We love skiing! Be it the amazing views, outdoor exercise, exploring a new city or country, bonding with family and friends – there are so many benefits and reasons to enjoy time out on the mountain. But like all good things, there are certain risks. Have a blast but don’t forget to stay safe as well. Here’s some tips to ensure you leave your holiday even better than you arrived.
Ski Safe on the Slopes
Start with Safe Gear
Two key pieces of gear to make sure are in good condition, without any faults, are helmets and bindings.
Helmets – Head injuries usually occur on the mountain due to collision or impact with the snow. A well-constructed, properly fitted helmet can help prevent serious brain injury on the mountain. The British Medical Journal shows that wearing one makes general head injuries 35 percent less likely.
Ski helmets lose their protective quality as they age and are exposed to the elements. We recommend replacing your helmet every 3-5 years. Inspect your helmet for wear and tear. Check the shell, interior lining and the straps & buckles. Look for cracks, bumps, dents, separation of the shell from the liner, flaking/crumbling of the liner, and fraying or tears in the straps. If your helmet has taken a significant hit, it is probably best to replace it. When in doubt, buy a new one.
Bindings – Bindings can also lose their strength over the years. Before heading out this season, have them checked and calibrated by a ski technician. The tech will ensure that the bindings are still certified as usable, inspect everything visually including the breaks, and check that it releases properly.
While On the Piste
For your safety as well as others! A few key tips to keep yourself safe as well as others on the mountain.
- Be aware of others. Look up and down before entering a piste to avoid the path of others. You do not want to endanger others. give space for others to make turns and remember that those ahead of you have the right of way. The slower skier/boarder also has the right of way.
- Overtake properly. When overtaking or crossing the path of another skier or boarder it is your responsibility to make sure you do not collide or make him/her fall.
- Stop in a good spot. Don’t stop in the middle of the piste. in a blind spot or at sudden drops. Off to the side where you are visible is best.
- Control your speed. Only ski within the limits of your ability and always stop safely. If you are skiing at a speed in which you are comfortable, it will be easy to make a sudden stop if necessary.
If you see an accident on the slope, first look at the scene and make sure it is safe for your to go over and assist. The last thing anyone wants is another casualty. First and foremost, get help! If you don’t have a phone to call for assistance, send another skier to do so. The emergency service will want to know the exact location of the incident, so try and give as much information as possible. Many runs will have numbered piste markers at the side of the run which are a great help. They will also want to know what happened, along with any potential hazards, and the number of casualties.
While you wait for professional help keep your casualty warm & do not move them if they are not in danger. Staying calm and reassuring them is the best thing you can do.
The one way to ruin your après on the mountain is going to ski home and realizing your skis are gone! Ski Club of Great Britain revealed that one in eight people (13%) will have their ski or snowboard equipment stolen whilst on holiday. We all know that you want good, quality equipment on the slopes which comes at a price. Leaving it unattended makes it an easy target for thieves.
A few ways to help avoid theft on the slopes:
- If possible, place your skis/snowboard in a location where you can see them from where you are sitting
- Mix match your skis with your partners and keep the two sets far apart from each other
- Invest in good, quality ski and snowboard locks
- Mark your equipment with your details to help police confirm you as the owner
- Use secure storage where possible in hotels and restaurants
- Place ski poles over your skis to prevent any accidental mix-ups & making it harder for poles to be stolen
Skiing is most enjoyable when it is fun and safe. You can easily have both of these things at once and leave your holiday un-injured and with no gear stolen!