Mountain and piste safety/skiing etiquette
When skiing with an instructor, their first priority is to keep you safe, and to teach you how to ski safely. But when you ski on your own you need to have the same priority, staying safe on piste, not just for yourself, but also for your fellow slope users. It is important to respect the local guidelines and respect the advice from the ski patrol. You also have to adapt your skiing to the snow/piste conditions and weather conditions. These simple advices may seem obvious but unfortunately we often see unrespectful behavior on the pistes and it can easily lead to injuries.
Mistakes are done both by beginners and expert skiers, small mistakes can have big consequences on the pistes. That’s why 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
- Respect for others
A skier or snowboarder must behave in such a way that he or she does not endanger or prejudice others.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Climbing and descending on foot
A skier or snowboarder either climbing or descending on foot must keep to the side of the slope.
- 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.
What to do in the case of emergency
When cruising on the pistes you may witness an accident, here are a few things you can do to help the victims of an accident on the slopes:
- 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, in order to avoid a another incident.
- Alert the rescue services
Contact the resort’s emergency service – the telephone number is normally on the piste map or on your ski card. When skiing in Samoens and Grand Massif, you can call the following number + 33450904678
They will ask you your location so the ski patrol can come and take care of the injured skier/snowboarder.
- First Aid
While waiting for the ski patrol to arrive, and if you have some knowledge of first aid, you can assist the victim as best as you can.