A snowboard crossing, which is also referred to as a merge, is an important feature to maneuver safely around. The potential for a crash is high because skiers and riders come together from different angles. Before you approach your first merge, understand what to do.
Most resorts have some type of trail merge where several ski runs cross or merge. In some cases, the run you're on might cross over another run. In some cases, it might end at a junction with another run. You can typically identify crossings and merges by studying the trail map of the resort. Sometimes trail merges will be marked with signs, but other times you'll have to identify them on your own.
Your Responsibility on a Merge
The fourth rule in the skier's responsibility code practiced by the National Ski Areas Association is to look uphill when starting or merging. If your trail is about to merge into another trail, slow down and look uphill for oncoming snowboarders or skiers. If you're on a main trail, and you see that other trails are about to merge into yours, move to the far side and/or slow to avoid the risk of a crash.
In cases where two runs cross, slow down and make sure that you don't cut in front of anyone. You might want to be especially mindful if the trail you're crossing is a beginner run, as beginners may not have the control or knowledge to slow or stop in time. Sometimes it pays to forget about the technicalities of who has the right of way, and just proceed with caution to prevent a collision.
Another term that you might have heard is snowboarder cross. Snowboarder cross is a competitive discipline in which a series of riders race a course with turns, moguls and drops. Some ski resorts offer snowboard cross courses.
- NSAA: Your Responsibility Code
- "Los Angeles Times"; Lindsey Jacobellis' silver lining; Lisa Dillman; February 2010
- Yahoo Sports: Jacobellis’ shot at redemption ends in sorrow
- Olympic Games: Snowboarding Graphic
- Stratton: East Byrneside
- SnowSeekers: Alberta's only Skier/Boarder Cross course now open at Lake Louise