So, you have done a workout, got the kit and are ready to go! But there are still a few things to consider. Check out part two of our top ten tips on how to get the most of your snow sport holiday!
6. Food and drink
Skiing or snowboarding can burn up to 3,000 calories a day, about 1,000 or so more than the average person with a desk job would burn at home. The best time to fuel yourself is first thing in the morning so skipping breakfast is not a good idea. Eating fat and protein in the same meal will slow down the release of energy, ensuring you have enough to get through the day. If you normally avoid carbs, you can get away with eating them at breakfast in the mountains as you’ll be doing sport all day so your body will need the fuel. Porridge with honey, granola and fruit, whole-grain toast or bagels and poached or boiled eggs, avocado on toast are all good choices.
Keep snacks in your pockets or backpack, especially if you have children with you. The best snacks are cereal bars, flapjacks, trail mix, and dried fruit all of which are filling and tasty but release energy slowly.
If you intend to go back on the piste in the afternoon, don’t over-indulge at lunchtime or you’ll feel lethargic as your body tries to digest the meal. Good lunch choices include soup and bread, salad with nuts, goats cheese and/or fish and meats with pulses or beans. You can always pack your own picnic and if the weather is poor there are plenty of picnic rooms on the hill across Les 3 Vallees. You could bring anything from a sandwich to a full-blown rucksack meal to heat in one of the microwaves provided.
As tempting as it is to enjoy everything the chef conjures up at dinner; as you would at home, keep portion sizes sensible and try not to demolish the entire cheese board every night. It’s important to eat protein while skiing to help repair muscles, wisest choices are fish and chicken, with plenty of green veg and not too many potatoes, pasta, or rice.
Most people are dehydrated in their everyday lives, so combine altitude, exercise and salty foods (fondue!) with alcohol and you’re looking at a recipe for disaster. Dehydration causes your heart to work harder and will affect your attention and performance on the piste, so drink plenty of water. Drink a large glass of water when you first get up, and again after breakfast just before you head out. Take a water bottle or hydration-pack onto the slopes with you and if you’re working hard (or have a hangover) add a little powdered sports drink. Try to drink little and often and importantly, don’t not drink to avoid loo stops!
Alcohol is often a big part of your holiday but as a beginner try and save your drinking until après rather than on the slopes. If you’ve had a big session, drink plenty of water to rehydrate in the morning, Coconut water is an excellent natural hydrator too.
To help you find the best places to eat on and off the mountain we have shared some of our favourite restaurants in The Three Valleys
7.Wear sun cream!
“But it’s cold, why do I need sun cream?” It may be colder in the mountains, but the sun is stronger than it is at sea level. This is because the atmosphere is thinner so less ultra-violet (UV) radiation is filtered out before it hits you, also the snow reflects sunlight back up at you, giving a double dose of UV even on cloudy days.
Late in the season, the weather can be as warm as a summer in the UK and the sun is out for longer so wearing sun cream is even more important. Bright red and white sunglasses lines and pealing noses are not a good look in the bars and on sun terraces at après-ski!
8. Don’t let your friends or family try to teach you.
A lot of people go on holidays organised by friends and/or family who can already ski or snowboard. If you are one of them don’t, DON’T, DO NOT let them teach you, it is a fantastic opportunity to ruin your holiday. Very quickly, they’ll become bored of teaching you what they think they can remember as being the basics and will drag you to the top of a slope with the words, “you’ll be fine”. You won’t! If you don’t hurt yourself, you’ll probably be so freaked out by the experience you probably won’t want to go back on the hill.
Having spent all the time effort and energy of getting yourself to the mountains to enjoy learning a new sport, don’t skimp on learning that new sport! It takes years of effort and dedication to pass all the training and examination to become a fully qualified instructor, capable of delivering high quality instruction and keeping people safe in an ever-changing mountain environment. If the instructors you see on the hill make teaching look easy that’s because of all those years of training and experience.
9. Get lessons!
The best way to learn to ski or snowboard is to book yourself lessons with a ski school like SnowLimits. An experienced, patient and fun instructor can help you enjoy your first snow sport holiday, whether you are skiing or snowboarding.
The ideal option is to have private lessons. Booking a private lessons guarantees the focus is on you, the learner. With 100% attention from your instructor, you gain 100% of learning time which will speed up the learning process and allow you to get the most out of your first time.
Group lessons offer incredible value for money, however do check on the numbers that will be in the group. SnowLimits keep group sizes to a minimum to guarantee that you get the maximum. Because of the small groups the can focus on each and every person throughout the week, improve confidence and meet individual needs, while still ensuring that everyone gets the most from their lessons.
10. Have Fun!
We look forward to seeing you out here soon
Author: Matt Ottaway