Once we landed in Geneva and collected our baggage we were greeted by Ollie who is a representative for ChaletFinder. He drove us to our chalet and provided us with a document to go and collect our ski equipment and passes.
But before we arrived at our accommodation we were taken to an iced over lake called Lac de Montriond which supplied us with the most peaceful and breathtaking of scenes. It was just utter bliss.
After settling in and unpacking at the chalet we headed down to SkiSet who are a traditional and local company with stores based all around the resort. You can buy and rent skis, snowboards and mountain bikes from them and they were the ones providing us with our equipment.
The first thing they got me to do after telling them I’d rather ski than snowboard was measure my feet to fit the boots. It’s a bizarre feeling when you put them on for the first time because they are very tight, to say they were a snug fit would be an understatement! Also they instantly make you lean forward, which is a good thing, as that will help you when learning to ski. It’s like having a pair of ice-skates as boots, that’s the best way to describe them. I’m just giving you the heads up now so you know what to expect. Also whilst we are on the subject of the ski boots, I would recommend not trying to walk down steps or anything that can easily put you off balance as I nearly found that out the hard way (phew).
The next step is they determine what skis will suit you best. The way they do this depends on your height and weight and you will find that the length of the ski will come somewhere between your top lip and forehead. Although for beginners they tend to size the ski closer to your chin as it will help with being able to turn. This is what you can expect for your first ski fitting, as I don’t think many first time skiers would have a preference.
Last but not least is being fitted with your ski poles. This is still an important piece of equipment but you don’t really concentrate on using them much when you’re a beginner. The snowplough is the key movement to grasp, as you will come to find out soon enough. Again the poles are based on your height and ideally your arm should be parallel to the ground when you hold the pole.
Going into the shop and being kitted out with all the equipment really is a vital part of your journey to learning to ski. You will never forget this experience.
Part three is the big finale…
Have you ever wanted to go on a skiing holiday but never had the opportunity to go; yet thought what’s all the fuss about and are you truly missing out… well stop searching and indulge yourself into this three-part blog where you will discover my journey. Hopefully you will be encouraged and see that opportunities are always there and it’s about taking them and making the most out of it.
Let me give you some background information about me, and how my idea was brought to life. I’m Reece a third year broadcast journalism student at the University of Salford. I seen an advertisement on a social media website offering freelance journalists the chance to go out to France via ChaletFinder. I found this an offer I couldn’t resist so I pitched the idea of a first time skiers guide to the company and here we are.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank them for seeing the potential in my idea. They really supported me and provided my flights, transfers to the resort, ski passes, equipment and the most amazing accommodation run by Rude Chalets.
Shall we proceed to the beginning of this adventure?
The day had finally arrived to fly out to Geneva and transferred to Morzine, Portes Du Soleil. I don’t think there wasn’t a mode of transport that I hadn’t taken that day. It took a tram and train just to get to the airport, then a plane to reach Geneva and then I was picked up and driven to the French town. Within the time of five hours I had been in three different countries.
We set off at 6:00am to catch a flight departing at 10:50am; my flight was from Manchester airport. ChaletFinder supplied my flight through EasyJet and before you ask the pictures of me in my bright orange jacket were a coincidence and not planned out. Although they complement each other well, as you will see in the photo below.
After checking in all the luggage and camera equipment, Brad my camera operator and me thought it would be a smart idea to go and exchange our currency. A normal and straightforward process you’d think but that was far from it. Whilst we are at the currency exchange desk we deliberate what currency we should get because in our mind we were flying into Switzerland, so we exchange our money into Swiss Franks, forgetting to take into account that Morzine is based in France… and use the Euro!
That’s what happens when you don’t start your day off with a coffee.
We only realised that we exchanged the wrong currency when we were halfway from our destination and talking to another passenger on the plane about our journey. I would like to give a shout out to the lady who sat next to us in row 23 a, b and c. You were very polite in enduring us chatting away to you the whole flight and for the offer of an alcoholic beverage.
It still hadn’t sunk in that I would be learning to ski in one of the best resorts in Europe. I’m going to be honest and tell you that before going out I felt confident that I would find it easy to pick up as I had done one lesson of dry skiing about five years ago when I was 17. I’m a very sporty natured person and extremely competitive, so in my mind combining these two attributes would surely only help me.
Find out how I got on in my next blog post…