Tips for learning to ski as an adult

Let’s start by saying that learning to ski at the age of 30 is no easy feat. I’m not as nimble and brave as I once was and these two things may have an impact on your learning experience, if you let them. Growing up skiing is something that I had never been exposed to. It’s an interest that requires money and plenty of it if you want to spend as much time in the mountains as possible. I was lucky enough to experience this rush of fun with my friend Fleur who invited a bunch of us to celebrate her birthday in her regular haunt in the Austrian Alps. I am forever grateful to her for introducing me to this new passion! It was honestly the trip of a lifetime, unforgettable to say the least and the moment in which I realised I could say goodbye to sun sea and sand forever if it meant having all of my holidays that way. A huge group of her amazing friends coming together to have nothing but FUN. You make memories that will have you recounting your inside jokes for years to come and it builds a bond of friendship that you would never get from a city-break away.

ski squad austria mountains maria alm{On top of the world with the girls in Austria}

This year I’ve tacked on a weekend to a work trip that I was lucky enough to enjoy with my colleague and friend Harriet and her other half and brother. Skiing in Mont Tremblant just an hour and a half from Montreal has been such an awesome experience and could be a once in a lifetime opportunity since I live so far away! If you’re skiing for the first time Month Tremblant is a spectacular place to do so. The slopes are wide and have enough flatter parts of the piste to give you a break. It’s also significantly colder to you’ll need all the thermal gear. After having done two ski trips I’ve pulled together my tips for a beginner below.

skiing in mont tremblant{Mont Tremblant views and village}

Get lessons. Whether you’re going with friends that can ski well and have patience or not, it’s so important to spend some time with a professional whilst your friends are getting their morning runs in. I recommend putting in morning sessions every day of your trip so that you can maximise your learning but still/rest take your practising easy in the afternoons. The only way you’re going to learn from scratch is to spend time with a pro who knows how to break it down.

 

skiing in mont tremblant{James (Harriet’s BF) and I giving it some of our best on the slopes of Mt Tremblant}

Work out before you go. Nothing can prepare you for the physical energy this takes up. You’re using your body in an entirely different way so even if you are quite active in your day-today life, this is going to be a whole new challenge. Ensuring you get your fitness levels up ahead of your trip will help with your endurance. Despite hitting the gym regularly, I feel physically exhausted the morning after every ski lesson. Once you’re back out there you’ll regain your energy but make sure you stretch, take a hot bath to soothe your muscles and ice your shins if they’re sore from the boots.

skiing for beginners{Before and after ski lessons in Mont Tremblant}

Make sure your boots fit. They’re supposed to be tight so don’t get a boot that’s too loose. I did so this time around and I could really feel it impacted my skiing. That being said, also take ibuprofen to ease the pain on your shins…It helped me get through the classes after the first day of being so sore.

Try not to get frustrated. The learning curve to learning how to ski is a steep one (pun intended). But once the instructor teaches you how to balance your weight it all clicks and the rest is technique…getting better is the part that takes longer to crack.

Make friends in class. It will mean you may have a buddy to go down some easy runs together in the afternoon! It’s so much better skiing with someone vs alone.

skiing in maria alm{The view from the top of Maria Alm!}

 

Have fun! Skiing itself is a sensational feeling. Gliding along the mountains with a blue sky and a view that will forever stay etched in your mind. It’s an immeasureable feeling to feel like you’re flying in all that outdoor beauty. It’s what has me hooked and keeps me wanting to go back.

Après Ski. – this is where the fun part 2 happens. If you’re with a good crowd après ski drinking sessions and games will have you in stiches. To be clear – it’s not wise to drink in between ski sessions (people do it but if you’re learning you don’t want to do things that might put you in danger and make you think you’re invincible). If you’re skiing in Europe I hear the après vibe is strong but in Mont Tremblant the situation is a little different – the slopes close really early here and transport around the accommodation isn’t easy with last buses being so early so it’s a bit of a different vibe I would say…

apres ski maria alm

{Après Ski with the squad}

Don’t be pressured but don’t hold back. It’s a really a tough thing to learn as an adult and you’ll find that your friends will want you on the slopes with them in no time. I know it can be scary so my advice is to get the instructor to let you know when they think you are ready. For example my one goal here in Mont Tremblant was to end the trip on a blue run (I believe it would be an easy red run in Europe) By my third and final lesson here the instructor had me doing just blues and ending on a black as he was certain I could do it. I got down (slowly and not so gracefully but I got down!). Which then made me so comfortable to go down with my friends on the last two blues of the trip. Bear in mind you will be a lot slower than them so try not to take up all their time skiing with you if you can tell they want to get out there and see as much of the mountain as possible. I would also recommend finding out who the patient one is in your group who can take you down the runs with you following their tracks – it makes it easier and gives you more confidence.

Invest in good gear. Fleur kindly lent me some of her accessories – If you are just starting out I recommend borrowing from a friend as ski clothing is so expensive and if you hate it well you’ve all these things going to waste. Things you will need for skiing:

  1. ski socks (plus extra socks to layer if you get cold feet)
  2. a proper, technical ski jacket and salopettes or suit
  3. Base layers for every day
  4. a couple of fleeces to layer up on colder days
  5. a neck / face buff or balaclava
  6. proper ski gloves
  7. the ski boots, skis and helmet you can rent at the resort.
  8. Snow boots (I picked up some Sorel boots in the black friday sales and they are life changing. Get some good, high top snow boots to save you in between ski sessions!)

Save up. You’ll need to buy/borrow the above plus pay for your lessons, ski hire, lift pass, accommodation and food. the latter two can be expensive since it’s a resort and usually in the middle of nowhere, prices can be high. It’s not a cheap holiday but it’s really SO rewarding and so much fun. I couldn’t recommend it enough so really, if you ever have the opportunity to go, GO.

That’s all I have for now after two trips but if you have any questions feel free to reach out. If you want to follow both my trips check out my Mt Tremblant and Austria stories that I’ve saved 🙂

ski squad

{Fleur’s Birthday Ski Trip in Austria – mega squad goals}

Follow:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *