I have just got back from my first ever skiing / snowboarding trip and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.

Prior to going away, I did the 4 beginner levels of snowboard lesson at Sno! Zone in Milton Keynes (one hour each lesson) and also had a couple of recreational sessions to practice on my own (two hours each). At least that got the first couple of days learning over and done with before I went on holiday and allowed me to jump straight into an intermediate group with ESF - on the basis that I could already link my turns.

The holiday itself was with a couple of work colleagues (Andy and Zoe), staying in Chalet Juliette which is located in La Tania and part of the Three Valleys. La Tania is situated between Courchevel and Meribel so it was easy to spend time around those resorts as well as La Tania itself.

As far as snowboarding lessons went, I was in a group with 5 or 6 French kids who had already been snowboarding for three or four weeks. Although this meant that there wasn’t really much conversation between us (due to the differing languages), we all seemed pretty to be of pretty much of the same level. One guy was demoted after day one and another did tend to hold us up a bit throughout (probably par for the course in group lessons) but we had a great instructor called Patrick / Patrik who had been snowboarding for the best part of 20 years.

I think that from the very first day we were on green, blue and red runs but by the third day we spent much of the time off piste and doing the occasional steep section of a black. Bearing in mind that this was my first ever time outdoors on the snow I thought that I managed pretty well! There is little doubt that my past hobbies helped a lot (windsurfing, surfing, wakeboarding, skate boarding, ice skating, roller skating, etc) but having the kids around was perfect because they didn’t mind taking a tumble and the falling was all part of it!

At the end of the week most of the group graduated the second level intermediate class with ESF and apparently the next level / class will be in the snowpark / half pipe. I will look forward to that if / when I go again!

The snowboarding lessons were always in the afternoon so I spend the mornings with Andy / Zoe or the other snowboarders from the chalet. The other boarders had only been doing it for about 3 or 4 weeks so I was able to keep up with them easily too. I think it is safe to say that I didn’t look like a complete beginner. ;)

The accomodation was comfortable and the food was good. Hopefully I can go snowboarding again but whether I would swap a windsurfing holiday for a snowboarding one… hmmm, that’s a toughie!