Like any sport or activity, there is a risk that an accident will happen despite doing everything to avoid them. The information here shouldn’t put you off, but will help you if you need it!
- If you warm up, ski within your ability and stay together as a group, the chances of an accident are greatly reduced. By remaining alert you may avoid an accident occurring in the first place, which is the preferable approach!
- If you see an accident, the FIS skiway code says you should stop and offer assistance, however in reality there is little we can do, therefore the best approach is to regroup out of the way of the accident and then assess as a group whether you should offer assistance. Keep well out of the way and be aware of crossed skis when skiing!
- If a member of your group is involved in an accident, regroup and ensure the whole group is aware of the accident. Allow the person in the accident some time for the initial shock to wear off, while you assess the situation, so you don't put yourself in danger- look out for other people skiing over them, holes in the snow, rocks and other mountain hazards. If the accident site is unclear to other skiers and you will be there some time, mark it, with the internationally recognised, crossed skis above the site.
- There are a number of outcomes of an accident from the minor accident to the more severe. Shell-shocked skiers will need some time to recover and rearrange themselves, so give them time and ski slower or on shallower runs to build their confidence after a trip to the cafe. Where you think an accident is more severe than needing basic first aid, the person will not be able to ski then alert the mountain rescue teams by getting word to a lift station. If possible ask a local person to ski down, otherwise 2 people should take some basic details of the accident and who is involved along with a detailed location and report. Ensure you know where to rejoin your group should this be needed. In the mean time you should give first aid, which will normally include reassuring the casualty and keeping them warm until help arrives. The mountain rescue is very professional and will direct you from there.
Once you have re-grouped, ease off on the skiing, go to a cafe and chill out knowing your job is done and the casualty is being well looked after.