There’s often a lot of debate around skiing versus snowboarding, but regardless of which side you’re on, you should definitely give a winter sports holiday a try. Here’s why…
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With one of the warmest December’s on record last year, it’s not looking likely you’ll see any real snow in most of the UK this Winter and if you do, it soon turns to slush, so heading off to the mountains could become your only way to enjoy the white stuff.
Fun Times With Friends
Hitting the slopes with a group means you can stick with people of similar ability levels and do what you enjoy most on a winter sports holiday.
I like hitting the slopes around 9am, stopping for lunch then getting back on the slopes before making it back down to resort for après-ski. Others in the group like to be on the first lift, do some off-piste and aren’t back in resort until it’s dark.
In the evening we all sit down for a meal together, talk about the day’s achievements (and fails) before heading out to our favourite bar.
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Obviously this depends where you go, but I love Cuisine Savoyarde of Haute-Savoie and Savoie regions of France, as it involves a lot of melted cheese – the perfect warming, hearty meal after all your activity on the slopes.
Typical dishes include:
Tartiflette, a delicious and warming oven-baked dish made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions.
Fondue Savoyarde made with white wine, and gruyere or beaufort cheese. The cheese is served melted in a pot ready for you to dip.
Raclette, a wheel of cheese served against a heater allowing you to scrape the cheese off as it melts onto potatoes and bread.
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After skiing or boarding all day you deserve a drink! This can range from a mug of warm mulled wine in a quiet log cabin, to a full-on party on the slopes at La Folie Douche, with music blaring and dancing on the tables whilst drinking beer that ices up as you drink it. That’s the beauty of a winter sports holiday though, there really is something for everyone.
Sense of Achievement
It may take a while to get the hang of it, whether you choose to board or ski, but once you do, it will feel exhilarating. I’ll never forget my first true carving moment down a red run; picking up real speed, I had a beaming smile on my face and felt so pleased with the progress I’d made. Not much beats that.
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Whether you’re 3226m above sea level on Aiguille Rouge looking at Mt. Blanc, in a basin of white in La Plagne or amongst trees and log cabins on a low level green run, you will see such beautiful sights that you’ll rarely get chance to see without a board or skis on your feet. Take time to stop, take a deep breath, listen to the silence and marvel at the beauty of the world.
You may be eating a huge amount of melted cheese and knocking back the beers, but you won’t leave a winter sports holiday having gained weight. The sports keep you so active, using muscles you probably didn’t know existed, that you can get away with all the excesses, safe in the knowledge you’ll burn it off the next day. Be warned though, your chalet will have a constant aroma of Deep Heat.
Did you know you can ski in summer too? Thinking of going skiing or snowboarding for the first time? Feel free to ask us a question in the comments below.