More and more ski tourers are also now taking to the pistes, both during the day and in the hours of darkness. Some just enjoy the outdoor winter exercise, but increasing numbers are training for ski touring races. During the daytime, the two-way traffic flow as ski tourers come up and skiers and snowboarders go down the slopes can lead to conflict or even accidents. At night there are additional risks. After the lifts have closed, the ski runs are out of bounds as pistes have to be prepared for the following day. The piste-grooming vehicles often run along steel cables suspended above the ground for distances of several hundred metres. These cables are barely visible and can be a lethal hazard to night-time users of the slopes.
The SAC (Swiss Alpine Club), SBS (Swiss cable car operators association) and bfu (Swiss Council for Accident Prevention) have published tips and a code of conduct for on-piste ski tourers. The aim is to enable all snow sports enthusiasts to enjoy their pastime without risk of conflict or accident.
The following applies to all piste users, including ski tourers: users making ascents and descents are liable for their actions and do so at their own risk.
Source: SAC (Swiss Alpine Club), SBS (Swiss cable car operators association) and bfu (Swiss Council for Accident Prevention)