On Piste Safety
Staying safe on piste is hugely important, not just for yourself, but also for your fellow slope users. Adhering to the local rules, respecting the conditions and taking note of the terrain around you are great places to start.
In addition, the International Ski Federation (FIS) has developed 'Rules of Conduct' that apply to all who use the pistes – regardless of what equipment they're using. This 'highway code' for the snow helps everyone to stay safe on the slopes, and should be followed at all times.
FIS Rules of Conduct
1. Respect for others
A skier or snowboarder must behave in such a way that he or she does not endanger or prejudice others.
2. Control of speed and skiing or snowboarding
Every skier or snowboarder must move in control. He must adapt the speed and manner of skiing or snowboarding to his personal ability and to the prevailing conditions of terrain, snow and weather as well as to the density of traffic.
3. Choice of route
A skier or snowboarder coming from behind must choose his route in such a way not to endanger skiers or snowboarders ahead
A skier or snowboarder may overtake another skier or snowboarder above or below and to the right or to the left provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier or snowboarder to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.
5. Entering, starting and moving upwards
A skier or snowboarder entering a marked run, starting again after stopping or moving upwards on the slopes must look up and down the slopes that he can do so without endangering himself or others.
Unless absolutely necessary, a skier or snowboarder must avoid stopping on the piste in narrow places or where visibility is restricted. After a fall in such a place, a skier or snowboarder must move and clear the slope as soon as possible.
7. Climbing and descending on foot
A skier or snowboarder either climbing or descending on foot must keep to the side of the slope.
8. Respect for signs and markings
Skiers and snowboarders must respect all signs and markings.
At accidents, every skier or snowboarder is duty bound to assist.
Every skier or snowboarder and witness, whether a responsible party or not, must exchange names and addresses following an accident.
Assisting in case of an accident
- Secure the accident area
- Protect with crossed skis or planted snowboard above the injured person. If necessary post someone up the slope to give warning
- Airway – check it is clear
- Breathing – check for breathing
- Circulation – cover any wound and apply firm pressure
- Provide warmth – give nothing to eat or drink, especially alcohol
Alert the rescue services
- Contact the resort's emergency service – the telephone number is normally on the piste map
- Place of accident (piste name and nearest piste marker)
- Number of people injured
- Type of injury
- Names and addresses of people involved as well as witnesses
- Place, time and circumstances of accident
- Terrain, snow conditions and visibility
- Markings and signs
- Report to the police as soon as possible