/ Cheapest way to learn to ski

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bouldery bits - on 05 Jan 2013

Hi, what's the cheapest way to get into this skiing lark? It looks like fun.

Dave Kerr - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

Get some skis. Go skiing. Remember to bend your knees.
bouldery bits - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

Brilliant insight.

More specifically where in Europe is cheapest to base yourself to go skiing and suitable enough for a beginner?
Dave Kerr - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

Now you've asked the right question you might not get facetious answers. ;)

The way to get a cheap trip is to be flexible on dates.
Rob Exile Ward on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits: Errr... Not Courcheval? Expensive. Not Scotland. Cr*p snow. IMHO Alpe D'Huez or Val Thorens are the best places in the world to learn to ski. Whistler's OK too, but isn't Europe.

Other opinions are available.
alanlgm on 05 Jan 2013 - cpc2-basl10-2-0-cust22.basl.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to bouldery bits:

I have been skiing all over Europe with people of all abilities and know people that have had lessons in a few different places.

I would say that the best place to learn for someone on a budget would be arinsal in Andorra.

The reason being that the snow is generally better than the Eastern European countries the ski schools are very good with a lot of instructors with English as their first language.

The après ski is pretty good and because Andorra is a tax free country the beer is cheaper than neighbouring France.

And importantly the main mountain in arinsal is well suited to beginners with a cable car linking to the resort of pal which has a a better range of slopes for the more adventurous

It's where I am going to take my kids to learn when they are old enough
bouldery bits - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to alanlgm:

Brilliant, that's fantastic. Thanks!
Urban5teve - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

Cheap and skiing don't normally go in the same sentence! Personally I learnt in Scotland, Avimore but snow is crap and cannot be guaranteed. I was up just for a break and they had a massive dump of snow on second to last day so I went up to the mountains to look at the views and 1 full day training with ski pass, hire and lunch was about £70. I've never looked back and try and get at least one winter break a year.

I have tried going to indoor places and I don't rate them. My wife learnt by coming with me to Canada and just getting lessons when we arrived. Learning on the mountain as opposed to a fake environment is, without doubt, the best way to learn.

Sorry I can't help you with the cheap side of things as I tend to go where there is guarenteed snow to avoid disappointment. I have some friends that have been to Bulgaria who said it was reasonable. As above being flaxible with dates helps. The first full week in January being one of the cheapest going (next week). Last year I went on a package to Zermatt in that week for £750 that the week previous was £2K.

Hope you manage to get out soon and good luck.
Denni on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

I learnt to ski in the early 90's in Sonthoffen/Oberstdorf on the German/Austrian border.

Absolutely bucketloads of beginners slopes, cross country skiing, loads of ski schools, great cheaper apres ski as well as accommodation and if you progress, there is always something harder to do.

As well as that, loads of klettersteig if you fancy a winter ascent on some ladders, not too far from Innsbruck, about an hour and a bit from Munich or Friedrichsthafen and if you are there at the right time, (first 2 weeks in Feb) you will be able to catch the ski jumping, bloody awesome party!

orejas - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Denni:
1) Go outside the school holidays period
2) are you a big drinker or not?
If yes then Spain or Andorra
If not Italy or perhaps Austria
3) Get another person a lot cheaper to do as a couple than as a single due to being able to share accomodation
Hope this helps
moffatross on 05 Jan 2013
Scottish snow isn't often flattering but it's rarely crap and sometimes it's epic. Learning exclusively on European groomers may well stunt your skiing development.

There's a whole forum dedicated to Euro ski loving, Scottish skiing naysayers at www.snowheads.com
Dave Kerr - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to moffatross:
> Scottish snow isn't often flattering but it's rarely crap and sometimes it's epic.

Unfortunately it's sometimes totally absent.

If you want to learn then best to go abroad to do it as you can focus on your technique rather than the ice/heather/rocks.
kevin stephens - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

Plastic out door slopes are much better value than big indoor "real(?)" snow fridge buildings, plastic is more demanding to learn on hence you learn quicker. Initially every day learning on cheap plastic will save a day learning on an expensive ski holiday
(worked for me)
andy - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits: if you choose your time you might get a "learn to ski" package with ski hire, lift pass and lessons included.
CathS - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits: Some of the French youth hostels (e.g. La Clusaz, Tignes) do very good value accommodation and skipass packages, and you don't have to pay a single supplement either, which is often an issue with other types of accommodation.

If there are two of you and you can be flexible with dates, there are some very good value last minute (ie. less than a week before departure) package deals to be had with some of the chalet operators.
Lee Sutcliffe - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

I'd never skied before until last week, I went to Poland and found a fantastic ski resort in Białka Tatrzańska - about 1.5 hrs drive from Krakow.

Ski rental (boots skis and poles) cost £4 per day and there are lots of options for lift passes. Per hour, pre-loaded points on cards etc.
The most you could spend was £20 for a full day card (09:00 - 22:00)

I didn't have lessons, just went with a friend. However there were lots of instructors available. I met another Brit there who spent about £20 for one day instruction.

I had a great time - having not been anywhere else I can't compare but I would definitely recommend it for anyone on a budget.

Lee Sutcliffe - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to leeplastic:
.. This forum obviously doesn't like polish squiggles..
try 'bialka tatrzanska' in google
GridNorth - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits: Cheapest I've ever done was a package deal to Andorra. The problem is that once you are competent you will be seeking out more challenging places so you will have to face up to the expense somewhere along the line. Cheap and ski are two words that do not go together.
ark05 - on 07 Jan 2013
learn to ski on dry slopes.

Its no substitute for the real thing, but it means that when you get to the real mountains you aren't wasting your first few days on boring nursery slopes. Also its a lot cheaper.
omerta on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to bouldery bits) Errr... Not Courcheval? Expensive.

True; a few years ago, I went for a week with the guy I was with at the time and even though he threw in the skiing lessons as a present, I still had to fork out over a grand - eek!

M0nkey on 07 Jan 2013 - ip-77-221-178-218.dsl.twang.net
In reply to bouldery bits:

go to your local dry slope/indoor slope for a few lessons just to get the basics down. This will be unpleasant but it will be cheap. I did a learn to ski course at my local dry slope for £150 or something like that. After that I just went ski-ing and seem to have got on fine. You could of course book lessons in resort and most would argue that your skiing will be better in the long term as a consequence, but it is more expensive and involves wasting days in the mountains (bear in mind that a day on a ski holiday often costs more than £200 when you break down the total costs of your holiday).
pwo - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits: Took the family to Borovets (Bulgaria) Half Board and it cost us approx £250 per person Inc flights, transfers, Ins for seven days. If you book the ski lessons then the cost of hire (skis, boots and poles), and lifts was only an extra £100 for six days skiing. Good area for an intro into skiing with reasonable green, blue and red runs but only one black. Regard the food as purely a refueling exercise. The fried eggs are brilliant clinometers in your stomach and last all day! rest of food and drinks were very reasonable.
Dr Fran (Vagabond MC) on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:
would agree that cheap and ski don't go togther really, until you get into touring and roughing it in hostels or gites when it becomes just about tolerable.
Fave quote
"The cold white powder is equally as addictive and expensive as its' pharmaceutical counterpart"
IMA - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits: Would recommend an indoor snow dome after spending years racing on dry slopes. Will certainly allow you to get the basics for greens blues and reds.

After that nothing really beats being out there and skiing with people better than you if you can't afford constant lessons. (Been skiing for 16 years or so and I still take the odd lesson here and there to help improve and make the most of a day)

If you are at uni, join the club they tend to get really good deals on lessons.
davidbeynon on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

I would say the cheapest way to learn is to pay more for lessons. A lot of the ski schools put beginners into large groups, who then spend the entire day standing around waiting for their "turn" to do whatever was just demonstrated & basically learn nothing.

Paying a bit extra can get you into a group of 3 or 4 & individual attention. I found the first time I went skiing I took about a day to get to the level the ski school types reached in a week, and I assure you it is NOT because of natural talent!

Pay less, pay twice.

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