After 5 months in Tignes, France, I leave tomorrow. Soon I’ll be seeing friends and family again, and preparing for the next adventure. But, overall, I have had a good ski season, and I will no doubt recommend it to others in future. When I do, I’ll be sure to also include the following five ways you can make the most of this great opportunity and have even more fun!
Don’t become a snow snob
I assume that ultimately we’re all here to enjoy some skiing/snowboarding. That’s no challenge when it’s your day off, when there is blue skies and great snow, and all your buddies are also heading out. It is slightly tougher when you wake up, hungover from the night before, look outside, and can’t even spot the prominent mountain which usually stands imposingly in front of your window. Is it really that cloudy or has someone just covered my window in a sheet of paper? You can hear the wind howling outside, screaming at the window to let it in.
As I write this, I wonder how I can possibly persuade you that actually going skiing in such conditions is a more attractive option than being gently fondled by your duvet and watching movies. Well, I can safely tell you that, regardless of weather, no-one I’ve spoken to, myself included, have ever regretted going skiing (except for Jake… he broke his knee – but that’s a different story). 99% of the time you’ll come back, and work won’t even seem so bad… because you’ve cashed in, and been paid in the form of ski time. Also, skiing is the best hangover remedy…
A day skiing in bad weather is not as fun as a day in good weather, but is still better than a day doing nothing.
They say with a ski season, there are three aspects; sleeping, drinking, and skiing. Unfortunately you only have the time to do two alongside work, so sleep will suffer. Working night shifts, and prioritizing skiing, I didn’t drink a whole lot, but I still felt perpetually tired. Going home tomorrow, there’s a good chance I could sleep for a week straight before I began to consider seeing friends and family again.
You should go into a season expecting to feel tired. Even if you want an early night, the party in the chalet next door may put a rapid stop to that thought! My advice would be to not to let sleep deprivation make you miss anything exciting, whether it’s skiing, or an ice-skating disco on the lake.
Having said all this, sleep is obviously something you need. That’s what time on chairlifts is for I guess…
There is more than one way to skin a cat. There is more than one way to get down from the top of a snow-covered mountain.
There will come a point on your season, where the thought of doing the same runs you’ve done a hundred times before becomes a less exciting prospect that it was at the start. Switching to another discipline will offer a great new perspective on these slopes you’re well accustomed to. When I first started learning to snowboard, the ‘easy blue’ I knew so well, was suddenly the ‘there’s a good chance I’ll die here, blue’.
There’s often a rivalry between skiiers and snowboarders. There shouldn’t be. As I improved at snowboarding, I discovered it was a completely different, and exciting sport, something even the most dedicated skier can learn to enjoy. Once they’ve got over the first 100 crashes anyway.
If you’re really dedicated to trying other things, you can also now get around on snow bikes, bizarre skateboards, and chairs you sit on!
Ski resorts are often places with big bars in the mountains to enjoy some Après-skiing, and vibrant night life. While this is a sure-fire way to miss out on days skiing, it would be rude not to check out the wide variety of bars and clubs, take advantage to some extent of generous seasonaire discounts, and enjoy some of the one-off festivals and events which you will frequently see advertised. Wouldn’t it?
“What? The rest of your points were pretty good, but now you want us to crash?!”
Well, I think there’s something to be said for the idea that ‘If you ain’t crashing, you ain’t trying hard enough!’
I’m not advising you to go out and be a terror on the piste, but just to push yourself, and try new things. Inevitably there will be crashes, but you will probably be okay, and improve quickly. When I was learning to do a 360, I crashed at least 50 times. I was battered, and bruised by the end of the week, but now I love being able to stomp them in the park!
It will be more fun the more you can do, so be sure to frolic in the park, whiz down the steeps, play in the moguls, and get beat in the powder (where crashes aplenty are guaranteed, but you’ll have a soft, cushioned landing!)