Are you hitting the slopes this season? Are you a regular or is winter sports something you do very rarely? Either way, it is important to know the 10 FIS slope rules by heart. FIS stands for Fédération Internationale de Ski (International Ski Federation) and governs everything that has to do with winter sports. It sets the international competition rules and has a membership of 118 ski associations around the world. FIS was founded in 1924 and its headquarters are located in Oberhofen am Thunersee in snowy Switzerland.
FIS tries to keep wintersports accessible for all and makes this possible by setting up some rules to keep the slopes as safe as possible! So let’s get started;
1. Have Respect for other skiers and snowboarders.
It is important to behave in a safe way without endangering or prejudice others.
2. Be in control of your speed.
This seems obvious, but it is not. Many unregular visitors of the slopes often go way faster than what they can control and are a real danger for other skiers and snowboarders (and for themselves). Adapt your speed to your level and depending on the conditions of terrain, weather and traffic density.
3. Choose your route in advance.
Don’t just go down the slope like a headless chicken. Plan your route in advance and prevent endangering skiers or snowboarders ahead of you.
4. Overtaking others, don’t cut them off!
You are allowed to overtake other skiers or snowboarders from above or below and from the left or right but keep in mind that you do this with enough space between you and the person you overtake. People often behave unpredictable, by giving them enough space you reduce the danger of collisions (cutting them off is not cool, you are a douche if you do that).
5. Entering, starting and moving upwards; be aware of your surroundings
As soon as you enter a slope, or continue your run after stopping, or moving upwards on the slopes, you have to do this with care. Look up and down the slopes, be aware, wait for passing skiers and snowboarders and finish your movement.
6. Don’t stop on the slope.
This one is often forgotten, or simply unknown. You are NOT allowed to stop on a narrow slope or one with restricted visibility. Only when it is absolutely necessary (in case of an emergency). The safest would be to not stop at any slope or at least make it obvious that you are about to stop and manoeuvre to the side of the slope. Many times it happens that a skier or snowboarder ahead stops abruptly (no emergency) and therefore leaves zero reaction time for skiers or snowboarders behind them to avoid a collision. It happens many times, don’t be one of those. Finish your run, or go to the side and reduce speed before stopping. It is like driving a car, you have to take into account other traffic otherwise you are going to have a bad time!
7. Keep to the side when climbing and descending a slope on foot.
When you climb or descend a slope by foot, you must in all times keep to the side of the slopes as much as possible and stay on the lookout for passing skiers and snowboarders.
8. Respect all signs and markings.
Wintersport resorts have their slopes and surroundings constantly checked professionally; trust and respect their observations and regulations. Is your favourite slope blocked? Get yourself informed but don’t ignore the blocking and enter the slope anyway, you put yourself and that off others at risk! Therefore, always respect all signs and markings!
9. Assistance; help each other.
Accidents happen, sometimes small, sometimes more severe. Always try to help out when you noticed an accident happening. This can be as simple by asking the victim if everything is OK to more complicated tasks as calling the emergency post and reassure their safety. Not many skiers and snowboarders actually are aware that at accidents your duty is to assist.
10. Identification following an accident.
When you are involved in an accident on the slope, whether as a victim or a witness, you are bound to exchange names and addresses.
That is it, 10 simple rules, print it out, hang it above your bed and next time when you hit the slopes, you will be amazed how much more safe the slopes can be with just a little more respect and awareness for each other!