Verbier offers free snow safety course

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The Swiss ski resort of Verbier is offering free mountain safety courses this winter. There aim is to ensure skiers and snowboarder venturing off-piste know more about what they’re doing. Verbier is known for its incredible off-piste options with the resort being the final of the stop for the Freeride World Tour every year.

The mountain safety courses will be run by Verbier’s mountain guides and cover safety measures required to minimise risk off-piste such as evaluating the conditions and terrain as well as the appropriate technical equipment required, plus instruction on how to use avalanche transceivers and detect avalanche victims.

“Verbier doesn’t only promote freeride but also what is required to ride off-piste,” said Verbier’s Vincent Riba. “We want people to ride responsibly — much like with the tagline ‘don’t drink and drive’ — here it’s more ‘learn and ride safely’.

“We have a very important freeride area but to explore it you need a minimum of knowledge. So taking official lessons and getting a ‘permit’ to ride helps also to prevent accidents in avalanches.”

The courses last 50 minutes and are available on a one-to-one basis or for groups of up to seven participants at a time. They will take place every Sunday afternoon from 1 January to 26 March 2017 between 1-3pm at the DVA Park at la Chaux. Visit guideverbier.com for more information.

And for the first time this year, Verbier has teamed up with the International Snow Training Academy (ISTA) to offer one-day snow safety courses.

“The concept of ISTA is that you can use their methodology anywhere but the result is that everyone gets the same training/information, like for a driving licence or the PADI course for diving,” added Mr Riba. For more information visit ista-education.com

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