10 safety tips before getting on the slopes
You’re here! Your skiing holiday can finally begin! We can see you’re burning with enthusiasm, ready to whiz down the slopes on your skis, snowboard or skiboard. And we totally get it!
However, it may be a little while since you last skied and we are here to remind you of a few tips, so that skiing remains pleasurable.
1. In terms of equipment?
Before getting out there, check you have all the gear: a helmet and bindings that are correctly adjusted, and if you are in doubt, please check with a professional.
2. What about the weather?
Before leaving, check out the weather, the snow cover and the avalanche risk. If conditions are bad, stay on nearby slopes. The 3 Valleys links may be closed if it’s too windy or if there is a snowstorm.
3. Physical preparation
Skiing is hard work! And like other sports, you’ll be using muscles that you don’t necessarily use every day. Remember to warm up before getting on your skis and take it slowly the first day to avoid tiring yourself out for the rest of the week.
4. Which slope should I choose?
This depends on your level! Choose according to your abilities and adjust your speed depending on your fitness level to be able to slow down in an emergency. Avoid icy black slopes if you’ve only just mastered the snowplough position!
5. Priority to the right?
We can never repeat this often enough: skiers ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to anticipate their direction changes, so as to not get in their way and avoid any collisions.
For everyone’s safety, make sure you never cut in front of other skiers, even if you want to get onto a slope or cross another. Always look around you to see where skiers are coming from.
7. And to stop?
If you want to wait for the rest of your ski group or have a little break, choose somewhere strategic by stopping on the edge of the slope, in a place that is visible to arriving skiers. Evidently, avoid stopping just after a bump or in a narrow passage. The same goes for photos and selfies; safety always comes first!
8. What if there is an accident?
If you witness an accident, don’t panic, call mountain rescue and offer your help, if necessary. Without moving the victim, protect the area to avoid a pile-up by ensuring that they are visible to other skiers. If they are not visible, plant crossed skis in the snow above the injured person. Stay with the victim and remember to protect them from the cold.
9. Need a lesson?
If you don’t feel very comfortable on skis, we recommend taking lessons with an instructor. They’ll give you essential tips to master your skis and your speed, so you can enjoy the slopes.
10. Outdo yourself, but not too much
And, last but not least, another little tip. To enjoy the day, you also need to know your limits. It’s one thing to outdo yourself in order to improve, but you need to watch out for fatigue. When you’re exhausted, it’s much more difficult to slow down and control your speed. Take regular breaks to make the most of the rest of your stay.