Henry’s Avalanche Talk’s Top Safety Skiing Tips!

Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT) provides training and essential information for skiers who want to go off piste, but are held back by fear of the unknown. HAT is known for helping ordinary skiers have an extraordinary experience off-piste. Their programme helps people answer the critical question “Is it safe out there?”

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Off to the mountains to enjoy a winter holiday with your family or school?

Fjord the avalanche dog is here to help you stay safe and maximize your fun during your time … so here are some of his essential doggy tips.

Read on to find out…
  • Drink lots of water
    When high up in the mountains we dehydrate very quickly and with the added effort of doing snow sports we rapidly use up our body’s water supply.
  • Slap on the sun cream
    With a high protection factor, minimum 30 spf (sun protection factor). The air in the mountains is a lot cleaner and with the reflection from the snow we can burn very quickly, even on overcast snowy days.

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  • Wear sunglasses or goggles.
    Protect your eyes! We can burn our eyes in the same way so make sure you have good eye protection.
  • Wear a helmet.
    It is essential to protect your head from a fall. Snow is soft when it first falls but on the slopes, it can become hard packed and as hard as concrete.  A helmet also has the added advantage of keeping your head warm.
  • Take a snack in your pocket
    A chocolate bar, or a piece of fruit.  You will find the exercise and mountain air will increase your appetite, so whilst on a lift you can replenish your energy by munching on that special snack.

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So, you’re ready to slide onto the slopes! Here are some basic rules to help keep you safe…
  • Control your speed
    You are not alone and all those below you downhill have the right of way.
  • Stay on the slopes adapted to your ability level.
    Ski runs are categorised by colours; green/blue for beginners, red for advanced and black for expert.
  • Stop at the side of the slope
    Not in the middle, if you need to take a little breather.
  • Respect the signs on the slopes
    “Slow down” does mean reduce your speed, and a “closed slope” means it should not be entered on to.
  • Riding lifts, stay still and don’t wriggle around.
    On chairlifts, you need to remove your backpack and place it on your lap, sit back in your seat and enjoy the view.
  • If you cause or see an accident,
    Stop and ask if those involved need help.  The ski patrol will then need to be contacted.  Place skis in the snow above the injured person in the shape of a cross, so the ski patrol know where you are.

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At the end of the day:
  • Dry out any wet clothing, and get some good rest; try to go to bed not too late after eating a good meal.  Snowsports can be very exhausting, your body needs time to recover and you will enjoy your holiday even more if you’re rested.  Most people injure themselves when they are tired.

AND if you see a dog like me with a special harness on, always ask if you can pat me on the head and please don’t throw me any snowballs, I need all my energy to look for people in an emergency.

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