Fancy hitting Alpe d’Huez, a spectacular ski resort in the Central French Alps this winter, but need to know the facts before signing any dotted lines? Literature/Publishing student Adele Burrows, gives us the low down on the annual Bath Spa Snowsports trip, including what suitcase essentials to bring along and how to take to the slopes as a beginner.
Where did you first hear about the ski trip?
As with most activities at university, you hear about the ski trip at the fresher’s fair. For the first two years of my university life I wasn’t that interested in going, but I figured that since it was my last chance to go, I might as well take advantage of the cheap price.
Do you have to be part of the snow society to go?
You do have to be part of the snow society and you can sign up at the fresher’s fair or on the Bath Spa society website. There is an £8 joining fee but that is put straight into funding activities and ‘snocials‘ that happen all year round.
What made you want to go?
I had never been skiing before and I figured that I might as well try it out with all my friends, at a discounted price. Also, all you ever hear is how fun it was and how it would be the ‘best week of your life’.
Had you ever skied before?
I was complete beginner on this trip and I decided not to take lessons. Luckily, I had a friend who was a really confident skier and was willing to show me the basics. If you’re nervous, definitely take some lessons.
Did you know anyone else going?
One of the best things about the snow society is that you make friends, by the dozen, so quickly! When I first joined, I knew maybe three or four people, but after the first social you’ll have met everybody. Everyone was super friendly and willing to talk to anybody.
How much did the costs come to?
In total, for travel, accommodation, ski pass, skis/boots/helmet rental, ski clothes rental and insurance it came to about £600, including a £50 deposit. If you know anything about how much it costs to ski, then you know this is amazingly cheap. That’s why I decided to go for it. Of course you’ll then need spending money for booze and food — I think I took about €100. All the accommodation is self-catering, so if you cook cheap meals like pasta you can get by spending very little.
What did you need to take?
You’d be surprised to know that you need to take things like toilet paper and bin bags. There are things that the hotel won’t provide and little creature comforts that you just can’t live without. A few of these include:
- Tea bags! – Obviously you don’t want to buy a big box just for a weeks holiday, so just pop a few in a ziplock bag
- Squash – Places like France or Austria will only have syrups, which is an acquired taste.
- An extension cord – Most of these budget hotels will only have a few power outlets and if you’re bunking with 5 other people, there may be a few fights over who gets to charge their phone first. With an extension cord this problem is solved!
- On that note – European plug adapters!
- Sun cream and lip balm – Skiing goes hand in hand with sunburn so make sure to protect your skiing. DO NOT take Vaseline – that will burn your lips
- Hip flask – for pre-drinks! Going out every night can get expensive
- Fancy dress! – a must for any uni ski trip. This must take priority over anything in your suitcase.
- A little backpack to take out on the slopes – you’ll need a bottle of water, your insurance details and your phone on you at all times. Pack a lunch so you don’t have to spend money at expensive restaurants on the mountain.
There are the more obvious ones like warm clothes, passport and sturdy shoes but they go without saying.
Any tips for first time skiers?
For your first ski trip you probably won’t be the best skier in the world. By the end of the week you will (hopefully) have mastered the basics and on your next trip you can improve these skills. Don’t expect to be zipping down the black slopes straight away.
Going out every night and skiing everyday will take it out of you. Be prepared for some hangovers and perhaps pack some vitamin c and paracetamol to keep you in tip-top shape.
Don’t feel pressured to apres then ski! Especially if you’re not confident on the slopes, drinking might not be the best idea. You can always get the ski-lift back down if you’ve had one beverage too many.
PRACTICE! Make sure your basic skiing is strong and you’ll get better with each slope.
You DEFINITELY will fall over. Don’t let it discourage you.
Download ski apps – these will tell you the snow forecast and track your skiing.
Find out more about the committee members, the socials and, of course, the snowsports at www.bathspasnow.co.uk/