Skiing FAQs – Your Questions Answered

FAQs

We all know everyone has some burning questions about skiing so here are a few common ones answered for you.

What do I need to wear?

If it’s your first time this can be confusing. Make sure you have a thermal under layer, a fleece on top and a waterproof outer layer. On top of this you’ll need cold weather gloves, ski socks, goggles, a helmet and probably a face covering like a Buff. Most of this can be picked up cheaply or even hired if you book far enough ahead.

What else do I need to bring?

When you’re sitting out for lunch you might want to swap your goggles and helmet for sunglasses and a beanie. Don’t forgot lip balm and sun cream as the sun can be intense bouncing off the snow. Plus water and a little rucksack to chuck it all in. Make sure to grab a piste map in resort too. The rest is just adding your chill vibes to the mountain scene.

What’s the best time to go skiing?

That all depends on you! Going for Christmas or New Year can make for a magical experience. You get the most snow in Feb and early to mid-March (and the prices reflect this) and these days there is often another huge snowfall right at the end of the season in April. And if you go in April (many high resorts don’t close until the end of the month) you can easily end up skiing in just a t-shirt! This is the time to enjoy the longer days and find yourself on the terrace of a wonderful mountain restaurant listening to great music whilst enjoying the breathtaking views. You may find it hard to drag yourself back home!

But which ski resort is best for me?

The honest truth is, with a few exceptions, most groups will have a great time wherever you go. If you have particular requirements any of our advisors can help you but I would focus on what the best property for you is.

Then what accommodation is right for me?

We have a wide range of chalets, hotels and apartments. In each category, there are budget and luxury options – and everything in between – with different amenities and locations. Don’t forget when looking at prices, a catered chalet includes 6 evenings of 3- or 4-course menus accompanied by wine as well as breakfast – so this can be great value. Think about what 3 things are most important to you and let our knowledgeable team take the pressure off you.

So how does a chalet holiday work?

Our catered chalets include 7 mornings of breakfast and 6 nights of 3- or 4-course menus all bundled in (our hardworking staff get Wednesday off). Those dinners also include unlimited wine served until (freshly made) coffee so this type of holiday can really help you budget and get great value. More than that, the chalet hosts are fellow ski enthusiasts who can help offer local tips on places to go and things to do. Just have a chat with them about what you need.

Where’s good to eat in the resort?

On our website we have a page set aside for each resort, packed with suggestions on restaurants, bars & activities – all thoroughly tested by our team in the mountains.

How do I stay safe on the mountain?

Aside from wearing a helmet and respecting the snow conditions, it’s good to brush up on skiing etiquette. The basics are –
• Give right of way to the trailblazers below you
• Leave plenty of space when overtaking, they can’t see you and can move anywhere
• Look up for oncoming skiers when merging and starting, those folk are already speeding through
• Always stop on the side of the piste and never below a lip, visibility is no. 1 in staying safe

Why are your flights that early?

By departing the UK early, we land early and get on the road ahead of everyone else travelling up the mountain. It’s as simple as that – you avoid the very worst ski rush hours on the roads! This can make a huge difference to your journey time as we avoid the worst traffic and get you in and out of resort quickly. Another bonus of an early start is taking into account the time difference, customs, the transfer and unpacking, it can be a surprising amount of time before you’re settled in and ready to explore. We want you up on the mountain with daylight to spare and time to get to know your new mountain home.

How long is the transfer?

That really depends on the resort itself, snow conditions, time of the season and traffic overall. Our resorts are the most snowsure in Europe. That means you generally need to drive higher up the mountain to get to them.
Naturally, traffic on the weekend can be heavier with other keen skiers both local and from further afield – especially after a fresh snowfall! That is why we fly into your destination airport so early – we have the best chance of NOT getting seriously caught up in all this.
With our experience, we’ve found Grenoble offers the best compromise between distance and reliability as the weather patterns around Chambery frequently stop planes actually landing!

FAQs

What is snow-sure?

Snow-sure resorts are the resorts most likely to be blanketed with snow throughout the season – usually due to their altitude as well as the orientation of their slopes. Resorts such as Val Thorens (the highest in Europe) will be open from early December to May sometimes. Tignes is similar as it has a glacier. Your ski holiday is as important to us as it is to you so we chose these resorts to make sure you can hit the slopes with confidence – anytime in the ski season.

But what does happen if there’s no snow?

In our resorts that simply does not happen. Our resorts are the ones everyone heads to if the snow is late or poor. Buying your lift pass in advance can not only save you money (see our Ski All-In offers) but means you would have priority if the sale of passes is limited due to skiers from other areas wanting to come.
In addition, our resorts have the latest equipment to make and store snow. But should the worst happen we’ll endeavour to get you to any nearby resort with lifts running.

How can I check the weather?

There are a number of popular resources, but we would recommend the Ski Club of Great Britain or the enthusiast blog Weathertoski.

You say dinner in the chalet, what’s on the menu?

We serve a delicious 3- or 4-course set menu in all our chalets, Whilst our menu is subject to change, it normally includes favourites such as a traditional Savoyarde raclette (delicious!) to an 8 hour slow cooked lamb ragu – prepared by trained chefs in our central Mountain Kitchen.
There are tasty vegetarian options and we can cater for some dietary requirements. It is very important you discuss any diets with us before you book – as with a set menu, some just may not be possible.
Do remember that these must be booked in advance (so check this is noted on your invoice) and for some diets, there is a small charge. Kids are able to get a simpler High Tea for no extra cost. So when you book, make sure to let us know your dietary requirements.

FAQs

How do I get my lift pass?

If you’ve ordered it through us, we’ll actually deliver it to your accommodation (or straight away on the bus)! At some of our smaller resorts, you may still have to go pick it up, but you’ll have a voucher for zero fuss. For more information about what to take and what you need click here.

What level of hire is best for me?

At most of our resorts, we offer four levels, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Never underestimate the difference good skis make, so if you’re experienced it’s worth the extra. If you’re just a beginner you’re likely to grow out of the bronze after a day or two, so we’d suggest silver as the minimum. Check out our advice here.

Are your holidays just Saturday to Saturday?

That’s when our charter flights and coach transfers are organised, which works to keep the cost down and leave you with a few more beers on the slopes. With our tailor-made holidays, you can depart whenever you want to – subject to availability. And remember that in the high snow-sure resorts, it is harder to do short breaks or to arrive and depart on anything other than a weekend. Watch this space though, as we’re working to give you more flexibility in the future.

How do I check-in for my flights?

For any scheduled flight, or charter with Jet2 or Easyjet you would check in as normal. The reference to use can be found in the documents in the Manage My Booking section of our website. For our BA charter flights there’s no online option, just bring your passport to the desk at the airport.

What if I want to take my own skis & boots?

If you’re lucky enough to have your own skis, make sure to book ski carriage with us in advance. As for boots, most people will take them as hand luggage – but check with us first as some airlines now don’t allow this. Most squeeze them in your suitcase as that works too.

Should I book lessons?

Absolutely! If you’re a beginner the need is obvious. But we recommend them to everyone, the more you improve the more the mountain opens up to you. The true joys of skiing only reveal themselves after quite a bit of development. If you are travelling on a school holiday date, we would strongly advise you to book early as there are only a limited number of instructors out there!
We can help you organise lessons ahead of time so everything is prepared and protected – just look at the options on Manage My Booking or click here for information.

How difficult are the slopes?

Your piste map and the signs in the mountain will all be colour coded. In Europe, this normally goes –
• Green: Nursery slope for learning
• Blue: Easy to ski for almost everyone
• Red: Intermediate and advanced skiers here
• Black: The most difficult runs for confident skiers
Please note some of this can be ‘best guess’ by the resort. A blue may have a short steep bit in, or be steep overall but very wide giving you lots of space and time to turn.

What if I have any issues in the resort?

We do have an emergency helpline at Skiworld HQ for the day of your departure. But the best thing in the resort is to speak to your chalet host, rep or resort manager. Our local team are always best positioned to respond quickly.

How fit should I be?

You can cruise around blues for days if you take it slow. But skiing is still a whole-body work out (not just legs!) and coming in fitter will help. We’ve put together some ski fitness advice here.

I’ve thought of a question you didn’t answer!

We do our best but love to be challenged with a new question. Please do call the team on 0330 102 8004 to chat about your holiday options. You can also find a lot of detailed information on our website.

Beginner's Week

Round-Up

If going skiing has been on your bucket list for the longest time, you definitely should consider our Beginner’s Week Trip which lets you learn skiing with other people who also want to. Take all of these useful tips such as practising before leaving, bringing gloves that you can attach to your coat and also just enjoying yourself!


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Jessica May

Ski Specialist

0208 600 1678

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