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Beginners Snowboarding / Skiing Resort Advice

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, just wondering if anyone can give me any advice at all. My husband, kids and I recently had our first ski / snowboard holiday and it was a bit of a disaster. We'd had loads of lessons on indoor slopes in the Uk and two short break trips to the Netherlands where they have a 500m indoor run that we'd gotten on really well with. We went away thinking that we'd prepared ourselves as much as possible for the reality of getting onto the snow. However, what I hadn't prepared myself for was the fact that it turns out I'm terrified of being anywhere near any sort of edge of the mountain. Even when using a poma or t-bar lift I was terrified I was about to be dragged off the edge (although quite frankly on a snowboard they're really hard to use anyway and although my son wasn't scared of the edge he still fell off constantly and hated them!) To be honest we also found the runs really quite tricky and much steeper than we'd anticipated for blue runs.
We're determined not to let it put us off and will choose a resort next year more wisely we hope but I wanted to see if anyone had any good recommendations of resorts which have enough greens and easy blues for beginner skiers and enough blues that are wide and nowhere near any edges that have chair lifts getting to them for snowboarders so that you can easily do the whole run without having to go near any poma lifts.
Ideally also somewhere that doesn't involve any sort of drive up a sheer mountain edge to get to the resort in the first place either. Perfectly happy to take a gondola up to the resort as long as we just don't have to go near those damn edges!!
Thanks loads
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@loleary, Where did you go ?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I think there are at least three things going on here.

Firstly, in our relatively low country nothing really prepares you for the scale of Alpine slopes. It is perfectly sensible to be cautious/nervous near a cliff edge. They are potentially hazardous. But most of the time, beginners don't really go anywhere close to one on skis. It is your perception of the problem that you need to address, and that is just about repeated exposure - the more you do it the less intimidated you'll be.

Secondly you are suffering from the curse of the drag lift! I still hate them with a passion. But in truth the best thing you can do is get used to them. Find a place where there is a short Poma with no edge to imagine that you will fall off. You will find that situation in almost every beginner's area in every resort in France. And practice! You won't hurt yourself when you do fall off, and the more you do it the less often you will suffer that indignity.

Finally, and especially for the more mature beginners, Skiing is very daunting at first; almost all the things you have to do are counter intuitive. I started aged 48 and it took me about 3 weeks to stop being convinced I was in mortal danger. You need to persist, and invest in lessons. Ten years later I am never happier than when I am on skis. I, and hundreds of thousands like me, ski as often as I can and have never yet fallen off the edge!

Don't search for the resort with no steep slopes - it won't be much of a ski station. Most low-lying stations de ski (1000 - 1500m) are not perched near giant cliff edges. Don't try to avoid Pomas - get used to them. Your dignity may be damaged at first, but really it doesn't take long to get past that stage. And have lessons, see if you can afford a few private ones to begin with - you will learn, especially if you are as motivated as you seem to be.

Good luck!
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The key thing seems to be that you didn't take lessons. Next time, book yourselves in to a really good ski school. Choice if resort is not nearly so crucial!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Les Gets springs easily to mind for type of terrain, lifts, scope of runs etc.

Would seem to mitigate all of the fears expressed.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Yes I think you're spot on about not having lessons - we thought we'd be fine as fairly competent at the actual technique part and we had experienced people with us but you can't factor in how different it feels being on real snow up a mountain!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
And different from day to day - one day sunny, nice snow. The next day foggy, terrible visibility, can't see where you're going, maybe ice or moguls. When people ask for advice here, having taken lessons on dry slopes or in a fridge, they are always advised to take lessons - and having done all that work it usually means they don't have to start in the very beginners class. Twisted Evil
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
“in our relatively low country nothing really prepares you for the scale of Alpine slopes”@Petere, there is, plenty, just not around Bristol! For a more gradual introduction to the length of runs, Finland or the Scandinavian countries could suit you. Plenty of surface lifts though not always needed. Not all blue slopes are the same.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Lots of Greens & Blues will be on cat tracks - ie what are Mountain Roads when the snow is not there, so having a drop on one side is quite common.

As for Slope Grading, there is next to no consistency.
Wide & Steep or Narrow and flat could easily have the same grading.

Drag lifts - yep avoid them, however do you know how to use a chair lift as a snowboarder?

For Pommel lifts you keep your body square. one shoulder pointing up the slope, the other down the slope - Stretch out your back arm as if you are pointing down the slope, otherwise you risk moving your arm in, which will move your shoulder in, which in turn will move your hips, your knee & is going to turn your board so you catch an edge.

Have lessons next time in the resort, there is still a learning curve from being on the mountain compared to being in a fridge.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I started only a few years ago and this is my view:

1) Indoor slopes are horrible. I had a day on the Milton Keynes one and apart from learning what a ski and a boot looks like, for 150 quid for the day, I wouldn't recommend it. The slope is really short and if you go out of control you hit the bottom fairly hard. And the gear they rent you is awfully smelly...

2) Everybody has a fantastic favourite place but in reality many/most of the Alpine ones are really unsuitable for early learning. Go somewhere nice and gentle, and wide, and not crowded. Madonna has some really good slopes for that. For a cheaper family holiday, Slovenia and other places are popular, but they can get crowded, with kids, and kids are a real hazard.

3) Book short notice to make sure you get snow but in nice sunny conditions.

4) The quality of instruction varies massively. There are a lot of 25 year old ex olympic competitors who are no doubt brilliant but can't teach. Get somebody much older.

5) Slopes get churned up by mid-day. The ski gods can handle it but the best skiing starts the instant when the slope opens and runs for a few hours. It is just not a YYY-male thing to say this Smile
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@loleary, where was that?

Anyway, echoing everything above about getting lessons etc. One place I remember has a chair up the beginner area in Westendorf. Nice blues further up as well (thou I also remember a big flat at the top which may not suit a boarder?)

Had a couple of fridge lessons before I went for the first time, spent my first week in proper snow on my bum down pretty much two runs in the whole resort. Laughing It was so very, very tiring! But loads of lessons later it does come together. I wouldn't say the self preservation fear goes away quickly though if that's the way you're made.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Maybe consider resorts with long magic carpets?

I've only been skiing a couple of years (Feb 2018), but started at the same time as my lad, who was 3 years and 10 months at the time. For the back half of the 2018 season and the beginning of the 2019 season we spent a lot of time at Weinebene (https://www.bergfex.com/weinebene/) which has a 180 m long magic carpet, which ends at the top of a nice wide blue slope. I'm not recommending this particular resort (as it's a solid drive from just about anywhere else), but finding somewhere else with decent length magic carpets could be the way forward for a day or two.

Riding a t-bar with such a small child is a right pain and chairlifts are "fun" when he wants to squirm around looking at things (especially the animal tracks in the snow underneath). Spending those first half a dozen (maybe more) days riding up the magic carpet helped build both our confidences.

Another place I can think of, although with only a short magic carpet, is Rohrmoos in the middle of Schladming's Four mountains. Two chair lifts (Rohrmoos I and II) to take you up from the very bottom Hochwurzen car park. Then there are some very wide and gentle blue slopes back down (runs 37 and 38, although 38 narrows a bit at the end, but you could just keep riding the 37 and 37a variation to the bottom of Rohrmoos II for a day. But be careful if going back to the bottom of Rohrmoos I because the very end of 37 is a steep red, make sure you split off to the 38: https://www.planai.at/planai/2_winter/1_ski-panorama/sd-panorama-winter-2019_20.pdf). You could even ride the gondola up to the top of Hochwurzen for lunch and spectacular views on a nice day, then ride the same gondola back down to the top of Rohrmoos II, thus avoiding all the Hochwurzen reds.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Try a resort with flatter trails, more grassy hills, gentler hills, and less rocks.

Somewhere like Alpbach, in Austria.

And go in (early) March, when temperatures are warmer, sun is hotter, and snow is softer (easier to turn or stop).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Alpe Duez sounds like the sort of resort that would be great for you to learn in. Much of it is built in a big bowl shape, there are a number of drag lifts but they are in the middle of the slopes, your not near edges etc i.e. it gives you the chance to learn just the drags without having to fix multiple things at once. Once you have the drags mastered you can then move onto the bigger slopes with a gradual introduction to the "steep edges" etc.
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