You’ve booked the chalet and started religiously monitoring the snow forecast – your much-awaited ski trip is fast approaching. As you daydream about hitting the slopes and enjoying the après ski, prepare yourself mentally by reading through our guide to some of the most inevitable things that are bound to happen to you this season.
Drop a glove on the chairlift and never find it again
Like being lost in a kind of black hole, it seems that what falls from the chairlifts is doomed to never being found again. It doesn’t matter if you remember exactly where it was, or if some kind lady signals she’ll leave it with the guy at the lift. Chances are you’re never seeing that glove / ski pole / sunscreen ever again.
Get drunk on the slopes and realise you’ve yet to ski home
While stopping for a drink on the pistes seems like a fantastic idea at the time, having to ski back down to base when you have double vision can be a little tricky. You’ll either have to face the shame of getting the chairlift back down or brace yourself for a slow and steady decent – possibly in the company of the ski patrol.
Try but fail to avoid the goggle tan
The dead giveaway that you’ve been spending time on the slopes, the goggle tan is that classic ‘top half of your face white, bottom half red’ that you get from spending all day in the sun with your goggles on. While some wear it like a badge of honour, most people who aren’t spending all season on the mountain and have to go back to the office in a week avoid it like a rash – albeit unsuccessfully in most cases.
See Nordic skiers and ask yourself why anyone bothers
Skiing is hard work as it is – and that’s going down the mountain. Imagine having to climb up the mountain, ankle deep in snow, with a backpack, while it’s snowing into your face… No, we don’t think it sounds much fun either. Yet you’ll inevitably come across Nordic skiers on the mountain and, like us, you’ll think ‘not for me’.
Decide that drinking glühwein for breakfast is totally fine
Sure, it’s only 10am, but when you’ve been up since dawn to catch the first lifts and need to warm up mid-morning there’s nothing like a glass of mulled wine to fire you back up. And anyway, ski resorts are like airports in that it’s socially acceptable to drink at any time of the day.
Try flirting with Ski Bunnies and Shredders
We’ve all been there. Something about the mountain air brings out a whole new you and suddenly you’re showing off to impress someone whose face you can’t even see for their goggles. Typically you’ll find yourself going for that attractive woman with the fancy kit (aka the ‘Ski Bunny’) or the edgy-looking boarders jumping off cliffs and chasing powder (aka the ‘Shredders’).
Get really excited by the sight of snow falling
It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid off-piste skier or you like to cruise on the greens and reds, fresh snow is good news for everyone. The sight of snow beginning to fall at the end of the day raises everyone’s hopes for that most magical of occasions: the bluebird day – when it’s dumped fresh snow all night but you wake up to clear blue skies creating the perfect skiing conditions.
Realise you’ve unwillingly entered a fashion contest
It’s not enough to just be a good skier these days, you’ve got to look the part as well. You’ll cringe at the thought of wearing last season’s colour, want to show off your Burton goggles and flash that snazzy Merino-wool base layer at every chance you get. Never mind the fact that you can’t actually ski.
Wish you’d spent more on your goggles
Most of the time your run-of-the-mill goggles will be just fine. But as soon as the conditions get a little extreme, you’ll wish you’d spent that bit extra to get the goggles with low-visibility lenses for snow days. Or the ones with the wide lenses for better vision, or the anti-fog technology. The options are seemingly endless even if your budget isn’t.
Get knocked over by someone speeding down the slope
You’ll be casually making a turn on the slope when suddenly you’re face down in the snow and someone’s swearing at you in German. And inevitably they’ll make out that it was your fault for being in their way as they came rocketing down the mountain at full speed.
Feel like you’ve finally cracked it on the last day of the trip
It’s the inevitable pattern of every skiing holiday: spend the first few days trying to get back to skiing like you did on the last trip, finally feel you’ve got your mojo back on the last day, and then have to pack your skis away again for another year. Then you come back the next year and repeat the same cycle. On the one hand it’s frustrating. On the other it’s, well, a skiing trip.