Preparing For Your First Skiing Holiday
I have just decided to try skiing for the first time. My partner is an avid skier and snowboarder and has finally persuaded me to venture onto the snow. We managed to arrange an inexpensive trip and I was feeling very pleased with myself and relaxed about the whole affair until I discovered the complexities of acquiring all of the necessary clothes and equipment. I had no idea that I needed so many things!
I have an extensive wardrobe which takes up virtually a whole room and yet managed to possess almost nothing that would be of any use for skiing! It seems that a good jacket with a snow skirt is vital to cope with the conditions as are salopettes (ski trousers) and some good fleece tops. I have invested in a rather swanky Trespass jacket which, naturally, is pink! I have also discovered the need for thermal underwear which until now I had thought was something only my grandfather would wear and I have some very colourful new ski socks and some lovely gloves.
You spend all day on your feet when skiing and so comfortable well-fitting boots are essential in order to avoid agonising pain and also for the safety of your ankles. Getting fitted for boots is a major exercise but the results are well worth the effort. Skis have to be the right length for your height and ability (good job I found this out or I would certainly have bought something inappropriate) and the poles must also be the correct length. A safety helmet is also a good idea and I have discovered that I have an abnormally small head and need XXS!
Finding myself looking at a mountain of new clothes and equipment I thought my work was done, but no! The boots needed to be heated and moulded to my feet and then fitted to the bindings on my skis. My helmet needed adjusting to fit to my mutant head and my skis need waxing. I now feel like I am going on a military manoeuvre!
I then had to consider the major issue of getting all this equipment to the airport. Skis are very long and so it is vital to check that they actually fit in the car at the same time as yourself and any other passengers which, in fact, in my case they do not! I have a small car and so I can only transport two other people and the equipment which is a shame because there are four of us! I now have to choose between purchasing a roof rack and taking two cars. I have, however, managed to rent a car at my destination which will accommodate all of us and the equipment.
Skiing equipment will cause you to exceed the baggage allowance of many airlines and therefore necessitates the purchase of an extra allowance for sports equipment. I have spent a considerable time standing on scales and experimenting with bags to find the best way to pack and transport my equipment and luggage and have deduced that I need a special bag for my skis and that I am not going to have much weight allowance left for trivia like clothes, snow boots and toiletries!
Preparing for your first skiing trip is a major project and involves a steep learning curve but I think that I am finally ready to go. I do hope that this all proves to be worth it which I am sure it will and next time I go skiing I should have a much easier time!
Sally Stacey is a well seasoned traveller with a passion for extreme sports and the outdoors. Read more on Sally's Google+ page.