As us Brits prepare for summer already it's hard to forget the millions who annually partake in ski trips across the world this winter. Amongst the main partakers in popular ski holiday destinations include France, Austria and Japan to name a few. But what makes skiing so great at this time of year? And what should you be doing whilst on your ski holiday? Having recently been on a ski trip myself to Val Thorens this winter, I'm breaking down my top ski tips to get you ski ready this winter.
Firstly, Val Thorens is a beautiful local area nestled within the French Alps. As i live i London, France is always a great ski destination for those only staying for a week or less as it's not too far to travel. People often visit Val Thorens from Geneva airport, just a few hour drive away as it's pretty close to the swiss border. Of course Austria, Northern Italy and other European destinations are great for long weekends away with friends or family. Despite all this, VT is a typical ski resort in it's temperature, conditions and potential for ski or board. Based on my experiences here and at other ski resorts, here I count top tips whilst skiing including things to watch out for. Whilst doing this I'll also be talking a little about ski culture, the fun stuff and of course Apres.
One of the many residential areas in val Thorens, france
This one's particularly for beginners. Yes, their may be some fashion conscious people on the slopes who want to look good as well as perform well on their ski holiday, but dressing up in all white isn't only funny but rather dangerous, too. As a beginner who may not be too good at skiing, I'd never recommend wearing too much white as blending into the snow may mean friends won't spot you if you were to have a fall.
Tip 2: Layers, and more layers!
Okay, so this one's rather obvious. Still you'd be surprised at how many people think it's okay to wear a thin fleece or cheap non-thermal materials which won't keep you warm during your time on the slopes. in Val Thorens temperatures per night often reached -16 c. So wearing the correct clothing is crucial for plenty of warmth.
This doesn't just apply for on the slopes but even at night leaving bars and clubs. You're not in London anymore and getting an uber home simply isn't an option my friend. Depending on where you go, some resorts will only offer one key per two persons. Annoying i know, but it's for your own safety.
Tip 4: Do more than just ski
This is less of a tip and more advice, but don't forget all the other activities and events you can see whilst on your ski holiday. Why not try sledging one day as an activity with friends? Visit the local bars and explore the local areas of your resort. I was lucky as Val Thorens is such a small area, so i was able to easily explore and come across all of their lovely bars and coffee shops.
Fondue, A traditional French dish served in the Alps
This ones to the more advanced skiers out there. As obvious as it may seem, challenge yourself. It can be easy to stop pushing yourself once you feel comfortable on the slopes, but feeling 'comfortable' each season won't help you improve your ski game. Hire lessons whilst on your trip, watch others and hang around skiers who are slightly more advanced than you. Or even hire out some different skies which will help you perform even better on the snow.
Dinner in the mountains, a perfect view over Val Thorens, France
For those of you who may not know Apres-ski is a term which describes drinking whilst on the slopes. This social activity is popular in resorts all around the world and is used universally. Particularly when weather conditions are bad, often people simply drink instead with friends or attend clubs or bars up in the mountains and ski back home before dark that evening. Apres ski is a huge must on any ski holiday. In my experiences there were lots of bars and restaurants which encouraged this, and one bonus i always find is getting to meet new people and make new friends along the way.