Safety

Welcome to the KCros pages on planning a cross country skiing trip in the snow country. The information is applicable to many other activities in the backcountry. If you are walking, mountaineering, snowshoeing, snowboarding or alpine skiing make sure that you take all your activity specific equipment and it is suitable for the trip.

Adequate planning for a trip will help ensure that it is conducted safely without incident and that the participants will enjoy the experience.

A “trip” may be anything in between a fifteen minute blast around the 2˝ k trail and a camping trip lasting up to a week or more. The first step in planning any trip is to determine WHERE you are going, WHO is going and HOW LONG will the trip take. Planning may be casual for short excursions but should be detailed for longer or more difficult trips .

The amount of planning necessary depends on these variables AND the experience of the members of the group. For example an experienced skier could skate around the 10k loop at Perisher without any extra clothing, food or water or a map and compass and could start out at 4pm while a group with a beginner would plan this as a full day trip starting before lunch and carry all the items mentioned.

Every trip should have a leader, either an individual who plans and conducts the trip to ensure that all participants complete it safely, or the trip is planned and conducted by agreement and group decisions by those who are participating.

A trip is planned before setting out but it should be reviewed and updated at intervals through the day (or daily) if circumstances change.  

Whatever you plan:

Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.

Go to the pages below for more information on safety in the mountains

epirb list of requirements maps of ski trails planning a trip safety variables

Disclaimer & Warning. 

Cross country skiing can be a dangerous activity. Do not ski alone. The information on this website is intended only as a guide to areas and trails that are used for skiing and it is each individual skier's responsibility to determine if it is safe for them to ski in any area after taking into account their experience, the experience of the leader and navigator, the capabilities, fitness and experience of all skiers in the group, the weather, snow condition and the time available during the day. KCros does not know nor recommend or infer that any trail or area is suitable for any person to ski on. KCros does not claim or guarantee that any information provided is complete and individual skiers must satisfy themselves that they have adequate information from all sources including instructors and experienced skiers before making a decision to undertake any day trip, journey or skiing activity. Skiers going out of sight of villages or pole lines should read the entire section on Backcountry Safety. Carry adequate warm and waterproof clothing, survival blanket, food, water, first aid, map and compass and if intending to stay out overnight take a suitable tent, stove and snow shovel. Safe navigation in a white out using a hand held GPS unit can only be undertaken by skiers with a good knowledge of the area as cornices and wind scours are a hazard. Mobile phone communication is only possible from some high areas and should not be depended on. It is possible to buy or hire an emergency locator beacon (EPIRB). All groups going out of sight of Perisher or any other village should leave written particulars of their intentions with the NPWS or with a friend or in a ski lodge touring register. Skiers who set out for a particular destination should be aware that they have to return and that the return journey may take longer if a skier becomes tired or exhausted or snow or weather conditions change. Trips should be planned within the capabilities of the weakest skier and all skiers should be aware of the signs and dangers of hypothermia. In the event of an accident or injury those affected must be kept warm and dry as the arrival of help and rescue may take several hours or occur the following day or even later.