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Off-Piste

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General
Off-piste skiing is a fast-growing craze. The new skis on offer with generous width have introduced thousands of new skiers to the big white fluffy stuff.

But with the added dangers involved it's vital to carry the right safety equipment. It may just save your life.

Snowsafe provide a range of backcountry products from the leading manufacturers in ski safety equipment including Demon, Ortovox , ABS , BCA and Black Diamond.

 

Transceivers
Avalanche Transceivers are the most important piece of your kit and are the first thing you should buy.

Always wear your transceiver close to your body, never in a pocket or rucksack. The batteries should be checked regularly and you should practise using them as often as you can.


[Photo: Backcountry Access]


There are a number of different types of transceivers on the market. The latest models have either dual antennae, digital displays or sometimes both.

We recommend that you find a shop that can give you good advice and demonstrate how to work it. But frequent practice is the key.

Search for tranceivers here

 

Rucksack, probe and shovel
A transceiver will only save your life if your fellow riders can pinpoint your position and dig you out. The whole party should each carry a rucksack, shovel and probe as well as a transceiver.


[Photo: Backcountry Access]

Modern 'Avalanche' rucksacs carry an airbag inflation system that can be quickly released if you are caught in an Avalanche. The idea is that the large volume of the inflated bags of the rucksac keep you 'afloat' above the snow. ABS Airbag.com offer a great product.


It's also advisable to carry a first aid kit, a survival blanket and some kind of hydration system or water bottle. Energy bars also come in handy.

 
 
carving skis [Photo: Jenny Vallier of Zagski in Portillo Chile]
 

Informing rescue services
Mobile phones It depends how far you are off the beaten track and if you can get a signal. But a mobile phone will ensure you can inform rescue services quickly of any accident or injury. Just make sure you programme the relevant number into your phone before you head off.

Two-way radios These can be used as an alternative to mobile phones. You don't need a signal, but you do need to be within range of someone else with a radio.
 

Helmets and body protection
If you like to ski hard and fast down narrow couloirs, or through the trees, you may want to consider wearing a helmet and/or some body protection.



It's fast becoming all the rage and could prevent a serious injury.