RULES OF THE MOUNTAIN
When 'on holiday', people think of relaxing, reading books, a few walks here and there, letting off some steam, and of course, putting work to the back of your mind. This can be done in many forms; such as games, healthy discussions, exercise and more. During the winter months, we at Ski Peak and our Ski Peak family love nothing more than to do all things mountain and ski! How about you? Have you got your ski holiday plans sorted? If not get in touch here and we'll happily suggest some options.
Before and during any holiday, it's important to be prepared and informed of risks that may present themselves. To know the 'do's and do not's' so to speak. You wouldn't walk into a mosque with shoes on, due to hygiene reasons they hold. You shouldn't finish your plate in parts of China as it portrays you were not offered enough. Likewise, there are some key bits of information to know when on the mountain. Skiing relies on you being aware of your surroundings, that you are safe, and that you take into consideration more than just you and the mountain at hand.
ALL Photos by Charles Jordan
There are many different views, ideas and opinions on what the rules of the mountain are or should be. There are some rules of course that most people can agree on, such as; the person in-front has right of way, as they are unaware of people behind them.
Whilst on a family holiday last Easter, we came up with some of our own. Read them with a pinch of salt and let us know if you have any others to suggest.
Rules of the Mountain:
- When venturing to a new resort, get a piste map. You can then always locate yourself and others. A lot of resorts now have apps which provide more information, such as weather conditions, open/closed pistes and lifts.
- Don't forget how important your skin is. Protect it from becoming a leathery exterior at all costs... apply sun-cream generously.
- Offer your lip salvation to others.
- Always wear a helmet - don't be a plonker.
- There are subjects you should refrain from discussing on a lift - politics, religion, sex & snowboarders.
- Elect just one guide and listen to the route. If in doubt of where you are going, do not overtake your guide… you’ll get lost and there is only one person to blame.
- Don't get on a lift until you know everyone is down and you know they have seen you; when you assume…
- Stop at the side of the piste, not in the middle, otherwise you’re likely make a cushioning for others.
- Do not break wind, front or back in a cable car or gondola.
- In an awkward silence, one should remark 'just look at that view'.
- Don't annoy ski instructors, lifties or guides. They have little patience for those in the wrong.
- People in front do not know of those behind, they have right of way. If you want to overtake, consider their turning rhythm and give a wide birth.
- Careful of your skis and poles when carrying them, people like their eyes to remain in sockets and bodies to remain intact
- You may stop for coffee, if required... after a minimum of 2 hours, you earn your turns and therefore must earn your break.
- Knowledge is power - The snow is softer if the sun has been on it. Think about this when planning your route.
- There is normally sun at the top so keep going up if it’s poor visibility lower down (refer to rule 2).
- If it's sunny at the top, get it out (camera).
- If it's snowing and poor visibility throughout resort, ski through the trees, and bend zeee knees.
- Only ski backcountry with people carrying transceivers, probe and shovel etc, plus have had the proper training - it can be a dangerous world out there.
- In large groups a buddy system is best. Go in pairs and triples. You are
responsible for your buddy. Do not lose your buddy!
- Prepare yourself to be ski ready when in the lift, not when everyone else is ready to ski (exemption however for the very first run)... no-one likes a faffer.
- No unauthorised pee stops… Never when the lift is due to depart, you might get left behind.
- No alcohol before 12... perhaps a demi though :-)
- Drink water whenever you can and refill your bottle as often as possible – it’s thirsty work (however see rule 22).
- Remember where you are in the world, skiing - what a day to be alive.
- When disembarking a chair lift; stop talking, lift the bar and agree the direction before exit.
- No littering on the mountain whatsoever, take everything with you.
- When leaving a bubble or lift, take a backward cursory glance to ensure nothing has been left behind, spectacles, testicles, wallet and pass.
- Never sit or wait on a piste, just under a lip or brow as you are invisible to those above.
- Always wait for people on the side of the piste, not in the middle.
- If skiing in a group don't block access, especially at the top of those steep bits (think the Tunnel run)
- When skiing down narrow tracks, check behind you before doing a sudden wide turn/stop. Also if about to overtake someone give them warning you are behind them. No one wants to fly off the edge.
- Thank the lifties, or at least say good morning/hello - Most of them enjoy the odd interaction.
- Equipment issues to be sorted at the end of the day, not the morning of the following day - time is precious, plus everyone's in a better mood after a ski day.
- No afternoon tea before the afternoon (those that are not skiing, keep your hands off).
- If you find an item on the slopes such as goggles, gloves or even a GoPro or phone, hand it into the nearest lift station. Pay it forward!
- Genepi is the best mountain 'digestif' of all, you should probably take some home with you.
- On the note of souvenirs, saucisson is also a delicious gift.
- Tip your chalet staff at the end of your stay if you've had a great time.
- Try not to leave your bedroom in a sorry state for them to clean. Strip beds and make a small effort.
Now that you've read and understood what our rules of the mountain are, please do teach others the mountain way. Kindly inform those that don't respect them and rejoice when people do. Do you have any others that we should add in?
If all that has given you an excitement to head to the mountains and play along, then we have some wonderful accommodation options for you. Catered or non-catered, and all with dedicated staff to ensure you have the best time possible. We operate in Vaujany, a beautiful picturesque resort with huge skiing both on and off piste for all levels.
See you on the mountain!