Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that winter has officially hit the Alps! With Verbier opening in 14 days, it’s time to think about what to pack for your adventure.
You’re probably wondering how you’re going to fit 3 months of kit into one 23kg suitcase. The best advice is to pack like you’re going on a two week holiday. You will have access to a washing machine, so won’t need a new outfit for every day. When not skiing you will probably also spend surprising amounts of time lounging around in your thermals.
- Skis & Boots – See our separate posts on these.
- A helmet – You won’t be allowed to train without one
- Goggles – Ideally with interchangeable lenses, you will need two lenses. One for bright sun, one for those stormy days.
- Gloves or Mittens: It may be handy to have 2 pairs, we love Hestra Gloves.
- Thin inner/liner gloves: Silk is the best
- Neck Warmer/Buff
- Thermal Base Layers: We would recommend you choose merino wool, it performs really well and smells less.
- Down/Warm inner jacket
- Ski Socks, bring 4 or 5 pairs and wash them regularly. Contrary to popular belief you should go for socks that are as thin as possible with no extra padding on the shins etc. The Smart Wool PHD Ski Light Elite or Mico X Race are some of our favourites
- A Backpack – to carry your new avalanche kit, Lunch, spare gloves and so on. Look for something designed for skiing with chest and hip straps.
- Adapter plugs these can be bought cheaply on amazon.
- Sports or gym wear – many resorts now have gyms and pools.
- Slippers for the chalet
- A couple of Towels
- Pen and notepad for taking training notes
- Laptop or tablet for keeping course diaries and the occasional Netflix binge
- Sun Cream
- Lip Sun Protection
- Reusable Face Masks, you will have to wear these on lifts and around town. Our favourite at the moment are these.
Documents to bring;
- EHIC – European Health Insurance Card – these are free and cover treatment in the EU. It is not yet clear if these will be of any value but it will be best to have it.
- Insurance documents /Carre Neige / Snow Assist – if the worst happens and you find yourself being helicoptered off the mountain, you’ll get your money back
- Your passport (valid until at least October 2022)- it’s pretty hard to get here without one!
- Bank/debit card (Visa or Mastercard), banks such as Monzo and Revolut now offer free international use.
The best advice you can get is from seasonnaires themselves! There’s nothing like a bit of insider knowledge – and these are our top tips…
- Bring flip-flops, swimmers and t-shirts for the spring – it gets surprisingly warm come March, and you don’t want to overheat at the Folie Douce, Charity Day or spring BBQ!
- Gaffa tape is a lifesaver. From creating home-made costumes to fixing holes in your salopettes, this stuff works miracles.
- Home comforts: Teabags, Branston Pickle, Marmite, Robinsons squash and Cadburys chocolate. If you can’t live without it, bring it. They can be bought in resort but are much more expensive than in the UK. Food is also a currency in the Alps – last year one student brought 4 boxes of Yorkshire Gold tea – he was very popular!
- Don’t just bring thick jumpers – when not on the slope you’ll mostly be inside, so make sure to bring clothes for going out and relaxing at home in too.
- Stock up on toiletries and medicines before you go – they’re expensive to buy in the resort, particularly sun cream and painkillers.
- Do. Not. Bring. Heels! Invest in a decent pair of snow boots like Sorel’s or Timberlands, or you’ll be sliding on your bum most of the season.