Stay Safe On The Piste – Follow The Piste X Code

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Piste X Code - Safety When Skiing

This post is for the Ski Safe Blogger Campaign by AliKats Mountain Holidays and Piste X Code.

I randomly discovered the other day that I now have over 20 years ski experience, having skied for 19 weeks across 7 different countries. Not that I’m counting, but I did give myself a pat on the back for the breadth and depth of my ski footprint.

Amazingly in that time, with everyone I’ve skied with, we’ve only ever had one major accident. In Mayrhofen around 6 years ago, my friend was skiing too fast on a red piste, caught a front edge and effectively drilled himself into the snow. A broken arm and a skidoo ride down the piste followed, as well as a lengthy medical bill.

But whilst we’re pretty responsible when we ski, it’s fair to say I’ve seen my fair share of crashes amongst other skiers and boarders. Some silly crashes, others more brutal.

Crashes and bumps and falling over of course are part of the territory when it comes to skiing, but when the collisions are both deliberate and the cause of serious injury (or worse), then that’s where the line needs to be drawn.

Enter the Piste X Code.


The Piste X Code is a campaign created by two parents living in the ski resort of Morzine, and was set up following recent tragedies on the slopes.

The Piste x Code includes a list of eight ways you can keep yourself and others safe on the pistes. After skiing for over 20 years, it’s easy for me to forget basic rules and common sense because I go into auto-drive, and those things happen automatically when I’m going down the slope. But many people new to skiing and snowboarding may not be aware of them.

The Piste x Code 8 things are as follows:

  • Ski / snowboard within your ability
  • Consider your choice of path
  • Think about where you’ll stop
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Set a good example for children
  • Respect piste signs are markings
  • Understand your role if there’s an accident
  • Other things you can do (be sensible with alcohol consumption, don’t race speed tracker apps)

View the full Piste X Code poster here.

Here’s BBC Ski Sunday presenter Ed Leigh introducing the Piste X Code:

Skiing is by far my favourite holiday of the year. The scenery, the accommodation, the apres ski, the adrenaline…even after 20 years I still enjoy it just as much today as I did when I first skied in Val Thorens, wayyyyy back in 2002.

Now that I have two young kids, I can’t wait to introduce them to skiing and get them on the slopes. But equally, it fills me with trepidation.

It’s less about if they’ll enjoy it and how good they’ll be, but more about other people on the slopes. If someone is going too fast, drunk too much or simply loses control because they were skiing beyond their ability – and my son is in the firing line – I genuinely wouldn’t know how I’d react.

Those sort of accidents are avoidable, and by helping to push the Piste X Code, I hope both my kids and I stay safe whenever we’re on the piste in years to come.


Think you know your stuff about skiing and safety on the slopes? Give this quiz a go and let me know how you got on!

I got 100%, FYI 🙂


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