6 Essential Tips for First-Time Skiers
BY - Tim Latimer, 21 February 2023, ARTICLES
BY - Tim Latimer, 21 February 2023, ARTICLES
Getting ready to plan your first skiing holiday but not quite sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, you’ll find essential tips to help you get the most from your time on the slopes.
Once you try it, we know you’ll be hooked.
There’s certainly a lot to think about when you’re preparing for a trip like this, but as long as you follow these pointers, you should have a skiing experience to remember – and for all the right reasons!
Novice skiers and snowboarders won’t be going far – or fast, so gentle, easily accessible slopes are what is needed. As you’ll be spending the first few days on the beginner slopes, you don’t need a huge extensive ski area. Therefore it’s best choose a destination that offers some convenient green nursery slopes and a selection of gentle blue runs where you can get to grips with the basics. The good news is, there are lots of fantastic options to choose from.
Some of our favourite resorts for beginners include Meribel in France, which is located in the heart of the Three Valleys region and has lots of great options for skiers of all abilities. Also in France, Les Gets is another superb choice for beginners. Situated in the Portes du Soleil ski area, it offers slopes that are ideal for building confidence and working on basic skills. Verbier in south-west Switzerland and Lech in the Arlberg region of Austria are also top picks for newbies.
Nothing beats a luxury chalet when you’re looking for skiing holiday accommodation. You’ll have your own private space to call home, giving you your own space to relax and enjoy time with your family and friends. But there are many different types of chalet to choose from and you need to know what to look out for.
One key point of difference is whether or not chalets are catered or self-catered. For the ultimate in convenience, a catered chalet is the best. If you go for this option, you won’t have to think about shopping or preparing food. A highly skilled chef will be on hand to prepare breakfast and cook your evening meals. These chalets also usually include a full team of staff to keep everything neat and tidy, and even mix your drinks just as you like them. You’ll barely need to lift a finger.
When staying at a luxury catered ski chalet guests can expect a delicious breakfast service laid out each morning to start the day. Skiers then usually have lunch in one of the many mountain restaurants up on the slopes. Then when you return to the chalet in the afternoon, you’ll find a tasty afternoon tea to keep you going until dinner is served in the evening. Your expert chef will discuss your preferences with you and create a tailored menu to suit your group perfectly.
Normally there will be one or two evenings during the week when dinner won’t be served in the chalet, so guests will be able to experience the many fabulous restaurants of the village.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer a little more independence and enjoy eating in restaurants each evening, or just want to keep things simple and prepare your own food, self-catering is the option for you.
It’s easy to get carried away before a skiing holiday and buy lots of equipment, but this is almost invariably a mistake. Skis, snowboards and boots can easily be hired once you get to the ski resort. There are many equipment hire shops in all ski resorts and they will have all types of gear, so will set you up with the most suitable equipment for your ability.
It’s a good idea to try before you buy, which means renting equipment for your first skiing experience. As you progress, you will want different types of skis to suit your ability and the conditions, so there are major advantages of hiring skis on arrival. Also, if you use a hire shop in the ski resort, you won’t have to take as much equipment with you on your travels.
If you fall in love with skiing (and we think you will) you may choose to buy your own ski boots. This ensures your boots fit perfectly and don’t cause any irritation during the week.
The right clothes are a must for skiing trips. Typically, you start with a good quality base layer that’s designed to wick sweat away from your body. My preference is the excellent Icebreaker merino wool kit. On top of this, for most of the ski season you’ll need a mid layer that helps to keep you warm. This might be a woolly jumper or fleece, for example. Your outer layer should include a wind and waterproof jacket and trousers.
You’ll also need a helmet for safety and a good pair of gloves to keep your hands toasty. And don’t forget your sunscreen and lip balm. The sun can pack a punch in the mountains. You’ll need goggles too to ski in.
On rare occasions it may be possible to hire jackets and trousers, but don’t rely on being able to do that as it’s not normally an option.
Another essential piece of kit is a neck warmer, particularly on cold days. In cold, windy conditions this can make a huge difference.
To get the most from your time skiing, we strongly advise booking ski lessons. This is essential to help you to nail the basics and mean you don’t get into bad habits that are hard to shake. We can help organise these for you and advise on the most suitable options.
We understand that planning your first ski trip can be a daunting experience. But not to worry – we are here to help! Our experienced team are on hand to advise and guide you through the whole process. We’ve been through it ourselves and we know what it takes to make the perfect trip. Whether you want advice on where to go, what to bring or just want to chat through ‘how it all works’, we are here for you.
Just one more piece of advice – A ski trip isn’t only about the skiing. It’s also about the joys of spending time in the spectacular mountains with your loved ones, bonding over a shared experience. And, of course, it’s about enjoying staying in a beautiful luxury ski chalet.
When you’re thinking of booking a ski chalet in the Alps, our collection of properties includes the finest luxury ski chalets with the very best services and facilities to match. From impressive cuisine from your private chef to world-class spa facilities.
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