Guest Post: 7 Reasons To Go Skiing
For many the very idea of leaving the house during the winter months is a baffling one. The idea of venturing out into even colder conditions of snow and ice may have you diving under your duvet. The idea of strapping two planks of fibreglass to your feet and sliding down a steep slope might raise your pulse to a level that would alarm your doctor. But on the other hand the idea of a ski chalet nestled somewhere in the mountains is an inviting one…here are 7 reasons to go skiing.
1. Fun On Snow-Covered Slopes. To ski you need two things: snow and slopes. The UK isn’t blessed with an enormous amount of either ingredient, so going skiing forces you to travel to at least the North of Scotland – which may well be a world away from what you’re used to – or to the continent – where, thanks to the Alps, you’ll encounter some of the best skiing in the world, excellent hospitality and the hedonistic world of Après Skiing.
2. It’s Easy… Relatively. The basics of controlling the speed and direction of your descent can be learnt in a few hours and with some practice you can begin expressing yourself on the slopes quickly. Skiing doesn’t have a 500-page rule book of required reading before you can begin. Nor does it have ever-changing laws. The objective is to get from the top of a slope to the bottom in one piece, without causing carnage on your way. Simple…well, sort of.
3. One Sport, Many Disciplines. If the idea of careering downhill uncontrollably fills you (and your insurance company), with dread, you can try cross-country skiing. Much like cross-country running, it requires physical effort. There are two techniques: skating and classic. Skating looks and sounds fun, but it’s a little harder to learn. The classic technique is easier to pick up and requires more effort, but once you have mastered it, you’re free to cruise the winter-wonderland at your own pace. Both techniques will challenge you physically, giving a great work-out while you take in nature at her snow-covered best.
4. It’s Not Just Fun, It’s Physical. Winter is more synonymous with hibernation than preparing for a near-vertical drop with two strips of fibreglass strapped to your feet. The cardio-vascular effort is surprisingly large, but coupled with the adrenaline rush; it’s a thrill that has people coming back for more. More vertical; more challenging; more untouched snow. Intermediate and advanced skiers develop their power, balance and co-ordination while skiing some of the most beautiful environments in the world.
5. Look At That View! There are few things in life more breath-taking than a snow-capped mountain range. And what could be more exciting than the idea that you’ll be hurtling down that mountain, at speed, with all the razor-sharp precision of an Olympic skier? With a little practice, one day you might.
6. Snow-Covered Chalets. Ever dreamt of spending a romantic week in one? I know I have and fortunately, every European ski resort has them in abundance. With many websites geared to tailoring your ski chalet breaks, arranging a skiing holiday isn’t difficult. Within the resort you can hire equipment, so all you need to do is pack some mitts and warm socks. Many chalets come equipped with an open fire, a media system and sauna. After a day on the slopes, what better way to relax with your friends, family or partner than in front of a roaring fire?
7. Schnaps! I don’t mean the sugary drink aimed at the ladies, I mean alcohol of at least 40%. On the continent all hard spirits comes under the title Schnaps and is offered as a digestif, a ‘thermal aid’ to cold skiers. Every region boasts its own type of locally made Schnaps served in a distinctive way. Sharing schnaps with strangers is a sign of friendship.
There’s more to it than the cold and the wet. There’s more to it than the 7 reasons I’ve given you. It’s cool and invigorating. Try it and I’m sure you’ll be back for more.