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Skiing for a complete novice

(24 Posts)
AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 29-Dec-17 15:48:27

Hi. I’m interested in the idea of a skiing holiday for us - me DH, DS (13) who’s been once and DD (11). DH hasn’t been but is sporty and adventurous, DD is the same and then there’s me. I like walking and swimming and am generally a really risk-averse scaredy-cat. I have loads of questions grin
1) when’s the best time to go (Europe)
2) how much are we talking price wise? It doesn’t have to be the most expensive place but I also don’t want THE absolute cheapest option.
3) what’s a typical day?? Is it go in the ski lift, ski down, come back up and repeat?
4) what’s best, a chalet or hotel?
5) is it possible to do really easy skiing as an adult or would I be with the toddlers?
6) if it turned out I didn’t take to it, I’d there generally anything else to do?
7) I’ve read that places like Lidl I think do ski gear, is that ok or false economy?

Friends photos look so beautiful- but at 43yo I wonder if I’ve left it too late sad

kelper Fri 29-Dec-17 15:50:12

Following because I have a sneaky desire to ski, but have never done so..... DH has been loads pre-me, and I think DS would love it.

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 29-Dec-17 16:08:29

I like the idea of it and it looks great but I know it’s a pricey trip and I do have concerns that it could be wasted on me...

Solasum Fri 29-Dec-17 16:16:36

Lidl ski gear is fine. I’d recommend getting decent gloves though.

You could technically ski from first lift to dark. Realistically as a complete beginner a couple of hours of lessons in the morning then couple of hours after lunch may well be enough.

Tignes is really nice for novices, with non ski stuff too. Timewise any time from now, generally gets warmer later in the season.

Budget wise, something like Ski Total is very nice. You don’t have to lift a finger the whole time, but not gold plated. There is afternoon tea etc, they sort all transfers.

You could do it much more cheaply in a hotel though.

cestlavielife Fri 29-Dec-17 17:42:50

I did first time 2017 age 52! Did a snow dome 3 hour learn to ski session which got basics.
Definitely join an adult learn to ski class in resort usually two hours per day.
Crystal etc offer "learn to ski" package. It s good in a group with other adults to share and commiserate.

The teens will pick it up quicker.
Avoriaz was great as a beginner.
Look at deals on skiweb crystal igluski etc

By the time you counted flight transfer lessons passes hire etc it is circa 1000 per head but you might find cheaper.
Doing a package is easy as transfers included and rep in resort to help if someone does sprain something...

So day was

Go out again in pm if up to it otherwise walk sledging pool etc

Early bed as tired


cestlavielife Fri 29-Dec-17 17:46:29

Call crystal or igluski or inghams to talk through deals and options to get some ideas of prices. Avoriaz has lots of self catering apartments.

cestlavielife Fri 29-Dec-17 17:49:40

Othercthings just being out in snow and sun and enjoying the views. Most places have cable cars you can go up as foot passenger not on skis so you can meet the more adventurous in the afternoon if you tired after morning lessons but they want to co ntinue.
The lesdons are good to learn and also they show you which runs are going to be good to repeat and practice in the p.m.

DereksGotATail Fri 29-Dec-17 18:00:49

I first went skiing at 48 and struggled to pick it up. I've been twice and only improved slightly on the 2nd trip, mainly due to confidence. Having said that, I enjoyed the holiday as we went with friends so we could pair off with matching abilities and go at our own speed.
I had lessons in the morning with other adult beginners and these definitely helped with technique. We met up for lunch and then did our own skiing in the afternoon.
We usually went into the village for drinks in an evening and then back to our apartment for dinner and an early night.
It's a tiring holiday but thoroughly enjoyable. Cheap flights, sharing an appartment and self catering brought the budget down considerably. Clothing and ski passes certainly bump up the overall cost.

tailsandscales Fri 29-Dec-17 18:02:24

Do you have a local snow centre? If so I’d go and do a taster lesson. It’d give you an idea if you’re going to enjoy skiing or not.
If you Do decide to go, self catering is cheapest option. Personally I think chalets are better if you can fill them with your own friends and family. Otherwise they are a bit of a lottery. If you can go in January or March that will significantly reduce the cost and the slopes will be quieter.
I love Avoriaz but the lift pass is expensive as it’s a big area, which as a beginner you are unlikely to make the most of. Same goes for Tignes. I’d go for a smaller, more compact resort for a first holiday. Maybe look at Andora.
Also try to get accommodation that is close to lifts and ski school.

LadyLance Fri 29-Dec-17 18:02:55

Decathlon, if you have one near you, is great for reasonably priced ski-gear. I think you could buy everything you would need for under £200 each there, and they have a lot more choice than most other shops where you can get budget ski gear. Trespass also were doing a deal where you could get a set of ski gear (jacket, salopettes, gloves and helmet) for £70.

If you want cheaper options, look at eastern Europe (e.g. Bulgaria). I know quite a few people who have been and had great holidays outside of the alps. In general, there are less more challenging slopes, but if you are all beginners, that shouldn't be an issue.

I'm going on a ski holiday in January in France which was the cheapest we could find at the time- £500 each for chalet-hotel accommodation and flights, then an extra £250(ish) for lift pass, although there are cheaper options if you don't want access to all the slopes. Plus ski-hire for about £70 (found a good deal online) which includes skis, poles and boots. On top of this there will be extra travel insurance to cover winter sports and ski lessons are not cheap, so I agree that a budget of £1000 per person including equipment hire and purchase is probably the minimum.

cestlavielife Fri 29-Dec-17 18:28:27

Annual travel insurance lije insureandgo includes up to 17 days winter sports

Newhouse76 Fri 29-Dec-17 18:38:34

I am just back from my first ski holiday with DD, 13. I started a couple of threads when planning the trip.

We had a great time, although I only skied down some of the easier blue slopes by the end of the week. I was quite slow and cautious to be honest - we had a mixture of private and group lessons.

DD picked it up so much quicker than me and some very experienced skiers took her out onto some of the simpler red runs for an afternoon and she loved it.

We stayed in a chalet and I'd definately recommend it! We had some lovely people in our chalet and a really friendly chalet host. I'm saying that I don't have another experience to compare it to.

We bought our ski gear from decathlon and aldi and both were fine. I found the aldi ski socks warmer than the tresspass ones I'd also bought.

Go for it! We will definately do it again.

sparechange Fri 29-Dec-17 18:44:17

Club Med do all-inclusive ski holidays - flights, transfers, all food and drink, instruction, lift passes - for around £1200 per person, five or take £200 for the time of year. Feb half term is always the most expensive, and easter holidays are the next expensive after that

The only thing you have to get on top is your equipment (approx €100 each for the week from any of the hundreds shops in the resorts) plus clothing.

Or check out Ski Total, Ski Beat Or If You Ski for an idea of other options but most will be transport and accommodation only so you'll have to factor in the cost of your lessons, lift pass and lunches on top.

If you know anyone who skis, I'm sure they'll be happy to lend a jacket and sallopettes and you can buy cheap base layers from uniqclo or decathlon, plus you'll need ski socks and decent gloves

Daily routine would be a huge breakfast and then make your way to the ski school meeting point
Ski school would run from 9:30-12:30 and they'll drop you off at the same point in the centre of town so you can all go for lunch together

Then in the afternoon, you pick a slope to practice what you've been doing in the morning, maybe stop for a mountain-side hot choc! You will probably be too tired to ski all afternoon but the lifts run until 4:30pm

Hotels and chalets serve afternoon tea and cakes from about 4pm onwards and then you've got time for drinks, showers etc before dinner

If you want to go out after dinner, most bars and hotels have live bands, cheese nights, wine tasting, quiz nights etc at least one night a week so there is something going on in the resort every evening

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 29-Dec-17 20:12:16

This is great, thank you! So would February half term be more expensive than Xmas? Presumably by Easter you’re taking more of a gamble with amounts of snow?

cestlavielife Fri 29-Dec-17 20:18:20

I looked at half term out of interest and deals were from 975 per person half board flights etc. Try putting in details and do searches on main sites like igluski
Kids may be cheaper

LadyLance Fri 29-Dec-17 23:15:42

February half term is one of the most expensive times to ski- February is a more expensive month anyway as snow conditions are best then, and half term holidays can apparently triple the price of some holidays. I think Easter is risky- but this year has had good snow so far so you might be safe.

user187656748 Fri 29-Dec-17 23:27:16

As a risk averse scary cat I think you need be prepared to hate it. Particularly if you are thinking of going during school holidays when the slopes will be busy and the chances of someone crashing into you are much increased. I am a good skier but as I get older I enjoy it less and less.

Tignes is not a good option for complete beginners Imo since although the nursery slope is right in the village, to get to any easy slopes you need to get across some more challenging bits.

We generally end up spending about £5,000-£6,000 all in for four of us. However this year we are doing Andorra at February half term and its coming to less than £3k all inclusive staying in a five star hotel. Andorra is a pain to get to but a much cheaper option. Plus the nursery area is big and much better than Tignes.

user187656748 Fri 29-Dec-17 23:28:42

February half term is more expensive than Christmas. In December you also run the risk of having to ski on ice which is horrible for beginners.

allthgoodusernamesaretaken Mon 08-Jan-18 16:13:50

lots of info here

allthgoodusernamesaretaken Mon 08-Jan-18 16:13:59

lots of info here

lampygirl Sat 13-Jan-18 22:22:19

I would go Easter as a beginner. There’s a decent amount of snow this year. We always ski mid March as one of our trips and while it is getting a little slushy at the end of the day we are usually heading up on the last lifts and skiing down again whereas if you had called it a day early afternoon (more likely to as tired when learning) it would be fine. We also ski at Christmas and March is much better, Christmas is very very cold.

Buttercupsandaisies Mon 15-Jan-18 14:20:04

We're going Andorra soldeu in Feb half term. Family of four (older kids) £4200 all in. Booked independently, same hotel etc with crystal close to 6k

Don't discount Andorra it's really upped its game in the last 10 years, most hotels 4/5 star now and all resorts have joined on one lift pass to make a huge ski area called Grandvilara. It holds championships there most years now. Its nothing like when I went first over 12 years ago!

It's actually one of the dearest places to learn to ski due to size of lift pass area etc but still cheap to eat and drink out. Yes the transfers a pain but the English speaking ski school is amazing and if you read up you'll see it's meant to be one of the best in Europe. I've skied 5 times and it's fab for beginners and intermediates.

You defo don't want a chalet for kids your ages as its likely you'll be able to ski in the afternoon as a family and will enjoy eating/staying up late with the kids etc.

Jaybee99 Mon 15-Jan-18 14:28:54

I went skiing for 1st time in late March in Serre Chevalier, just before Easter. Great area for beginners with wide open greens. Took lessons with ESF who then gave a 40% discount on the ski pass. Found a cheap but quite nice apartment which was fairly empty as end of season. We were joining up with other people so hadn't booked ourselves BUT noticed that with 4 weeks to go, the apartment company HALVED the apartment prices! So, could easily get a really nice apartment for around 400 euros for the week. Plus they had a nice pool and jacuzzi which, because the place was so empty, we had almost to ourselves. L'Adret Chantemerle was the name of the place. About 200m from the gondala . Takeaway rotisserie chicken & great pizza a short walk(5min) away. And treat your family to a great traditional feast one night at Le Gavroche in the stunning medievel Briancon, 15 mins down the valley.

For how to get there: Suggest you fly to Turin and rent a car. Easy drive from Turin to Chantemerle. Spend morning doing lessons in Chantemerle. Come down off mountain, jump in car and drive 3 mins down road to Villeneuve and head up to yellow gondala to Frejus cafe for lunch. (We bought drinks & chips but covertly ate our own sandwiches..) Then in the afternoon enjoy the big wide green runs up there which are perfect for beginners. And nearly empty with no queues. And the best thing? So sunny!!! Amazingly warm sun - great sunbathing at lunchtime in Frejus Cafe! Got a little sunburnt on the backs of my hands as too hot to wear gloves (yes, I know...). So pack some quality sunnies.

LostMyMojoSomewhere Mon 15-Jan-18 14:35:57

I am also a risk-averse scaredy cat and I have been skiing once. I hated every minute of it - even the fun apres stuff was ruined by the prospect of having to get up and do it all again tomorrow. I couldn't even finish ski school because everyone else in the class bar me and one other person could move on from the nursery slopes and I couldn't even master the basics.

I would make absolutely sure that there is enough non-ski stuff to fill in maybe 4 or 5 days. Wish I had!!

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