• Caitlin Kennedy

First Season Survival

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

Your first time can be a little daunting. You don’t want to go in too hard, get it all wrong and have to make a premature exit. So we scoured Val d’Isère for some wizened old-timers who gave us some snippets of wisdom for the new kids in the mountains.

Bear Grylls would know what to do. Maybe.

Previous esteemed editor of The Echo. Now SkiBro’s man with a cam, Kene E-O:

“Not to be confused with a beer jacket, which is the insulating layer of booze that will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy on the way home from a night out when it's -15°C, a pub jacket is a cheap jacket that you don't mind getting lost or stolen when you're on a bender. It never has your ski pass, keys, phone, wallet, etc in it.”

For some wavy 80s outerwear, check out the Shop page on The Echo website (www.valecho.co.uk/shop), where some snazzy vintage ski jackets will be available to purchase. Particularly suitable for mono-skiing.

Queen of Decks at Dicks, Megan Fernandez will be opening up Dicks Tea Bar on the 22nd, and then running the show for the rest of the season. She is also Val's fairy godmother with her offerings of many words of wisdom:

“Take a photo of your lift pass as soon as you get it (the side with the long code) so that you don’t have to pay the full one to get it replaced if/when you lose your jacket." Which you won’t, because you’ll have listened to Kene’s advice!

“Don’t be a helmet, wear a helmet! It’s not just you on the mountain and I’ve had two helmets smashed from being crashed into by other people out of control.”

“Make it a priority to find somewhere to do your laundry that is cheap or free. You’ll be grateful at the end of the season when your mates are counting up how much they spent in the laundrette. And don’t be that guy that brags about not having done any washing all season.”

“You’re going to a ski resort, not the end of the Earth. Anything that you’ve forgotten, you can order online and have it within a few days, although if your parcel doesn’t show up, go to the Post Office, a.k.a. the land of lost things."

Jim Adlington, owner of Planks and ex-pro skier quickly found a way to boss season life and offers this recipe for success:

“Be friendly to everyone, ski every day, break out of your crew and meet new people, always get advice before you ski off piste, work your asses off to ski and be grateful for the fact you live and work in an amazing place. Oh and make sure you buy Planks and read the ECHO!”

We wholeheartedly agree.

The Echo’s advice?

Number 1; a little French goes a long way. You’ll win favour with the locals and get to make hilarious jokes like this:

Having said that, don’t be surprised if your efforts are sometimes met with a smirk. I had my boss in stitches this summer with repeated mispronunciations of “beaucoup” (meaning “a lot”). Apparently, what I was inadvertently saying, was in fact “beau cul”  or “great ass”. Freudian slip me-thinks.

And Number 2; don’t take everything you read on the seasonaire’s page too seriously. If it looks like a troll and sounds like a troll, it’s probably a troll. Seasoned seasonaires have to get their kicks somehow, so just don’t get too riled up and you’ll be fine.

Now, in the wise words of Will-I-Am, Let’s Get it Started!

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