Nearly 60 million skiers and snowboarders hit the trail nationwide last year, including nearly 12 million here in Colorado.
While you're more likely to get hurt crossing the street than carving a turn, there is still the chance you or a loved one could end up with serious and even fatal injuries.
While most injuries won't be of the fatal variety, skiing and boarding both come with inherent risks.
"I'd say mainly with skiers we get a lot of knee injuries. And then with snowboarders we get a lot of people with wrist injuries, broken wrists," explained Brett Taylor of the Powderhorn Ski Patrol.
But it's the less-common injuries that are often the most serious, sometimes resulting in death, and oftentimes avoidable altogether with a little common sense.
"One thing that I really see out here on the mountain is a lot of people will park themselves on the backside of a rise so the downhill skiers can't see them," explained Taylor, "and that's a recipe for disaster."
Skiers like Tom Anglin agree.
"You're mad if you stop yourself just under a ridge or in a narrow area, you're just setting yourself up to be hit," explained Anglin.
79-year old Don Bonser started skiing three decades ago and says being safe comes down to personal responsibility.
"You have to be able to control yourself," he said, "and look out for other people as well."
It is that sense of personal responsibility that has led to increased use of helmets in recent years.
"My wife kinda talked me into it because she's a nurse and she sees head injuries, and it didn't take much to talk me into getting it considering how much rehab, etc. a head injury would mean. You're really a lot better off to wear a helmet," said Steve Sweat of Cedaredge.
The importance of wearing one was highlighted by the March 2009 death of Natasha Richardson. The actress died after a seemingly minor fall at a Canadian ski resort. She was not wearing a helmet and died days later.
The National Ski Areas Association says recent studies show the use of a helmet can cut head injuries by thirty to fifty percent.
"We've skied I reckon the last ten years with helmets. Yeah, you're nuts not too," said Anglin.
When asked if a helmet had saved him on occasion he said, "Oh sure, I've cracked a couple of helmets."
But while helmet use increases, serious injuries haven't declined.
Linda Chalat is an attorney whose Denver law firm specializes in ski accident litigation. She believes that advances in ski technology may be to blame.
"...parabolic skis, the shaped skis, allow people to go much faster and to take on terrain that they would probably have hesitated to try maybe a decade ago with more traditional skis," she said.
In addition to her role as attorney, Chalat writes for skisafety-blog.com, chronicling ski-related injuries and deaths from around the world.
Chalat says tree wells, pockets of deep loose snow surrounding the trunk of a tree, offer skiers and boarders yet another chance to get into serious trouble.
"Individuals can find themselves suffocating under trees, unable to get out," she explained.
The best advice for avoiding this situation is to always ski with a partner and know where that person is at all times.
But safety on the slopes begins well-before you even purchase your lift ticket.
Not only can you enhance your safety by wearing a helmet, but you can also cut your risk of injury by properly maintaining your skis and snowboards.