beginner

What Every Beginner Skier Needs to Know Before A First Ski Trip

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Do you still think ‘goofy’ is a Disney character? Don't know how to pizza down the mountain? Don't even know what to do with a lift ticket (or why you even need one)? For the uninitiated, whether you're a ski beginner or embarking on your first family ski holiday, it can all be a bit bewildering. Here's everything you need to know for your first ski trip.

The lowdown on the lingo

First things first, you'll need to brush up on the basics of snow lingo:

❅ Lift passes are tickets that allow you to ride the ski lifts up to the top of the mountain to ski down. There are plenty of options, from day passes to annual passes (for the super enthusiastic beginner!)

A run (or piste in Europe) is any marked trail, slope or course designed for skiing.

When snowboarding, riders use either a regular or goofy: The regular stance is with your left foot in front and goofy is with your right foot at the front.

❅ Apres-ski refers to the activities undertaken after a day of skiing, and can include swimming, massages at the spa, or an Aussie’s favourite past-time: enjoying drinks with friends.

What to bring

You will need to pack:

✔️ Thermals

✔️ Insulated clothing

✔️ A ski jacket and ski pants

✔️ Gloves

✔️ Beanies

✔️ Super thick socks

✔️ Warm boots

✔️ Protective eyewear.

☼ It seems silly, but you'll also need sunscreen and lip balm – sunburn and chapped lips are common gripes on the slopes.

Skiing or snowboarding?

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The next thing to decide on is skiing or snowboarding.

The general rule is that skiing is easier to pick up at first but harder in the long run to master; on the other hand, snowboarding can take a good couple of days to pick up, but after that you can become quite competent quickly on your snowboard.

Tips to keep in mind for your first ski trip

✔️ Beginners heading on a ski holiday should allow plenty of time on the slopes (at least a couple of days) – first-timers make take a while to get the hang of it.

✔️ It’s not essential, but we highly recommend you sign up for some ski lessons. Instructors will guide you through how to start and then demonstrate correct techniques – plus they’ll take you to runs on the mountain that suit your ability level. Club Med snow resorts offer snow schools with qualified instructors included in the package, and also many offer kids ski classes.

✔️ The view from the top will be steep... and intimidating for beginners. Whenever in doubt, don’t forget you can 'pizza' (point your skis together at the front to slow you down) to gradually make your way down to the bottom.

✔️ Don't forget to reward yourself after day's skiing by indulging in a sauna, Turkish bath, massage or yoga. Trust us: your muscles will thank you!

Best international ski fields for beginners

While skiing in Australia and New Zealand are viable options, the best part about heading overseas to ski is that you can discover a completely new country and experience some of the best powder in the world. Here’s our pick for the best international ski fields:

✔️ Sahoro, Japan: The skiing mecca of Hokkaido offers soft snow perfect for beginners. Resorts in the region contain traditional Japanese rooms, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and snow gardens for the kids.

✔️ Valmorel, France: with a family-friendly atmosphere, this resort area of the French Alps offers plenty of gentle runs and a host of activities for the little ones.

✔️ Via Lattea, Italy: Nestled on the border with France, the second largest ski field in Europe is popular with families who come to relax in cosy chalets.

✔️ Aspen Snowmass, USA: spread over four mountains, this field features an amazing array of runs from beginner to advanced.

✔️ Big White, Canada: has a huge number of lifts, runs to suit all ages and a popular skiing school for kids.

And finally...

Whether you're hitting the slopes for the first time or taking the kids on their first skiing holiday, good luck, and remember…everybody had to learn once!

See you out on the slopes. ⛄ ❄️ 🎿

Learn more about Club Med’s all-inclusive ski holidays in the video below, or on the Club Med website here.

Want to discover our Facebook Snow Squad Group? Join us here!

An Alpine Experience with Chic Euro Style

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This article was reposted from journalist Dan Avila’s post on justluxe.com. All photos below are courtesy of Dan Avila Photography.  Read the original story here. Dan Avilais a frequent traveler across the globe, camera in hand - shooting unique people and places. He relates below his great experience of spending a week during the snow season at Club Med in Valmorel.

To many, the Alps are the prime locations for snow sport excellence. Endless runs in pristine conditions, fabulous infrastructures and picturesque villages with a chic Euro style; it is ski heaven. The tiny Alpine town of Valmorel, set high in the French Alps, is transformed in the winter. Valmorel village may be small, but it punches above its weight in premium offerings. Some of the finest French cheese, wine and produce are from this region and the skiing is simply sublime.

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Set above this town is Club Med Valmorel's latest resort village. No expense has been spared ($113 million was spent) to create a truly stunning alpine experience which, in addition to the main resort village, includes a few stand-alone chalets. Club Med Valmorel has direct access to over 93 miles of ski runs reaching an altitude of over 9,800 feet. From the highest ski lift, views extend across three countries and even the most committed skier must pause in appreciation of these unforgettable vistas.

The property’s chalets are removed from the main hotel in a secluded area above the resort village. The accommodations are built to the highest-certified environmental standards and are designed in an authentic alpine style. Exclusive to chalets are in-house meals. Each morning, breakfast is prepared by your butler who gets to know you so they can tailor the service to your exact preference. On returning to the chalet after a solid day of carving up the slopes, our butler had prepared a decadent afternoon tea including the finest local produce and a special daily pastry from Maryan, awarded as one of the finest pastry chefs in France. The chalets also have exclusive access to a range of premium features including The Welcome Lounge. The club is beautifully constructed and features a fireplace and premium wine and spirits. A chauffeur is also available any time of day for those wanting to explore the area.

Club Med’s holiday experience is seamless, and allows guests more time to do what they go there to do. Group ski classes are part of the package and are highly recommended. The Valmorel ski fields are so expansive that just getting familiar with the runs can take days. The nationally-accredited instructors also double as guides, as small groups of similarly skilled skiers or snow-boarders are expertly instructed and guided throughout the reaches of this expansive region. From a very beginner seeing snow for the first time to competitive experts looking to hone their off-piste ability, all skill levels are catered to with group or one-on-one lessons.

After a glorious morning on the slopes, ski in and kick off your skis at the exclusive chalet ski room, near the restaurant while a smiling waiter offers fresh juice or Champagne even before you step inside. The chefs ensure a luxuriant spread for lunch before satisfied guests again succumb to the call of the mountains. Being on the slopes is a great way of experiencing a view of the Alps. Low altitude flying above them is even better, and there are a couple of options to get airborne, which include parasailing or flying in a microlight at 80 mph before setting down on the slopes to ski onto the next thrill.

Club Med controls a substantial portion of the European Alpine vacation market and this dominance has provided opportunity to refine their craft into what has culminated into the Valmorel experience. It is a total package of carefree fun that leaves guests satisfied and yearning to return.

Want to discover more? Watch this video below, or hop on our website to learn more about the Club Med Valmorel Chalets.