Upon arriving at most ski lifts (at least in Switzerland) you will be faced with a variety of signs reminding you of your responsibilities on the slopes. Ski Etiquette is not that different from any other of form of etiquette - simple guidelines that are actually common sense. However, ignoring your ski etiquette and not paying attention on the slopes can have serious consequences, as Gwyneth Paltrow is finding out after allegedly crashing into another skier, knocking him out and breaking four of his ribs!
So if you are heading to the slopes here are 6 important reminders:
Queue correctly. Queues for the lifts can quickly become bottlenecks but it’s common sense not skip the line or so you would think! Keep everyone happy by joining at the back and wait your turn. Also don’t wait in the queue and then invite 5 friends to come and join you, it’s just rude!
Right of way is given to those in front. In the event of any crash, the person behind is automatically responsible and open to prosecution… as Gwyneth now knows!
Speeding down the slopes is great fun but if you can’t control your speed perfectly, slow down.
Stopping at the side of the slope is preferable. If you stop in the middle or at a blind spot you’ll cause an obstruction and make it difficult for those behind you to pass.
Use runs that are for your level of skiing. Don’t attempt the more difficult black runs if you’re clearly not an accomplished skier. You’ll be putting others at risk and potentially spoiling the run for them.
Offer assistance to those who need it. If you can help someone get back on their feet or pass them their poles it’s always going to be appreciated and as a frequent ‘faller’ I can vouch for that appreciation and gratitude!
There are many more rules regarding skiing such as thanking the attendants for helping you get on the ski pole and not smoking on a chair lift but the most important ones (I believe) are the rules concerning your safety and the safety of others.
The Etiquette Consultant