Fleur Lucille


Sunday, 19 April 2020

Tips we learnt from our skiing trip | April 2020

Welcome back to my blog, I thought that I would share some of the tips that we learnt from our first skiing trip together. So a bit of background, both myself and Dan had previously been on skiing trips when we were at school however this was about 20 years ago but I have always had a love of being in the snow and the mountains, I find it so peaceful.

We decided that for Christmas 2019 it would be an amazing experience to celebrate this time of year in the mountains on a skiing trip and the first time that we would have been on a skiing trip together. Once we had decided that this was what we were going to do we then had to determine where to go. In the end we decided upon Sestriere in Northern Italy. We booked our holiday through Crystal Ski and managed to get everything that we were looking for as part of our booking.

Our trip was for a week, we flew out on 22nd December 2019 and returned home on 29th December 2019. We stayed at the Hotel du Col in Sestriere which was the perfect location as had the ability to literally ski up to the hotel. Our room had a balcony which was overlooking the slopes and the views that we had every day were absolutely amazing, if you can I would definitely recommend getting one of the rooms with a balcony.

Seeing as this was our first skiing trip in many years, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to share some of the tips that we learnt from this skiing holiday.

1. Get some practice in if you can
As neither of us had skied in about 20 years there was definitely the hope that it would be like riding a bike and that it would come back to us. In the end we decided that the best thing to do was to get some dry ski slope sessions in before we went. We had two 1-2-1 sessions on our local dry ski slope as well as some recreational sessions before we went on our skiing holiday and found that this really helped us to get out ski legs back. It also meant that we could hit the slopes on the first day with some confidence. If you have the time available before your skiing trip, I would definitely recommend getting some lessons in advance. 

2. Plan how you are going to pack your skiing equipment/items
Start thinking in advance of packing your main clothing and essentials, what skiing equipment that you will need to take and how you plan to pack this. Everyone will have different equipment that you will be taking as it depends upon whether you have bought the items already or are planning to hire them whilst out on your trip. For us we both had our own ski boots and helmets which meant that we needed to try and incorporate this within our baggage weight limit allowed by the airline. We both ended up purchasing Dakine ski boot bags which enabled us to be able to pack our ski boots as well as our helmets (special section of the bag for this) in one place. We then identified which other clothing (mainly ski socks and thermals) that we could use to also pack in our ski boot bags to keep our equipment safe. One thing to be mindful of is that these bags are part of your overall baggage allowance and therefore you need to make sure that you take this into consideration when packing your main suitcase.

3. Book your ski lift passes and ski equipment in advance
We booked the remaining equipment that we needed (skis) and our lift passes at the same time that we arranged the whole holiday. This meant that everything was all sorted for us when we got on the coach at Turin airport. Whilst on the coach we were given our ski lift passes and the details of where to get our skis from. There was the opportunity to sort these out whilst on the coach to the resort but we found that it was so much easier to have this already organised and in place to prevent a last minute rush. It is very important to try not to loose your ski pass, we put these straight in our ski jackets as soon as possible. 

4. Allow plenty of time to sort out your ski equipment in resort
Due to some delays with our flight on the way out to Sestriere we found that instead of having plenty of time to sort out of ski equipment we didn't have long until the store closed. This meant that we found this part of the trip to be quite rushed and stressful especially as you were having to try and work out the process alongside a language barrier. If possible try to ensure that you have plenty of time to sort out your equipment especially if you are renting boots as this is the key time to get everything fitting correctly.

5. Try to get your bearings as best as possible in relation to the ski runs
We found that our ski map didn’t align to the online version which was also different to the maps by the chair lifts. This meant that there were times in which it was hard to plan the runs that we wanted to do and even ended up doing a run that was a bit too advance for us on our first day. In the end we found that it best to follow the signs at chair lifts to make sure that you do the right level of run down the mountain. These are really easy to find and are a quick and easy way to confirm the best runs down the mountain for your level of skiing. 

6. Make the most of your ski rep
If you have a ski rep in your resort/hotel, definitely make the most of them and their local knowledge. Our ski rep was in our resort every morning and some evenings which was perfect for us to run through any queries that we had in terms of runs and plans for the day. There is also a welcome meeting on the evening that your arrive, we would definitely recommend going to this as the ski reps share knowledge and updates about the resort and runs. They put a lot of effort into these sessions and they are so informative and useful to help plan your stay.

7. Don't try to do too much initially
As this was our first skiing trip in many years and with Sestriere being a high altitude resort, we found that by mid afternoon on our first day that we would finish early as didn’t want to do too much too soon and impact the rest of our trip. We had also had a really long travel day which also caught up with us so we took the opportunity to explore the resort for the afternoon. It’s important to remember that we were on a week long skiing trip and that there would be plenty of time to do more skiing. In the end we ended up skiing everyday but with some days having later starts or finishing early we found that this meant that we got the most out of our days.

8. Enjoy the down time and don't fee that you have to ski all the time
This one follows on from the point above in that you shouldn’t feel like you need to spend every hour of every day skiing. I know that if we had done that then it wouldn’t have been the same trip for us. There are so many other things to explore in the resorts such as the local shops and places to eat. Don’t get me wrong, we loved all the skiing that we did but there were definitely some days that having a slightly later start or early finish was great. Skiing is quite an intense activity so listen to your body and how you feel and if you want to start later in the day then do so, it is your holiday so you want to be able to enjoy it fully.

9. Take time to enjoy the resort
There will be many different activities or opportunities going on in your resort and the hotel will be the best place to find this out. As we were in Sestriere over Christmas there were many things to experience from a search for Santa Clause to a Christmas market in the local square. We would definitely recommend finding out what is taking place during your stay and if you can try to fit these into your trip.

10. Last but not least, enjoy the amazing experience of being in the mountains
If you are like me I just love being in the mountains and the snow, I just love the peacefulness that it brings so overall just enjoy the amazing experience on being in the mountains. 

I hope that you have found the above tips useful and if you have a skiing holiday booked that you have an amazing time. I also vlogged our skiing trip so if you want to check out what we got up to, I have linked the videos below. We are definitely looking a booking another trip as being on the snow at Christmas is just magical!

Fleur xo

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