Published on 2/28/17

Be aware: the danger of winch cables when ski touring at night

At nightfall, there are increasing numbers of people coming to ski tour on the slopes. But apart from the fact that it's forbidden, there are dangers.

When the slopes close, the resort's snow groomers commence their work, preparing the slopes so that the following morning, skiers can enjoy well-groomed pistes.


The dangers of snow groomer winches:

The increase in skiers ski touring at night raises safety concerns.

Once the slopes are closed, the snow groomers preparing the runs for the next day represent a danger, and an even greater danger when the snow groomer is equipped with a winch.

The winch is a large cable up to 1 km long, which is attached to the snow groomer and is often invisible (especially at night) because it can go under the snow and violently come out again, sweeping across the entire width of the slope removing everything in its path. Most pistes are concerned by this danger because many of them are equipped with anchors for the winch.

Video shot by the Domaines Skiables de France in partnership with the  Fédération Française des Clubs Alpins et de Montagne (CAF) and the ’ADSP (Association Nationale des Directeurs de Pistes et de la Sécurité de Stations de Sports d'Hiver), explaining the danger of winches and night-time ski touring


Night-time ski touring creates two problems:

- By skiing on slopes that have just been groomed, ski tourers damage a whole night's work and

- winch cables represent a real and serious danger, as they can sometimes invisible are often an unknown danger for skiers

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