Skiing Holidays for Dummies


Skiing holidays have a whole culture surrounding them. For a beginner on their own in the wild, it can be rather daunting. Here are a few tips and pointers for the utterly clueless amongst you, who may be having their first taste of the snow (literally) on the ski trip in a few weeks’ time.

  1. Your holiday will be Freshers all over again, regarding nights out

Whether you’re a heavy drinker or not, Ski reps go hard. Drinking games seem to number thousands and Reps seem to go on bar crawls every single night. When they drink, they take you down with them until you’re able to walk around in the snow without a jacket and not feel the slightest bit cold.

2. Drinking at altitude is very different and will probably increase the impact alcohol has on you 

When you’re out and about with the ski reps, yes they go hard; but stand your ground if they try to make you drink too much. Altitude changes the way that alcohol affects you in a bad way and your usual drinking habits will not get you by without spewing.

3. Take people of the same ability as you – learning to ski together is so much more fun

When your mum is a pro and your little brother is put with the juniors, you’ll be put into a beginners group with old men and 14 year old boys or girls that flirt with you. If you’re with your friends you’ll probably be happier and less embarrassed of taking risks and ultimately you’ll probably learn to ski faster.

4. Despite the cold weather, you’ll be really warm once you’re on the slopes

When you’re learning, side stepping up the nursery slope takes a lot of effort in heavy boots and with heavy skis attached. Sweat will cling to your goggles and when its time to break for lunch you’ll be red in the face. If it’s a sunny day, you’ll be sweating like a pig. Don’t wear too many layers, unless it’s really very cold.

5. Snowboarding is harder than you think

A lot of people get bored of skiing half way through the holiday and have a go at snowboarding. Most people quit. The boots are a lot nicer to walk in and much comfier; but snowboarding is incredibly difficult to master and you’ll fall over most of the time.

6. People are surprisingly particular about how fashionable sallopettes are

If you don’t have the right sallopettes (ski pants) then you’ll probably feel pretty silly. Apparently people are very fashion-conscious in the Alps.

7. Skiing straight down a steep hill is probably not a good idea

If you’re going slow enough to stop yourself with a snow plough that’s great; but go down a steep hill without turning and you’re going to hurtle down at a terrifying speed and you won’t be able to stop yourself unless you fall on your bum, like this man below.

Feeling better about Skiing yet?

Even if you’re clueless about the sport and the culture at first, it’ll be absolutely fine. Have a great time!


Wessex Scene Editor 2016-17 and Features Editor 2015-2016. History Student, Blog writer ( and traveller. Student Brand Ambassador for the i Paper 2015-2016. Tea lover, cat enthusiast. @Alicetotheskies

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