Snow-capped mountains, frosted white slopes, and the thrill of gliding down the mountainside all paint an immediate portrait of a skiing adventure. Skiing is arguably one of the more popular leisure activities that people like to indulge in.
In the USA alone, there are a recorded 9.2 million individuals that participated in skiing and snowboarding in 2018 based on the findings of the NSAA.
For individuals who wish to become a part of that number, the very first skiing holiday can be a tad intimidating. So what should those attempt to go on their first ski holiday know?
Prep for Cold Weather
The low temperatures one experiences on the slopes of a mountain are equally the best and worst parts of a skiing holiday. Temperatures in higher altitudes can reach record lows so it’s important to dress accordingly. Skiers need coats, pants, gloves, ski socks, and many others.
For beginners, it isn’t necessary to go out and purchase all the latest fashions and warming technology. It’s entirely possible to approach friends or family and borrow apparel appropriate for skiing. Having goggles can protect the eyes from the glare of the sun on the fresh coat of snow.
It’s not just the apparel that needs consideration. Preparing one’s body and skin is also part of the success of a skiing holiday. Most people tend to forget that in higher elevations, the glare of the sun can do significant damage – particularly when bounced off the sheen and shine of snow. While sunburn is normally attributed to heat and beaches, skiers have a higher risk for it. Having a proper skincare routine tailored for cold weather should also be part of the prep.
Book In Advance
Just like planning for any form of travel, logistics needs to be carefully thought out when it comes to a skiing holiday. Choosing where to go is usually the biggest question to answer as there are a lot of different skiing locations around the world. Some of them, like La Plagne in France, is more popular than most and might be fully booked depending on the season. To catch huge discounts and beat out the reservation waits, it’s ideal to book months in advance.
It is worth noting that just because people secure accommodations to a ski lodge or chalet this does not automatically grant passage unto ski slopes. A ski pass is often required in order to ski and it depends entirely on the chosen resort if it’s included or carries a separate fee.
It is also wise to consider if there are available beginner lessons offered as part of the booking. If not part of the booking, private and group lessons might be available somewhere on the premises.
Not All Ski Resorts are Beginner Friendly
No two mountains are the same and this truth also applies to ski slopes around the world. There are ski resorts which cater mostly to expert skiers like in Chamonix in France and Verbier in Switzerland, to name a few. It’s best for beginners to familiarize themselves with the different slope difficulties which range from green to black. It’s important to look around for resorts which have “green” slopes that are best for skiers that are just starting out.
Beginners need to be diligent about the sort of ski resorts that they choose. It is often a good rule of thumb to canvas through different sites to get a good comparison of available slopes and degrees of difficulty. Good options are Avoriaz in France or Obergurgl in Austria. Skiing novices have a better chance of getting a good experience if they choose to go to a resort that offers classes to help them get started.
People generally like to believe that they’d be absolute naturals when learning or trying out new things. The truth of the matter is that skiing can be challenging even for the most athletic and dexterous individuals out there.
Beginners should reasonably manage their expectations and even expect to fall off balance numerous times. This is where beginner classes really make a difference for the confidence and building the necessary skills that skiers should have. Novices can really bloom when they practice in safe environments. It is reasonably believed that around five sessions of two-hour classes can equip a novice with the basic idea of how to be comfortable on a slop, according to Jyoti of New to Ski. A lot of the first sessions will involve being familiar with safety protocols and learning how to appropriately fasten one’s clothes and skis.
The very first skiing holiday has the potential to be wholly memorable for all sorts of reasons. When people are suitably prepared in terms of booking, apparel, and expectations, the holiday can well and truly begin.
Skiing is an activity that will certainly leave a mark in the hearts and minds of those that are brave enough to give it a try.
Ali spent more than a decade working in the travel industry. When she took a career break to have a family, she took to freelance writing, and has never looked back.