As December draws to a close, the ski season truly begins. Both the Pyrenees and the Alps have reported good snowfall in the past week, with visitors flocking to popular mountain resorts to ski and board and work off the extra pounds gained over Christmas. A day on the slopes offers fantastic views and plenty of fun, whether you’re a beginner testing out your snow legs for the first time or an experienced skier, a holiday in the mountains can offer something for everyone.
It can be tempting to overindulge on a ski holiday. Many resorts have a variety of bars and restaurants and aprés ski can seem somewhat appealing after a hard day on the slopes. Surprisingly, almost as many accidents occur on the streets of ski resorts as on the piste. Alcohol combined with icy roads can prove rather hazardous.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe on your ski holiday:
- Take it easy the first couple of days, especially in ski resorts that are at a particularly high altitude. You may experience altitude sickness if you travel to a high altitude quickly, so give yourself time to fully acclimatise.
- Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day.
- Wear a high factor sun cream, the sun reflects off the snow and on sunny days can be super strong.
- Remember to inform your travel insurance provider that you will be skiing. This is normally viewed as an optional extra and
- Carry with you some high energy snacks for a quick pick me up on the slopes.
- Invest in a good pair of ski goggles, they will help with visibility during bad weather and blizzards.
- Wear several layers of clothing including a base layer instead of one or two thick layers. You can always remove them as necessary if you become too hot.
- Pick bright coloured ski clothing so you can be seen easily in bad weather and collisions can be avoided.
- Always carry a mobile phone (or walkie talkie), a credit card and your travel insurance details with you in case of emergencies.
- Have a warm bath in the evenings to relieve muscle and joint pain.
- Pack some Ibuprofen to ease any swollen joints and plenty of plasters to deal with blisters.
- Never ski beyond your ability. Doing so can knock your confidence and increase your risk of injury.
- Have some professional tuition. Professional lessons will build confidence and improve technique.
- Avoid drinking alcohol on the slopes and try not to go overboard in the evening either. You will regret it the next morning when you want to ski but you can feel the hangover kicking in! Plus your reactions will be slower so accidents are more likely to happen.
Have fun and ski safe people!