SAFE cross-country skiing

Tips and advice for your safety when cross-country skiing

As a health and nature sport, cross-country skiing offers great opportunities for fitness, experience and community. The following recommendations serve to make cross-country skiing safer, nature-friendly and conflict-free.

FIS Code of Conduct

  • Respect for others

    Considerate behaviour

    A cross-country skier must ski in such a manner that he does not endanger or prejudice others.

  • Respect for signs, direction and running style

    Observance of the signs

    Trail marking signs must be respected on any trail marked with an indicated
    direction. A skier shall proceed only in that indicated direction and ski in the
    indicated running style.

  • Choice of trails and tracks

    Obligation to drive on the right also on the cross-country ski tracks

    On cross-country trails with more than one packed track, a skier should choose the right-hand track. Skiers in groups must keep in the right track behind each other. With free running style, skiers shall keep to their right-hand-side of the trail.

  • Overtaking

    Overtake cross-country skiers with care

    A skier is permitted to overtake and pass another skier to the left or right.
    A skier ahead is not obliged to give way to an overtaking skier, but should allow a faster skier to pass whenever this is possible.

  • Encounter

    Give way and priority

    Cross-country skiers meeting while skiing opposite directions shall keep to their right. A descending skier has priority.

  • Poles

    Guide sticks near your body

    A cross-country skier shall make the utmost effort to keep his poles close to his body when near another skier.

  • Control of speed

    Assessing the pace appropriately

    A cross-country skier, and especially going downhill, shall always adapt his
    speed to his personal ability and to the prevailing terrain and visibility and to the traffic on the course. Every skier should keep a safe distance from the skiers ahead. As a last resort, an intentional fall should be used to avoid collision.

  • Keeping trails and tracks clear

    Avoid accidents

    A skier who stops must leave the trail. In case of a fall, he shall clear the trail
    without delay.

  • Accident

    Provide first aid

    In case of an accident, everyone should render assistance.

  • Identification

    Data specification

    Everybody at an accident, whether witnesses, responsible parties or not, must establish their identity.

Considerate behaviour

A cross-country skier must ski in such a manner that he does not endanger or prejudice others.

Observance of the signs

Trail marking signs must be respected on any trail marked with an indicated
direction. A skier shall proceed only in that indicated direction and ski in the
indicated running style.

Obligation to drive on the right also on the cross-country ski tracks

On cross-country trails with more than one packed track, a skier should choose the right-hand track. Skiers in groups must keep in the right track behind each other. With free running style, skiers shall keep to their right-hand-side of the trail.

Overtake cross-country skiers with care

A skier is permitted to overtake and pass another skier to the left or right.
A skier ahead is not obliged to give way to an overtaking skier, but should allow a faster skier to pass whenever this is possible.

Give way and priority

Cross-country skiers meeting while skiing opposite directions shall keep to their right. A descending skier has priority.

Guide sticks near your body

A cross-country skier shall make the utmost effort to keep his poles close to his body when near another skier.

Assessing the pace appropriately

A cross-country skier, and especially going downhill, shall always adapt his
speed to his personal ability and to the prevailing terrain and visibility and to the traffic on the course. Every skier should keep a safe distance from the skiers ahead. As a last resort, an intentional fall should be used to avoid collision.

Avoid accidents

A skier who stops must leave the trail. In case of a fall, he shall clear the trail
without delay.

Provide first aid

In case of an accident, everyone should render assistance.

Data specification

Everybody at an accident, whether witnesses, responsible parties or not, must establish their identity.

Checklist equipment

  • Cross-country skis
  • Cross-country poles (length varies depending on cross-country style)
  • Cross-country boots
  • Cross-country jacket and/or waistcoat (breathable with wind stopper would be ideal)
  • Cross-country trousers
  • Functional underwear
  • Cross-country gloves
  • Headband/cap
  • Bottle on hip belt or small backpack and energy bar
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hankie
  • Mobile phone
© Stefan Leitner
The right equipment for the track

Difficulty classifications

Easy cross-country ski trails (marked blue)

Easy trails are predominantly flat trails, whose ascent and descent sections may not exceed 10% longitudinal gradient - with the exception of short sections in open terrain. Downhill sections of classic technique trails must be manageable in their entire length and must not force the cross-country skier to actively change direction. They are marked in the colour BLUE.

Moderately difficult cross-country ski trails (marked red)

Moderately difficult trails are trails that run predominantly in undulating terrain and whose ascent and descent sections may not exceed 20% longitudinal gradient - with the exception of short sections in open terrain. Downhill sections of classic technique trails may contain curves that force the skier to actively change direction. They are marked in the colour RED.

Difficult cross-country ski trails (marked black)

Difficult trails are trails whose longitudinal gradients on ascents and descents exceed the maximum value for moderately difficult trails. They are marked in the colour BLACK.

Cross-country marker system

The trail guidance system helps with orientation along the cross-country ski track. Please adhere to the designated types of use!

Classification according to type of use

  • Cross-country skiing track for classic technique: Cross-country skiing track which is prepared and tracked in any case on flat terrain as well as on uphill and downhill stretches to be skied in a straight line, on downhill stretches with change of direction, but only on those stretches where the track does not pose a danger to the skiers. With the exception of uphill and downhill stretches, classic technique trails may only be used in running technique with parallel ski guidance. Note: this trail is also called "cross-country ski trail".Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
  • Free technique trail: Trail that is groomed. Note: Free technique trails may be used in any running technique.

Start

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Start

Direction sign

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Direction sign

Skating track = winter hiking trail

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Skating track = winter hiking trail

Do not enter the track

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Do not enter the track

No horse riding!

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No horse riding!

No dogs

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No dogs

Dogs on a leash!

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Dogs on a leash!

(Dog excrement pick-up obligation)

Cross-country ski trail for classic technique

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Cross-country ski trail for classic technique

Cross-country trail for free technique / skating

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Cross-country trail for free technique / skating

Dogs
Please use dog waste bags and dispose of them in the nearest bin to avoid contaminating the pastures and natural environment. Help to keep the hiking trails clean. To avoid problems with cross-country skiers, snowshoe hikers and other winter sportspeople, always keep your dog(s) on a lead.

Rubbish
Nature is precious – so please keep the mountains clean and take your rubbish with you. Your rubbish will stay here, even when you’re long gone!

What to do in an emergency?
What to do in an emergency?

Emergency numbers and emergency call app

Safety in the mountains is the be-all and end-all in the mountains. Time and again, mountain sports enthusiasts are surprised by a sudden thunderstorm or other forces of nature or are injured and are spontaneously faced with the question: "What is the Alpine emergency number?"

More

Please note that the information provided regarding safety in the mountains is a recommendation only on behalf of the Tourismusverband Wilder Kaiser. All information is subject to change without notice.

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