Rodger the Cat was a dearly beloved friend who unfortunately stayed aboard a ski bus in Schladming in 1998 and has decided to stay in Austria to spend the rest of his days on the slopes. Rodger's cousin - Pat the Beaver, has decided to take Rodger's place on future Skiing holidays.

Rodger's Tips

In Resort:

Always walk with care in Ski boots, you won't avoid looking like Robocop but you don't want to sustain any bruises before you hit the slopes. Carry your skis carefully, if you carry them over your shoulder and your friend calls you from behind, you will remove the teeth from the nearest passer by. Dress for the conditions that you may find at 7,000 ft. Do not assume that because it is warm & sunny in resort, it is similar in the ski fields. (This only applies during the day, If you dress for conditions at 7,000 ft at bedtime, you may be a little too hot.) Make sure that you have taken the correct skis and boots out on the slopes as somebody else's will be adjusted to a different setting, Not only are you likely to fall over, so will they and they will be more cross than you are. When trying on hire boots, they must feel firm but not tight. Walk around in them for at least 15-20 minutes. The whole enjoyment of your holiday will hinge on the comfort of your boots. Check your bindings before you ski, remove any snow or ice before using them

Ski Exercises:

Generally, any exercises using the thigh & calf muscles are useful on the run up to your holiday. Swimming and Cycling are good but there are one or two exercises that can be done in the home. Ideally exercises should start six weeks prior to departure, building up gradually. Squat thrusts and sit ups will tone some of the necessary muscles. Place a thick book on the floor, stand on your toes, balanced with your heels over the edge of the book and raise and lower but stop before your calf muscles snap. Sitting against a wall but with no support under you backside will warm up those thigh muscles but don't do it at the bus stop because you might get some funny looks. Running up and down your stairs with a brick tied to each ankle is a great idea unless you live in a bungalow but if you do it to Franz Klammer standard you will find that you have to replace your stair carpet three times a year. Sit on the outside of a fourth-story window ledge with your skis on and your poles in your lap for at least 30 minutes. Bind your legs together at the ankles, lie flat on the floor; then, holding a banana in each hand, get to your feet.

Pat's Glossary of Skiing terms:


One of a number of ski mountains in Europe. Also a shouted request for assistance made by a European.


One of the few actual perils skiers’ face that needlessly frightens timid individuals away from the sport. See also: Blizzard, First Aid, Fracture, Frostbite, Hypothermia, Lift collapse, American aircraft


Automatic mechanisms that protect skiers from serious injury during a fall by releasing skis from boots, sending the skis skittering across the slope where they crash into those that fell a few seconds before.


There are 206 in the human body. No need for dismay, however; the two bones of the middle ear have never been broken while skiing.

Cross-Country Skiing:

Traditional Scandinavian all-terrain technique. It’s good exercise, doesn’t require purchase of costly lift tickets. It has no crowds or lines. See also Cross- Country Something-Or-Other.

Cross-Country Something-or-Other:

Touring on skis along trails in scenic wilderness, gliding through snow-hushed woods far from the hubbub of the ski slopes, hearing nothing but the whispery hiss of the skis slipping through snow and the muffled screams of other skiers dropping into the puffy powder of a deep, wind-sculpted drift.


Designed to be tight around the wrist to restrict circulation, but not so close fitting as to allow any manual dexterity; they should also admit moisture from the outside without permitting any dampness within to escape. Designed to be lost singly (See Ski poles)


One of four fundamental forces in nature that affect skiers. The other three are the strong force, which makes bindings jam; the weak force, which makes ankles give way on turns; and electromagnetism, which produces dead batteries in vehicles parked in airport car parks for more than 5 days. See Inertia.


Tendency of a skier’s body to resist changes in direction or speed due to the action of Newton’s First Law of Motion. Goes along with these other physical laws: 1) Two objects of different mass falling side by side will have the same rate of descent, but the lighter one will have larger hospital and home care bills. 2) Matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but if it drops out of a parka pocket, don’t expect to encounter it again in our universe. 3) When an irresistible force meets an immovable object (see "Tree")


Manoeuvre in which an expert skier makes a controlled jump just ahead of a bump. Beginners can execute a controlled pre-fall just before losing their balance and, if they wish, may precede it with either a pre-scream and a few pre-groans or simple profanity.


The bruised area on the front of the leg that runs from the point where the ache from the wrenched knee ends to where the soreness from the strained ankle begins.

Ski !

A shout to alert people ahead that a loose ski is coming down the hill. Another warning skiers should be familiar with is "Avalanche!" (Which tells everyone that a hill is coming down the hill).


One who pays an arm and a leg for the opportunity to break them.


Your knees should be flexed, but shaking slightly; your arms straight and covered with a good layer of goose flesh; your hands forward, palms clammy, knuckles white and fingers icy, your eyes a little crossed and darting in all directions. Your lips should be quivering, and you should be mumbling, "Did I pay to do this to my body ?"


The Scandinavian god of acheth and paineth.


To ski across a slope at an angle; one of two quick and simple methods of reducing speed.


The other method.

Skiing Safety

The mountains are like the sea: they give enormous pleasure, but they can also be dangerous and should be treated with the utmost respect at all times. Only when you find yourself in an awkward and potentially dangerous situation or witness an accident at first hand do you properly realise what the risks can be. Below are a few useful tips:

Weather and exposure

The weather can change at a moment's notice and vary dramatically at different altitudes. Always dress with this in mind and be prepared for all conditions. Several layers of clothing are best. Never set off without sunglasses or goggles, and a hat or headband. It is always preferable to be too hot than too cold. Or, if your name is Ian, you can get your girlfriend to bring your jacket from the hotel when you realise exactly how cold it can be in the morning. All children under the age of 14 years should ideally wear helmets. They are not yet compulsory and you will see more helmets in certain ski countries than others. They can be worn on their own or over a thin balaclava or hat on extremely cold days. Never ski with a baby or small child in a backpack, however warm and sunny the weather. Even the best skiers can catch an edge, like Andy, even when he’s stationary or someone could ski into you. Exposure in bad weather can result in frostbite or hypothermia. Frostbite is the excessive cooling of small areas of the body, usually of the fingers, toes, nose, cheeks or ears and in Roy’s case another small part of the body. The affected tissue first turns white and numb. This is called first-degree frostbite and can be dealt with by immediate, gentle re-warming. In cold conditions watch out for signs of frostbite in each other. Hypothermia is a condition resulting from a drop in the whole body's temperature. It is difficult to diagnose, with some of the more obvious symptoms being physical or mental lethargy, sluggishness, slurring of speech, spurts of energy and abnormal vision. (This does not mean that every time you go out for a little drink, you have Hypothermia).

Accident procedure

Speed is essential when an accident has occurred Mark the accident site by placing crossed skis about 10m uphill of the casualty If the casualty is not breathing, administer artificial respiration (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation). Make sure there is nothing obstructing the mouth or throat If the casualty is breathing but unconscious, turn him/her on to their side to minimise the risk of choking. Protect any fractured limb from movement If the casualty is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the site of the wound using a cloth pad if possible. Do not remove the ski boot if there is injury to the lower leg as it acts as a splint Keep the casualty warm, comfortable and as cheerful as possible. Alert the ski patrol immediately

Safety on the piste

The International Ski Federation has drawn up a set of rules for skiers. These rules aim to keep skiing accidents to a minimum, and are increasingly forming the basis of legal judgements in both civil and criminal actions in European courts. If you do cause an accident while in breach of these rules, you could be in serious trouble. A list of the rules is printed below:

FIS Rules

Rule 1

Skiers are responsible not only for their own behaviour, but also for their defective equipment. This also applies to those using newly developed equipment.

Rule 2

Collisions usually happen because skiers are travelling too fast, are out of control or have failed to see others. A skier must be able to stop, turn and move within the ability of his own vision. In crowded areas, or in places where visibility is reduced, skiers must ski slowly, especially at the edge of a steep slope, at the bottom of a piste and within areas surrounding ski lifts.

Rule 3

Skiing is a free activity sport where everyone may ski where and as they please, provided that they abide by these rules and adapt their skiing to their own personal ability and to the prevailing conditions on the mountain. The skier in front has priority. The skier behind another in the same direction must keep sufficient distance between himself and the other skier so as to leave the preceding skier enough space to make all his movements freely.

Rule 4

A skier who overtakes another is wholly responsible for completing that manoeuvre ' in such a way as not to cause a difficulty to the skier being overtaken. This responsibility rests with him until the overtaking manoeuvre has been completed. This rule applies even when overtaking a stationary skier.

Rule 5

Experience proves that entering a piste and starting to ski again after stopping are the cause of accidents. It is absolutely essential that a skier finding himself in this situation enters the piste safely and without causing an obstruction or danger to himself or others. When he has started skiing properly again, even slowly, he has the benefit of Rule 3 against faster skiers coming from above or behind.

Rule 6

Except on wide pistes, stops must be made at the side of the piste. One must not stop in narrow places or where it is difficult to be seen from above.

Rule 7

Moving against the general direction poses unexpected obstacles for the skiers.

Rule 8

The degree of difficulty of a piste is indicated in black, red, blue or green. A skier is free to choose whichever piste he wants. The pistes are also marked with other signs, showing direction or giving warnings of danger or closure. A sign dosing a piste, like one denoting danger, must be strictly observed. Skiers should be aware that warning signs are posted in their own interests.

Rule 9

It is a cardinal principal for all sportsmen that they should render assistance following an accident, independent of any legal obligation to do so. Immediate first aid should be given the appropriate authorities alerted and the place of the accident marked to warn other skiers. The FIS hopes that a hit-and-run offence in skiing will incur a criminal conviction similar to a hit and-run offence on the road, and that equivalent penalties will be imposed by all countries where such legislation is not already in force.

Rule 10

Witnesses are of great importance in establishing a full and proper report of an accident; therefore, everybody must consider that it is his duty as a responsible person to provide information as a witness.

General comments on the rules

Skiing, like all sport, entails risks. The FIS rules must be considered an ideal pattern of conduct for a responsible and careful skier; their purpose is to avoid accidents on the piste. The rules apply to all skiers, who are obliged to be familiar with them and to respect them. If he fails to do so, his behaviour could expose him to civil and criminal liability in the event of an accident.

Safety off-piste

No one should ski off-piste without a properly qualified local guide, particularly in glacial terrain where the risk of crevasse is added to that of avalanche. Always wear a recognised avalanche bleeper and take the time to learn how to use it and carry out a grid search before you set off. The chances of survival after an avalanche deteriorate rapidly after the fist five minutes. Listen to your guide; learn basic snowcraft and how to read a slope. Remember you may be many kilometres from a resort or a pisted run with no trail markers to guide you. In the event of an avalanche, try to ski to the side, If you fall, get rid of your skis, poles, and backpack if possible. Swim and fight to stay on the surface. Tips to remember when skiing off-piste Always ski in a group, never alone Always try to ski in control Always stop behind the guide (there may be cliffs or other hazards ahead) In deep snow, use powder cords - three-metre ribbons attached to your skis - to enable you to find a lost ski after a fall Carry a map of the area and a compass. Know how to use both

Skiing Quiz

To see what type of skier you are, answer the following questions. 1) Do you hit the slopes: a) At 9.00 because that's what they told you at ski school b) At 9.00 unless the weather is really bad, or unless it was a really good party. Or unless you can't find your lift pass. c) At 8.30 every day, even when the lifts don't open until 9.00 d) 9.00? What, straight from the bar? 2) The snow report forecasts two feet of fresh powder this weekend. Do you: a) Cancel your plans to go skiing b) Plan a late start to let the others ski the slope into shape c) Buy snow chains, a face mask and an avalanche beeper d) Finally decide to switch newspapers 3)The chairlift you are on stops, then starts to accelerate backwards. Do you: a) Wonder why all those people are screaming b) Cling on to the seat in abject terror and scream yourself c) Peer over the backrest looking for a soft place to jump d) Check out whether any your chair-mates are cute enough to... 4) You think that a mogul is: a) A Central Asian warlord b) A director who makes films about skiing c) A challenge to your masculinity if you are a man and to your independence if you are a woman d) God's way of telling snowboarders to get off the slopes 5) A friend blows their ACL. Do you: a) Worry they will never be able to have children b) Mutter "Anterior Cruciate Ligament" and nod sagely. c) Tell them about your appendix surgery and give them the name of a really good physiotherapist called Igor d) Wonder what length their new skis are? 6) A friend wins a heliskiing trip for two in the Himalayas. Do you: a) Wonder how a skier can keep up with a helicopter b) Envy him and his girlfriend the great view c) Invite him to be your unconceived child's godfather d) Start practicing your rain dance 7) A friend invites you to join in a ski chalet. You ask: a) What length skis? b) Does anyone else in the chalet want to take lessons? c) Does it have room to park my snowmobile? d) Is that cute little whatshername/whatshisname going to be there? 8) Someone in a bar is telling a really boring skiing story. Do you a) Ask them why they measure skis in centimetres and snow in feet b) Listen with respect and fight the urge to sleep c) Wonder why everyone else's eyes are glazing over d) Thank them for the drink but suddenly catch sight of an old friend 9) You visit a ski shop. Do you: a) Marvel at all the pretty colours b) Pick up all the leaflets and try to work out the acronyms c) Test the torsional stiffness of all the skis and of several staff d) Leave two cans of beer and your skis for the ski-tech 10)Your goal in skiing is to: a) Stay alive b) Ski parallel in all conditions (except when it's really icy, or crusty, or soft. Or too steep) c) Become a life member of Skier Magazine's equipment test team d) Get laid


If you answered mainly a): You are a beginner. Stop now before you end up with no money, buggered knees, a garage full of rusting skis and kids who snowboard. If you answered mainly b):You are an intermediate skier. You have no money, buggered knees, a garage full of rusting skis and kids who snowboard. If you answered mainly c): You are a ski bore. This will not be news to anyone around you, but it may be to you. Remember that a truly great skier will be able to jump off 100-foot cornices into ice-filled near-vertical couloirs, with their bindings set on 3 and no warm-up. Start practicing as soon as possible. If you answered mainly d): Yes, you are that rare beast, the advanced skier.
Rodger the Cat’s Skiway Code