Admit it, even before leaving it is quite tricky! You’re trying to close your suitcase full of sweaters, ski suits and equipment but also after ski, blankets or even sleeping bag. It doesn’t fit in and that’s frustrating. That’s also when you start taking extreme measures, you try to sit on it, stand on it jump on it, whatever, it won’t close.
You finally give up, taking out half of your garments and thinking: Did I forget something?
Our advice: Keep your essentials and try to take a travel bag instead of a suitcase, wheels and snow are not good friends.
2) On the road.
One wants to read the map, the other the GPS no one agrees, you’re spending all the trip fighting and you end up lost in the middle of nowhere. That’s when the children start asking “Are we there yet?”. Keep calm, sometimes it is just better not to answer.
Before leaving check the website of the resort and click on “directions”, they are the ones to know. And be sure to leave early enough not to be on the road late at night, it can become quite dangerous especially when you are tired.
When you finally arrive, that’s when you start seeing snow on the road, but that’s also when you think about TIRE CHAINS, taking for granted that you have bought some before leaving, and they are somewhere in the car.
For the first time you open the vehicle manual ‘How to Put On Tire Chains’ that had been left back in the trunk for 2 years. Usually, people open it and get scared, they close it, try to put the chains on and open the manual again.
And that’s a real headache. And the driver that was behind all the way up puts them on in three minutes and drives away while you still don’t how to undo them. And you are lucky if it doesn’t snow, because you are cold, and your fingers don’t seem to work properly.
If you are not sure about the tire chains, do not worry, some gas stations at the mountain have a support service available all day long.
3) Your equipment
First you try to explain to the children that even if ‘it’s sunny outside ‘, yes in the mountain it’s cold. So you do what’s called layering:
Jackets, pants, midlayers, baselayers, gloves, googles … For the children first and then yourself. You put on your ski boots, which takes you approximately 20 minutes. Then you double check you have everything, everyone has the gloves, the boots, the sunglasses, you start going down the stairs and then you try not to hear ‘Mommy, Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom!’
Have you ever tried going to the bathroom with ski boots, skis poles, ski pants and at least 5 different layers on?
4) On the slopes!
Finally ready, next step: getting on the slopes. You are now walking full of grace carrying 3 pairs of ski, ski boots (1 kilo each), and the poles which of course have a very precise length and label names so you know which one belongs to whom.
That’s when you lose one ski and you are watching it tipping over, and falling slowly down the stairs.
Check the buses before going, it’s really helpful and they take you directly to the resort with no need of chains or waiting 20 minutes to find a parking space 2 kilometers away from the slopes. You can also ask the reception for the buses or look at the resort’s website.
5) Finding your ski monitor.
About 300 kids are running around, it’s the first day of school and you’re already late with the children. But don’t worry, monitors are used to it they will wait for you? Just be sure to go with the right group because with the goggles and the suit, you are not sure it is the guy on the photo.
But you have one day for yourself enjoying the slopes without worrying about anything else!
6) The ski pass
It is Monday morning and the resort is full and skiers and snowboarder recently arrived who have one thing on their mind: going on the slopes as fast as possible and enjoying the fresh snow of the weekend especially after a Sunday with relatively few people. But that is also when you have to start queuing out in the snow, and once you have paid and got your ski pass (without losing it of course) the red light at the checkout tells you the microchip doesn’t work.
Our advice: Book your pass a few days before your arrival on the website of the resort or booking platform.
7) The first time you take the button-tow: don’t worry no one’s watching.
For beginners and children it is not a big deal, but when ten or fifteen people are watching you in the queue and especially some handsome monitors, you lose all your self-confidence. Just don’t try to hang on to the tow if you fall or you will get dragged like that poor kid…
8) The croppers.
You cannot avoid it forever. This is the traditional scheme: the first two days you are very careful, you do not fall, you ski beautifully of course but you feel a bit stiff.
Then you think it is third day, it is time to have fun. You feel confident, you take the black slope, arrive near the chairlift, finish the run with a blue slope and … come a real cropper. Slightly stunned, you watch your ski sliding down the slope, while your poles stayed all the way up.
Don’t worry no one’s watching…
Okay, that’s true, going on ski holidays can be quite tricky but that’s the game! And skiing is worth it.