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The French Alps are pretty relaxed – most people are on holiday having a good time, there are plenty of ski bum seasonnaires acting cool and there are no piste-police like you get in the States making sure your you don’t ski too fast or out of bounds.
However the slopes can get pretty busy and it’s important to be respectful of the environment and the other people using it, so here’s our best practice guide for the pistes:
How to make the slopes a happier place!
Help other people
We have all had a big wipeout and lost our skis and poles higher up the slope, so it can be a kind gesture to stop for other people and help them retrieve their kit. It’s also important to make sure they are OK and don’t need medical assistance.
Don’t be a maniac
The slopes can get crowded especially during the peak weeks so please don’t ski so fast and out of control that you risk crashing into other people. It’s a fact that more people get injured colliding with fellow skiers than just falling over.
If there is a long queue for a chairlift it’s a good idea to get on the next available chair even if you don’t get to sit with your friends. The more occupied each chair is the shorter the queues, which is good for everyone.
Dropping litter and cigarette butts
It should be obvious but people still do it. Don’t drop rubbish; you are in one of the most beautiful places in the world – let’s keep it that way.
Everyone enjoys a glass of wine with their tartiflette at lunch, but it can be very dangerous to ski when drunk so please save the tequila for the après ski.
Respect people’s space
There is always a range of abilities on a piste and different people choose different techniques; some people zig zag and use the whole piste, others prefer a more direct route. Either way always be on the look out for other skiers and try not get too close or cut across their line.
Stop in a sensible place
Every piste is littered with skiers waiting for their friends or just having a rest. However it’s a good idea to choose a suitable layby. Don’t just stop in the middle of the piste or where it’s difficult to be seen such as around a bend or over the brow.
It’s also a good idea to look up the hill for a suitable break in the traffic before setting off again.
If you are a good skier and planning on going off piste but don’t know the area, it’s a good idea to get a local guide or instructor to show you the way.
For more information about skiing in Chatel please visit our website