Is skiing something you’ve never got round to but always liked the idea of? Or perhaps you are a reluctant first time skier, egged on by friends with the promise of hot tubs and amazing après? Either way, there are a lot of unknowns for those new to alpine sports and we are here to help you!
Although anyone can have a go at skiing, and ski holidayers aren’t all necessarily the slimmest and trimmest, it is good to have a basic level of fitness before hitting the slopes, both to get the most out of the experience and to avoid pure exhaustion in the evenings! There are ski-specific exercises which can be easily found online and having a go a few weeks before departure might just ease sore thighs.
Making sure you have the right gear is also worth the effort, as cold wet hands and a soggy bottom can easily make for a miserable experience. See our Ski Holiday Checklist blog for the rundown!
Is a trip to an indoor slope worthwhile?
This is a much-debated topic, however in our experience a visit is definitely worthwhile. This way, you’ll avoid spending the first day of your (expensive!) holiday working out how to put ski boots on; how to clip into your skis and figuring out what on earth a ‘snow plough’ is. This is also a great way to practice using a button lift and avoid unnecessary embarrassment!
Indoor ski slopes can be found in Milton Keynes, Hemel Hempstead, Tamworth, Manchester, Glasgow and Castleford, so you’re never that far away from a chance to learn the basics. Full day and half day courses are available, and we think that you will find this is money well spent.
Don’t have high expectations on day 1!
Learning to ski isn’t easy! Don’t be fooled by the 8-year-old kids whizzing past you – chances are they’ve been skiing since they were 3. Skiing takes time, practice and hard work but keep going, you’ll get the hang of it. Expect to have unfamiliar aches and pains and dented pride!
If you are coming to Meribel, or indeed anywhere else in the Three Valleys, you have the choice between a single valley pass or a Three Valley pass. For a first timer, it may not be necessary to get a Three Valley pass as often the pistes down into the other valleys are steeper. If you do get the hang of it, there is always the option to upgrade to a Three Valley pass in resort on a day by day basis.
Even if you consider yourself fit and healthy with an aptitude for sports, it’s important to remember that skiing is probably quite different to anything you’ve ever learnt before. Usually it isn’t just a case of just ‘winging it’ or picking it up from others (this has been known to harm many relationships!), but you’ll find that even a couple of lessons from a qualified instructor will have you on the right track. Don’t worry about missing out on what the others in your group are doing – a good idea is often to have a lesson in the morning and meet up for a group ski and apres in the afternoon.
Although most of us don’t like to turn down a challenge from our family or friends, being pressured into trying a jump or some off-piste on day 2 of your skiing career will most likely result in a visit to the local doctor. Don’t do anything that you aren’t comfortable with and hopefully your insurance policy will remain untouched!
We absolutely love skiing! If you embrace it with the right attitude and willingness to have a laugh then you’ll love it. Take lots of photos and videos to review in your chalet in the evening and you’ll make some unforgettable memories.