Skiing in a Group: 3 Things to Keep in Mind

Around 400 million people hit the slopes to ski every year. The sport is only getting more popular as more people look for ways to spend time in nature. It’s perfect for families and groups of all sizes, but skiing in a group requires planning and coordination. You and your companions won’t be able to move around like usual. Walking in skis can take some getting used to, and new skiers might get left behind. You must adjust your trip to accommodate everyone’s experience level and use ski helmet accessories to communicate along the way. Use this guide to learn how to ski in a group so you don’t lose track of anyone along the way.

1. Always Use the Proper Equipment

You won’t get far if your companions aren’t dressed for the occasion. Everyone should be suited in warm insulating layers that don’t restrict their range of movement. Wear a moisture-wicking innermost layer to let the sweat dry as you burn calories. The outermost layers should be completely waterproof with interconnecting sleeves and inserts that cover your skin.

If you rent skis, everyone must find bindings that fit their shoe size. Speak to the associate to select the right equipment for your needs. Wear a helmet when skiing downhill or in areas prone to avalanches. Add goggles to block the sun’s glare so you can keep tabs on everyone.

You should be able to communicate while navigating the trail, regardless of where you plan on skiing. It’s easy to get separated when skiing down the side of a mountain. Use a ski helmet communication headset to sync up with your fellow travelers. The device mounts onto your helmet without making it uncomfortable to wear. Once the device is attached, speak to the receiver to talk to your companions in real-time. You can converse, give each other tips and share your location. The device will automatically connect to anyone in your group when they are in range, so you don’t have to keep resetting the device. It’s designed to help you keep in touch without distracting you from the task.

It’s best to keep your phone or mobile device inside your jacket to avoid getting wet. You shouldn’t expose your fingers to the cold to send a text or check the map. Just speak into the receiver to access the features you need without taking your eyes off the trail.

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2. Plan Your Route

It always helps to have a destination when skiing as a group in case you get lost. The weather can change at a moment’s notice, reducing visibility. Inexperienced skiers can get left behind if they have trouble turning or braking. Some people may also want to do their own thing, so make sure you can find each other again when navigating the wilderness. Plan on meeting at a specific spot at a set time to regroup after a few hours on the slopes. Try to meet up after every run on the hill to see if everyone made it safely. Pad your schedule to give everyone enough time to reach the destination. Consider the range of your Bluetooth headset when setting your route. Try to keep everyone within a mile of each other to stay in touch.

If you are exploring the backcountry, each person should have everything they need to find their way to the meet-up spot if they get separated from the rest of the group. Keep a paper map and compass on hand if your GPS loses the signal. Connect to the local weather app or radio station to avoid getting stuck in a major storm.

3. Organize Your Group

Consider adjusting the size and formation of your group to keep everyone together. Experts say it’s best to limit the size of the group to just three or four people when backcountry skiing. If you have more than that, break it up into smaller groups so you can focus on a select group of people. Each group should have a designated leader responsible for keeping everyone together. Keep the less experienced skiers in the middle so they don’t get left behind. Before heading out on the slopes, you should understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.

Spend time going over the basics in case anyone needs a reminder. The leader should be out front several paces ahead of the others. They will need to clear a path in the snow so the others don’t have to work as hard to get through the wilderness.

Organize Your Group
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Skiing is always more fun in a group, but keeping everyone on the same page is essential. Everyone is bound to have an opinion, so ensure everyone agrees to the plan before you depart.