First the good news. Your chances of dying while skiing or snowboarding is extremely low. Statistically speaking, you are 100 times more likely to die canoeing than you are skiing down the slopes. In fact, your chances of dying with your boots on at a ski resort is less than one in a million.
We know this because The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) keeps annual records on fatalities occurring at U.S. ski areas. According to their report, 39 skiers and snowboarders perished at US ski areas during the 2015-16 season. That falls inline with the 10-year industry average of 38 fatalities per season.
Based on 52.8 million total skier/snowboarder visits during the 2015-16 season, the fatality rate converts to less than one fatality per one million skier visits (or 0.74 fatalities per one million skier visits during the 2015-16 season, slightly above the 10-year average rate of 0.67 fatalities per million skier visits). – NSAA
When you dig deeper into the numbers one fact jumps out at you. Gender plays a huge factor in ski/snowboard fatalities. Of the 2015-16 fatalities, 31 were male and 8 female.
Equipment also plays a role in fatality data, with skiers accounting for 31 fatalities compared to 7 snowboarder fatalities (for one fatality, this was unknown).
*These numbers reflect the number of skiers and snowboarders who die inbounds at ski resorts during the hours of operations. They do not factor in fatalities that are related to a pre-existing medical condition, such as a heart attack or stroke on a chairlift nor do they factor in backcountry deaths.