Snow Newbies are what keeps the sport alive – without you guys, it’d just be the pros shredding hard and us in the middle trying…
First up, welcome to the snow sports world, we’re a happy bunch of people, and always glad to have some more folks to share the mountain with (unless you’re French…). You may be worried about making a good impression, trying to impress all the guys with the gear and weird slang words, but there’s nothing to fret about really, so long as you’re friendly, honest and open, you’ll fit in fine.
Sometimes it can look like a private club, when you see the boys with goggles on bumping fists at the end of run, but jump on a lift with them and get chatting, you’ll soon realise that they’re there for the same reason you are; to enjoy the snow, the mountain and spending time with their buddies.
So when you first arrive in the resort, you want to get your gear and head up to the room. This won’t be some 5* accomm, but a cosy little appartment with a bedroom or two, and a kitchen/lounge. That sofa is probably a couple of beds as well, so try to snag a real bed early on! Space is limited, so keep your gear close to hand so you’re not wasting riding time looking for that lost sock.
Next up is finding the hire shop so you can grab your tech gear. You can keep most of this on the balcony, but beware if you’re on the ground floor, it’s worth having a cable lock in case any sneaky thieves are about (this is very rare, but better to lock it than wasting time getting Police statements and new gear) Keep your boots inside the first night so they’re nice n warm in the morning when you try them on for the first time. This is the best time as your feet will be back to normal size after the bus ride. They should fit perfectly thanks to Pre-Fit, but if you’re not happy, head to the hire shop and switch them over.
After picking your gear up, find the supermarket, buy something to eat, cook it, eat it, and start drinking! The base bar won’t be far away, but a cheeky couple in the flat can be a good idea if you’re on a budget. Just remember that the French Police are very strict about their noise curfew. Too much noise after 10pm can get you thrown out of the resort, so we recommend heading to the bar by then. Don’t get too smashed first night – you’ve got all week to get on it, but only six days to get on the snow.
If you’re getting lessons, get up nice and early to find that lost sock and try to be there nicely on time. You don’t want to be hanging around too long, or be too late and miss it! If you’re not, get up anyway and find the nearest lift to get on the slopes to shake that rust off.
A decent breakfast (we suggest coco pops) is essential, and take some lunch with you as well, the bakeries open early and bread is cheap so get a fresh load of baguettes each day, cut into three makes decent sized sandwiches about right for eating on the chairlift. Ham and cheese is the standard, but be creative and remember to share with your roommates (taking it in turns to do the sandwich run means you’ll get a few lie-ins as well) Chocolate bars, bottles of water and other snacks are recommended as well, as mountain grub is not cheap.
After your lesson you’ll probably be tired and wondering how you’ve never used those muscles before, so head to the alpine base bar, you’ll usually find a couple reps here, and more than a couple other guys from your group so get social and enjoy a well earned lounge. Remember a bit of cash to get yourself a hot chocolate/beer/gluvine depending on how you’re feeling. Then when you’re ready head back out there and punish those muscles.
At the end of the day, a good feed and a nap is pretty welcome, but not too long, you’ll be wanting those pre-drinks again, and your rep will be around to check on you at some point. Then it’s a case of rinse and repeat until every part of your body hates you enough that you can pass out for the entire bus ride home.
Just remember – don’t eat yellow snow.