Two ski tourers on a pile of artificial snow.
Der Winter kommt noch früh genug!

Observe warnings and local regulations

What is the difference between "ski area out of service" and "piste closed"? What are the dangers to be aware of?

Attention at the beginning of the season!

The cable car operators have to prepare the pistes already before the expected start of the winter season and impose corresponding closures. Special caution is also required on the other slopes: Until the start of skiing operations, "piste tours" are equivalent to ski tours in open terrain in terms of potential danger. Use the slopes at your own risk, as danger spots are not secured and avalanches can occur as in open terrain.

Ski area is "out of service

Most ski areas are currently "out of service" or "closed" and are therefore considered to be free ski areas. Use by winter sports enthusiasts is then at their own risk, unless the piste is closed by the operator for safety reasons.

With the 2nd Covid-19 protective measures ordinance, which comes into force on 7 December, ski slope tours are in principle possible again, provided that the distance rules are observed (1 person per 10 m2). However, the piste operator may close ski pistes at any time for safety reasons and to carry out grooming work.

However, we would like to point out that ski tours in ski areas that are currently out of operation are associated with particular dangers. These are sources of danger that one would rather not expect to encounter on a ski tour in an open ski area during operating hours.

Anyone who nevertheless uses a ski slope in a closed ski area does so at their own risk and should, in their own interest, be on the move defensively, especially when skiing downhill.

Slope is "closed"

If a piste is "closed" (e.g. for safety reasons such as avalanche safety or grooming work), the area must not be used.

Such a closure must be indicated by the operator.

Unexpected dangers

If a ski area is "out of service", this means that no piste preparation and no protection against avalanches and other hazards takes place. Strictly speaking, there are therefore no "piste tours" as they are known until the ski areas are open. It is essential to consider the following points when planning a tour:

Avalanche danger:

Even in ski areas where normally nobody thinks about avalanches, an avalanche on the piste cannot be ruled out before the ski area opens. We would like to point out that the standard equipment for ski tours (avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel) should be used before the start of the season, even on piste tours.

If avalanche safety measures (e.g. avalanche blasting) are carried out in skiing areas, we urge you to respect the barriers for your own safety.

Technical hazards:

Be aware of the possibility of exposed snowmaking pipes and snow cannons that are almost covered in snow.

Safeguarding danger zones:

In closed ski areas you cannot rely on the piste continuing beyond the next hill. Possible traces of piste equipment and groomed parts of the piste do not mean that the entire piste is groomed and secured. You are in the open ski area and are skiing at your own risk.