The 20 things that should be banned from ski resorts

ski holiday resorts what should be banned - Getty
ski holiday resorts what should be banned - Getty

A French ski area has banned smoking on the slopes – Les Gets will become the first cigarette-butt-free ski zone in Europe this winter – so, whatever next? A Nordic resort outlawing tall blond people? A German mountain forbidding prompt timekeeping and efficient delivery of services?

Maybe not, but we know what’s next on the banned list – or at least what should be: here are 20 things that ski resorts should criminalise immediately.

Wearing headphones

It’s not that it’s rude (though it is), it’s not that it’s dangerous (though it is), it’s not that they’re listening to some brain-meltingly repetitive Euro dance anthem at medically unsound volume (though they are almost certainly are). It’s just that… if they find skiing so boring it needs an artificial soundtrack, why not stay home and play video games instead?

Not wearing headphones

Those using tiny mini speakers to inflict their (poor) musical taste on the rest of us as they cruise insouciantly past should have their woofer confiscated immediately. The sound of skis on snow isn’t sssshhhh for no reason, you know.

Novelty onesies

Cute on under-5s. Permissible on under-12s. Tiresome on under-25s. Downright disturbing on anyone else.

slopes ski holiday - Getty
slopes ski holiday - Getty

Plastic bottles

A number of ski resorts are making moves to ban plastic bottles – and good for them, climate change is a daunting prospect for many. As for the unsightly impact of skiers' rubbish, remember: your next holiday after this one is probably on a beach somewhere, so if chuck that empty Evian in the wrong place this winter you can hardly complain if washes up and ruins your swim next summer.


Ski-mites come in three flavours: a) irritatingly good, and mercilessly cutting you up at 200mph; b) still learning, and snowploughing robotically across your path at 2mph; or c) one of the above, but they’re yours and you’re stuck with them for the next six days.

ski resorts children - Getty
ski resorts children - Getty


If civilisation can survive without a video of, say, Cleopatra’s coronation in 51 BC, then it can probably get by without one of someone who calls himself ‘Crazy Mike’ doing an “awesome!” 360 down this “epic!” slope. Hate to break it to you on the pages of a national newspaper, Mike (we’re certainly not going to call you ‘Crazy Mike’), but no-one’s ever going to watch your video.

Narrow bits

We know we said we were “fine” on black runs. But we didn’t mean two-foot-wide black runs. They should be banished from piste maps the world over.

French people

Why even bother banning cigarettes? Ban François and his amis and you get rid of cigarettes, questionable queue etiquette and impenetrably hard-to-decipher Gallic shrugs, all in one go.

€14 cups of coffee

We paid thousands of pounds to be here with the cost of ski holidays rising almost everywhere. Couldn’t someone somehow subsidise our morning caffeine fix?

coffee ski
coffee ski

Ski boots that seem perfectly comfortable in the hire shop…

…but turn into vicious, toe-crushing, shin-blistering, circulation-hating, foot coffins the moment you’ve got too far from the shop for it to be worth going back to change them.


See my last entry regarding ill-fitting boots. Then remember trying to negotiate slush-slippery metal staircases in them or the steps down to the mountain hut’s toilet facilities – which are always in the basement.


The friend who wants you all to stop and wait while she goes for a comfort break, 10 minutes after everyone else in the group went. The old guy who stops to check his piste map, right in front of the chairlift’s exit, creating a bottleneck behind him. Or, the lady in the restaurant queue who insists on ordering in her halting, schoolgirl French/Italian/German even though the local server obviously speaks far better English.

ski map faffing - Getty
ski map faffing - Getty

People who ski too fast

“Danger to themselves and others… Selfish… Ruining it for everyone else… Giving skiers a bad name… Intimidating children… Driving up insurance premiums for the responsible majority… Appalling show-offs… Spoiled and ungrateful… Should be banned for life…”

People who ski too slow

“Getting in everybody’s way… Ought not to be taking up valuable space… No right to be on this slope if they’re not ready for it… Only here for the damned après… Danger to themselves and others… Should be banned for life…”

Actually, just other people

Wouldn’t skiing be lovely if there were no-one else around?

skiing slopes - Getty
skiing slopes - Getty

Slow lifts

It was bad enough when they were just slow, but now that we know some resorts in France and Switzerland are deliberately slowing lifts in order to save energy, every extra second feels like an infuriating eternity.

Piste markers that disappear

You can’t miss the bright-red beacons on a splendid sunny day, but who’s the genius that designed piste poles so thin they turn invisible as soon as the cloud comes in? I suspected it’s probably the same master designer who decided to paint the top bit of rightward signs orange so you’d know which side of the piste they were on – forgetting, perhaps, that 70 per cent of all goggles are orange-tinted, rendering the signs entirely indistinguishable from all other colours. Bravo, sir.

5G and Wi-Fi

Remember when we used to talk to each other in the gondolas? Nice, wasn’t it?

DJs at lunchtime

“Big shoüt oût to all the louvely Eetalian laydeez in ze ’ouse!” Please, mate, it’s half-twelve on a Tuesday lunchtime and the only people listening to you are the kids at the ski school and the weary-looking waitresses who’ve got to get through another five hours before their shift ends. Save the après till après, pop the iPod on ‘shuffle’, turn off your microphone and let us ski and dine in (relative) peace, will you?

Overconsumption of cheese

Everyone knows skiers have proved themselves incapable of policing their own intake.

Is there anything we've missed? What do you think should be banned from ski resorts? Please let us know in the comments below