The Dangers of Skiing Off-Piste

Ski DangerFor many experienced skiers the thought of fresh untouched snow can be extremely tempting. However straying from designated slopes and routes can be extremely dangerous, as the trend becomes more popular the number of off-piste accidents which require medical assistance are increasing in number.

Why is off-piste skiing more dangerous?

  • Off-piste slopes are not maintained by snow ploughs, making visibility of rocks and cliff edges more difficult
  • There is an increased risk of an avalanche off-piste, each year 24 – 26 people in France are killed by avalanches.
  • There are more rocks off-piste which can increase injuries in the event of a fall.

Many travel insurance companies do not cover off-piste skiing, making it very expensive for off-piste skiers in the event of an accident or emergency. In many instances recovery of an accident can be billed at more than £538 an hour excluding medical expenses and hospital stays.

Take a look below at our top ski safety tips:

  • Wear the correct clothing, don’t forget your helmet and goggles
  • Stay with a group of friends and consider everyone’s ski capabilities
  • Respect other skiers and do not put others in danger
  • Take a phone and store the numbers of local rescue and emergency services
  • New to skiing? Attend a ski school to learn the basics
  • Ski with a guide or someone that knows the area well.
  • Research the official and local avalanche forecast – do not put yourself at risk!
  • Purchase comprehensive winter sports travel insurance

If you’re heading off to the mountains make sure your travel insurance covers you for winter sports activities and if you are tempted to venture off off-piste ensure you’re adequately covered by your insurance provider.

(Please Note Questor Insurance winter sports travel insurance only covers off-piste skiing when accompanied by a guide.)

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Source: ITIJ     January 2016 Issue 180

Date Created: 22 January 2016 by Kim Coppins