As the popularity of ski touring on slopes increases, conflicts with alpine skiers, snowboarders and lift operators become more and more frequent. We have collected the most obvious points of conflict on this page – naturally always with the appropriate avoidance strategy. Simply because we want winter sports to be a positive experience for all participants.
Risk of accidents on the ski slope
A major point of contention is the risk of accidents due to collisions. For this reason, ski tourers should only ascend at the outermost edge of a ski slope and always one after the other. In addition, pay attention to your surroundings and other people. Special caution is required behind hilltops, on icy surfaces and when crossing the slopes. Dogs also pose a risk for the ski operation, therefore, taking them on the slopes is prohibited. Reflective clothing increases visibility at dusk and in bad weather conditions.
Another point of conflict is the preparation of the slopes. Ski tourers are particularly fond of being on the slopes after the operating hours of the cable cars.
However, the slopes are often already prepared with cable winches at this time. The long steel ropes swing across the entire slope and are hardly visible even with a headlamp. This situation is life-threatening. Therefore, ski touring during the preparation of the slopes is generally prohibited. Other typical dangers are snow groomers and snowmaking machines with their water and electrical lines.
Many skiing areas offer special ski touring nights as an alternative. The idea behind it: Once or twice a week, the slopes are prepared later and skiers can ascend over secured slopes. You have to note, however, that the ascent and descent are always at your own risk.
If you are on the freshly prepared slopes before the ski resort opens, you should always ski down the edge of the slope to maintain the quality of the slopes for paying guests.
Good to know
Laws on ski touring on slopes are applied differently from country to country – sometimes even from region to region.
Some countries prohibit ski touring on slopes across the board, but let the ski resorts decide in each individual case whether they still want to welcome ski tourers. Elsewhere, ski touring on slopes is generally allowed as long as you stay within the rules defined by the ski resort. This also means that you must observe closures in any case. These will protect you from dangers caused by icing, avalanches or the preparation of the slopes.