THE FIRST TIME

Today, the waiting’s over! The lifts are operating and the slopes aren’t just reserved for Dieter Bohlen. But, as on any first date, you can still get a lot wrong. Five tips to make sure everything goes well.

1)

Watch out for the mountain air: high up in the mountains, it’s a bit thinner. Even if you’ve been busy with sport throughout the summer, running or cycling, it’s different in the mountains. So you should try not to demand too much of your body, as it needs time to get used to the altitude. Take a break every now and again!

2) Warm up: OK, so warm up exercises aren’t exactly the greatest for skiers – you do them because you’ve heard you should, and with most people it’s difficult to really notice a difference between warming up and not finding the bindings straightaway. But on the first day of skiing in particular it’s a really good idea. Swinging from side to side gets the cardiovascular system moving, which in turn reduces the risk of falling and the danger of hurting yourself.

3) Go easy at the start: it’s an old saying but particularly relevant today of all days. You don’t need to set a (new) speed record straight away on your first descent (although the pristine snow, no one around, and then on top of that, the slight counter-pressure from the fresh edges of the piste …). But all the same, you should still start slowly with the first couple of turns. It’s been a few months since the last downhill turns, so the movements are still a bit unfamiliar.

4)

Clothing: it’ll be warm on the Idalp today. On the one hand, that’s good, on the other hand, not so much. Because the movements are still unfamiliar, you’ll sweat more than usual today. So you need the appropriate clothing. Which means the classic layered “onion skin” approach with a breathable first layer, a warming middle layer and a wind- and weather-proof top layer.

5)Think of your drinks: the air on the mountain is relatively dry, but being active means you lose quite a lot of fluids. You have to make up for it by drinking a lot when skiing – in particular on the first day, too. And no, we don’t mean alcoholic drinks. You should avoid too much of those anyway, as on any first date.