The dedicated professionals who watch over you
If life in the resorts feels carefree, particularly while you ski, it is not just by chance! Behind the scenes, seasonal and year-round employees work around the clock to assure that your holiday is secure and enjoyable. Who are these professionals whose work is to guarantee an unforgettable vacation?
Slope Maintenance Crew
From the closure of the ski slopes until the early hours of the morning, the slope maintenance crew takes care each day to shape and groom the slopes in order to assure a fun, safe ski experience for skiers. These professionals are also responsible for marking the slopes and trails as well as the operating of the snow machines.
An essential presence in all ski resorts, the ski patrol team members are the skiers’ guardian angels. Arriving in the early hours of the morning to secure the ski area, they intentionally trigger avalanches in potentially dangerous zones in order to stabilise the snow. During the day, they cruise the slopes treating minor injuries and provide first aid in case of more serious injury. They also provide information for the skiers concerning snow conditions, signposting, and areas to avoid; generally speaking, everything concerning safety and security. In addition, they supervise the skiers to assure that the rules of conduct are respected. You are welcome to approach the ski patrol members with your questions or concerns.
Lift operators and perchmen
These professionals also watch over you to assure a safe ski experience. At the top and bottom of each chairlift, they assure the safe passage of the skiers, particularly children. They are there to stop the lift in case of any problem. Thanks to them, the voyage is worry-free.
Ski instructors also provide an essential service. Everyone recognises the “pulls rouges“(red sweaters) of the Ecole de Ski Français! The ski instructors are there to help you learn the essential skills for a safe and enjoyable experience. In individual or group lessons, for young and old, ski instructors know how to teach the joy of skiing and help skiers obtain their goals. They can also accompany you for a half day or full day as you discover the skiable domain.
3500 professional mountain guides work and live year-round in the French massifs. Nearly 1800 are active throughout the country. The workplace of these dedicated professionals is a varied terrain of rock, snow and ice. They provide you with an initiation or accompany you in hiking, snowshoeing, and mountaineering, as well as climbing, via ferrata and canyoning.
To go off the beaten tracks and experience the wilderness, you must contact a mountain guide. They are familiar with all the hidden corners of their mountains – the summits, the valleys, the trails, the itineraries, the traditional villages, the shelters – and can guide you far from marked trails in total security, in order to share the natural wealth of the mountains.
Text : Thomas Bianchin
Photographies: Stephane Godin
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