Are you heading off on your first ever ski holiday soon?
If you have a trip booked, or if you are considering a trip very soon then keep reading. Before hitting the slopes for the first time there are certain tips you may need in order to have a smooth ride on the mountains.
I have been skiing since I was 13 when I went on my first skiing trip with my friends from secondary school. We went with a friend's family and stayed in a wonderful chalet in the French ski resort La Plagne, in the alpine valley of the Tarentaise.
Now ten years later, and multiple ski trips all over the world I have fallen in love with the alpine sport, and the holiday type. I absolutely love the mountains, and I have skied in France, New Zealand, Austria and Scotland!
Some people hate the idea of a skiing holiday, as to many a holiday should only consist of sunny weather, sandy beaches and sangria, but for others it is the perfect type of holiday, with action, adventure and adrenaline.
But if you are swapping the sun lounger for the mountains this is what you need to know.
Choose your side
There are two types of people in this world, skiers and snowboarders, and neither likes the others. Jokes, we all get on, but there are major differences between the way both hit the slopes. Whether it is because of how easy and quickly skiers take the slopes, or whether you look cooler on your board than those with their feet separated by two wooden flats.
Watch out for moguls!
They're little buggers but will catch you out when you least expect it, meaning you end up flat on your face, or if you're really unlucky your skis will continue their route down the hill leaving you sat on the mountain upside down.
TIP: Take them slow and flex those leg muscles!
You will fall over
It is inevitable, you will fall on your ass. So do not even try to stay stood up for the entire first day. It is near impossible and in fact it isn't good for you and your progress on the slopes. Let yourself fall a few times, even fall on purpose just so you can get a good feeling for the ground.
Plus, it really doesn't hurt that much!
Eat, eat, eat
Do not forget to stop to eat, and when you do indulge! After all, you are exercising for nearly eight hours a day and this burning thousands of calories. If there is anytime you can eat what you want and as much as you want, this is it!
Injuries do happen
Take it slowly on your first few days and don't push yourself too much, even if you think you are on a roll, you could end up with broken bones. Skiing and snowboarding may look effortless but it isn't, and out of nowhere a jump, mogul or wrong turn can hit you in the face and you will end up f**ked.
Believe it or not people carry camera, phones and video cameras up on the slopes. Miss all this out and just invest in a GoPro - they are easy to attach to yourself, safe and even though expensive, give you some great footage, audio and photos.
Come day three and the tiredness may kick in if you've been partying the nights away and waking up early. However, come a few days in to your trip and you will feel exhausted, resulting in a mountain mood, or slope strop where you decide you don't want to ski anymore and slump on to the floor. However, as the saying goes, the only way is down so get off your ass.
TIP: If you manage to miss the mountain mood the slopes will also destroy any sight of a hangover!
Watch out for white outs
Take whiteouts seriously and be careful. Seeing a dark, snow-heavy sky is great, but skiing or boarding in a whiteout is like trying to ski or snowboard inside a giant washing machine on a spin cycle. They are hugely disorientating and many people have been injured or even died because they have taken on the weather!
Your evenings may not be quite as rock n' roll as you are used to when you go on a skiing or snowboarding holiday. The long days, excessive exercise, alcohol consumption and dehydration will tip you over the edge if you don't get enough sleep and look after yourself.
The view up there is incredible. It is like nothing else on earth and will make you feel happy to be alive. Being so close to heavens also makes you appreciate life a little more.
Accomplishment vs fear
After falling over all day, the moment you take a slope stood up the whole way down is the moment that huge sense of achievement hits you right in the chest. It is such a great feeling and will leave you feeling confident for the next day on the slopes!
This post has ended up being longer than I expected, but it got me so excited about skiing again I just couldn't stop writing!! The point of this post is to encourage you to take the plunge and invest of learning how to ski for the first time. I must urge you to try skiing, and don't give up at the first hurdle. Learning to ski isn't easy and you should take your time, have a laugh, and enjoy an incredible skiing holiday!
BUT remember... never take anything for granted, take yours and the safety of other slope users seriously!