Active Holidays: Skiing with Crystal Ski

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Skiing is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember, but I always thought a ski holiday would be far too expensive. Little did I know there are specialist ski holiday providers like Crystal Ski and Flexi Ski who offer a range of holidays for all budgets. Skiing is a great active holiday option as it works and tones your muscles whilst getting your cardiovascular system going. Why not book a ski holiday for the next ski season (late November to April) and have yourself an active holiday? Myself and the lovely travel blogger Cheylene from Girl in London were whisked off to the slopes to sample what Crystal Ski has to offer.

We travelled to Courchevel 1850 which I found out isn’t for the tighter budgets, more one for the luxury skiers (not that I was complaining!). We arrived at Hotel Saint Louis and were taken to our very comfortable rooms before we set off to collect our ski equipment with our Crystal Ski rep. There is nothing quite like ski boots, at least nothing I’ve put on my feet before. You can’t stand up straight in them, instead you’re forced into a constant semi-squat and trying to walk in them is comical. I knew my quads would be getting a great workout. As we’d had a very early flight Cheylene and I decided to leave our skis at the hotel and set off to explore Courchevel 1850. The buildings were quaint wooden lodges covered in picturesque snow, the sky was clear blue and the sun was beaming down, people of all ages and abilities were on the slopes – it was all so beautiful.

hotel-saint-louis-courchevelAfter a delicious breakfast the next day, we grabbed our skis and ski passes and set off. Our ski lesson wasn’t for a few hours so Cheylene, who had skied before, took me to a flat area to get me used to the basics. Just as I thought I was getting the hang of things I accidentally ended up on a slope and hurtled towards a group of children waiting for their ski instructor. Panicking, I threw myself on the ground in front of them and luckily, no children were injured! We then found a mini slope suitable for beginners and I practiced until I felt more confident and had at least mastered stopping.

Crystal Ski had booked us in with New Generation Ski and Snowboarding School and Andrea, our instructor, was impressed with the progress I’d made thanks to Cheylene’s coaching. This meant we got to skip the complete beginner’s area of the slope – something I was very proud of! Instead we set off on some green runs with Andrea expertly tailoring our lesson to our different abilities. Under Andrea’s instruction and care I didn’t once feel scared as I slid down a mountain. 2 hours and several green runs later and our lesson was over.

crystal-ski-courchevel-1850The next day we woke up to fresh snow falling and it was beautiful. We set off for our second lesson, this time we’d decided to split it into individual hour sessions so that Andrea could focus on us individually. Whilst Cheylene and Andrea took off for the more advanced slopes I stuck to the green slopes we had been on the previous day. Before I knew it, I was up next and Andrea took me to the very top of one of the ski lifts. It was a shame I couldn’t see very far due to the snow falling, but I got to see what it was like to ski on fresh snow and it was so much smoother. With it being a steeper slope than I was used to, I had to turn more often and my quads soon burned out. After a quick breather and a leg shake we set off to complete the run. I highly recommend New Generation Ski and Snowboarding School, I went from being a complete beginner to being somewhat of a competent skier all thanks to Andrea. He was patient, a great listener and great teacher.

For our last night we decided to sample the Après Ski nightlife, so we looked up a recommended bar on the Crystal Ski Explorer app and made our way up the mountain to Le Strato Hotel. It turned out to be a very swish hotel. We were greeted warmly and shown to the bar which had live music and plush sofas and of course, the cocktails were amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever sipped a cocktail so slowly, praying it would never end. Before I knew it our holiday was over and I was genuinely so sad to leave. I definitely want to ski again and I’ll definitely book with Crystal Ski.

My Top Tips for an Active Skiing Holiday

    1. Build up your leg strength before your holiday with wall sits and pistol squats using the TRX for stability.
  •  Skiing burns up to 3,000 calories in six hours, so plan out your day to allow for a long period of skiing. Try 2 hours before lunch and 4 hours after.
  • You use your core strength to help with stability whilst skiing so make sure you keep your stomach pulled in to really engage your core and get those abs burning.
  • Where possible, walk up the slope instead of taking a ski lift. The high altitude will make walking uphill even harder than normal.
  • Choose a slope that will allow you to ski non-stop for at least half an hour to really get a good cardiovascular workout.
  • It’s easy to overindulge in the food and Après Ski cocktails, so keep your meals in check and switch your cocktails for vodka and soda water mixers, or white wine and soda water spritzers.
  • If you want to experience the vast slopes of Courchevel 1850 without the high price tag, stay further down the mountain or in a neighbouring village and choose a ski pass that let’s you board the ski lifts to Courchevel 1850. More slope choice means it’s easier to ski for longer, getting a better workout.

Have you ever been skiing or snowboarding before? If so, where did you go and what was your experience? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you so much to Crystal Ski for sending me on this amazing trip and to Cheylene for being a wonderful travel buddy!

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