[Frequencies of injuries and causes of accidents during ski touring on ski slopes - a pilot study]

Sportverletz Sportschaden. 2015 Mar;29(1):46-50. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1399181. Epub 2015 Mar 23.
[Article in German]


Introduction: Ski touring along ski slopes (slope touring) increased in recent years on Austrian ski slopes. However, ascending on the border of the slope and skiing downhill on the slope might be associated with a certain injury risk. Thus, the aim of this pilot study was to evaluate frequencies of injuries, causes of accidents and potential risk factors during slope touring.

Methods: Slope-tourers were interviewed from March to April 2014 at the bottom of 4 Austrian ski areas. Interviews were conducted during the week and at the weekend from 7.30 a. m. to 8.45 p. m.

Results: A total of 451 slope-tourers (60.1 % males) with a mean age of 39.3 ± 14.4 years were interviewed. Interviewed persons reported that they perform about 20.6 ± 16.0 slope tours per season mainly with a partner (48 %) and during the day (51 %). Ski helmet use was 60 %. A total of 57 persons (12.6 %) reported that they suffered at least once from an injury during slope touring needing medical care. This corresponds to a rate of 6 injuries per 1000 slope tours. Main injury causes were a fall (78 %) and a collision with another person (15 %) and the main injured body part was the knee (36 %). Slope-tourers with an injury were wearing more often back protectors, and were falling more often during downhill skiing, and were abstaining less often from alcohol and were listening more often to music during downhill skiing compared to slope-tourers without an injury.

Conclusion: Based on the findings of this pilot study we recommend abstaining from alcohol and not listening to music during downhill skiing to reduce the injury risk during slope touring.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Austria
  • Causality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • MP3-Player / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Skiing / injuries*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult