After waiting all year for your fabulous ski trip, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong. Avoid being disappointed by taking the necessary precautions and by discovering all that your destination has to offer.
With only a limited number of days to spend skiing in your chosen destination, you'll probably want to get as much time on the slopes as possible, in order to enjoy practicing your favourite hobby, improve your technique and enjoy the mountain-top views of the great outdoors. Whether you're planning a family getaway with the kids, a romantic weekend for two or a group holiday with friends, get as much out of your time on the mountain as possible by following our simple suggestions with regards to health, activities and equipment.
flickr image by
Being aware of the health risks that you face whilst skiing will enable you to make necessary preparations that could prevent an accident from ruining your ski holiday. There are a number of factors to keep in mind, both when preparing for a day of skiing and when you are on the mountain itself.
Both skiing and snowboarding can be dangerous sports and an accident on the piste can easily see you airlifted off the mountain, ending up in hospital. Should this happen you are sure be left with a hefty bill to pay if you have not already purchased a suitable travel insurance package. With a variety of offers available and compare websites to help you find the best deal, it is easy to find a good value travel insurance package, so aim make it a priority.
Reduce the risk of having an accident on your ski holiday by taking notice of any signs on the piste, in particular notices to warn that a run has been closed. A closed run can signal the possibility of an avalanche or dangerous terrain due to weather conditions.
Another health factor that can be easily overlooked when skiing is the risk of sun exposure. On the mountain the sun's strength is often intensified, the snow acting as a reflector for the sun's rays, giving you a double dose, even on overcast days. Avoid getting burnt by applying a good quality, high factor sunscreen to any areas of exposed skin every two hours.
Wearing lip salve that is specially formulated for winter sports activities will also prevent your lips from splitting or blistering. In addition, protective goggles will protect your eyes from harmful rays, while also enabling you to maintain a good level of vision in the dazzling sun.
With many resorts providing slope-side bars restaurants, it is important to be aware that drinking alcohol will have more of an effect on you at a high altitude, causing you to become more inebriated at a faster rate. 70% of accidents that occur on the slopes at ski resorts in Europe happen in the afternoon. It is thought that this is mainly due to alcohol consumption and tiredness.
By drinking responsibly on the mountain you are less likely to be involved in an accident as your reflexes will be sharper.
Be the first to make tracks in the freshly combed snow by heading out early to avoid the crowds. This will allow you to really enjoy the outdoors and it will also provide you with more space to practice if you are a beginner. Starting early also means shorter queues for the ski lifts and gondolas.
If you're planning on a few late nights of partying while you are away but you still want to get in as many hours as possible on the slopes, take a Vitamin C supplement to help you feel refreshed and ready for action before you hit the slopes.
Try night skiing if your resort allows it, as this will provide you with even more time on the slopes. Night skiing can be a great experience, but remember to stay safe by sticking to the specified slopes that have the proper lighting at this time.
If you are trying to improve your skiing technique with a limited amount of time, invest in a few one on one lessons with a qualified instructor. This will enable you to progress at a faster rate and your instructor will also be able to spot any bad habits that are hindering you from advancing.
Before you book your holiday, research the destination and resort you are interested in to make sure that the there is a good amount of suitable terrain for your ability level. You may also find it useful to research the après-ski entertainment that is available in the resort to ensure that it will be suitable for your travelling party. Find out what your destination has to offer in the way of activities.
This could include anything from husky sledging to riding a snow mobile. Be open to activities that are centred around the local customs, as these will give you a chance to explore the local culture, outside of your ski resort.
Whether you are buying or renting your equipment, save time on your trip by ensuring that you have the correct gear before you head for the ski lift. Ensure that your boots fit correctly as you will be spending most of each day wearing them, so if they are too tight or weathered you will spend a lot of time feeling uncomfortable.
Ensure that you have a suitable insulated, waterproof coat that can zip up to keep you warm and dry on the slope. Weather conditions can change rapidly on the mountain and hypothermia is a real danger if you are unable to keep warm. A coat with pockets is also extremely helpful as these give you places to keep your map of the mountain, camera and lift-pass.