The winter ski season is well and truly underway, so whether skiing, snowboarding or drinking hot chocolate thicker than a TOWIE extra rocks your world, here’s our guide to keeping safe on the slopes…
Check the Small Print
This may sound obvious, but make sure your travel insurance includes winter sports (we speak from experience here) and read the small print too. People are often hit by clauses such as ‘only covered if accompanied by a guide’ or ‘not covered off-piste’.
Accidents do happen and you don’t want to land yourself with a humongous medical bill. A knee injury in Austria could cost you £8,000 while a broken leg in the USA will set you back a whopping £40,000. Ouch (excuse the pun).
Don’t Forget the Sun Cream
Yes really: you’ll need to pack both sun cream and sunglasses. At such high altitudes, the sun is pretty unforgiving, especially when reflected off the white snow. Yes, you might just come away with sexy panda eyes, but it’s better than being burnt to a crisp, isn’t it?
Physical exercise at high altitude means your body will dehydrate faster than usual (and chances are you‘ll already be dehydrated from the previous night’s après-ski or a boozy lunch). Make sure you keep knocking back the water (around four to six litres a day) to ensure you stay feeling tip top.
Know Your Limits
If you’re not a pro don’t feel you need to attempt the black runs first time. There’s no need to put yourself (or others, for that matter) in danger simply to brag to your mates back home. On this note do your homework and check what the grading of runs means: a blue run in France may be a red run in Austria.
Be a Polite Skier
Nobody likes the person who cuts in front of the ski lift queue. Don’t be this person and remember to follow the ‘rules of the road’. Be aware of beginners having lessons and don’t forget that the skier in front has the right of way.
Play it Safe
Everyone knows it’s all about the après-ski when you’re on a ski trip. However, if you do have one tipple too many (it has been known) make sure you walk home with someone else, stick to the designated paths and wrap up warm. And if you’re a little worse for wear in the morning, sleep it off. Never ski hung-over.
Check out these free ways to get fit for skiing and snowboarding.
Any other tips or advice you’d add to our list? Are you hitting the slopes this winter or are you working a season? Share your thoughts below...