As Denver Big Air inches ever closer, the pressure is mounting for organizers to put on a top-notch event. After all, it’s an official International Ski Federation World Cup competition, requiring stringent standards, particularly when it comes to ensuring safety. A crew from Copper Mountain has begun to cover the 60,000-square-foot surface area of the Big Air ramp in Civic Center Park with snow using four snow-making machines, writes the Denver Post. The crew needs to create a base 16 to 24 inches deep in order to keep the skiers and snowboarders safe.

Unfortunately, Tom Wallisch, one of the premier skiers scheduled to headline the event, won’t be riding that ramp. Wallisch broke one of his shoulder blades in half a couple weeks ago and recently found out he won’t be recovered in time to participate in Denver Big Air or the ESPN Winter X Games, which begin a few days later in Aspen (also via the Denver Post). Indeed, skiing and snowboarding can be a high-stakes affair, and safety is paramount, as we’re reminded by National Ski Areas Association’s Safety Week (through January 23), notes the Aspen Times. Aspen/Snowmass is marking the occasion by handing out nine collectible trading cards featuring rescue dogs.