If you want a break among spectacular scenery, with a choice of activities, why not take to the mountains? Whether it’s to develop or advance your skills, skiing holidays are fantastic, and great for individuals who want to enjoy an incredible winter escapade. If you add companionship and après-ski, you’ll have everything that you could wish for on a vacation.
However, don’t jeapardise those blossoming friendships for the want of a little consideration. Skiing for practical purposes has been used for almost five millennia and there is a recognised etiquette on the slopes that is partly to prevent danger, but also to ensure that life is pleasant for everyone.
So let’s start where you will – at the bottom. Gondolas can get very crowded, so be patient and polite, and don’t queue-jump to catch up with your group. Shouted conversations across the cabin can be irritating, while inappropriate language is unacceptable! Most resorts ban smoking, but even if not, you should refrain at this point – no one will want your habit literally in their face.
If you are experienced in this exhilarating winter sport, have some regard for those who aren’t. Don’t deter beginners, whether single or in a class, by shooting past them, and do stop to help anyone who has had a spill. Be aware that the person in front has right of way, with the onus on you to avoid them, and if you’re the one leading the way, be thoughtful. In the same vein, skiers haven’t signed up for an obstacle course, so if you have to stop halfway, keep safely to the side, but stay visible.
Trails are closed off when they’re deemed unsafe, so don’t be tempted to try them. Not only could you end up with an injury, but you will inconvenience others, and may even place them in danger if you need to be rescued. It’s sensible to stick to your ability level, so that you don’t get hurt trying to be more advanced than you really are; on the other hand, don’t intimidate new skiers by showing off.
As you can see, then, etiquette on the slopes is important but quite simple. Remember these rules, and skiing will be a winter sport that you will return to next year.