Skiing Is Easy



Easy Escapes: Learning to ski in the Dolomites, Italy

S TYROL SKI S TYROL SKI

Novice skier Caroline Garland hits the slopes in the South Tyrol

Novice skier Caroline Garland hits the slopes in the South Tyrol

Why go?Because the mountain scenery around Alta Badia is beautiful, the sun shines 315 days a year, there are 20 Michelin-star restaurants in the area, and it’s full of gorgeous Italian men… If you’re a complete beginner like me it’s the perfect place to learn as there’s lots of space and more than half the runs are classified as blue (easy).
 
When?Now. The ski season here traditionally runs from late November to April as weather permits. Average daily temperatures in winter are below zero falling to minus 20°C at night. Alta Badia is a very sporty resort with lots of events on, including endurance races and a wine ski safari – for a listing see here.

You really must…I’ve never been skiing before but this is a great spot for a Bambi-legged newbie like me. I start with two private lessons with a very patient instructor from the Ski & Snowboard School in La Villa (scuolascilavilla.it), prices range from £26 to £58 per hour depending on season. Equipment must be hired separately including skis (£14 per day), boots (£7) and helmet (£3). The more days you book the cheaper the cost. You can buy ski passes from the office at the bottom of each ski lift or book online (dolomitisuperski.com) and get them sent to your hotel in advance.

That’ll be me one day… the thrill of skiing in Alta Badia© Consorzio Turistico Alta Badia/Freddy Planinscheck

Prices depend on the start date but are from £38 per day until 1 February 2014, the more you book the cheaper the pass. So as not to waste time out here I had a couple of beginner lessons at Snozone (snozone.co.uk) in Milton Keynes before my trip and it was very useful to know a few moves – basically snow-ploughing and stopping – before arriving. Once on the real slopes, be prepared to see seven year-olds zipping past with effortless skills, which tempts you to try and pick up speed (the fun part). My first lesson, though, is all about acquiring technique, but every day you can push yourself to go a little faster and perfect those turns. On a weekend break I get to the point where I can try moving to parallel turns (as the pros do when skiing between flags) which I’m quite proud of. What I love most, though, is just learning something new in such a beautiful environment, and I spend many moments looking in awe at the mountain scenery and breathing in all that pure, ice cold air. The inevitable falls and bruised knees are all part of the fun of trying to join the adrenalin junkies long before I’m ready, but now I’m hooked and will be returning soon.

When you fancy a change from skiing or boarding go for a snowshoe walk with a local guide. Mine turns out to be Maria Canins, an Italian racing cyclist who competed in two Olympics, who takes me into a majestic world of mountain peaks and historic battlegrounds with trenches left from the First World War.






Video: Escape Outside: Learning to ski

Easy Escapes: Learning to ski in the Dolomites, Italy
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Date: 11.12.2018, 11:01 / Views: 83584