You’ve finally plucked up the courage, found a cheap flight from Monarch, and booked that ski trip you’ve always said you’d go on. Now, you’re probably realising that your first ski holiday can be a little bit intimidating. You’ll have to navigate your way through excessive amounts of equipment, incomprehensible conversations about snow conditions, and the complications of mounting a chairlift. But we’ve all been there. Really, a bruised bum and getting lost on the wrong side of the mountain is all part of the fun. Don’t worry about the mistakes you’ll make on your skis, but once you take them off, there are some newbie errors that you should avoid at all costs. For the best first ski holiday, you shouldn’t…
…Lie-in on your first morning.
Ski resorts are most beautiful and most peaceful when the lifts have only just opened. So drag yourself out of bed and give yourself the chance to try out the nursery-slope before it’s full of toddlers. If you’ve been doing anything right, later on in the week you’ll be needing a lie-in, so get your chance to carve the first tracks into a newly groomed piste early on in the holiday.
…Return home for lunch.
Don’t waste time and energy removing your ski boots to traipse back into the chalet for some stale baguettes and plastic cheese. Take the lift up to the nearest peak and order some raclette and a hot chocolate. Lunch is a great time to get your fill of watching the mountain’s collection of skiing clichés, and to enjoy delicious alpine treats you’ll have thoroughly earned.
…Dash back to the chalet when the lifts close.
By 4pm, your knees may be weary, but that doesn’t mean you need to return home for a rest. It means you need a glass of mulled wine. Anyone who is anyone spends the late afternoon in one of the tens of après-ski bars in every alpine resort. This is when the real partying happens, often with live music, plenty of libations, and glamorously windswept people everywhere.
…Spend every second on your skis.
You may feel you ought to be using every minute to master the mountain, but ski resorts have so many other activities to offer. Go ice-skating on the lake, rent snowmobiles, or make a visit to the luge track for some extra-curricular fun. Alpine resorts are littered with fabulous spas too, and you shouldn’t leave without spending at least one afternoon in a Jacuzzi out in the open air. Save it for the end of the week and your thighs will thank you on the flight home.
…Miss resort-wide evening events.
Most resorts organise regular events in the evenings, such as torch-lit descents and floodlit freestyle competitions. Don’t worry; you don’t have to participate. But slip on your snow boots and wander out with the rest of the world to watch the best skiers show off their skills. It’s a great way to meet people, and to find out more about what late night fun your town has to offer.