<p>Discover our top tips for staying safe when skiing in the Alps.</p>
Photo: Courchevel Tourisme

Top Tips for Skiing Safely

Discover our top tips for staying safe when skiing in the Alps.

Published at: 7 Aug 2020
Last updated at: 8 Aug 2022

Whether you are a first-time skier or a seasoned pro, we have put together a list of top tips for staying safe in the Alps so you can enjoy your well-earned break in the mountains safely.

Alicia Bryan
Alicia Bryan
Skiing off-piste in St AntonPhoto: TVB St. Anton am Arlberg/Josef Mallaun1 / 5
Making fresh tracks in VerbierPhoto: verbier.ch/Melody Sky2 / 5
Off-piste skiing in Aspen SnowmassPhoto: Jordan Curet/Aspen Snowmass3 / 5
Skiing on piste in ZermattPhoto: Pascal Gertschen4 / 5
Chez Vrony restaurant in ZermattPhoto: Chez Vrony, Zermatt5 / 5

1. Ensure you Have the Correct Equipment

When embarking on a skiing adventure, avoid borrowing equipment and instead, rent from an experienced ski shop to make sure your boots and bindings are fitted and adjusted properly. It goes without saying that you will need both skis and boots for your alpine adventure but one of the most important pieces of equipment we would recommend is a helmet. With head injuries making up 20% of skiing injuries and skiers reaching speeds of up to 50mph, wearing protective headgear is always a sensible precaution.

Those looking to snowboard rather than ski should also consider wearing ski gloves with built-in wrist guards. With broken wrists and sprains a common injury amongst boarders, these gloves will give you extra protection should you fall over.

Finally, while sunburn might usually be associated with tropical destinations, watch out for the sun on the slopes. With the snow on the ground creating a reflective canvas, skiers can often fall victim to the sun, so remember to protect your eyes with ski goggles and apply suncream to avoid the dreaded goggle mark look for après-ski.

2. Ski Safely Off-Piste

Top Tips for Skiing Off-Piste

Before venturing off-piste, make sure you have checked the avalanche forecast. Should the warning be high, save the backcountry adventures for another day and discover the alternative winter activities your resort has to offer.

If you are looking to ski off-piste, speak to locals to learn about the hidden off-piste gems of your resort, as well as areas to avoid when skiing off-piste. Always be prepared for the worst-case scenario and carry safety equipment with you such as a shovel, transmitter and probe. Never ski alone off-piste and if possible tell people where you are planning to ski.

3. Be Prepared

Once your chalet is booked, don’t forget to get travel insurance and disclose that you will be skiing. While no one likes to think they will have an accident, it is always best to be prepared.

When you have arrived in your resort, the weather on the mountains can be unpredictable and change rapidly, so check the forecast throughout the day to organise activities accordingly and remember to wear waterproof ski wear with plenty of layers to stay both warm and dry.

4. Take Breaks

Restaurant Guides

Skiing is a great form of exercise that works many muscles in your body, you will be exerting a lot of energy on the slopes, so make sure you take regular breaks to refuel and stay hydrated throughout the day. With plenty of mountain restaurants on hand, this is also the perfect opportunity to indulge in some local cuisine.

5. Know Your Level

Guide to Ski Lessons

Know your limits and never feel pressured to ski out of your comfort zone. If you are looking to push yourself in a safe environment, private skiing lessons are a great way to improve quickly with the help of an experienced ski guide, while group ski lessons are also a fun way to improve your skiing skills with like-minded people of a similar level.

6. Follow Piste Rules

To keep the mountains as safe as possible, the International Ski Federation has listed several rules for skiers and snowboarders to follow.

When on the slopes, always be considerate of other skiers around you and if possible, do not stop in the middle of the slope. Make sure you take note of the warning signs on the pistes and adapt your speed based on the conditions.

If you would like to discover the best runs and local spots of your resort, why not book a local ski guide for the day. With years of experience and local knowledge to hand, they will know both the pistes and off-piste of the resort like the back of their hand.