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"Book a guide when you want to go off-piste. With someone who can show you the way, you will end up in places you would otherwise have missed."
Caroline Strömberg, professional freestyler and founder of the inspiration network InspireUs
The right of public access & downhill skiing
Our Swedish mountains are open for all, but downhill skiers need to be aware of certain matters. Skiing facilities, for example, have regulations about how the lift system is to be used. These may determine the equipment that you are allowed to take on the lift, or the hours at which the slope is open. The STF hosts will be happy to help you with information about the regulations that apply at the facility you are planning to visit.
Take extra care when outside of prepared downhill runs or by the side of the slope. You must not, for example, break off any branches or damage snow-free rock slabs. Keep an eye open for signs and marking when skiing off-piste. Before setting out, check whether there is any risk of avalanches. If you fail to do so, you may place yourself and others in jeopardy.
If you stop for a break, have a good look round before continuing to make sure that you haven’t left any rubbish.
What should I take with me?
Skis, snowboards, boots and other equipment can be rented at nearly all skiing facilities. Check what the facility you are visiting offers before setting out. A few other items can be useful to take with you when trying downhill skiing for the first time.
- It’s a good idea to avoid cotton garments next to the body. Choose instead underclothes and thermal undergarments of wool or synthetic material. You will in this way remain warm and dry all day. A pair of thin ski socks that fit well into the boots can be a good idea. If the boots fit too snugly, your feet feel the cold more readily. A buff around your neck keeps you warm in the wind or snow.
- The white snow reflects sunlight. Protect your face with high-factor sun block and wear skiing goggles even if it is cloudy.
- A small rucksack can be useful to carry a thermos flask, something to eat, sitting mat and extra clothing.
- It’s a good idea to take several pairs of gloves and several hats, so you can change to dry ones if needed. Take gloves of several types – some thicker, some thinner.
- Wear a helmet to protect your head. Even if you are a careful skier, others may not be, and there is a risk of collision. A back protector can also be good to have.
Before setting out for the mountains, it’s a good idea to read about avalanche safety. The Mountain Safety Council of Sweden has a website with information about avalanches. You can also read about avalanches at Freeride.se (in Swedish), and watch a video about avalanche safety.
InspireUs (in Swedish) is an inspirational blog where girls and young women who participate in action and lifestyle sports in mountain environments describe their experiences. It is a goal of InspireUs that young women are to dare to stand out and make their voice heard within action sports. Everyone is welcome to submit material to the website in any format: film, text or photographs.