Experience the slopes

Crashing into a tree and being buried under a pile of snow might not sound like most people’s idea of the holiday of a lifetime, but for me it was. I went skiing in Norway with my school in 2009 at the tender age of sixteen. A natural klutz, I had many the disaster like the aforementioned tree incident, and not forgetting the moment I accidentally went down a red slope, crashed into a girl and broke her ski pole.

However, skiing is the most terrifying and exhilarating thing you will ever do, and everyone should try it at least once.

The cultural aspect of skiing is also appealing. Wherever you go, you will be immersed in a completely different culture to Ireland’s snow deprived one. In 2009 I was pre-vegetarian so I enjoyed the local delicacy of elk burgers and to be honest, they were far better than our beef counterparts.

I also strangely enjoyed the daily humiliation of falling over, and having a group of seven-year-olds shoot past me, laughing, at break-neck speed. Skiing is Norway’s national pass-time and it’s second nature for them. For me, mastering a basic snowplough was hard enough.

It’s no wonder that the DCU Snowsports Society ski trip to Val Thorens is full to capacity; there is so much hype and buzz that those eager to go queued outside T101 for six and a half hours. Due to the popularity of the trip in past years, the committee extended the number of places to 270 this year. However, with 1,060 members in the society, you can imagine that some members were left disappointed. Ciaran Martin, the society’s secretary, said there is currently 30-40 people on the waiting list for the trip.

For those of you who missed out on the Val Thorens trip, don’t worry, there are still ways to get to those ski slopes for a reasonable price. But also for anyone reading this who has never considered skiing before, it’s time to think about it.

After trawling through many ski holiday sites, I happened upon a good one called directski.com. They seemed to have the cheapest prices on offer, with a seven night ski trip to Austria, including return flights and seven nights’ accommodation for £257 (€307). Granted there will still be other costs such as food and ski equipment rental, but all in all, not a bad price.

There are many sites that offer skiing for good prices, all you have to do is look around. Skiing is not the cheapest holiday choice, but it’s certainly worth it for the experience, the amazing memories and funny stories you are bound to return home with.

Suzanne Cooper

Image: Johnathan Griffith via Flickr.com

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