Just when you thought you'd seen it all: road rage, air rage, supermarket trolley rage - welcome to "slope rage", writes Brian Hannay.

According to Primary Insurance, we are now in the age of PTAs - "Piste Traffic Accidents". They are becoming ever more common, it seems, as the popularity of skiing increases and mountainside traffic becomes heavier.

Primary's underwriting director Phil Denman, said: "Minding your manners on the slopes is on the wane, slope rage is growing and accidents with another skier, rather than an inanimate object, are rising up the claims table."

Denman advised: "Skiers should treat a ski accident exactly as they would a road accident if they want to be able to defend a huge liability claim. Unfortunately, we Brits are naive when it comes to liability and aren't truly tuned in to litigation."

The picture becomes grimmer. "The stereotypical Briton picks up another skier, brushes snow off them and asks if they would like to have a beer.

"At this stage, the Americans and Europeans hobble off laughing, and resolving to meet with their lawyers the next day."

The result is a writ three months later when the Briton has forgotten all.

We can only hope tempers cool come drinks-time in the bar. Or is "apres-ski" rage just round the corner?