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Safety tips

To be perfectly safe while enjoying the snow, here are some tips.
In the mountains: Prudence = happy holidays
Rule 1      Keeping informed

- Check weather forecasts: Tel. 00 33 (0)8 99 71 02 06.

- Consult tourist bureaus, professionals of the mountains (emergency centres, guides’ offices, slope maintenance, skiing schools…) and experienced people with good knowledge of the mountains in winter.

- Consult the recommendations and information in guidebooks and the specialised press.

Rule 2      Being prepared

- Prepare yourself physically: skiing in the mountains is more strenuous than summer hiking.
- Estimate the actual time required and add extra time for breaks.
- Leave early and add extra time to be safe.
- Never overestimate your capacities or those of the people with you.
- Never go out alone; inform others of your destination and when you expect to be back.

Rule 3      Being equipped

- Use appropriate good-quality equipment.
- According to the itinerary, take the appropriate equipment for belaying: ropes, ice axe, harness, crampons…
- Take warm waterproof clothing.
- Take water or warm drinks in an insulated bottle, and sufficient food (high-energy foods).
- Keep gloves, headgear, sunglasses and sunscreen in your bag.
- Think of taking along a little repair kit.
- Take a mobile phone (emergency call: 112).
- For skiing in the mountains, equipment for locating avalanche victims is indispensable. ARVA beacons with probe and shovel are indispensable for search and rescue.

Rule 4      Behaving

- Leave early to give yourself enough time.
- Do not set out with too many people.
- Keep within eyeshot of each other to be able to communicate rapidly.
- Be wary of tracks left by other skiers, if you don’t know where they will lead you. - Keep track of changes in weather.
- Be very careful of poor visibility; you can be surprised by relief or rocky outcrops.

Rule 5      Adapting

- Remember to change your itinerary or give up on an outing in case of degradation or poor weather conditions or snowfall, when progression is slowed.
- Beware of snow bridges. Avoid areas with grykes, snow-covered streams and lakes or the proximity of rocks.
- Wear long sleeves and gloves for protection during sliding and to improve chances of survival under an avalanche.
- Beware of the sun. Don’t forget your sunglasses.
- Remember that temperature drops with altitude.
- Be careful of the wind, a major factor in dehydration and cold.

Rule 6      Being insured

- Make certain you are properly insured for the activity you practise, since there may be a charge for rescue in some areas.

Road condition   Map of runs    In pictures

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