other natural hazards exist.
Out-of-bounds areas are exactly that – out of bounds. Our staff continually keeps an eye on out-of-bounds areas and makes sure guests are staying inside the lines. Riding or skiing out of bounds can result in loss of pass or ticket, possible arrest by the Truckee police department and possible fine.
- Why can’t I ski or ride out of bounds? These areas are not patrolled by Ski Patrol, and thereby increase the risk to skiers and riders who may become injured if they are in an out-of-bounds area.
Deep Snow Safety + Tree Wells
The most important prevention step is to remain on groomed runs. Resist the urge to ski or snowboard through the trees during deep powder conditions. If you choose to ski or snowboard ungroomed runs or in deep snow areas with trees, please 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:
- the person been with a partner
- the partner saw the person fall
- 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 questions 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 site of your partner, you could lose your friend.
- 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, the 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 snowbank, do everything you can to avoid going down – grab branches and 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 it will 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.
No Pets Allowed
For the safety of our guests, no pets are allowed at the Downhill Ski Area.
Out of safety concerns for guests, employees and association property, as well as concerns for individual privacy, Tahoe Donner Association prohibits the operation or use of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public – including recreational users and hobbyists – without the prior written authorization from Tahoe Donner Association. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping as well as any drone use by media or journalists operating above or within Tahoe Donner property boundaries. This prohibition on drone operations or use extends to any drones launched or operated from association property as well as drones launched from private property outside of the Resort boundaries. Any authorized operation of aerial drones may be governed by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations, local law enforcement and/or U.S. Forest Service, as well as those policies separately established by Tahoe Donner Association, which may include certification, training, insurance coverage, indemnification requirements and waivers or releases of liability. Any violation of this rule may involve suspension of your recreation and/or member privileges or the revocation of your season pass, as well as confiscation of any drone equipment, and may subject violators to any damages, including, but not limited to, damages for violations of privacy and/or physical or personal injuries or property damage as well as regulatory fines and legal fees.