Staying safe on the slopes

11th December 2018, by Dave Watts

Crowds on the slopes and out of control skiers are real dangers

Crowds on the slopes and out of control skiers are real dangers

My greatest fear now is of being banged into, either on crowded slopes or by an out of control skier or snowboarder. In recent years, I’ve stopped skiing in some resorts because of the crowds and there have been several narrow misses by idiots skiing too fast and brushing past me at high speed.

I just wish that everyone on the slopes knew and abided by the FIS Code of Conduct, which include issues such as skiing in control, safe overtaking, where you can safely stop on the piste, making sure the piste is clear when setting off, and so on. And I wish that European resorts would adopt the system used by some North American resorts of staff in hi-vis jackets slowing people down on crowded slopes.

I also wear a helmet now and have done for the last 10 years or so despite hating doing so. It makes me so hot; but after trying several brands, I’ve found that Giro make helmets with great ventilation that suits me best.

Helmets and other equipment are important for safety

And I never go off-piste without a guide and the requisite safety kit (transceiver, shovel, probe).

But there’s much more to safety than just these three things.

SnowTrex (a ski tour operator that was founded in Germany in 1999 but now sells holidays internationally, including in the UK)) has produced an excellent guide with lots of safety information including a special section on keeping children safe on the slopes.

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