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Top tips for winter sports in Italy

The British Consular Network in Italy have been working for the safety of British Nationals on the Italian slopes this season.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Ski Top Tips

Joyce McDougall, British Consul in Italy, said:

We are seeing some great snow falls in Italy this winter but also a number of avalanches. Many winter sports related injuries and accidents are preventable. For this reason we are working closely with the ski companies distributing stocks of flyers aimed at the British skiing community, detailing our top tips.

Follow our advice to stay safe on the slopes whilst enjoying a memorable and trouble-free holiday.

Our top tips for a safe ski holiday:

  • take out insurance – and check what it covers. It might not cover off piste skiing unless you are with a qualified guide;

  • have a medical check-up before you ski – one of the major causes of hospitalisation and death on the slopes is heart attacks;

  • don’t drink and ski. Alcohol can affect you more quickly at high altitudes and dangerously limits your awareness of risk and cold. Drinking and then skiing also risks invalidating your travel insurance;

  • most skiing injuries are caused by collisions with other skiers – watch your speed and distance;

  • don’t attempt slopes you’re not experienced or fit enough to tackle, even if you’re encouraged or pressured to do so by friends;

  • if going off piste carry a shovel, a probe and a transceiver in case of an avalanche. Also remember that you need proper training on how to use a transceiver;

  • if you are going out on a glacier, you must wear a harness. If you fall into a crevasse, this will help the rescue team get you out;

  • make sure someone knows where you’re going and tell them of any changes to your plans;

  • only go off piste skiing or climbing with someone you have met previously and can trust. You need to know his/her capabilities, what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be going;

  • dial 112 for emergency services in Europe;

  • many insurers insist you wear a helmet. Protect your head and your policy.

Further information

If things go wrong during your trip, dial 112 for the emergency services. If you need consular assistance, call us on +39 06 4220 2431.

For ongoing information for British nationals in Italy, follow us on Twitter (#skiitaly) and like us on Facebook.

Published 13 February 2014