Skiing Safety

Skiing understandably can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, so brush up with these safety tips.

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Know your limits

If you are new to skiing, the number one skiing safety tip is to take some lessons. Your instructor will safely guide you down gentle slopes until you are ready to take on longer and more challenging pistes. You must never venture onto slopes that are too steep or difficult for you. This could at the least shatter your confidence, or at the worst, result in grave injury.

Know your runs

Skiing pistes are colour-coded according to their level of difficulty:

  • Green ski runs – these are the easiest runs which are shallow and suitable for beginners and green run rating is generally only used to grade slopes in France.
  • Blue ski runs – these are quite shallow and are suitable for improving and intermediate level skiers.
  • Red ski runs – these pistes are quite steep and can be quite narrow. They are suited to skiers with substantial experience. However North American resorts do not use the red category to grade their slopes.
  • Black ski runs – these are the steepest and most difficult runs. They should only be attempted by advanced skiers.

North American ski resorts also use shaped symbols; circles, squares and diamonds. At the top of the scale are double black diamonds, or even occasionally triple black diamonds.

Always ski with a piste map

The different coloured pistes are indicated on the piste map for the area, which is a highly important bit of kit when it comes to skiing safety. Without a piste map you could easily take a wrong turn and end up struggling on a piste too difficult for your abilities.

Choose your resort carefully

It’s best to choose a resort that suits your ability. If you are in a mixed-ability group, this means selecting a good all-round resort so the skiing safety is paramount and the experience is fun for all in the group.

Know the rules of the slopes

The International Ski Federation (ISF) has set up rules for conduct for skiers and snowboarders, the purpose being to improve skiing safety.