I only started skiing a few years ago, which explains why I will forever be an intermediate skier. Starting skiing as an adult is hard. I’m constantly thinking about whether my travel insurance will cover me if I have some kind of accident. The result is I ski far too cautiously to ever make any seriously good progress.
Nevertheless, I have progressed to a point when I can pretty much tackle most ski runs (with varying degrees of style and technique). And I now love my ski trip holidays more than anything. Apres ski has a lot to do with it.
Looking back, I can see the seriously steep learning curve I went through to get to this stage, and it wasn’t all on the slopes. Knowing what to pack for a ski trip the first few times was a bit of a dilemma and I had to ask around to find out what I needed to take to wear on the slopes.
After about 9 years (on and off) of skiing, I’ve developed the following list of items that I take each time which will hopefully help first time skiers be totally prepared for whatever this ski trip throws at them:
This is obvious, but I have found that the best ski pants are waterproof and have a bit of insulation. I’m wearing Colmar ski pants because they’re waterproof, stretchy and they help retain body heat.
For tops, it’s all about layers that keep in your body-warmth. For a day on the slopes I generally wear three layers:
- the bottom layer is always a thermal wool long sleeve top. I have always worn Ice Breaker because they’re made of 100% merino wool, they’re breathable but keep me so deliciously toasty. They also don’t get whiffy after a full day of skiing and apres. So I only ever need to take two with me for a week’s ski trip.
- the second layer is a thin fleece top.
- the final layer is the ski jacket. In the colder winter months I wear a padded jacket for extra warmth (the one I’m wearing is previous season from Colmar). For spring skiing I wear a shell jacket which is lighter but still waterproof.
Pretty much everyone wears ski helmets on the slopes, and if you don’t want to invest in one straight away, you can always hire or borrow one. Additionally, you’ll need:
- sunglasses or ski goggles
- ski socks for each day
- ski liner gloves (preferably with touchscreen finger tips for phone usage)
- ski gloves or mittens
- beanie or warm headband to wear when you stop for drinks or lunch and need to disguise the helmet hair
If its your first time skiing, you’re best off hiring ski equipment, which will consist of ski boots, skis and poles. If you decide you want to keep at it, and you see more ski trips in your future, you should definitely consider buying your own ski boots. It’s so much nicer wearing your own ski boots that are adapted specifically to your foot than to use hire boots (whether it’s for skiing or for dancing on tables at La Folie Douce), and it also saves so much time when you first arrive and go to the ski hire shop for your skis and poles.
One final thing I always make sure to take is factor 50 sunblock. Don’t leave yours at home. The sun is strong when it’s a clear day in the mountains.
That’s pretty much it! If you’re about to head off on your first ski trip, have an amazing time. Get lessons to start off with, and don’t get too frustrated if you find it hard. It’s a hard sport to get the hang of, but if you persist and have patience, you’ll be tackling those red and black runs in no time!