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The Ultimate Guide To Your First Ski Season

Thinking of doing your first ski season? We've got all the best tips and advice to help you survive a winter in the mountains

Your first ski season will be one of the best times of your life. You just need to find a job first… Photo: Pinterest

Thinking of doing your first ski season but don’t know where to start?

Trust us, it’s one of the best decisions you will ever make. Everyone who has ever done a season – whether it’s on their gap year or just as a career break – totally loves it.

We’ve got all the tips and advice you need to help you survive a winter in the mountains – and of course have the best time ever!

Where Should You Go?

Photo: Justin Locke/National Geographic

Most Brits end up doing their first ski season in Europe. Why? Because we’re inside the EU, it’s super easy to get a job. You don’t have to worry about getting a visa.

France, Switzerland and Austria are among the most popular places to head off for a season. Not only are they the most snowsure places in Europe but plenty of British ski operators organise holidays to the Alps, so it should be easy to find a job. Saying that, you can even go skiing in Greece!

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However, there are plenty of jobs outside Europe. Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the USA are all really popular places to do your first ski season.

Sometimes it’s a case of applying for a job – and see where you get placed. You might not get a choice. But head’s up – everyone has the best time on their season, no matter where they find themselves.

finding A Ski Season Job

Photo: Chalet Girl

Natives is a great website to look for ski season work for 2015/16. There’s plenty of choice – from ski instructor positions to transfer driving jobs – plus it’s really easy to use.

Ski-Jobs.co.uk is also a really handy place to look for work. You should also check out the job listings on Season Workers – they’ve also got jobs too for when you need to organise your summer season.

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Often you don’t need specific qualifications (unless you are a ski instructor, of course!) but restaurant or customer service experience if you’re applying for a chalet host job, for example, will definitely help.

Alternatively you can apply directly to a chalet company or ski tour operator. Igluski, Inghams, Crystal Ski, Mark Warner, VIP Ski and Neilson are all good places to start.

People start applying for these jobs from beginning of June, so it’s worth getting your applications in quickly.

Accommodation

Photo: Tiny House Design

Next up, where should you live? Many ski season jobs include accommodation, particularly if you are working in a chalet.

However, if you on the hunt for your own bedroom, there are plenty of options. Seasonal Accommodation is a great website for finding accommodation with a easy-to-use search facility covering France, Switzerland and Canada. Season Housing is another good site to get searching on.

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You’ll be offered the choice of shared seasonaire accommodation – which is like a big bunkhouses in which you’ll share a dorm with other ski bums – or an entire apartment, which you could rent for yourself or share with friends.

Facebook is also a good place to find accommodation, particularly if nearing November and there aren’t any decent options left! Most ski resorts have an open seasonaire Facebook group where you can put a shout out for a bed.

packING For Your Ski Season

Photo: Mike Schirf

So you’ve got your job lined up and you’re ready to pack! Your first thoughts will probably be, how the hell am I going to fit all of this into a 20kg suitcase?

It’s a very good question. Well, here are a few essential things you should consider when packing for a ski season:

  • Ski gear (duh!) If you need a new pair of skis, check out the best women’s skis for 2015
  • Socks, socks and more socks
  • Painkillers – Paracetamol costs £5 as opposed to 18p in the mountains
  • Extension leads – they will save you a lot of hassle if you’re living in a shared dorm
  • Condoms – need we say more…

And here’s what you definitely don’t need:

  • High heels. Snow plus stilettos does not mix.
  • Any fancy clothing whatsoever (but do bring a million pairs of underwear/ski socks/black trousers)

Can’t find the right ski gear to suit you? You be might be interested in reading this piece on why brands are getting rid of women’s ski range.

Tips For Your First Ski Season

Photo: Laura Austin – Burton Girls

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