Information for Ski Beginners
Learning to Ski in Meribel
By Louise Hill from Delicious Mountain Chalets, Meribel
If you're about to go on your first Meribel ski holiday, you are in for the kind of treat that might just change your life! There is no feeling quite like the exhilaration that comes from skiing or snowboarding and, in many ways, the first couple of ski holidays can be the best. Skiing is a highly addictive pastime which appeals to the whole family and all age groups - so get ready for a lifetime of enjoyment.
Order your ski-gear online and get it delivered to your chalet the day you arrive in resort. Choose from a wide variety of outfits that are specified to you exact needs. At the end of your stay, just pack everything back into it's original packaging and one of their delivery drivers will collect it from you. For more information see Ski-Chic.com
Tips & Advice
Here are some tips which might help you prepare for your first outing on the slopes, as well as a warning about the three words you should never say while skiing.
The best way to enjoy any ski trip is to be in the best physical shape possible. Skiing can be a very taxing activity, especially on muscles that aren't used to it. Certain exercises can help ease you into the intensity of the slopes. In the gym, or a home, focus on exercises that will improve your hamstring and leg strength. Dumbbell dead lifts and squat jumps are particularly effective for this. Another good way to get your leg muscles, especially your quads and glutes, prepared for skiing is to walk backwards on a treadmill. At a very slow pace, 3 miles per hour max, keeping your hands on the armgrips, squat into a skiing tuck position and begin to walk. Sounds pretty easy but the burn after about 30 seconds can be intense. Walking backwards uphill can be just as effective.
Will I need to book ski lessons?
If this is your first ski holiday, lessons are pretty much essential. We can help you to arrange the right type of tuition for you and your group, so keep in touch with us about your needs.
You don't have to wait until you arrive in Meribel to get started with your ski lessons. There are many ski centres in the UK which aim to help beginners find their feet before they depart for their ski holiday. Click on the below link to view our map of UK ski centres and find a slope near you.
What should I wear?
There is no substitute for proper ski clothing, so don't cut corners on your outfit. It doesn't have to be designer, it doesn't have to be your own (why not borrow some from friends?), but it does have to be warm and waterproof. You will need a ski jacket with a snow skirt (to keep snow out when you fall over), some salopettes (ski trousers), and thick waterproof gloves, as well the obvious hat, scarf and so on. Good thermals are also a must - these will be a purchase you won't regret, and they're so comfy you might even find yourself wearing them in the UK when you get back home.
Do I need my own skis?
In a word, no. If you have your own skis, then great - but you don't need to buy any Specially. We work closely with local ski hire specialists who deliver the very latest ski equipment right to the chalet door. You use them for a week, then they collect them again. So there's no need to spend a fortune on your own skis, and no need to fight your way through the airport carrying them.
Information for Ski Beginners
Getting to know how Meribel Skiing Works
La Chaudanne is an area of Meribel where the ski pistes join together. It is the hub of skiing activity in Meribel. Even if you were to spend an hour here looking at the day to day goings on of the skiiers and snowboarders it would give you a better understanding of how Meribel, as a ski resort operates. There's a Kindergarten, access to all the major ski lift bases and ski pass offices.
Which liftpass is right for me?
Meribel is in the vast Three Valleys ski area which offers enough skiing for a lifetime, let alone a one-week ski holiday. If this is your first ski trip, you will probably need no more than a local area liftpass, but talk to us about your ski holiday plans and we will help you select the right passes for yourself and your group. We will order and collect your liftpass for you.
How come everyone else is so good?
Be warned: you will spend much of your first ski holiday falling over. This is the same for everyone and it can get quite frustrating, especially when a group of 8-year-olds breeze past you with poetic grace. Don't be put off. Laugh about it, pick yourself up, and rejoin your group. When you get back to the chalet in the afternoon, don't forget to swap stories about the best crash of the day.
Did someone say "sunburn"?
Yes, it can get very sunny up on the mountain, so be sure to pack some lip balm, sun tan lotion and ski googles. The snow acts as a giant mirror so, on a clear day, you can get burnt without even realising it.
Will my other hobbies help?
A good level of basic fitness is a big help with skiing, so, if you're a fitness enthusiast, you'll be at an advantage, for sure. If you're sport requires you to use your legs a lot (e.g. cycling) then this will certainly help: your thighs are in for a serious work out. In terms of skill and technique, ice-skaters and rollerbladers may find they have a bit of a head start in skiing; skateboarders for snowboarding.
What can I do to prepare physically?
A bit of time in the gym might not be a bad idea: you are going to be working your legs very hard and in ways which you might not be used to. A few sessions with a personal trainer might seem like an extravagance just before your winter holiday, but they would certainly help. Otherwise, circuit training, kettlebells, squats, cycling and rowing will all help.
Will my other hobbies help?
The three words which are sure to precipitate a holiday-finishing accident: "Hey, watch this." Know your level and stick to it. Save the black runs and the backflips for next year.
Ski Centres in the UK
Dry-slope lessons are a great way to get started with skiing, and are just as useful when dusting off your forgotten skills from last year. Here we have a map of UK ski centres.
Tips for Beginners
Everything from carrying your skis safely to wearing your bobble hat like all the cool kids do. The essential guide to looking like a pro.
Online Ski Lessons
OK, so it is no substitute for real ski lessons, but if you just need a refresher or some ideas before your first proper lesson, this Mechanics of Sport site is surprisingly useful and genuinely worth a look.
Eloise has dedicated her life to her love of skiing. Follow Me Ski is a very interesting read of of all of her snow related experiences.