It would be fair to say that the slopes have been put on ice (pardon the pun) for the past eighteen months. However, following the backlog that has emerged from last winter, demand is soaring for the current snow season.
If you haven't been skiing before, it's quite easy to wonder what all of the fuss is about. After all, the thought of gallivanting off into a remote location, climbing a gigantic mountain, before hurtling down at record speeds, can be daunting for some (or utterly enticing for others!).
Bearing this in mind, if you haven't been skiing before but are considering jumping on the upcoming bandwagon, let's take a look at some of the travel tips you should adopt.
It's all about the location
Here's a newsflash – not all ski resorts are equal. On the face of things, this might not come as a surprise. After all, not all mountains are the same shape and size, and naturally, this is going to mean that each resort has something a little unique to offer.
However, there's oh-so-much more to this. Gone are the days where a ski resort was ‘merely' for skiing (or snowboarding, if that's going to be more your thing). They are called ‘resorts' for a reason and as a beginner, you need to take full advantage.
Skiing is exhausting, and you won't be up in the mountains for the entire duration. Instead, you'll need downtime, and this is where all of the activities on the resort come into play.
Are you traveling with a group of friends? The famous après ski might be up your street – but make sure you pick a resort that has bustling bars and nightlife. Or, is this more of a family affair? It's here where you can look for resorts that are tailored to children, and include everything from indoor (and outdoor, believe it or not) swimming pools, cinemas, and kids clubs.
In short, don't restrict everything to the slopes themselves.
Think about the difficulty of the resort in question
Staying on the topic of location, it goes without saying that you'll need ‘easier' slopes as you get to grips with your new sport. Even if you have lessons (which we absolutely recommend), you'll still be at the beginner stage and more suited to these types of slopes.
In the world of skiing, these are classed as ‘green' and ‘blue' slopes. If you find a resort that tends to focus more on the ‘red' or ‘black' side, it's probably not for you. These are the most difficult to navigate, and your getaway will be anything but fun.
Let's not also forget that the conditions can make or break a slope's difficulty. If there's too much ice, you're going to struggle regardless of the color rating. As such, get up-to-date snow forecasts from Piste Pro before you travel to the lift. You might decide to give some days a miss and make the most of the rest of the resort's facilities.
What about food?
As you may have already found out, skiing is by no means a cheap affair. Unfortunately, things don’t change when you’re looking for eating options.
Firstly, the on-resort supermarkets tend to be expensive (and we’re talking, really expensive).
It means that you’re left with the on-site restaurants, which can also be pricey. We’d most certainly encourage you to try some of these restaurants, as traditional mountain food should at least be sampled. However, on a day-to-day basis, consider planning in advance and doing a big supermarket shop before you arrive on the mountain. The supermarkets at the foot of the mountain are significantly cheaper, and it all turns into quite a cozy affair when you’re cooking in your chalet after a cold day on the slopes.
Don’t be the one with ‘all the gear, and no idea’
Finally, let’s talk about logistics. Yes, you can look quite professional if you take your own gear including your neck gaiter for skiing– but it just makes your trip even more difficult. Most airlines will charge a small fortune to take your own skis, while we don’t need to talk about the logistical difficulties if you are trying to fit all of your equipment in a hire vehicle.
Instead, turn up empty handed and hire your equipment. It will make your holiday much easier.