Safety Matters part 1 | The Clients
Posted 2017 11 23 by Fred
Yes that was not a typo : you have your part to play in the overall safety of the group.
The old school image of the guide, lonely hero taking in charge his group's destiny and leading them safe through great dangers thanks to his almost surnatural powers needs to be thrown away to the trash.
For everybody’s sake.
Whatever might be the nature of the relationships within the group (friends, guides, students, clients),
the keys to an improved safety are always the same :
and a sense of responsability at all levels.
Our 5 tips to a better and safer ski experience with your guide
1-Listen, understand and apply your guide’s instructions :
During a day off-piste or ski touring there will be many moments when you will be told to do this or that.
It could be taking distances, going one by one, paying attention to someone or something, and so on.
Each time it will be for a good reason that your guide needs to explain (if he doesn’t, see point number 5 )
2-Know your gear
Please make sure that you know how all your equipment is functionning, it’s always annoying to have to deal with something you’re not used to just on the top of that really awesome powder run…
Train with your beeper, look how to activate you avalanche backpack, learn how to deploy your probe, how to switch your bindings from uphill to downhill…
If you didn’t have time or are renting gear, don’t hesitate to ask us. The evening before the first ski day is a good moment to do this (or at least, better late than way too late ).
3-Recognize the signs of avalanche danger
No need to explain why seven people paying attention are better than one.
And that is a easy task.
Those signs are :
-Overload on the snow pack (new snow, wind transported snow, rain)
-Collapsing sounds when walking (aka whoomping). Sometimes it can be local and you might be the only one hearing it.
-Recent avalanches in the area
-sudden temperature rise
4-Know where we are
Worst case scenario, you have to call for help (112), you have to be able to explain our location.
Our first advice is of course talking with your guide, asking him to show you on the map the runs you’re about to do.
But it can be tricky when maps aren’t in your mother tongue.
A good solution is to have on your smartphone an app that spots your position on the map, and gives the gps coordinates.
France . Iphigenie
Norway : Norgeskart
5-Speak your mind
This is certainly the most important, we said it at the begining : communication is crucial.
When skiing, your guide is focused on four things : snow / terrain / weather…and people.
So it’s crucial for us to know what you have in mind.
Are you tired, uncomfortable, hungry or did you see something that you don’t understand and that worries you ?
Please say it !
Ask « Why? » as often as needed, so you can undertsand enough to get the peace of mind that will make you enjoy the skiing even more !
It will be easier for us to manage the group, and you might even have seen something we have missed (see point 3)
Think about this when skiing with a guide this winter.
Even if it’s not with us
Part 2 coming next Thursday : Safety Matters | The guides.