Which ski resort should I go to?
Much depends! If you are skiing as part of a group, you might want to go somewhere for mixed abilities. Complete beginners can look for some of the best areas for beginners and families might want somewhere with an excellent ski school but with good opportunities for Mum and Dad as well. Perhaps you’re just in it for the après, we can tell you more.
Where should I stay?
If this is your first trip, then we highly recommend staying in a family friendly chalet. Navigating big ski resorts can be a bit daunting at first. In a chalet you can come and go as you please and there are warm, comfortable living rooms and bedrooms waiting for you when you get back. A home away from home. You’ll enjoy the close proximity to the ski lift that our Chalets has, but if you’ve opted for somewhere further afield then in many places you can make the most of the ski lockers at the base of the mountain to save yourself the strain of carrying your skis to and from the slopes every day.
How much does the average ski trip cost?
It wildly varies depending on country, resort, hotel and more. Flights, Transfers, Hire Cars also need consideration. You will want to factor in lift passes, ski hire, lessons, as well as food and drink for the duration of your stay. Whatever your budget we can discuss your needs give you plenty of advice.
When is the best time to go skiing?
It varies from place to place but the Austrian Alps are usually adequately covered with snow for the lifts to open from December- April. However, much depends on many different weather circumstances. TIP – Annual Weather Guide
Why do I need winter sports travel insurance?
For the quick answer- many basic travel insurance policies deliberately exclude cover for any winter sports-related injuries or incidents (including the theft of expensive skis and snowboards). This is because there is a much higher chance that you will suffer an injury (that might lead to medical treatment, hospital stays and evacuation back to the UK) doing winter sports than you would in another holiday scenario.
Do I have to be fit and healthy to learn how to ski?
There is a popular saying... get fit to ski, don’t ski to get fit! If you’re looking for a workout to kept strengthen your key muscles before you jet out skiing, then why not brush up with a TIP - pre-ski workout.
Can I ski if I have an injury?
Depends on the nature of your injury, but, as any doctor would say, it is highly advisable that you don’t physically assert yourself if you are unwell. But, this said, everyone is different so check with your doctor. Skiing and snowboarding are strenuous activities and while you might feel mentally up for the task, your insurance policy might not allow you to take part in skiing/snowboarding/certain activities if you have a reoccurring injury, condition or illness.
Do I need a lift pass?
Some resorts have free lifts for beginners, but these are very short, slow ‘magic carpets’ scattered across the base of the mountain and only access green runs. If you want to advance beyond the beginner lifts, you will need a lift pass.
What is easier to learn for a beginner? Skiing or snowboarding?
It’s an age-old argument that echoes off the mountains to this day…which is better? Skiing or snowboarding? It really comes down to preference as well as your levels of fitness, and there certainly is no telling whether one sport is easier to learn than another! On your first day you will find both equally challenging. If you’re not sure which sport you’ll prefer, you can always book a taster day on a one of the many TIP - UK Snow Centres before you commit to a course of lessons in your chosen resort.
Do I need lessons?
If you have never skied or snowboarded before, then yes you will need to arrange lessons. If you can link your turns and snow-ploughs, control your speed and come to a controlled stop, you have made it past the very beginner level. Whether or not you feel that you need lessons after that is up to you, but if you want to improve your technique and advance to more difficult pistes, it is advisable that you seek the help of a professional ski instructor before punching above your weight.
Should I rent or buy my skis or snowboard?
If this is your first time, we advise you not to spent lots of money on brand new equipment. Amongst many reasons, as a beginner you might not fully know whether you’ll prefer skiing or snowboarding, and then you don’t want lots of non-returnable equipment on your hands! It is cheaper, easier and just as fun to rent your equipment in the resort and hand it back at the end of your trip. You can rent skis, boots and poles for skiers. Boots and snowboards for snowboarders. Helmets are also available to rent and we recommend our guests to take this opportunity.
Do I need to wear protection?
Helmets are absolutely crucial regardless of your skiing and snowboarding ability (and in some places they are becoming a compulsory requirement). For skiing, you will need not need any additional protection like shin pads or elbow guards, however snowboarders may want to rent or purchase their own impact shorts and knee protectors (wrist guards are also a beneficial addition if you are feeling extra cautious).
Another form of ‘protection’ that often gets forgotten about is the humble sun cream. Bright sun at high altitudes is reflected off the white snow and any exposed skin can easily get burnt.
What do I wear? Will it be cold?
You are on a mountain surrounded by snow! But one of the nice things about skiing is that you do not feel the cold. The cold dry climate on top of the mountains is very different from the usual cold wet that we experience in England and can sometimes even trick you into thinking it is warm. Plus, you will be exercising so your body temperature will naturally warm you up. Dress properly and you’ll stay toasty for the duration of your stay. Warm, waterproof clothing.
See our - TIP – What to wear for skiing.
What should I pack in my suitcase?
There are lots of things you would need to pack for skiing holiday that you wouldn’t pack for a regular holiday. See the TIP – Useful Items to pack.
Is it safe?
Very. We encourage our guests to recognise that there is an element of risk when participating in a sport like snow sports, but if you take lessons, follow the piste signage, observe all warnings, wear a helmet, you will be very safe. TIP – Good Ski Etiquette
Are the slopes steep?
The beginner slopes have the mildest of inclines and are short, so the chances of sliding away out of control are very slim! Professional instructors and ski patrol are on hands at all times to make sure that the nursery slopes remain calm and safe places for beginners to practice. As you advance, the slopes become more challenging. Make sure you feel confident enough before advancing onto a different colour slope.
Are there places to eat and drink on the mountain?
Most certainly there are! Mountain restaurants, bars and Huts are part of the whole skiing and snowboarding culture and you’ll most certainly hear the phrase ‘après ski’ being thrown around in resort! Tradition has it that after a long day of skiing and snowboarding, everyone heads to the bar for a drink and bite to eat. We see it as being a well-earned treat after a day on the slopes!
How do I get on and off the lifts?
Safe usage of the lifts around the resort (whether they’re a gondola, chair lift or drag lift) will be covered under the watchful eye of an instructor in your lessons. Gondolas can be accessed by foot.
Can pedestrians go up the mountain?
In some cases, yes. Especially the stations that are accessed by gondola, it is possible for pedestrians to travel by foot to the mountain restaurants. We can tell you what is available in the resort that you are visiting, because pedestrian restrictions differ from resort to resort.
How old do children need to be to learn to ski and snowboard?
In some places, children as young as the age of 3 are allowed in kindergarten ski schools. But generally, about 4-5 is a good age to get children on the snow in ski schools. It is strongly advised that children should be instructed to ski and snowboard on nursery slopes with trained professional who will ensure their safety and that they are learning the correct techniques. You will find in lots of places that many ski schools don’t offer snowboard tuition until your children are around 7-8 years of age. This is because snowboarding takes a fair amount of core strength as well as body coordination between the feet and legs and shoulders. It’s been noted that children often excel in skiing from a young age but will struggle with snowboarding until they are older. So start your little ones off with skiing until they have developed the basics.
Do children need safety equipment?
Children should wear ski helmets. In many places this is the law or they will not be allowed on the pistes. Additional protection is optional. Children and pre-teens learning to snowboard may benefit from elbow, knee and wrist protectors, as well as impact shorts.
Car Hire from Salzburg Airport
Car hire is essential for transfer to and from the airport. It isn’t overly expensive and the desks are usually stress free and quite quick. We would recommend Buchbinder on the internet, which will give you some options for companies. Once you are familiar with the area there are free ski buses for getting around the Ski Amadé region but Taxis are quite expensive.
Points to note when hiring your car.
• Additional Drivers, free with some companies
• Extra Insurance. If taken out in the UK it is usually cheaper
• Credit card for the damage waiver, around 700 euros. Must be in the name of the main driver
• The size of the car for the number of passengers and luggage
• Ski racks for transporting your ski equipment around the resort
• What time does the desk close and what happens if your flight is delayed
We look forward to meeting you and will be happy to answer any questions about our house or the area. Welcome to the mountains and see you soon!