Ten Hints for Snow Ski Vir.ins

The Alps - Krzysztof Isbrandt

So you've finally decided to take that first ski trip. Want to make sure you start your career on the right foot? Then print out this Top 10 list, sure to turn you ski virgins into, well, something else.

1. Negotiating ski lifts, especially draglifts or chair lifts, can be tricky. Get a friend or an instructor to help you practice at quiet periods. First thing in the morning while others sleep off their hangovers is usually a good time.

2. Use sun block to avoid odd looking 'panda eyes' (or extreme tan lines around your goggles).

3. Do an idiot check before you leave your chalet. Gloves, goggles, money, sunblock, lift pass. There's nothing more frustrating than getting to the slopes and realising that you've left something vital behind.

4. Go to the toilet before getting togged up in all those layers of thermals and waterproofs. Taking it all off again can be a bit of an ordeal!

5. Keep a firm grip on of all your belongings when on a chairlift otherwise you might lose them forever. Make use of big pockets or secure items to you with karabiners.

6. If you are in France, the mountain tipple of choice is 'vin chaud' never 'mulled wine'.

7. If you can't walk convincingly in your rented ski boots, wear alternative footwear to and from the slopes and put it in a backpack while you ski.

8. If your budget can extend to it, invest in private tuition either solo or with a group of friends. Fearless children speeding past you within moments of first strapping on their skis can't fail to dent your confidence...

9. You might not feel the burn when you first get off the slopes, but believe us - you will the next morning. Minimise your aches and pains with pre-ski stretches and end of day hot showers, saunas and massage.

10. When it comes to clothing on the slopes, function is everything. Layer up and make sure your outerwear is waterproof. With apr├Ęs ski-ware you can afford to be a bit more creative. Chances are, you already own a pair of must-have UGG boots.

This life- (or face-, anyway) saving guide has been put together by Flexiski. Give them a ring if you'd like suggestions on where to practise any of these helpful hints.

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