We recently returned from a week in Switzerland, my sister’s first ever ski trip. On the final day, after a pretty rough time on the slopes, she observed that skiing is a hobby, “for the rich and the brave.” Despite being neither of these I’ve managed to survive several ski trips and have the Instagram pics to prove it, here’s how you can too.
- If you’re you’re Googling stats on skiing deaths, avalanches and head injuries before you go then it’s likely you’re of the same nervous disposition as me. Skiing perhaps isn’t naturally for you but don’t throw away your Ebay purchased saloppetes just yet. Instead of those buzz kill Google searches, look up ‘Kate Moss skiing.’ Check out Kate (a) rocking a covetable all black ski look (b) falling over many times while going very slowly on what looks like an easy slope (c)having a right laugh slurping Rose apres ski. That’s the vibe we’re going for here.
- Know that you’re going to be lugging a lot of heavy shit and feeling uncomfortable for most of the time. On Day 1 your belly is going to be doing somersaults and you won’t feel good. Before you’ve even strapped on a ski you’ll be dripping in nervous sweat under all that faux fur, particularly when you see the ancient looking gondola that will hoist you up the mountain. Basically a tin can hanging from a cheese string by a tiny clip. From there it’s only going to get worse.
- Once on the slopes you’ll become uncontrollably shaky and wonder if you’ve developed Parkinsons and then swiftly forget everything you learned in your lessons. Your skis will feel like 2 canoes strapped to your feet. You’ll probably crash into a snowboarder while on the nursery slopes and will snap aggressively at anyone who tries to give you some friendly advice.
- Ski lifts, of all varieties are designed to induce terror. Find out what the local tipple is, usually hot wine, and have a big glass of it. Then have another one. Follow what everybody else is doing and keep your shit together. The more you flake out the more likely you are to fall off/ drop your ski’s on an innocent passerby down below/ get your ski’s stuck in the hand rail thing.
- If you’re planning to eat up the mountain then figure out the price of a typical lunch in the UK and add the price of a small family car. Alternatively you could just make your own sandwiches and pop them in a backpack for when your nerves subside a little and you can actually stomach food again.
- Save your precious coins for booze! The restaurants and bars up the mountain might charge a fortune but they’re excellent places to take in the views, feel the sun on your face and take lots and lots of photographs showing everybody back home what an adventurous fun loving person you really are.
- Just when you feel like you’ve got the hang of it, you’re leaning forward, shifting your weight, thinking this is actually quite fun, maybe I can do this, maybe I can do anything I put my mind to, I can take on the world! Boom! You’ll hit a patch of ice, your skis will cross and you’ll end up going down the hill backwards, you’ll crumple into a pathetic heap, a ski will be lost, you’ll have a tantrum and threaten to take off your skis and walk the rest of the way down. Put your skis back on. Do not give up.
- Even when a line of tiny children ski past you with ease singing annoying French songs really loudly.
- Embrace your inner Sasha Fierce, fight the fear, keep your lipstick in your ski jacket pocket and throw yourself down those runs, even when you would rather be back at the chalet curled up with a Baileys and a good book. You’ll feel brilliant at the end of the day for conquering your fears and you might even enjoy yourself. Plus, hot wine that it’s acceptable to drink before noon.