Freeriding in virgin powder snow is a fabulous feeling. Geri and Toni, two furry forest creatures, know that too. They would love to be able to strap boards to their own feet and zoom off after their idols.
But they are too shy – they just like to watch freeriders from a safe distance. Just like all wild animals, they need secluded places which they can retreat to. And they find these in wildlife areas and wildlife reserves.
Geri and Toni love freeriders – from a distance.
In wildlife areas and wildlife reserves it is animals’ needs which come first. Here they can live undisturbed by people and have less need to flee. This means they can conserve the energy they need to survive the cold winter.
You must avoid legally protected wildlife areas in winter or keep to the designated routes, or you may risk prosecution. Recommended wildlife areas should also be respected.
An increasing number of wildlife areas and wildlife reserves are indicated on the ground, and they are marked on the online map:
Chamois, ibex and deer have trouble moving through deep snow. Grouse and ptarmigan burn up a lot of energy when startled out of their hiding places. Wild animals are weakened when they are repeatedly disturbed by freeriders and other humans.
The risk of not surviving the winter increases and so there are fewer numbers to reproduce the following spring. This can mean a threat to rare species.
«Respect Wildlife» promotes freeriding which does not pose a threat to wildlife. It is part of the «Respect to protect» campaign, which is sponsored by sports associations, the Confederation, cantons, educational institutions, tour companies, tourist destinations, conservation and hunting organizations and sports brands.
«Respect to protect» is aimed at snowshoers, ski tourers, freeriders, variant skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts.
Respect designated wildlife areas and wildlife reserves
Stay on paths and marked trails in the forest
Avoid forest edges and snow-free surfaces
Keep your dog on a lead, particularly in the forest
Protecting wild animals is important, and so is personal safety. Freeriders don't keep to the marked slopes, and so there may be a danger of setting off an avalanche and risking life. Make sure
you know about avalanches, perhaps by doing a special avalanche course, and always consult the avalanche report. And you should always carry a transceiver, shovel and avalanche probe.