Top Tips For Surviving Your First Ski Trip
The last thing you want is to spend a large amount of money on a ski holiday, only to find you are in too much pain to make it out of bed on day two! Practising the beginners snowplough – the classic beginner’s manoeuvre – is not demanding. But it is if you practise it over and over again for six hours a day, at altitude, for an entire week. The only way to make sure you have the energy – both physical and mental – to enjoy the experience is to exercise and build up your core strength before you hit the slopes.
Sign up to a practise taster session at your local ski slope, preferably indoors on real snow with an instructor! Of course the slopes are much shorter than the mountains but even the basic knowledge of how to snow plough will accelerate your learning in resort and will have you practising parallel turns in no time.
Below is a list of essential skiing equipment you will need to bring with you, this does not include casual wear or equipment you can rent in resort such as skis and boots. If possible try to beg and borrow as much as possible from friends to keep your costs down.
Waterproof breathable jacket
Waterproof breathable salopettes
Waterproof insulated and breathable ski gloves or mittens
Glove liners – for cold weather
Hand warmers – for very cold weather or bad circulation
Fleece or merino scarf or neck warmer
Balaclava – for extremely cold conditions
Three or four pairs of wool ski socks
Goggles – buy before you go to avoid high in-resort prices
Two or three thermal tops/base layers in merino wool or manmade fabric – avoid cotton as it soaks up sweat and doesn’t release it, leaving you feeling cold and wet
Two fleeces or merino/down mid layers.
Skis & Boots
Rent, don’t buy, on your first ski trip. Most shops now rent out new skis every ski season, so standards are high. Take time and care fitting boots. Watch that you can flex your ankle slightly and that they hold your foot firmly. Boots should not be painful; if they are, take them back and swap them for another pair. At first walking in ski boots is difficult, but it’s surprising how quickly you’ll adjust. Although boots can be partially undone to “help” with walking, it’s better to leave them done up; as walking any distance in loose boots often starts blisters.
Skis should be no longer than chin height. Don’t rent equipment intended for experts; its stiffness (and the fact that it only starts to work properly at high speeds on steep slopes) won’t help. A softer ski and boot will not only be much easier to learn in but enable you progress faster, too. Tell the hire shop what experience, if any, you have and they will advise accordingly.
This can be some peoples main reason for ski trip, we recommend you get out in the evening and enjoy the local nightlife. Most people who ski are of a similar mindset and you will meet some great people, if all goes well you will likely end up dancing on tables until the early hours in the morning. Don't fear the next morning as soon as you strap your skis on the next day your hangover will soon disappear with the fresh mountain air.
The only way to learn is to book yourself into ski school. The luxury option is to have private classes. Some people will find the unremitting focus on them (and their mistakes) claustrophobic. But most thrive on this kind of attention and make rapid progress.
The cost of private lessons can, however, be astronomical. The cheaper option is to join a five or six-day course of group lessons, with classes in the morning and free time after lunch to practice what you have learnt. You should enrol for the course at the same time as you book your holiday, and do some research to find who is the best provider in your resort. The correct ski instructor can do wonders for you. Do not let friends and family teach you this will only cause problems!
Book Your Airport Transfer
Ensuring a hassle transfer from the airport to your chosen resort is key to starting you holiday off right! You do not want to be stood around for hours waiting for a coach load of other holiday makers to get them selves organised. We recommend booking a private transfer, for example at Mountain Lifts we will provide a private transfer for your party meaning as soon as you are ready we are ready with you. We will deliver you to your accomodations front door with zero faff and no stops en-route. Get in touch today to book your transfer now.