Ask just about anyone who’s been skiing, and they’ll tell you it’s very difficult to have a more fun-packed, wonderful holiday.
However, while skiing is safer than many people think – in terms of deaths per thousand, it’s safer than cycling, for example, although causes more minor injuries – it’s still wise to take the right precautions.
Whatever you do, don’t forget insurance cover or else the holiday could end up costing a huge amount extra if you need hospital treatment or an air ambulance home.
Here’s what you should bear in mind if you’re heading off to the slopes this winter:
- Insurance – Get the right insurance. Standard travel insurance often doesn’t cover skiing, and if you end up needing hospital treatment while away, or an air ambulance back to the UK, it could bankrupt you without the right policy. Note that some providers insist you wear a helmet and never ski off-piste.
- Conditions – Be very, very wary if conditions in the mountains are bad. Follow the advice given to you by the local ski association wherever you’re skiing, and if they say the weather means you can’t ski, don’t go that day.
- Helmets – Recent research by the Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal, Canada, conclusively shows that wearing a helmet while skiing helps prevent against head injuries such as skin wounds and bruising (but not concussion, however). So it makes sense to wear one.
- Off-piste – Don’t be tempted to take short-cuts between pistes, or through woods which might look innocuous enough and even used by other ordinary skiers; they can provide nasty surprises such as tree roots or hidden rocks hidden under the snow.
- Ski with someone or in a group – Getting injured just before the last cable car goes back down the mountain in the afternoon, or lost in white-out conditions can be lethal if you’re skiing alone. Make sure you at least ski with one other person, preferably two.
- Equipment – Make sure your ski gear is hired from a reputable company and fitted properly. Also ensure that, whatever you do, you take enough clothing to keep warm, even if it seems more than is needed when the sun’s out.
- Don’t push yourself – It’s not a good idea to stray from the slopes which suit your skiing ability level. So, as tempting as it might be to do a black run to challenge yourself if you’re trying to improve, don’t do it unless you’re having lessons and in the right hands.
- Refresher lessons – If you’ve skied before, it’s tempting to think it’ll all fall into place on day one. However, many injuries occur within the first day or so of skiing, so perhaps book a refresher course at a local ski school on arrival at your resort.
- Alcohol – Many skiing accidents involve people who have had a gluwein or two at lunch, or before skiing back to where they staying at the end of the day. You shouldn’t drink and drive when back home, the same applies when skiing.
Policy Expert is an online insurer and broker, dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For a travel insurance quote from just £5.95 for a single trip, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 13th December 2018