Last week when the temperatures hit just above zero in the morning, I woke up to the blue skies and started to have that feeling I always get when the proper cold arrives. I realised that despite me not loving the autumn and winter here in the UK thanks to the lack of snow, the fact that the ski season is here nobody can take away.
You could have seen my blogging about skiing a few times on this blog, as this is undoubtedly one of my most favourite sports, just after running!
I started as a little girls when I was living with my parents in the Czech Republic, just half an hour away drive for the Krusne Hory Mountains. I treasure the family memories of me, my older brother, my mum and my dada spending every weekend skiing at the slopes from late November till late March.
When I used to teach at a Secondary School in Cheb, I also took a ski instructor course so I could go on a ski trip with my class as their class teacher. it was loads of fun, but also worries as you can imagine. Luckily there were no injuries, but a few students managed to break or lose their expensive skis or other equipment, which was not the best news for their parents.
Skiing is an amazing sport and I feel sorry for people who never have the chance to give it a go. Skiing is also a sport where people need to be very careful, and follow certain safety rules.
For example when you stop (not in the middle of the run if you can) always check there is nobody going down when you want to continue skiing/snowboarding. I have seen so many people just going for it in front of some super fast skiers/snowboarders which resulted in some nasty accidents. Such a simple and logical rule everyone should follow and respect!
Unfortunately accidents happen despite people being careful, your belongings can get often lost or damaged, and one thing I would never go on a ski holiday without is a good winter sports travel insurance.
The last thing you want to worry about after breaking your leg is how to deal with it in a forgetting country without speaking the language.
I am also not surprised that partying on the piste, après ski and clubbing are top activities for skiers these days. Before we had our daughters, we had a nice ski holiday in Austria near Innsbruck (Stubai Glacier), and we also enjoyed partying after a day full of skiing.
There is a growing trend for combining skiing with elements of ‘party’ holidays, traditionally associated with the Spanish and Greek island resorts and some fantastic festivals.
These have been rising steadily in popularity over the past few years. The most renowned, Snowbombing in Mayrhofen, Austria, has attracted the likes of Rudimental and Chase and Status, and in 2012 it was estimated that up to 85% of its attendees were British!
Similarly, the increase in the number and standard of Europe’s Après bars has made them a key attraction, with many skiers rushing to experience the resident DJ’s, dancing terraces, live performers and champagne showers.
One thing you need to keep in mind when partying is the amount of alcohol you consume. Skiing and snowboarding carry a higher than usual risk of injury and loss or theft of equipment: risks which will only be exacerbated by skiing after drinking heavily or with a hangover.
Therefore, it is essential that you purchase comprehensive winter sports travel insurance and, in light of the trend toward partying, drink alcohol responsibly.
Always check your cover, and bear in mind that, depending on the levels consumed, skiing after drinking could invalidate your cover. Neither can the EHIC card provide you with any financial protection in this instance, as it does not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property.
Cannot wait for our next ski trip this winter. We will probably not be partying much with two little children, but even mums and dads need to be aware of the amount they drink before heading on the ski slopes with their little ones.
‘in association with Alpha Travel Insurance’