Are you thinking of heading off on an off-piste skiing holiday? This sport is becoming more and more popular every year as people hit the slopes and discover how fun and entertaining it really is. If you are unsure what off-piste skiing is, it is simply when you go skiing off the beaten track and it is sometimes also commonly known as cross country skiing. Below, we have listed for you a few of the precautions that you will need to be aware of before you start this sport, however, we would recommend that you also take some off-piste ski lessons first before hitting the slope to ensure that you are fully prepared!.
Do Not Go Off-Piste Skiing Alone
The most important rule to follow is to never go off-piste skiing alone, no matter how confident you are about it! This sport is not designed to be solitary and it is extremely dangerous to do so by yourself. Unlike on-piste skiing, which you can do alone, with off-piste skiing there are no safe guards or resort staff on hand should you run into trouble. The ideal way to take on off-piste skiing is to go with someone who is experienced in this sport as you can then both look out for each other.
Let Others Know Your Off-Piste Skiing Plan
When you are going off-piste skiing, as a precaution you should always tell other people what your plan is. This should include where exactly you are skiing and what your schedule is. Try and keep open communication with the people who are not with you. This will keep them informed of where exactly you are and when you are going to be back.
Always Look at Snow and Weather Reports
Before you go off-piste skiing, you must always check the snow and weather reports before you go. When you do this, the worst outcome is that you are not able to go on your favourite slopes. However, there are real risks involved when you are off-piste skiing in bad weather. This can become very dangerous and you could even risk being caught under an avalanche. This is the top reason as to why off-piste skiers run into trouble and it can be an extremely serious situation. We would recommend that you check out maps and reports from locals and other experienced skiers if you are unsure of whether or not your chosen route is safe. There are five levels of avalanche danger and it is important that you know each of them as they will determine if a route is safe or not this can change hourly.
Ensure You Are Using the Right Equipment
When you are off-piste skiing, it is extremely important that you are kitted out with all the correct equipment, otherwise, you could end up injuring yourself. Other than sturdy poles, you will also need a quality pair of ski gloves, avalanche transceivers, a shovel, avalanche probes, food and water.