What Is a Snowboard Crossing?

by Joe Fletcher

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.

Multi-Directional Crossings

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.

Snowboard Cross

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.

About the Author

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.