Be Slope Safe
As with most sports which give huge amounts of pleasure, there is also a small but nevertheless important element of danger involved in skiing. Avalanche Avoidance & Safety
The mountains should be treated with the highest respect at all times and skivo2 recommends that if you are skiing or thinking of skiing off-piste you should always do so with a qualified Rep or guide and carrying your avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.
As well as considering the dangers of skiing off piste, all skiers and boarders must also consider their own and other people’s safety all the time when on the mountain.
The FIS (International Ski Federation) has established ten rules for the conduct of skiers and snow boarders which should be followed at all times. (see right)
Be sun safe
Skiers and snow boarders need to take care on the slopes. Even though it may feel cold in the mountains, when you are high up there is less atmosphere to filter the ultraviolet (UV) rays: UV intensity increases by 4-8% every 1000ft.
It is easy to get caught out because you can burn very quickly. Snow reflects around 85% of the sun’s UV rays so you may burn in unusual places. Look out for the underside of your chin and your ears in particular. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays penetrate clouds, so even if it’s cloudy it’s important to protect yourself. Skiing health FAQ’s
Tips for the snow
Cover up – The best way to protect yourself is by covering up with clothing. Try wearing a long-sleeved jacket with a zip-up collar, hat and gloves.
Sunscreen – Apply SPF factor 15+ 15-30 minutes before hitting the slopes. Then reapply every 2 hours, particularly if you’re doing lots of exercise and may sweat it off. You can now buy little tubes of sunscreen that fit easily in a pocket.
Wear sun block on very exposed and sun-sensitive areas like your nose, ears and lips. Don’t know which sunscreen to pick? Look for a ‘broad-spectrum’ product, one that protects from both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or more.
Protect your eyes – Wear wraparound sunglasses or goggles that offer at least 99% protection from UV. Most come with information about their UV filtering capability, but check in the shop if you are not sure. Goggles may be better for protecting small children’s eyes as they are less likely to fall off at ski school! Be Sun Smart! Burn the slopes, not your skin.
For more information, visit Cancer Research UK’s Sun Smart website.
FIS Rules of Conduct
1. Respect: Do not endanger others.
2. Control: Adapt the manner and speed of your skiing to your ability and to the general conditions on the mountain.
3. Choice of route: The skier/snowboarder in front has priority – leave enough space.
4. Overtaking: Leave plenty of space when overtaking a slower skier/snow boarder.
5. Entering and starting: Look up and down the mountain each time before starting or entering a marked run.
6. Stopping: Only stop at the edge of the piste or where you can easily be seen.
7. Climbing: When climbing up or down, always keep to the side of the piste.
8. Signs: Obey all signs and markings – they are there for your safety.
9. Assistance: In case of accidents provide help and alert the rescue service.
10. Identification: All those involved in an accident, including witnesses, should exchange names and addresses.