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Reluctant new skiier

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi everyone, just after some advice please. I’m a 28 year old man who’s been talked into a skiing holiday with my partner’s family. I’m athletic and sporty generally, I’ve had a few lessons and everyone expects me to love it but so far, I just don’t enjoy skiing. I have a private lesson booked for my first day but I’m not in a position financially to keep having these lessons until I’m capable enough to enjoy it. Has anyone else had a similar experience to this, either themselves or a family member? I want to make the best of it and I’m keen not to ruin everyone else’s holiday because I’m not enjoying myself all week!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hmm. Do the lesson, then if you don't like it maybe try a different sport - cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing? Maybe book into cheaper group lessons and leave the skiers to do their thing?

In general though, enjoy the bits you can - food, views, spas, snow! - and don't worry about the skiing bit. And absolutely don't be pushed into going beyond your ability, you'll enjoy it even less if you get injured!
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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?
Book in to group lessons. Then you'll experience skiing with other beginners rather than from the point of view of your partner and family who know what to expect.
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Could you book into a week of group lessons instead? Spend less ski time worrying about other people’s expectations of you & hang around with strangers of a similar ability, maybe?

You might find you become a very capable skier and still not enjoy it though.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you can afford a second lesson......and the first one goes well, then book that on the third day, while you practice what you've learned on the second day.

I am quite confident, that the right instructor will be able to teach you the skills to start enjoying it. If you learn Control, you will relax. If you relax, you should start enjoying your time on the snow.

Where have done your previous lessons (Dry Slope/Snow Dome/Resort) and how many did you have?

Get as fit as possible before going.

BTW. Welcome to the mayhem.
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@JK1993, Take up golf, have lessons, buy the kit. The frustration and self-loathing will put your wonderful skiing holiday into perspective Madeye-Smiley
Enjoy.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Sounds like you may be used to being good at sport. Skiing is high on skill so will take time when compared to fitness based sports - enjoy making progress, the mountains and environment rather than being good on day one.
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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!
@JK1993, welcome to snowHeads! Very Happy
Another vote for group lessons with people of similar ability to yours. That will eliminate your fear of spoiling your companions' fun. Only ski with them if you really feel happy doing so, you're sure otherwise to be able to find someone in your class to ski with in the afternoon and you can meet up with your party to swap stories over apres. Good luck, I hope you manage to enjoy yourself this time. I do think that there is often that light bulb moment when you turn from being a reluctant skier to a keen one, and hopefully that will switch on for you.
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@MorningGory, I've met loads of people, both sporty and otherwise, who don't ski because they don't like not being good at something. And nobody is good at skiing from the word go. I never had this problem, because I'm not good at anything, so my expectations were low!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Klamm Franzer wrote:
Book in to group lessons. Then you'll experience skiing with other beginners rather than from the point of view of your partner and family who know what to expect.


I've had years of group lessons, from intermediate to advanced. I loved them. 'You must have private lessons' is mostly 'I can afford it' snobbery imv. In a group lesson you'll have a laugh, maybe make some friends, not feel the pressure of your personal wealth draining away, realise that you're not the worst in the group and for the afore mentioned reasons, possibly progress faster?


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Wed 19-01-22 17:24; edited 4 times in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@JK1993, where have your lessons so far been done? There's s big difference in the experience between a snowdome or dry slope and the mountains.
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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.
Quote:

that light bulb moment

This. You say you've had a few lessons, when I started my first couple of snowboarding lessons in Tamworth, I went in wanting to be good, wanting to have some innate ability at snowboarding but I absolutely stank at it - zero ability. It was hard, and unforgiving and alien to me. In the Dome, it felt confining, I was more worried about stuff going on around and not getting in anyone's way than what I was actually doing, and very conscious of the time left to prove I could do enough to be allowed to use the lifts, which was the goal of those early lessons.

It was only when I got to the mountains on my first trip, had some more tuition that it all came together and that light bulb came on for the first time. Being in a wider, more open, less intense atmosphere really helped me put it all together and start down that progression path.
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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
I think people are quite right to highlight the idea of Group Lessons - and I can make a good case for either.

It sounds like you have booked a Private Lesson for the first day. If you like the idea of learning in a Group, so you are with people of similar ability - I would expect the Ski School to allow you to change.

I have been with people that loved Group Lessons and people who hated them.....it often depends on the size of the class (max 8 imv, but 6 is better), how good the Instructor is and how uniform the ability of the other classmates are. You don't want to be the one always holding them up.....and you don't want to be constantly waiting for someone constantly falling. People can however, be moved up or down classes if necessary.

If you have a specific problem that is holding you back, a Private Instructor will be able to dedicate his time solely to you..thus make finding that "Light Bulb" moment more likely. There are no delays waiting on a Class and there should be a ski school Fast Lane on Lifts.

To some degree, it will come down to your personality and how you like to learn.

The reason I asked about your past lessons and where they were - is it may give some clue as to what may have happened and what advice to give.


Last edited by 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 on Wed 19-01-22 13:14; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mollerski wrote:
Klamm Franzer wrote:
Book in to group lessons. Then you'll experience skiing with other beginners rather than from the point of view of your partner and family who know what to expect.


I've had years of group lessons, from intermediate to advanced. I loved them. 'You must have private lessons' is mostly 'I can afford it' snobbery imv. In a group lesson you'll have a laugh, maybe make some friends, not feel the pressure of your personal wealth draining away, realise that you're not the worst in the group and for the afore mentioned reasons, possible progress faster.


This 10000%.....the ski school days were brilliant craic.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I didn't enjoy my group ski lessons I'm afraid - but only did that for one year.

Totally understand your pain, having had time off the slope for a bad weather afternoon it felt like 36 hours when not doing anything in a ski resort.

Which resort is it you're going to (don't think it's been mentioned?). Trouble is, a lot of other activities will not be cheap either (like dog sledging). Are you in a hotel with any facilities? Done any research on the resort for non skiers?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A week of morning group lessons sound like a better idea for you, you will share some laughs and be with people of similar standard. Private lessons would only really be worth it is you could afford to take several during the week, and in my experience are not always the best option for beginners. It will help if you keep your expectations low and be sure to enjoy all the other aspects of a winter holiday.

Pick the ski carefully - you want to be sure you have a well qualified instructor with good English.

If you start with the expectation that you will enjoy being in the mountains, all the social time with friends and family, and that you will be able to ski an easy slope by the end of the week you will do well I am sure.

Good luck!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Group lessons all the way if cost is an issue. Find a ski school that stresses its ability to offer tuition in a language you speak fluently.

Before you go skiing with your partner's family, ask your instructor to suggest suitable runs. Then go and ski those runs. If that means everyone skis flat blue runs for an afternoon then so be it. Don't let them over-terrain you. Nothing will hold up your development like getting dragged into stuff that's too hard for you before you are ready. Your instructor will then spend hours unpicking all the bad habits you developed. Serious skiers will understand this.
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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?
any dry slopes near you that you can start learning at? Enjoyment level increases the better you get.
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defo group lessons for at least every morning, then you don't feel you are holding others back and then your partner will presumably toddle around with you in the afternoons.

definitely don't get drawn into the "we'll take you up here this afternoon, you'll be fine there is only one steep bit" and hey presto you're at the top of an icy red piste.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mr.Egg wrote:
any dry slopes near you that you can start learning at? Enjoyment level increases the better you get.

It could be skiing on Dry Slopes that put them off....we simply don't know.
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@JK1993, do you look forward to spending time in the mountains? If snow, spectacular scenery, spending time outside (or in a relaxing spa) all appeal then it's worth putting effort in to give it a proper go.

On the other hand, if that kind of thing does nothing for you, the probability of success is much lower and maybe you (and your partner) need to set expectations appropriately. It may be sacrilege to say so on here, but not everyone loves a winter snow sports holiday (and it is ok not to).

Personally, if I was in your position I would be trading the private lesson for a group (so you have some tuition every/most days, and people to share the travails of learning with). Then ski with your partner/family afterwards, if and only if you want to. Make them agree to ski at your pace, and you have final say over whether or not to tackle any slope. Ideally stick to slopes you've already been on, until you are confident to want more challenge. They can ski harder/faster when you're in lessons. That at least minimises the risk of you being dragged around stuff that's far too hard, and them feeling like they're spending their whole holiday pandering to your needs.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hiya! I'm in nearly similar position - never skiied until i met my partner, and only started learning in Oct because i agreed to join him on a holiday (we leave on the 29th).

I'm so nervous - however I posted here yesterday to get lots of tips for the first time skiier and had amazing replies so have a wee look at them. I was similar to you that I wasn't able to afford a ton of private lessons, but I found a ski school in my resort that do adult classes and for the cost of the 5hr private lesson i was thinking of, i have 5 days of 2hrs each morning. This gives me time to have a lesson// rest over lunch and then approach the slopes in the afternoon - my partner can ski in the am whilst I'm at school and he can do all the runs he wants (so in your case, the family could do that, you trot off to ski school and you agree to meet somewhere for lunch).
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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!
My husband was exactly the same - he only took up skiing after he met me. He was quite an accomplished sportsman and everyone told him he'd enjoy it.
On our first short break (on our own), he had a couple of private lessons, but it just didn't click. At one point he took his skis off and walked down the hill, I cried, it was disappointing for both of us.

He decided that he'd give it another go as it was important to me, so on our next week-long break, he took group lessons, and thankfully never looked back.
The group lessons meant he was with other adults in the same position, basically filled a morning skiing which made him feel that, even that even if he didn't do very much more after that, it was a good morning well spent, and didn't feel that he was holding the rest of us back.

In summary - almost exactly what @mgrolf has just said!
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All of the above. With group lessons you'll not constantly be the centre of attention, giving you a chance to relax. And you can only learn so much in a given period of time - you also need to practice to acquire the skills you are learning, you just have to spend time skiing. (One-to-one lessons have their place as well.) I hope it goes well.
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Can you do dry slope lessons before you go? It would give you a big head start and they are usually not very expensive. If you can ski at all on a dry slope you will find skiing on snow easy.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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The OP says they've had a few lessons, from the rest of the post I would surmise either on a dry slope or in a dome. Until we find out from the OP why they didn't enjoy them, we're pretty much working in the dark...
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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.
It might be you are somehow considering yourself relative to them, who are more experienced. Recipe for disaster or at least big disappointment. Be with others of your ability and learn with them. See if you can progress faster than them. Likely you will.

Ask how long your partner has been doing it, and give yourself a similar time before comparison.

But this presupposes a reason for your disappointment. I’ve met people who just say “why should I pay to be cold?” Conversion over…
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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
Make skiing an event you can enjoy.

Some are hardcore skiers, but I prefer a holiday with as much social drinking, partying and games as skiing.

Make it a holiday where you ski and explore.

What would a good family holiday look like for you?

Do you enjoy partying? Then go big on apres.

Do you like to explore? Spend some time off the slopes and visiting attractions.

Do you like family game time? Take some board games or play ping pong in the evening.

Are you a foodie? Enjoy the amazing cuisine in the alps.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
And another big point.

Don’t assume that you have to be good at skiing to enjoy the holiday.

Every trip I’ve been on has included people who arrive in the alps without ever skiing and within a day/day and a half they can ski well enough to enjoy themselves.

Skiing is relatively easy to pick up to a basic level and then you can enjoy the mountain within your comfort level.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks for the responses. A few common things have come up, so:

1) I’ve had a private lesson and a group lesson, both at Snozone in the U.K.

2) I don’t have the time really due to work for another lesson before I go in February.

3) I’m going to Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria, which looks like a nice resort.

4) I can’t say exactly why I didn’t enjoy skiing at Snozone, but I just couldn’t seem to get into it. Maybe it’ll click when I’m outdoors rather than inside.

I think as people have suggested the group lessons may be the best option. Hopefully then I won’t feel the pressure (imagined or otherwise) to keep up with everyone else and be a hindrance to them on the slopes.

Thanks for the comments everyone
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@JK1993, have a great holiday
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
bezthespaniard wrote:


Don’t assume that you have to be good at skiing to enjoy the holiday.

.


He's a bloke, c'mon. Most of the fun is being half decent and being able to progress. Cool
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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?
Just my 2p based on some of my own experience, and that of my friends who have talked their other halfs into, or been talked into skiing themselves.

If you don't like the idea of it, and don't think you want to do it. Think twice, it's hard work to start off with and if you don't even want to do it it's going to be an uphill battle. You can still have a really nice time not skiing and just enjoying the scenery and hotel/apartment facilities.

If you like the idea of it, but didn't like skiing - try boarding you might like that more.

If you like the idea of it, but didn't like it because it was too hard - stick with it. If you've only had lessons in a snowdome or dry slope, it's MUCH better on a mountain (assuming you like the great outdoors).


Not everyone may agree with the above, but I have been on a few trips where there's clearly someone who isn't enjoying themselves and everyone would (generally) much rather they were - even if it means they're sat in front of a fire reading a book instead of skiing.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 19-01-22 15:25; edited 1 time in total
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@JK1993, not many of us think skiing in a snow dome is a patch on the real thing.

If you are not having lessons in resort the stay within your comfort zone with regards to slope steepness, only going steeper when you are confident on the `1st slope. If you get out of your comfort zone your weight goes back nd you never progress.

Watch some skiing instructional videos.

Get your hands out in front of you, round the shoulders.

You will love it
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Another vote for group lessons over private as a beginner - especially one being dragged skiing by more experienced friends!

Your best chance of catching the skiing bug is by spending time with a patient instuctor you trust and just surrounded by other people making the same mistakes/having the same falls as you, where you can be 'in the middle of the group'. What you don't want is to always be the slowest person as:
- You'll naturally try to rush things, which will just make your skiing worse.
- You'll catch up with your friends part way down each slope to find them well rested and itching to set off again, so barely have time to catch your own breath (and you'll be working a lot harder than them as a beginner).
- You'll get in your own head thinking you're holding everyone up and spoiling their holiday, so "They'd be better off if you stayed in the chalet".

Depending where you're going there will be time to meet up with your friends at lunch/mid afternoon. If you've had a good day, join them for a few runs. If you've had a bad day, just tell them you're really tired and will see them back at the chalet. And if you've had a REALLY bad day feel free to just tell your instructor mid-lesson that you going to stop and head home mid-lesson (they won't mind too much as they've already been paid!), dropping a message to your friends end-of-lesson time to say you've already headed home.


And remember some people just don't 'get' skiing and it might turn out to not be for you. If that's the case there's nothing wrong with just enjoying the "holiday" part of "ski holiday". Enjoy sleeping in. Enjoy bumbling around. Maybe enjoy prep'ing dinner or post-ski nibbles for your friends. Enjoy being sat in the bar holding a table for your friends when they come off the mountain. I'm off skiing with some friends at half term. She/the children love skiing but he hates it. He does love just being switched off and disconnected from work though, and can happily spend the day watching Netflix and not using his brain Smile
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JK1993 wrote:
Thanks for the responses. A few common things have come up, so:

1) I’ve had a private lesson and a group lesson, both at Snozone in the U.K.

2) I don’t have the time really due to work for another lesson before I go in February.

3) I’m going to Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria, which looks like a nice resort.

4) I can’t say exactly why I didn’t enjoy skiing at Snozone, but I just couldn’t seem to get into it. Maybe it’ll click when I’m outdoors rather than inside.

I think as people have suggested the group lessons may be the best option. Hopefully then I won’t feel the pressure (imagined or otherwise) to keep up with everyone else and be a hindrance to them on the slopes.

Thanks for the comments everyone

From what you've just said, I am going to join those who think Group Lessons would make the most sense. I suspect, when you have a decent length of Piste to ski down, what you were taught at Snozone will start to click....and may even give you a head start over others in the group.

There may well be people from your lesson you can ski with, in your free time (and when not skiing with the rest of your group).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
+1 for group lessons
More sociable, you will spend more time with like ability skiers, don't get pressured into skiing with your group.

The worst ski environment is probably a dry slope, I would give this a 1/10

Indoor snow slopes are better but still only 3/10max I will go into debt, sacrifice relationships and do things I shouldn't do, to get out skiing in the mountains but my interest in skiing on an indoor snow slope is only slightly above zero.

Having a whole mountain to go at is the best, 10/10 assuming the snow conditions are not a total disaster. On real snow in the mountains, you have access to far longer runs to allow you to get the "feel" much better, there are also much more gentle slopes available where you can practice without the fear of gathering too much speed, not to mention the whole atmosphere of the ski resort and the mountain environment.
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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!
If possible get an instructor who speaks English as a first language. Intonation and emphasis in the voice is everything if you are paying for a private lesson. Not as important in a group.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
tangowaggon wrote:


Indoor snow slopes are better but still only 3/10max I will go into debt, sacrifice relationships and do things I shouldn't do, to get out skiing in the mountains but my interest in skiing on an indoor snow slope is only slightly above zero.

.


I'd concur with that.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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JK1993 wrote:
Thanks for the responses. A few common things have come up, so:

1) I’ve had a private lesson and a group lesson, both at Snozone in the U.K.
2) I don’t have the time really due to work for another lesson before I go in February.
3) I’m going to Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria, which looks like a nice resort.
4) I can’t say exactly why I didn’t enjoy skiing at Snozone, but I just couldn’t seem to get into it. Maybe it’ll click when I’m outdoors rather than inside.

I think as people have suggested the group lessons may be the best option. Hopefully then I won’t feel the pressure (imagined or otherwise) to keep up with everyone else and be a hindrance to them on the slopes.

Thanks for the comments everyone


FWIW I used (about 10 years ago now!) to be a ski instructor in Saalbach, for Fürstauer ski school. IMO Saalbach is one of the best resorts to learn to ski for the first time - the nursery slopes at Kohlmais are pretty much perfect, longer than the nursery slopes in many other resorts, and with straightforward progression to longer slopes of the same difficulty/easiness up above. Plus Bauers Ski Alm is at the bottom of the slope for a beer afterwards! I taught a few groups from complete beginners, who by the end of the week were able to enjoyably ski top-to-bottom on blue runs, get to different huts for lunch, and feel like they were exploring/getting around the mountain a bit.

I would also recommend to skip the private lesson and jump straight into group lessons. Half day if you have to, but tbh full day would be better. I would not recommend going with your partner/family too soon... Most skiers really have no idea how to look at terrain through a beginners eyes or how to choose appropriate terrain. Give yourself 3-4 days of lessons first. And when you do, try to avoid even imaginary pressure to keep up as it's neither realistic nor fair on you. They won't be expecting you to be able to either!

Not sure which ski school you are currently booked with, but there were a couple of other British ski instructors at Fürstauer when I was there. The majority were Dutch and Danish though, but all (literally all) so fluent in English that IMO it's just not a problem you even need to consider (apparently in France that may be a different matter).

And I wouldn't worry about not having enjoyed skiing in a dome much either. It's a big fridge, not exactly the most inspiring place. Saalbach is beautiful, the atmosphere is very friendly, the slopes aren't intimidating, and the beer tastes even better in the fresh mountain air.

And remember to enjoy! Not just the mountains, but the learning process to. It's good for all of us to start something from the complete beginning once in a while.
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