Skiing holidays are a great opportunity for friends and family to enjoy a snowy adventure together, but a serious accident on the slopes can quickly ruin the experience. To limit your risk of injury, we’ve put together our top travel safe tips for a ski holiday.
Follow the rules
In the same way as drivers must obey the Highway Code, skiers and snowboarders have their own code to follow. The FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski, or International Ski Federation), has a set of rules designed to help keep skiers and snowboarders safe on the slopes. These include rules on overtaking and stopping, namely ensuring there’s enough space for the overtaken skier or snowboarder and avoiding stopping on the slope in narrow places or where visibility is restricted.
Be honest about your ability
If you’re going on a ski holiday, be honest about your skiing ability. Whether you’re an amateur or an expert skier, stick to the slope you feel most comfortable on. It’s worth sticking to the beginners’ slopes if you’re new to the sport, to build your confidence before tackling more challenging runs. Familiarise yourself with the European slope markings, which are colour-coded to keep skiers safe on the mountains.
- Green – learner slope
- Blue – beginner slope
- Red – intermediate slope
- Black – expert slope
- Orange – extremely difficult
While you may not be on a beach holiday, don’t underestimate the strength of the sun and the reflective power of the snow on top of the mountains. Avoid sunburn by wearing sun cream with a high SPF and remember to reapply when taking a break.
You should also wear knee, bum and wrist guards to help prevent serious injuries in case you’re involved in a skiing accident.
Wear the right gear
Make sure you have the right equipment before heading onto the slopes. A waterproof jacket, trousers and snow boots will keep you warm and comfortable, while a helmet, gloves and goggles are essential for protecting you from serious injury.
Check the weather forecast
It’s important to know the weather conditions are safe for skiing before setting off. Less snowfall means there is a reduced chance of avalanches, but it will also lead to hard and icy runs, which means an increased chance of accidents happening.
Be aware yourself and of other people skiing and snowboarding around you. Watch your speed and distance between others to avoid nasty collisions while skiing, and remember to always look uphill before setting off, just as you would if you were driving a car or riding a bicycle.
Take a break
Just like any sport, you should take regular breaks from skiing throughout the day. Enjoy time away from the slopes to refuel and admire the scenic view. It’s also a good opportunity to make sure you stay hydrated – drink plenty of water before heading up to the mountains for a second run.
Thompsons Solicitors has decades of experience running and winning personal injury claims. If you or a family member have suffered an injury while on a skiing holiday, our expert solicitors can help you make a holiday accident claim for compensation. Contact Thompsons Solicitors on 0800 0 224 224 or visit our website.
For more on skiing and ski holidays, check out these posts from the Pigeons’ last ski trip, with Crystal Ski: