Although it is blissfully quiet on the Pistes in January accidents can still happen. A recent article in the UK Daily Telegraph quoted the number of injuries sustained in the French Alps last season as 1,400, 12% being the result of collision with other Piste users. Here are a couple of tips to minimise your risk:
- Always look up the slope before entering a run and stay aware of where others may be going especially in those areas where several lifts depart from the same area.
- Give other Piste users plenty of room, you have no idea what their next move may be
- If you need to stop do so at the side of the Piste and never just over the brow of a rise where you cannot be seen clearly by Piste users coming down the slope.
- Be mindful of the conditions - this includes weather, snow conditions, type of Piste and time of day. Major runs which take people to resort accommodation hubs at the end of the day are often best avoided. There is nothing wrong with experiencing a Gondola travelling downhill when conditions make it the more enjoyable option. You will receive a warm welcome from the lift operators, they know a wise decision maker when they see one.
- Wear a Helmet. It won't save you in every circumstance but in a collision it can help to minimise your injuries.
- Don't ski or ride under the influence of alcohol, in addition to the obvious dangers of slower reaction times it can invalidate your Insurance.