A Beginners Guide To Skiing

Photo by Harald from https://www.summitride.com/
“Alpine skiing is the sport of sliding down snow-covered hills on skis with fixed-heel bindings. It is also commonly known as downhill skiing, although that also incorporates different styles. Alpine skiing can be contrasted with skiing using free-heel bindings; ski mountaineering and nordic skiing — such as cross-country; ski jumping; and Telemark.”
— Wikipedia

HOW TO START

It’s probably the best to borrow skis from a friend. They can give you some tips, show you some basics and it’s the cheapest.
Most ski resorts offer rental skis and ski clothing. It’s perfect if you just start and you are not sure whether it’s worth buying all the stuff.

It depends on yourself whether you want to take lessons or not. You can learn skiing easily by yourself or from a friend you trust. However, certified ski instructors sometimes are able to teach you a few tricks people with less experience in teaching skiing don’t know.

Before you go skiing, it is important to prepare your body for the unusual efforts way before. Gyms offer special ski gymnastic courses to get you prepared.

Going backcountry skiing is a whole different story. It is an absolute must to do an avalanche course. You have to be really good and confident to be able to go into the backcountry. Usually it takes many years of training to build the knowledge, skills, strength and confidence to build up the experience needed to minimize all the risks.

And even then, never go alone and without a beacon. Always go with someone who knows the place well and is experienced. Always check your and your partners gear, food supplies, the weather conditions and health conditions.

RISK & SAFETY

As mentioned before, skiing can be really dangerous as soon as you leave the slopes. Within a resort, most of the time, it’s quite safe. You should always wear a helmet and back protection. As soon as you go into the backcountry, it gets really really dangerous.

Never go skiing alone. Always wear a helmet and back protection.

Always go out with a beacon. Everyone in the team has to have one and know how to use it. Before you go, test them in all modes.

Plan your trips well, have enough food with you and listen to the forecast, avalanche report and local warnings.

Avalanche scaleAvalanche dangerRecommendationLikelihood of avalancheSize and extent5: Very highAvoid all avalanche terrain.Avalanches triggered by skiers and spontaneous avalanches are certain to occur.Large to very large avalanches in many areas.4: LargeVery dangerous conditions. All presence in avalanche terrain is discouraged.Avalanches triggered by skiers and spontaneous avalanches are likely to occur.Large avalanches in many areas or very large avalanches in parts of the terrain.3: ConsiderableDangerous conditions. Assess the snow cover and the terrain carefully. Be very careful when choosing where and how you travel.It is likely that people trigger avalanches and spontaneous avalanches are possible.Small avalanches in many areas, large avalanches in parts of the terrain, or very large avalanches in a few places.2: ModerateDangerous conditions in parts of the terrain. Assess the snow cover and terrain carefully, identify and avoid the most dangerous passages.It is possible for people to trigger avalanches but spontaneous avalanches are unlikely.Small avalanches in parts of the terrain or very large avalanches in a few places.1: LowConditions are generally safe. Be aware that the snow may be unstable in some places in the terrain.Avalanches triggered by skiers and spontaneous avalanches are unlikely.Small avalanches in some places or in extreme terrain.

COMMUNITY

There are a lot of ways to get in touch with other skiers. Depending on what’s your preferred way to meet people, you can register in online forums, go on organized trips or just ask your local dealer. They usually know the local scene quite well.

COSTS

Skiing has two major cost components. The skis and gear, which can cost anything from a few hundred up to a few thousands.

Second you have to buy a ski pass. Small resorts charge way less than the big and famous ones. A day pass at a big resort can cost around $100 whereas a pass at a small resort can start at $20-$40 a day. If you ski for a couple of days, it gets cheaper. Just do the math what is cheapest for the days you plan to ski. Keep in mind that skiing can be exhausting. If you ski for the first time, after three days you are probably quite exhausted and need a day off.

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