Guide to Solo Skiing & Single Snowboarding
Submitted by sarah on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 10:46
Skiing and snowboarding aren't team sports. You don't need a partner to enjoy it (in fact so many couples are of different levels and preferences that often you are left on your own - and that's not counting the couples with a non-skiing partner!) and it's a highly sociable environment to enjoy off-piste.
It's no wonder then, that couples are ditching the partner for the week and enjoying time alone on the pistes with like-minded individuals. Whether that means finding the nearest mogul field for your thrills, riding your snowboard solo or learning to slow plough/fall on your face you can be sure that it will be dissected and/or laughed about over a "cheeky pint" or a toasty vin chaud.
This means you'll need to find somewhere to stay - a bed in a shared chalet or perhaps a twin room to yourself are the main options but the price hike incurred in the latter means sharing is inevitable. So..... (i hear you ask) how exactly does one go about getting away on a solo skier break? Here's my essential guide...
- Decide on a theme. If you have a particular resort in mind that's a good place to start. Try and keep it general so as to open up your options. Canada, French Alps, Austria etc are common location requests and within that most people are normally happy to do "whatever".
- Know your skill level. If you are a total beginner (never skiied or snowboarded) or a developing beginner, getting away with 6 other skiers/boarders who talk in a foregin language about moguls, etc.etc you will feel a wee bit isolated. during the day you will watch them all go off and have fun as you listen carefully to Pierre's advice and "bend ze knees!" A mixed group is always best but try and bag at least one other junior skier so you can have a good giggle over a glass of wine about that german guy with the neon one-piece who couldn't quite master the snow plough.
- Know your personality. if you are fairly introverted and don't massively enjoy the company of a big group - be honest! it might be more advisable to hook up with one other person and share a twin room in a hotel. of course going down this route it's very important to get someone with the same personality as yourself, maybe you like a quick beer after skiing followed by a nice meal and straight to bed. I'm sure plenty other people don't want to be partying in the Buddha Bar till 5 in the morning. Find the right person for your personality.
- Be flexible. Okay you might hate pasta. but if everyone else likes it you will just come across moany. Go with the status quo for minimum hassle otherwise offer to cook one night so you get what you want.
- Recognise your strengths. if you are good at organising - perhaps offer to find the chalet and get quotes etc... if you are better at or enjoy cooking, offer to cook a few nights in exchange for others washing up etc. trades offs make shared living more harmonious.
- Do your homework. it's worth doing a quick bebo or facebook search on your chalet mates-to-be, see if there's any doddgy goings on. trade profiles and see what they say about themselves and what their friends say!
- Love thy fellow snowsports enthusiast. I've had people tell me they only want to ride with other solo boarders or that skiing can only be best enjoyed with other skiers. Believe me, a mixed group is very enjoyable and snowboarders are particularly good at face planting at the perfect opportunity so eveyone can watch! Plus solo snowboarders - top tip. Flats? - Very handy to have a few skiers around!!
*More to follow!....