It’s never too late to learn new skills, and even though the season isn’t too far away from being over, you can still take on board some new knowledge for when you head off next season on one of our budget ski holidays, which always comes sooner than you think!
Now, let’s face it, you don’t want to be standing at the top of a run and think to yourself that it’s beyond your capability; it’ll possibly panic you and you could end up whipping off the skis and making a very awkward side-step walk down the run to flatter ground.
Obviously, you want to be able to get down the trickier runs when you’re skiing as they not only offer up some awesome panoramic vistas, like the horizon and breath-taking mountain peaks, they also mean you can have more fun on your skis!
Just how are you going to get down the run that’s too much for you?
Depending on where you go on your holiday (country to country), there isn’t really any strict ski run rating system. You could ski a black run in France, but head to an Austrian resort like St. Anton and it’d be a blue run.
Essentially, every resort will carry its own rates for the beginner, intermediate, advanced and/or expert skiers based on their inventory.
So, how do you take on and overcome the tough runs?
This may sound silly, but it has a lot to do with inner confidence. Your confidence is key to overcoming a challenge.
Being able to trust your basic skiing skills will come in handy, and as long as you use good technique, you’re in good shape to nail that run.
Back to being confident... If you think, uh oh, I’m a goner here and focus on the fact that you might wipe out, then chances are you’re going to bail!
Picking your line is essential; it’s just a mental picture in your head of roughly where you intend to ski to navigate the run. As a rule, the middle of the run is the most-populated area, so if you want to see some more snow and fewer people, target the sides of the run as this will mean you encounter fewer ruts, ice and moguls, generally.
Start off nice and steady, trusting your basic skiing skills and stick to your line as best as possible. Don't fret about the people on the run around you, they’re all concentrating on where they are going. Relax, breathe, keep your turns smooth and try to enjoy it.
If things get too intense then you can sidestep with your skis on to the side of the run, although this could take an awfully long time. Our top tip would be to select a spot 20 feet in front of your skis and ski at it – then make a turn, and repeat, turning the other way this time. Do this until you reach the foot of the run and admire your achievement! Remember, there’s no rush, so if you want to stop for a moment, you can, but don’t hang about for too long or you might freeze (physically and mentally).
If you are perching at the top of a run, complete with clammy hands and wobbly knees, ask yourself if you really can take on this level of run or if you should get some more practice and come back another day. There’s no shame in hitting another run that’s more suited to your ability, but you also don't want to ski away from a run from some nerves alone.
Despite the fact that everyone’s skiing their own line, there are lots and lots of people out on the mountain who are experienced on the slopes and can spot someone who is having a tricky time. Don’t be surprised to see these people, along with piste patrol offering assistance to people. They’ll take it super slow with you, point out the route to follow and will most likely wait ahead in case they need to shout out instructions up to you.
Hopefully, these small pointers will send you in the right direction when it comes to skiing those tougher runs and you have a great ski holiday!