We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Learning to ski

North Yorks
Level Contributor
274 posts
37 reviews
Save Topic
Learning to ski

Hello My family and Ie are condidering learning to ski, any information would be much appreciated.

We are thinking about going to Arinsal, is this a good place to learn?

We have never skied I am 35, husband is 43 daughters are 7 and 10 Are we to old or young?

Is it best to book a package with a tour operator or go independant?

When we are in the ski school for beginners will we all be together?

What would we be expected to have achieived in a week?

How long do beginners send on the slopes a day and what is there to do in the afternoon if we are in so much pain from the morning.....

if our youngest daughter struggles what could we do with her with regard child care?

We really want to give this a go as a family but want to be prepared.

Essex
Level Contributor
29,116 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Learning to ski

If you have not been skiing before, then any of the Andorra resorts would be a good introduction for you. In comparison to skiing in the Alps, the areas are much easier, with wide pleasant pistes and not that much in the way of difficult terrain. Good 'confidence-builders' and usually reasonably priced in comparison.

I would do a 'package' as if you look in the good Holiday Co. Brochures (eg Thompson, Inghams, Crystal) you will often find good deals for families and 'learn-to-ski' packages that will include skis & boots, helmets (essential for kids) lessons and lift passes and save you LOADS. Also with 4 of you, just letting someone else do all the work of airport transfers, finding hotels/apartments etc, etc can reduce a lot of the stress, and you have a rep to help you out with all the 'new' ski stuff, and someone to complain to if things go wrong that you don't get with a DIY effort. - YES first time get help, there's time for DIY in the future.

Ski school - usually there are seperate classes for Adults and Children, as we learn at different rates (the kids will pick it up much quicker - sorry!) In general classes will be for half a day, either morning or afternoon - but some beginner 'packages' will include all day classes - depends on the resort/holiday co as to what the arrangements will be. It's up to you how long you ski for - all day if you like - depends on your stamina!!

After 1 week you should all be able to 'cope' with skis, ski lifts and 'mountain etiquette. Learnt snowplough, and be able to make some decent, linked snowplough turns. The Kids will probably be haring about and loving it by the end of the week, as to M & D - that's a bit more difficult to predict - but I hope you will also be loving being in the mountains!

Depends on the resort you choose as to what else there is to do, there may be an ice-rink, swimming pool, spa area, 10 pin bowling, snowmobile tours, snowshoe walking (Known as raquettes!). Your holiday brocure should give you some ideas.

I can't imagine that a 7year old will want to do anyting else other than ski, ski ski. Unless of course she would rather learn to snowboard! - Be prepared, boarding is much "cooler" for the kids these days than skiing.

If you want to be 'prepared' get fit before you go - start NOW! It's also well worthwhile investing in some dry slope lessons before you go - it can put you a bit ahead as you will have learnt how to manage your skis and boots, and probably a button lift, and do some basic snowplough - then you can really get out into the mountains.

I hope this all helps. Skiing is fab and I really WANT you to enjoy it.

Try looking at the Ski Club of Great Britain website too, that has lots of good advice.

EsskiWanderer!

Upminster, United...
Level Contributor
11,284 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Learning to ski

Everything EW said, except keep off the dry ski slopes. If you must try before you go, go to a indoor ski dome.

There is no such thing as "too young" and my wife was older than your husband when she first went.

If you go with on a package tour, they will have a little slalom race on the last day and medals/certificates.

Essex
Level Contributor
29,116 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Learning to ski

Good point Mr C - I did think of the 'snowdomes' but as yet they are few & far between in the UK, tho infinitely preferable to those cr@py old dry slope mats!!

However jjmetcalfe, even one lesson on a dry slope teaches you how to cope with skis, boots, poles, some lifts and general 'basics' and can get you a step ahead, rather than wasting time on all of this during your first proper 'mountains' lesson.

I once went on a package trip where the ski-school made everyone ski down a short piece of slope at the start of the first day for ski school assessment, and it was pretty obvious within the 'never-been-on-a-ski-holiday-before' crowd, who had done some 'dry slope' basics, and who had not, the Dry slopers were streets ahead!!!

North Yorks
Level Contributor
274 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Learning to ski

Thank you for the replys.

Was thinking about trying the snow dome at Castleford near Leeds, before we go but some of the brochures say you can not go on the Learn to Ski packages if you have been on the dry ski/ indoor domes.

Thinking about booking with Crystal Ski.

Essex
Level Contributor
29,116 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Learning to ski

Didn't know that the 'learn-to-ski' packs had a 'dry-slope veto' seems a shame to me. However the Learn-to-ski packs can still be excellent value and a good way of getting started on the slopes. I hope you enjoy yourselves and are happy with whatever you choose. Being in the mountains and enjoying the snow, scenery, clear air and ambiance is fantastic, whether or not you decide to strap them planks upon your feet!!

England
Level Contributor
291 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Learning to ski

Hi we went to Lapland last year with Inghams and pre-booked 'learn to ski' when we arrived in resort & mentioned that we had skied very briefly 10 years previously, they refused to allow us join the beginners and made us pay an extra £254 to go up to intermediates, when we arrived for lessons the instructor said there was no way we could go in intermediates (they were half way up a red run) and put us back in begginers but Inghams refused to refund our money!

So if you are going to have a go in the UK before you go on holiday, keep it quiet.

Upminster, United...
Level Contributor
11,284 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Learning to ski

I have never heard of a ski firm charging different rates for different levels. As for taking inters on Red runs on their first day !!!

England
Level Contributor
291 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Learning to ski

They say it's to discourage experinced skiers from taking advantage of the heavily subsidised 'learn to ski' packages to get their equipment cheap.

Here's a copy of my letter to Inghams:

Dear Sir or Madam,

We booked a holiday with you to Levi in Lapland, at the time of booking we also booked learn to ski packages for 3 adults.

Upon arrival we went to collect our ski equipment and were informed that as we had ‘briefly’ skied 10 years early, we would not be allowed in beginners classes, despite our protests that it had been 10 years since we skied and that our son was only 5 at the time, we were abruptly told that we had 2 choices, either we took our skis and went off on our own or we could pay a total of £255 (£85 each) and be moved up to lower intermediate, we felt it was extremely dangerous that as beginners it was suggested that we took our equipment and went off on our own! so felt for our safety we had no choice but to pay the extra charge.

The following day we started ski school and it immediately became obvious that we weren’t good enough for lower intermediate and we were put back down into beginners classes, where we found out that 2 of the other pupils had previously skied many times but wanted to brush up their skiing technique by starting back in beginners, and at no point were they told that they couldn’t join the beginners classes.

After a long day at the airport, a 3 hour flight, having to locate the supermarket and stock up with essentials for a self catering cabin, the last thing we wanted at 9.30pm on our first evening was added hassle, not to mention the fact that the extra charge took a large portion of our spending money before the holiday had barely started.

We feel it is unfair that we were pressurised into paying £255 for a service that we couldn’t and didn’t use.

We did complete a customer relations report form in resort (I enclose a copy).

Yours faithfully

Mrs ******

Upminster, United...
Level Contributor
11,284 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Learning to ski

All I can say is use Crystal in future (and let us know how you get on against Inghams)

When I returned to skiing with my family, who had only indoor experience, I stayed with them with no problems. Those who progressed enough to move up did and those who wanted to stay with their family were allowed to.

England
Level Contributor
291 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Learning to ski

I have already disputed it with Inghams but they are refusing to refund the money!

Get answers to your questions about Arinsal
Recent Conversations