Slope etiquette for skiers and boarders

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
Dec 18, 2012 / 2 comments

If you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding before, get ready for one of the most exciting and fun packed trips you’ve ever taken! There is a lot to learn, probably a few bumps along the way (hopefully with some nice powder snow to break your fall), and ultimately a really rewarding new sport that will have you heading back to the mountains again and again.

There is a lot of preparation to do for your first adventure in snow sports – getting all your gear together, gathering a supply of warm clothing (try and maybe even a fitness regime to get your stamina up. And then there’s the whole new world of mountain etiquette to get used to when you arrive. So what are some things you should know to stay safe and on good terms with your fellow skiers and snowboarders?


Don’t overreach

In order to keep yourself and those nearby safe you’ve got to be very self-aware and conscious of what is going on around you. When you’re a beginner, stick to the slopes you feel confident on and don’t push yourself onto the more challenging ones until you are ready. Red and Black slopes will have lots of advanced riders and you don’t want to cause an accident by losing control on a slope that you aren’t ready for. That said, you’ve got to be brave at some point – check out this video for some true inspiration!




Know your right of way

One of the most important things to remember is that the skier or boarder in front of you always has the right of way. It is your responsibility to make sure you don’t run into them or get in their way. Remember, they can’t see what is going on behind them so you need to be very careful if you are ever overtaking or you find yourself catching up with the person in front.

By the same token, if you are ever starting half way down a slope or joining from another route, always look up and behind you before you set off. You must let the skiers and boarders already coming down the slope pass first and only pull out when there is a safe gap.


Don’t forget your roots

Once you start to progress and move on to more challenging slopes, it’s important that you never forget how it felt to be a beginner. When you are on the Green and Blue slopes, or passing people who are still learning, make sure you take it slow – it can knock your confidence when a more advanced rider speeds past you, so help keep  the mountain a fun and safe place for all those who share it, no matter what their ability level is.


Plan ahead

Once you start to take on more of the mountain it’s a good idea to plan out your routes and be aware of where different paths cross. This will mean you are prepared for everything on your ride, and you won’t get stuck on anything you weren’t expecting. It’s also really important to respect closed paths – if a route has been cordoned off, don’t go down it! There will be a good reason why it’s off limits and you could put yourself or others in danger if you decide to chance it.

Most of this slope etiquette stuff is just common sense – if you act how you’d like others to act, everyone wins and we can all focus on conquering every run on the mountain. Stay safe, have fun, and be brave!




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