TOP TIPS FOR GOOD SKI ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE

The way you act on the mountain can seriously affect how much fun you and those around you are having. There are many good and bad ways to ski that have nothing to do with your ability. So in the interest of keeping the mountain mellow through these last weeks of the season here are my top tips for good ski etiquette.

 

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1. The lifts queues

The concept of the lifts are simple, join the back of the queue move forward in a timely and organized fashion, get on the lift when it is your turn, that’s really all there is to the ‘do’ section, so here are some of the most annoying don’ts for you;

• Don’t cut the queue, weaving and snaking past people is rude, don’t do it.

• Don’t crash into other people equipment, you might be on cheap ass rental skis but some of us aren’t, using the back of my snowboard as a crash mat is not ok, neither is walking your skis over the front of my skis or randomly stabbing your poles down onto my kit. No, just no, keep a respectful distance.

• Don’t wait for your friends, there’s 8 of you and you all absolutely have to get on the same chair together so you’ll block the queue and let three chairs go up half empty whilst you wait for your buddies to all catch up. No. Get on the lift when you get to the barrier meet your friends at the top. Always fill up the chairs.

• Don’t try to change lanes, its like driving, that side of the queue may look like its moving faster than you but its really not and you turning sideways and trying to walk your skis across 6 lanes of traffic does not help. We’re all moving at the same speed, face forward and when it’s your turn to move forward, move forward. Simple.

 

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2. Respect the mountain

• Take only photos leave only ski tracks, don’t be the person peeing on the side of the piste, dropping litter and cigarette butts off chair lifts, picnicking on the mountain and leaving beer bottles and sandwich wrappers in the snow. 

• Clean up after yourselves and respect the environment that we come to play in but others live in year round.

3. Control your speed

Being able to ski or board is being in control at all times, being able to turn as and when you need to and being able to stop quickly and safely if necessary. You need to be able to react safely if some one appears out of nowhere or falls suddenly in front of you or if you catch an edge or hit a patch of ice or rock. If you are out of control and you cant stop yourself you’re going to do serious damage to yourself and others.

4. Respect the down hill skier

You don’t have eyes in the back of your head so the rule is; You look out for the skiers in front of you and the skiers behind you look out for you (be aware that for boarders their blind spot is not directly behind their board but behind their back shoulder). 

• That means that you don’t cut people up, 

• You don’t steal other people lines, 

• You don’t nip in front of people who are lining up to hit a jump or a rail, you can over take sure, but you do it respectfully and at a safe distance.

PRINCIPIANTI5. You were once a beginner too

I know beginners can be irritating when they’re on runs they can’t handle or they’re snow plowing down the middle of your favorite run or making erratic turning decisions so you can’t over take them safely. 

Show some respect its damn hard work learning to snowboard so give beginners plenty of space, try not to tut as you pass and if they fall hard perhaps check they’re ok before whizzing on about your day. 

Also avoid beginner boarders on chairlifts, they will fall over they will take you down with them, you have more control so just stay out of the way.

6. Stop safely and in full view

Some times you need a rest, sometimes you stop for a chat, sometimes you haven’t got a clue where you are and you need to get out your map. 

What ever the reason it’s fine but you have got to be aware of your surroundings and you’ve got to stop in a safe place.

People are coming flying down the pistes at pace and they do not want to cruise round a hairpin to find a gaggle of skiers having a chat in the middle of the piste, they don’t want to jump off a sweet roller to find a boarder chilling just under the lip. Always stop out of the way at the side of the piste and always stop where you can be clearly seen by approaching skiers. If you fall in a dangerous place, get up fast and out of the way.

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7. Diversity is good 

How often have you heard or indeed said yourself “stupid skiers always in the way” or “Damn boarders completely out of control”.

Skiers and snowboarders move in different ways on the mountain and this can lead to collisions and chaos as they try to avoid each other. It’s not intentional and the easiest way to figure out what the other is going to do is just to watch them in action, watch them and you’ll see the pattern of turns they make and how to avoid them in future.

Boarders are not all rude and out of control, skiers are not all stuck up and out to get you but you’ve got to make allowances for each other. 

For example : Flat bits. The flats hold absolutely no issues for skiers as they pole peacefully along, but for the boarder who is trying to get up enough speed to make it across the flat without having to walk, whilst dodging other people and trying not to catch an edge and be catapulted onto their face, flats can be really quite tense places. 

So please skiers have some consideration and awareness, stay straight on the flats to the side if possible, move forward logically don’t turn sideways or make erratic turns or snow plows that force boarders to try and dodge you at high speed.

In return, boarders can we refrain from cursing skiers as we pass them? Yes they just cut you up and you lost speed and now you have to un-strap and walk the rest of the flat, that sucks, but the skier (most of the time) didn’t know any better, keep your profanity to yourself.

Also skiers, is it really necessary to gesture at far off peaks with the entire length of your arm and ski pole? No, you’re going to decapitate some one, keep your poles to your self.

And boarders, we know you have to sit down to strap in off every chair lift but do you have to do it right in the way of everybody coming off the lift? No you don’t, you can move to the side out of the way. Same goes for when you sit down on piste, do so out of the way in a safe and obvious spot please.

We’re all here for the same reason, to enjoy these mountains, this snow and these sports so lets engage our common sense and sense of camaraderie out there and try and help each other have as much fun as possible.

Brigitte - Social circles

Bonsoir, my name is Brigitte. I’m the ultimate Parisian. There isn’t a VIP evening that I miss out on. When I was 18, I hunted autographs and stole photos of stars walking the streets of Paris or in concert. Vanessa Paradis, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Dujardin... they’re all in my book. It wasn’t very difficult as my parents produced concerts and I grew up in this fascinating world. I’ve turned it into a profession since I’m a people journalist! I now set up meetings with the stars and can question them without their bodyguards getting rid of me like they did in the past. I’d love to tell you more about these so French VIPs…

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