Going on a Skiing Holiday – Part 1

Huge numbers of people go on skiing holidays each year to a variety of countries around the world. The preparation needed to enjoy a skiing holiday is huge, and for those who are going on their first visit to the alpine environments, the experience they have in reality can be nothing like the one that they visualize.

The ski operators have done a fantastic job in marketing the holidays and people are tempted by the glamorous image that the activity portrays. Every brochure is full of pictures of athletic looking young people, dressed in the latest attire, gliding down a mountain side which is bathed in beautiful sunshine.

The brochures also show the picturesque villages at their finest moments and there are images of mountain cafes with the most amazing views, serving much needed refreshments. The ideal scenario is found on the mountain side, but, in reality, there are many more days when the sun isn’t shining and the weather in the resorts is cold and wet.

Skiing looks so easy?

For the people who are preparing to go on their first ski holiday, it is essential to buy or hire the right clothing. The resorts that have plenty of snow have many days of the year when the weather is cold and dangerous. Clouds fill the mountain side and visibility is down to a bare minimum. Skiing gear is not cheap, but it is essential to take advantage of modern technology and purchase the correct clothing. For beginners, it is simply essential, as they fall down more regularly in the learning stages than experienced skiers. The correct hats, gloves, salopettes, ski jackets and socks make the difference between the experience being enjoyable or downright miserable.

Even on days of good weather the early morning starts mean that it is extremely cold and it is essential to stay warm. The skier also has to contend with sun burn on good days, as when the sun comes out, it is stronger at high altitudes and can burn the skin.

Before arriving at a ski resort, there are many things that the first timers should be doing to prepare for the experience. As well as purchasing the correct clothing they must also prepare their bodies for the days ahead. Skiing uses muscles that are not normally used and for those trying it for the first time, it can be an exhausting activity. By the third day, everyone feels the aches and pains not just from falling over but also from using muscles in their bodies that have never been used before. Gyms up and down the country run ski fitness classes in the early months to prepare people for the ski season.

A customer with the ski technician

Upon arriving to the resort, everyone goes for their ski fit. This is where the ski technicians fit people for their ski boots, poles and boots. Generally, the more experienced the skier, the longer their skis will be. The fitting is vital for two reasons.

Firstly, the boots have to be the perfect size for the person’s foot. They are naturally uncomfortable but the last thing a skier wants during their week is painful feet as a result of ill-fitting boots. It is an unpleasant experience, squeezing the boots on in the early mornings when they are a good fit. However, this is nothing compared to the stress encountered if the boots are too tight.

The other reason that the ski fit is essential is that the skis have to be matched perfectly with the person’s weight and boot size. This is because if this is done perfectly, then when the skier falls, the ski will become detached from the boot lessening the chances of injury. If the attachment is too tight or too lose, then this is when the problems start. Too tight, and the boot not separating from the ski can result in serious leg injuries. Too loose, and the skier is likely to be separated from their ski during the simplest of turns, and this can be frustrating as well as potentially dangerous.

Once the skier has prepared themselves fully with their clothing and equipment they are in perfect shape to conquer the mountain, or are they?