Our website uses cookies throughout our system and to help us provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or click here to change your settings
Snowsport touring and managed ski resorts - a code for backcountry skiers and boarders

Snowsports touring and walking in managed ski resorts 

A code of conduct to minimise impact:

  • Follow any route markers for passage through the resort
  • Pay attention to warning signs and stay out of roped areas
  • Avoid travelling across or up pistes on foot or ski
  • Be aware of downhill skiers/boarders who have right of way
  • Stay clear of grooming machines – they operate 24 hrs and can have very long cables attached
  • Keep dogs by your side and under control at all times

If you are unsure where to go check with a member of staff for information on where to ski safely.]

Keep reading for the full Snowsports Touring Code - please follow it and explore responsibly

Snowsport touring and managed ski resorts - a code for backcountry skiers and boarders

In recent years with the growth in popularity of snowsport touring allied to a lack of snow, problems have occasionally arisen between different user groups & the operators of the five Scottish ski centres. Please follow the guidance below when passing through ski resorts.

Where signed or promoted touring/walking routes exists, please follow the route markers or reasonable advice from the ski patrol. If that is not available, please stay outside of obviously managed areas, and avoid using prepared or obviously managed areas such as uptracks and groomed slopes.

For your own safety and the safety of other users, avoid crossing or going uphill on managed slopes whilst downhill skiing is taking place. Avoid ascent and descent of slopes while the surface is being groomed.

We would encourage snowsports tourers to consider taking advantage of any touring ticket offers for ease of uplift through the managed areas and descent on the piste.

In summary, you can walk, ski or snowboard wherever access rights apply but only where this does not interfere with the running of the business or downhill skiing use of ski resorts.   Please minimise your impact on the environment, on other users, and with ski resort management operations.

Photo: Alistair Todd

Snowsport touring and managed ski resorts code

The snowsports touring access code has been developed with our partners and the endorsement of resort managers and users to raise awareness of tourers’ access rights and responsibilities and help everyone enjoy their day out on the hill.

This Code has been produced by Mountaineering Scotland and endorsed by:

  • Please respect that the resorts have a business to run - resort operations continue 24 hours a day including during bad weather and whether the area is open or closed. 
  • Be alert for snowmobiles, groomer cables and other equipment. Stay clear of all grooming machines – do not assume the operator can see you.
  • Grooming machines operating at night use long winch cables which are difficult to see and which may not be directly above the machine. Cables can be up to 1000m long.  Avoid the slopes where they are operating.
  • Respect any guidance or warning signs erected by the resorts, keep away from lift lines (even if they are closed) and stay out of roped off areas. Resorts are not as safe when they are closed.
  • Do not attempt to use a lift unless you have a valid lift ticket. Never get on a lift if it is unmanned as it might stop and not start again.

Photo: Alistair Todd

  • Within resort boundaries you are bound by the International Ski Federation’s Code of Conduct. Those skiing or snowboarding downhill have right of way.
  • Be especially aware of other skiers and snowboarders approaching from above, changing weather conditions (it is Scotland after all) and poor visibility. Other skiers or snowboarders may not expect you to be there.
  • Keep dogs by your side under close control at all times. Dogs can be seriously injured by skis or snowboards.
  • Following touring/walking route markers will give access to and from the open hill. If there are no signed routes then please stay on the outside of the snow fence (walk if necessary).
  • Try to plan your route to avoid crossing pistes or where this isn’t possible, minimise the amount of time doing so and be aware of downhill skiers and snowboarders.
  • Consider where you might be leaving tracks and how it affects the piste; remember that after closing, the runs will have been prepared for the next day. Groomers take pride in providing a quality experience for their paying customers.
  • Do not dig snow holes within resort boundaries - yes it really  has happened!

Photo: Alistair Todd

If you are unsure where to go within the resort area then please ask a member of staff or ski patrol. They will be happy to help and will have information on the best and safest conditions and areas to ski.