The view from one of the Meribel webcams yesterday (21st Nov) - thanks to Meribel tourist office for sharing!
All of a sudden the weather has turned decidedly wintry and whilst you're probably jumping for joy - it's time to get down to the serious business of ski holiday prep! Here's a few tips.
1. Holidaying in the school holidays? Take a look at our special sections.
If you're already booked for Christmas, Half Term or Easter - great! If not take a look at our school holiday sections so you can get straight to the availability and offers for those periods. Find Christmas, New Year, Half Term and Easter by clicking on the relevant link! Fortunately it's not too late and you can still find some great chalets or apartments for those dates.
2. Have beginners? Book some lessons.
If you can, get them some pre-season lessons. Snow domes, snow centres and artificial ski slopes all over the country offer beginner lessons aimed at children and adults. This can make an enormous difference to how successful the beginner ski experience will be in resort - and will often allow for quicker improvement and more enjoyment once on real snow.
Whilst it may seem like an unecessary expense think of it as an investment.
3. Physical Preparation.
Ok so you say it every year about this time - I must get fitter for skiing. But somehow, with the pressure of work, family, social life, the best intentions get forgotten. Then suddenly you're at altitude and trying to negotiate something steep and you wish you'd taken the time to do just a bit more. Make this the year that you do something about it! Just stepping up your regular fitness routine by about 10-20% will pay dividends in a few weeks - so by the time you're on the slopes you'll feel the benefit.
Just googling "exercises for skiing" will give you a great range of resources and tips. Start easy and adapt exercise to your level. It's never too late to start.
4. Learn about Snow Conditions
If you're an experienced skier/snowboarder chances are that you will at some point be skiing off-piste. Modern skis make it much easier for relatively inexperienced skiers to try the powder - and snowboarders have been doing it for years. So if you are going to do that it makes sense to learn more about the environment. During this autumn Henry's Avalanche Talk has been running regular sessions in partnership with Ellis Brigham. 90% of avalanches are triggered by the victim, and in many cases the situation could have been avoided with a bit more knowledge. Check out the link for the HAT Autumn Tour. If you're an off-piste regular you owe it yourself and your ski/snowboard buddies to go along.