Méribel Skiing And Snowboarding Etiquette – How To Not Be A Dick On The Slopes

“Play by the rules or I’ll pound your face into jelly!” Angry Ski Instructor

First timers routinely act like a &*$@! without meaning to be rude; they (and you?) simply may not know the rules of the hill. Right off, you’ll see signs telling you to follow the “Skier Responsibility Code,” for instance, but what’s that? Voila:

Skier Responsibility Code

Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.


Please note: This is a partial list. Always be safety conscious and keep alert. It’s just like driving defensively.

Some finer points of skiing & riding courtesy:

1. Don’t wave your poles around or plant them on someone else’s skis or board. The most common offenders are kids in the lift line, so we challenge responsible adults to kindly educate the little ones to be careful. This is a cultural mandate for everyone because parents don’t have perfect radar and often don’t notice others getting stabbed or tripped up by their kiddies. Sometimes kids are on their own…

2. Give new or young skiers extra room. They can be unpredictable and it may startle newbies to have someone fly past them at Mach 1.

3. Lend a helping hand. We’ve all done it… wiped out so bad that the area around us looks like a plane crash. (This is also called a “yard sale”. Splat – and all your stuff is spread out around you randomly.) If you see someone take a bad fall, offer to help. They may need medical assistance or simply some gear gathered from nearby trees.

4. If you want to ride the lift together, wait outside the lift line for your crew. Backing up the line waiting, or cutting ahead of others to reach your waiting buddy isn’t okay. If you’re confused about this rule, find a smiling experienced person and ask them to explain.

5. Don’t smoke on the lift. It may seem harmless to you, but some people have medical conditions like asthma and some people will simply hate you. Smoke off to the side of the trail where folks can ski around you.

6. Deposit trash and recycling where it belongs, not on the ground. Failure here can get you evicted from the course.

7. Share your lunch table. When the mountain eatery is packed shoulder to shoulder, offering your extra seats to someone left standing will make them super happy and you’ll meet interesting people, including but not limited to, your future wife/husband. Which leads to…

8. Be polite and happy! If you are somehow wet and miserable, don’t rain on everyone else’s holiday. Méribel is all about the happy and the grumps are left at home.

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