Ski Touring Rules & Safety Tips
in open Alpine Terrain

A ski tour is not a Sunday Walk!

It is an almost sensual fascination that is caused by ski touring adventures - an experience in perfect harmony with wild and untouched nature. Tactful behavior in open Alpine terrain is necessary in order to maintain this dreamlike outdoor attraction. For the sake of nature and for your own safety! How to behave correctly off the beaten tracks and what to keep in mind is revealed by the following ski touring rules and safety information details.

Ski Touring Rules

  • The right tour planning and schedule: start the tour early enough and return before dark. In spring you should be back at the hut for lunch (avalanche danger).
  • Short breaks in-between are necessary to maintain concentration and stamina
  • Keep dogs always on a leash
  • Don't throw away things and don't feed wild animals
  • Pay attention to danger signs and avoid danger spots
  • Groups should ascend one behind the other with a minimum distance of 10 meters in order to avoid heavy loads on the snow layer. While skiing downhill a distance of about 30 meters is strongly recommended.
  • The most common cause of accidents: falling on downhill stretches. The right skiing technique and moderate speed according to the abilities and the snow conditions reduce this risk considerably.
  • If you enjoy activities amid nature always respect the local guidelines when you set out on a ski tour (e.g. wildlife preserves, hunting enclosures, reforestation areas, information boards, etc.).
  • Cross only approved routes and respect protected wildlife areas
  • Don't enter feeding areas and avoid noise
  • Observe wild animals only from a distance and avoid getting in close contact with animals whenever possible


Here you can take a look at useful tips on the right tour planning and everything you need in terms of ski mountaineering equipment.

Avalanche Hazard Scale

1 (Low)

Triggering is generally possible but only from high additional load in isolated areas of extremely steep terrain. Only small-sized sluffs and natural avalanches are expected. Snow layers are generally stable.

2 (Moderate)

Avalanches may be triggered in case of truly heavy loads, especially on a few explicitly indicated, steep slopes. Large spontaneous avalanches are not expected. In general, the snowpack is well bonded except on some very steep slopes. Choose your route carefully, avoid the indicated slopes and exposed sections.

3 (Considerable)

Triggering is very probable even from low additional loads, particularly on the indicated steep slopes. On some steeper slopes, medium or even fairly large spontaneous avalanches may occur. On most steep slopes the snow layer is only moderately or weakly stable. Expert avalanche knowledge is absolutely required. You must avoid the indicated steep slopes and highly exposed sections.

4 (High)

Avalanches are likely to be triggered on many of the indicated steep slopes even if only light loads are applied. In some places, numerous medium-sized and also large-sized natural avalanches are expected. The snowpack is poorly bonded on most steep slopes. Choose your route according to these criteria, select only moderately steep terrain by avoiding the avalanche runout zones. Very expert avalanche knowledge is required.

5 (Extremely high)

Numerous huge or very large-sized natural avalanches are expected also in moderately steep terrain at any time. Safe skiing is not possible anymore, not even in the marked ski area. The snowpack is poorly bonded and largely unstable. Don't go freeriding at all!


Always check the current avalanche danger level before setting out on a ski tour! A daily updated avalanche report is available (in the winter months) on the official website of Tirol's avalanche warning service.

Safety Tips:

Important emergency numbers for Alpine accidents in Austria:

140 Alpine emergency call
144 Ambulance emergency call
112 European emergency call

When placing an emergency call always give the following information first, just in case that the telephone connection is bad or cut off for any reason:

WHAT     did happen? (crevasse fall, crash,...)
WHERE   did it happen – exact location? (name of location, altitude, GPS coordinates)
HOW       is the condition of the injured? (unconscious, severely injured,...)

Give your name and phone number to the operator. Make sure you can be reached on the phone until the rescue team arrives in case the operator or the helicopter must contact you again.

IMPORTANT: Follow the instructions given by the operator, answer all questions clearly and don't put down the phone until you are told to. The operator can provide you with important information on how to treat the injured.

Emergency App - Tirol Mountain Rescue
Always be on the safe side thanks to the Emergency App. Made especially for Alpine emergencies within Tirol!

Here you can download the app for iOS devices

Here you can download the app for Android devices

  • -11.11°C

  • 55–210 cm

  • 20/25

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