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Complete beginner, month long solo self organised trip to the Alps

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
For the group ski lessons, you can usually book them online or in person, depending on the ski school. You can also choose the level of difficulty, from beginner to advanced. Some ski schools have a ski test at the beginning of the course, to assess your skills and assign you to the appropriate group. Others may let you switch groups if you feel too comfortable or too challenged.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:
Definitely get properly fitted for and buy new ski boots-the cost of hiring will probably be close given how long you are away for.
Good point @Perty. I have no idea what they are like for boot fitting, but it looks like Decathlon have some incredible value boots - eg: https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/women-s-ski-boots-salomon-qst-access-60/_/R-p-X8845374?mc=8845374
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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?
louisa417 wrote:

- I have already been twice to the Tamworth snowdome and completed their beginner ski course to get to recreational standard so I can use their slope. We also, in the last session, made a start on parallel skiing / turns. The instructor said based on how I had done there in the few hrs I had spent on their slope, aiming to ski an easy red run by the end of my holiday was a reasonable stretch goal (I didn't ask about this - she volunteered it) so I think I can be reasonably ambitious in my plans. I also will go a couple more times to the snowdome to practice with just a lift pass, no instructors.


When you say the end of your holiday, did they mean at the end of the 5 weeks? With the head start you're getting it's perfectly reasonable to think you'll be doing easy red runs by the end of your first week or two. By the end of your 5 weeks, you'll be flying!!
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
Definitely get properly fitted for and buy new ski boots-the cost of hiring will probably be close given how long you are away for.
Good point @Perty. I have no idea what they are like for boot fitting, but it looks like Decathlon have some incredible value boots - eg: https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/women-s-ski-boots-salomon-qst-access-60/_/R-p-X8845374?mc=8845374

My kids have/had Decathlon boots. You get what you pay for tbh. My sons in particular got quite wet and took an age to dry out. As you'd expect the footbed is nothing. We bought them because as we know kids grow quick, we'd and sold a few second pairs but were kind of pushed for time. Now my eldest has stopped growing he's been to S4F to get a properly fitted pair. Far more expensive but will serve him well for a number of years now all being well.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Think you could hope to be getting on a bit better than just making it down an easy red after 4 weeks of skiing, but obviously everyone learns at different paces.

Personally think ski touring might be a bit of a push too far for this time round, but maybe by your final week you might be ready for some.

There is a ski instructor in Seefeld called Toby Fischel, he's available via develop your skiing on Facebook, and also via maison sport.

He doesn't teach beginners, but you are past that stage, so it might be worth contacting him?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:
My kids have/had Decathlon boots. You get what you pay for tbh
The Decathlon boots I highlighted were by Salomon - not their own Wedze brand...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I did an "intro to touring" once and rented gear (and worked out how to put on the skins and hike up beside a chairlift on my own, feeling like an idiot...). The boots were a revelation - light and comfortable. For the sort of downhill skiing I did (nothing extreme) they were absolutely fine. But yes, as already noted, cross country boots are an entirely different kettle of fish, no relation at all.

I enjoyed the touring day, in wonderful terrain with a great guide. I was far better at going uphill than downhill, where at one point I was so wedged in a bush that the guide had to help me out. Embarassed Because I learnt to ski long enough ago to have been taught how to do kick turns on great long skis, that aspect was no problem as we zig-zagged up the slope (I think it's called "la conversion in French).

I started too late - if I were starting skiing now I'd aim to do a lot more touring.
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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!
mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
My kids have/had Decathlon boots. You get what you pay for tbh
The Decathlon boots I highlighted were by Salomon - not their own Wedze brand...

Ah sorry, didn't look at the link.
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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.
More good suggestions since earlier - I will for sure come back and update once I have managed to integrate them into a more definite plan! This is encouraging...

Quote:

When you say the end of your holiday, did they mean at the end of the 5 weeks? With the head start you're getting it's perfectly reasonable to think you'll be doing easy red runs by the end of your first week or two. By the end of your 5 weeks, you'll be flying!!


so I'll go with that and inject a little ambition into things Laughing
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@louisa417,

I think I'm going to echo some other suggestions but to start with I think you'll have a great time and given your experience and love of the mountains will start a new passion. Have fun!

That said, I totally agree with the idea that - in the Alps - cross country skiing is not really a mode of travel. It would be on snowy plateaus and rolling hills but its not ideal for steep up and down and as you know the Alps are nothing if not steep! Given your love of hiking, I think you want to build the skills for ski touring rather than cross country and if I was you I would want to use this trip to get as long way down that journey as possible - that means focus on developing your alpine (downhill) skills with PERHAPS your first easy day ski tour by end of your trip if you learn fast and conditions are sympathetic.

Just by way of background I was more of a hiker/climber/fledgling mountaineer when I started getting seriously into skiing when I was 20. I've since linked everything up into ski touring and I suppose what you would describe as ski mountaineering (somewhat more technical ascents on higher mountains and ski descents). But I did so after putting real time and effort into developing my downhill ski technique on and off piste. 5 consecutive weeks will allow you to make a lot of progress if you are focused.

On gear, I would consider buying used gear if you are on a budget, it will be cheaper than hiring. If your budget runs to it then buying properly fitted (new) boots is definitely a plus but if not I think at your point used hire boots would be OK (not everyone will agree with that but most of us skied our first few weeks in hire boots).

My approach would be to go to a hire shop when they are quiet (i.e. not Saturday morning) and tell them that you would like to hire gear with the possibility of buying it at the end of the week. I've done this a few times with my kids and the shops have been glad to offer a really reasonable price at the end of the week. You will know that the kit is working for you (or will have swapped it during the week for something that does). They pay back their purchase costs in 3 weeks hire so will have kit that "owes them nothing" and generally like the opportunity to turn over stock. It will likely be from the previous season but will be fine.

Everything would be easier if you were staying in one place and you are more likely to find kindred sprits to ski (or drink) with but personally I think the travel element sounds fun so pros and cons.

Good luck!


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Wed 29-11-23 8:49; edited 1 time in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@louisa417, if nobody has mentioned it make sure your insurance covers the length if your trip and touring
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