What can I expect at Boot Camp?

NSAA's new education program provides a full day of critical education for lift operators, lift maintenance staff and mountain operations employees. The mix of indoor, followed by outdoor modules (4 total) cover a range of operational topics that can immediately impact your ski area's lift safety programming. Event hosts are Mike Lane and Earl Saline from NSAA; additional speakers will include folks from around the industry, including some of your fellow mountain operations professionals.

Registration Fees

NSAA Member   Non-Member
$125  $175

REGISTER Schedule Agenda Session Descriptions

Date Location Link
March 6, 2024 Granite Peak Ski Area, WI
(held in conjunction with the MSAA Terrain Park Summit, visit msaaevents.org for more information)


7:30-8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:00-8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks 
8:30-10:00 a.m.  Maze & Ramp Design 
10:00-11:30 a.m.  Unseated Passenger Plans 
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch & Learn 
1:00-2:30 p.m. Root Cause Analysis 
2:30-4:30 p.m.  Roundtable discussions 

Session Descriptions

Lift Operations - Setting Your Guests up for Success: Maze Design, Load and Unload Ramp Setup
This session will discuss strategies and methods for setting up Mazes, Ramps and the Signage to have a positive effect on the success of your guests. Essential concepts covered include maze design, calculating the appropriate maze length needed before the load board, ramp design considerations, and correct placement of unload signs. Bring your questions and ideas.

The What, Why, and How of Creating Unseated Passenger Plans
Unseated passenger plans are critical tools that help areas and their employees respond to incidents quickly, effectively, and safely. If you don’t have a plan already, or are in the process of updating yours, this is a session you won’t want to miss. This session will cover recommendations for what and who to include in the development of a plan, and, using an actual lift scenario, go through the process of creating a plan for that lift. You will then be able to walk through those same steps at your area to create or update your own plans. Note that unseated passenger plans are a requirement of the new ANSI B77 standard, which becomes effective starting in 2023.

Lunch and Learn Session
Be ready with your pen and paper as we dig into several topics during this working lunch. Our roundtable discussion with the group will go into the role communications and PR play in your guest education efforts, examples of great guest education programs, the importance and impact of having a post-incident communication strategy, lift operations training best practices, and collaboration ideas with your ski school and competition programs to keep lift riding safety front and center with students and athletes of all ages.

Root Cause Analysis & the Five Why’s
Incidents and near misses rarely ‘just’ happen. And, trends in incidents don’t appear overnight. Using thoughtful analysis and well-defined tools, you can identify the core (root) reason (cause) why something happened. Which then allows you to develop solutions to address that cause. Join this class to learn the basics or brush up on how to conduct a root cause and trend analysis using example lift incidents. And, of course, example scenarios will be used to identify potential solutions so that you can work with your area team to address issues you are facing at your area.

Breaking the Cycle: A Lift Operations Roundtable
““But we’ve always done it that way!” Sound familiar? Change is hard - and we're here to help. This facilitated roundtable is intended to bring out and bring up the barriers and challenges you face making changes at your area. Maybe it’s terrain, snow, staffing, or culture – bring the challenges you face and we will discuss strategies to address those barriers, the takeaways from the other Boot Camp sessions, and help you move your lift operation forward.

Already attended and looking for the Unseated Passenger Plan template? Click here.