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Sledging – it’s easy when you know how!

Switzerland is paradise for sledging enthusiasts – there are fantastic trails and tracks in every part of the country for the whole family to discover. We’ve listed some of the most spectacular below, but be warned – even sledging is not without its perils. It’s more fun when you abide by a few simple rules.

Text: Clau Isenring

David Kerschbaumer, bfu consultant at the Swiss Competence Centre for Accident Prevention, tells us how to avoid dangerous situations and prevent accidents when sledging.

The ten most important rules of sledging

  1. Be considerate to others – Behave so that no one else is endangered or hurt.
  2. Adapt speed and sledging style to ability – Adjust your speed to the visibility. Match your speed and sledging behaviour to your ability and the terrain, snow, weather and the number of other users. Do not tie sledges and toboggans together. Do not sledge head first.
  3. Respect the route taken by the person ahead – Sledgers coming up from behind must choose their path so they don’t endanger sledgers in front of them.
  4. Leave sufficient room when overtaking – Overtaking may be from above or below, from left or right, but always at a sufficient distance to ensure that sledgers being overtaken have enough space for all their movements.
  5. Look up and down the slope before setting off or restarting – When entering a run or wishing to restart after a break, check that you can do so without endangering yourself or others both above and below.
  6. Don’t stop unless absolutely necessary – Avoid stopping unnecessarily on narrow places or at places with reduced visibility. If you fall in a dangerous place, move to safety as fast as possible.
  7. Use the edge of the run – Use the edge of the run when climbing up or down on foot.
  8. Respect signs and markings – Stay within the markings and observe all signalling.
  9. Provide assistance – Every sledger is obliged to provide assistance in the event of an accident.
  10. Provide details – In the event of an accident, sledgers – whether involved or just a witness and whether responsible or not – must provide details of their identity.
Source: bfu – Beratungsstelle für Unfallverhütung, www.bfu.ch