Part 1.

Going on your first ski holiday

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already made, or are in the process of making the best decision of your life. With most other things, your first time does tend to be a bit awkward.

With skiing, your first time is arguably your best. I’ll never forget the excitement kicking in just an hour away from the resort, face glued to the window marvelling at the scale of the snowcapped peaks surrounding us. You never understand quite how beautiful it is until you see it yourself! Now although there’s a lot to look forward to, there’s also a bit to prepare; but don’t worry, here at Powder White we’ve done the thinking for you!

 

What to expect

You alight from the plane, waltz through customs, and approach luggage collection with a smug grin on your face, your bags are the first on the carrousel. Next, you’re guided to the transfer pick up point, then board and depart straight away – all of you get window seats. The drive begins.

Bizarrely, the bus driver’s taste in music is identical to yours, so you and your friends/family jam out to some classics on the skyway highway while the mountains grow ever closer. The music has now settled and halfway through one of your good-friend Dave’s hysterical anecdotes, everyone stops. You look out the window to your left and notice the views; a single tear rolls down your face as you take in the most beautiful sights you have ever seen, the memory of the birth of your firstborn child fades away as it is replaced with this one, but you don’t mind. The sights continuously get better until you reach the pinnacle, resort.

Dave grabs his bags and hurries off, as you step off you take a deep breath and realize your lifelong battle with asthma has come to an abrupt end – this is the clearest air you have ever breathed and you stop to savour the moment. WHACK! It doesn’t last long as you feel a cold sharp pain in the back of your neck, a 180 degree swivel reveals Dave stood smirking with the remnants of a snowball dripping from his hand; classic Dave. You embrace your friend and together voice your excitement of finally arriving.

You wander through the charming alpine town which you so excellently chose and arrive at your chalet. Names are drawn from a hat to decide on rooms. Conveniently, you win the recently refurbished emperor bedroom fully equipped with flat screen TV, mezzanine lounge, en-suite bathroom, and stunning south-facing balcony overlooking the breath-taking Grandé Mont Blanc. After a gourmet three course meal, you cosy up into your oversized bed and quickly fall asleep despite being as excited as a child before Christmas.

The next day arrives and you wake up peacefully to the sound of bird song from three Citril Finches perched on your balcony. You dress and meander downstairs to the kitchen to find Dave has made you your favourite breakfast. Over a cup of coffee you discuss the day’s upcoming events.

With a full stomach and a skip in your step, you wander down to the ski rental shop to collect your equipment. You approach the shop clerk and present your voucher. The man speaks perfect English and informs you your voucher is not valid at this store, you turn towards your friend but before you reach 45-degrees the man breaks character and reveals his wry smile. The whole shop breaks into laughter then eventually song as he presents you with pre-tuned equipment. As you effortlessly slip into it, your instructor walks into the shop to collect you.

Together, you walk down past the beginner slopes slightly concerned as you approach the lift directly to the mountain peak. The instructor notices your unease and puts their arm over your shoulder before speaking some words of encouragement; all of your worries fade away. You board the lift, and for the next 15 minutes the instructor covers each and every minute detail about the art of skiing with all the confidence and charisma of a young Pierce Brosnan at his peak in the 1995 hit film Golden Eye. As the lift reaches its apex you all get off. Stood there at the peak of the mountain basking in the glorious sunlight you notice your instructor skiing off into the distance, they wave at you and you wave back – their work here is done.

The remaining days are spent frolicking about the mountains, whizzing around on your skis with a grace usually reserved for the Olympic elite. The scenery is stunning, your ribs hurt from the laughter, the wine flows aplenty, and you are all completely smitten with the beautiful mistress that is the mountain experience. As your holiday comes to an end you don’t cry, not even a single tear, instead, you reminisce with Dave about the best week of your lives as pen hits paper and the next trip is pencilled in.

Now, you may not believe this is what you have in store, but you ask any skier and they’ll eagerly cover each and every detail of their first time with all the enthusiasm they can muster, and that’s because at the end of your first ski holiday you’re presented with an honorary pair of rose-tinted goggles.