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Website Last Updated May 2012

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So that you, your family and friends can stay happy, healthy and safe on the ski slopes in Bulgaria, here are some of the things to consider if you are not an experienced skier:

It is best to use a qualified instructor who is familiar with the local snow and ski slopes and stay on the nursery or green runs, until fully experienced in all snow conditions.


We have seen several people who think they can learn without. Plunging wildly in erratic distress, like an avalanche, poles flailing, as other skiers struggle to get out of their path. They usually end up in a deep white ditch up to their waste, from which it is hard to escape - I know this from first hand experience, when I skied to close to the edge of the Studenets ski slope!


Signs at forks on the slopes indicate the colour / difficulty of the ski runs and these will help to make sure that you don't take a wrong turn and end up hurtling down the mountain on a bad icy black run! We have found that it is sometimes difficult to tell which direction to go, if you miss the sign - best to stop (if you can) and ask. Learning a good wide snow plough action will allow you to stop easily.


Record you and your ski parties weight in kg before you leave. This will allow the ski hire firm to set the binding accurately and safely. This will allow your ski boot to come out of your binding if you tip over or lose your balance, without straining ligaments, tendons, or worse. It is very important to clear all of the snow and ice from the underside of ski boots and skis/bindings before putting on the ski, particularly if you have been walking to the restaurant in your boots for a piping hot chocolate or Gluvine. This can easily achieved by using the tip of your pole.


Watch how the chair lifts operate closely for 5 minutes or so before joining the queue and trying to use one. Go with the instructor so that you can get the technique until fully competent. You need to be pretty quick off the chair at the top of the mountain or skiers behind you, will soon be on top of you! Always ski on the piste (proper groomed slopes), the snow is a constant depth and easier to ski on and keep control. Off piste skiing has lead to many injuries as there can be very deep snow drifts, rocks or other hidden obstructions beneath the snow.


Several days after snow fall some areas can become icy or worn away to black surfaces and it is harder to control the skis. Snow conditions can vary over time from deep snow to ice to bald patches, as the snow is gradually worn away by the skiers. Avoid these worn areas on the slopes if you can, by skiing around them. If your ski runs onto a section of the piste that has worn away to the ground below, one of your skis will stop as it cannot slide and the other will continue. Resulting in the splits! Ouch and embarrassment, as the skiers gliding past you smile knowingly. As Pamporovo is a beginner / intermediate resort, people will be sympathetic and helpful. Not so in some European resorts, where people are less tolerant, snarling and snapping abuse for the interruption to their style and progress down the slippery slope.

One last thing is 'The Machines' Don't let them get you. If the ski grooming machines or ski buses or ambulances are coming up the slope while you are going down the slope, watch out and move to the side to let them pass. This avoids a fight which you will not win. As one fool found flattened, found out as he whistle down the slope at night into the grooming machine last year! I prefer a gently glowing pine log fire and reasonably large amounts of local beer after a hard afternoons skiing myself.


Children may want to exaggerate their abilities ( Did I say may want to?) that was optimistic. Closely supervise them, very closely, until they get their ski legs. When I was there at New Year 08, two inexperienced youngsters had broken bones after an Olympic ski race on their first morning on the ski slopes, without an instructor! Instruction, supervision and training are always the key to a happy holiday.


FIS Code of Conduct


The International Ski Federation (Fédération Internationale de Ski – ‘’ FIS ‘’ ) "code of conduct" summary :


1. Respect for others. A skier must behave in such a way that he does not endanger or prejudice others.

2. Control of speed and skiing. A skier must ski in control. He must adapt his speed and manner of skiing to his personal ability and to the prevailing conditions of terrain, snow and weather as well as to the density of traffic.


3. Choice of route. A skier coming from behind must choose his route in such a way that he does not endanger skiers ahead. In other words, the skier in front/below always has priority.


4. Overtaking. A skier may overtake another skier above or below and to the right or the left, provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.


5. Entering and starting. A skier entering a marked run or starting again after stopping must look up and down the run to make sur

40e that he can do so without endangering himself or others.


6. Stopping on the piste. Unless absolutely necessary, a skier must avoid stopping on the piste in narrow places or where visibility is restricted. After a fall in such a place, a skier must move clear of the piste as soon as possible.


7. Climbing and descending on foot. Whether climbing or descending on foot, the skier must keep to the side of the piste.

8. Respect for signs and markings. A skier must respect all signs and markings.


9. Assistance. At accidents every skier is duty-bound to assist.


10. Identification. Every skier and witness, whether a responsible party or not, must exchange names and addresses following an accident.

Ski Safety in Bulgarian Ski Resorts