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11 February 2017

Ski Club partner with the Foreign Office on their #SkiSafe campaign

Foreign Office partner with Ski Club of GB to urge winter sports enthusiasts to #SkiSafe this season

As thousands of Brits prepare to head off on snow sports holidays this winter, Ski Club of GB have teamed up with the FCO’s Travel Aware #SkiSafe campaign to ensure Brits are well prepared for their trip to the slopes.

To ensure you have an amazing trip, we have created a range of tools full of advice and tips, including three checklists to help you check off the essentials before your trip, tips to stay safe on and off piste and who to contact in an emergency. Check out the winter sports page on Gov.uk for these handy tips and follow #SkiSafe on Twitter and Facebook.

“Every year our consular teams deal with a range of serious accidents related to winter sports many of which could have been prevented. For that reason, we work with Graham Bell and partners to ensure that British skiers have access to information to help them take responsibility for their own safety. We want Brits to #Skisafe and enjoy their holidays” - Michael Vibert, Head of Consular Communications.

#SkiSafe

British Winter Olympian Graham Bell has also provided handy tips and advice. Here are Graham’s top ten tips for a safe trip this winter:

“It’s fantastic to see so many Brits heading off each winter to take part in the sport I love. There’s a wide range of resorts to choose from across Europe and North America, and it’s great to see so many of my compatriots getting involved.

“Most of the time, nobody will run into any trouble, but to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, it’s important to stay vigilant on your winter sports break. There have been 58 British deaths reported to the FCO in the last four years relating to skiing and snowboarding holidays in Europe, and many more injuries and hospitalisations, and so being prepared is key.

“But far from wanting to discourage people from going away this year, I just want to make sure that everyone is taking the necessary precautions to make their trip as fun as possible. Have a look at my top tips for some of the main things to take note of both on and off the slopes”

1. Make sure your insurance policy covers all of the winter sports activities that you are planning to do and remember to take your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) along with you, for necessary treatment at public hospitals in Europe.
2. Get fit for the slopes by doing ski-specific exercises that work the quads, glutes, and core. Try to include balance and co-ordination into your work-out.
3. If you’re a first time skier, make sure you pick a resort that is suitable and will help you to progress. Look for lots of blue runs, and a beginners’ area close to town.
4. Use the right equipment including a properly fitting helmet
5. When you’re on the slopes make sure you are using appropriate safety equipment, and familiarise yourself with the International Ski Federation guidelines so that you don’t put yourself at risk of a collision.
6. Don’t forget the sunscreen! You can burn in the mountains even in the middle of winter because of the reflection from the snow.
7. Make sure you’ve got appropriate footwear for use off the slopes, or get yourself a pair of rubber snow grips to put over your shoes.
8. Keep in mind that alcohol and winter sports don’t mix. The effects of alcohol are multiplied at altitude, so save it for the après-ski.
9. If you’re heading out in the evening, make sure to stick together with friends and family. Temperatures can drop dramatically at night, so you don’t want to end up getting lost.

Check out Graham’s videos here and here.

Keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice by following #SkiSafe, @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel

Got a spare 5 minutes? Answer this quick survey to help the FCO improve upon the valuable advice that they offer.

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