By Dale Western on 15 October 2014

Make sure you’re covered for that fresh, untouched snow with off piste ski insurance

Most experienced skiers or snowboarders are tempted at some stage by the thrill of that fresh snow, but do they always think about covering themselves with off piste skiing insurance

Skiing the same set runs each day can be limiting, while the appeal of the broad expanse of virgin snow off piste can be very appealing.

However, you must remember that there are risks associated with off-piste skiing. You should be aware of your own abilities and judge whether you are competent enough to tackle the fresh snow.

As a rule, anyone from a good intermediate standard upwards should be capable of skiing off-piste, but unless you are particularly sure of where you are going, you should take a guide – as well as making sure you’re covered by off piste ski insurance! In most cases, a guide is a sensible option as they will have local knowledge and will be fully trained.

Even if you're feeling confident, don't forget these safety tips:

  • Don’t go off-piste alone. Unless you know the slope well, take a guide with you. They will be able to show you the safest routes to take
  • Check for potential avalanche dangers before you set off, as well as the general weather forecast
  • Each group should carry collapsible shovels in case of an emergency
  • Each member of the group should carry a transceiver. Make sure you also turn your mobile phone off as these can interfere with the transceivers
  • Be aware of your surroundings and how they can change. This can happen very quickly on the slopes
  • Know the area – many off-piste accidents occur because skiers or snowboarders are not aware of the local dangers. The fresh snow can also hide unseen crevasses or rocks
  • Be aware that your travel insurance probably doesn’t cover you for off-piste skiing or snowboarding. This may mean that you incur the cost of recovery if you need it – which can be very expensive
  • If you’re in any doubt or are unsure about whether you’re going to be safe, take a guide or stay on the marked runs.

Be properly covered with our comprehensive Ski Travel Insurance or Snowboarding Insurance.

For advice on avoiding avalanches - and what to do if you're on the slopes when one hits - click here

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