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Thread: Skiing - how much to learn to ski?

  1. #1

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    Default Skiing - how much to learn to ski?

    DH and I would like to learn to ski. I've never tried because I figured I couldn't afford it. 2 of my brothers are skiers. One is a ski instructor in Canada. My nephew was a gun snowboarder by the time he was 8. I should at least give it a go.

    How much would it cost, with equipment, lessons, access fees, ski lift, everything? We don't have ski clothes. We'd need to get chains for the car tyres. Without buying designer gear, any idea at a starting cost? We're kind of broke, so it may not work out.

    We're in the outer east Melbourne. I think Buller, Baw Baw and Lake Mountain are easily accessible. My brother has a place at Hotham but they're renting it out so it wouldn't be accessible on weekends or school holidays.

    Suggestions, recommendations welcome. I am a snow virgin. It's time to pop the cherry


  2. #2

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    Costs to factor in:

    Accommodation on mountain/off mountain - approx $150 per adult per night in peak season
    Mountain entry fees - Approx $50 per day
    Petrol - approx $50 (dep on car)
    Chain hire - $20
    Ski gear hire - Approx $50 per adult per day
    Lessons & Lift pass - $100-$150 (dep on if you get a lesson in there or not) per day
    Private lesson - $150 per hour approx
    Food on mountain - empty your bank account

  3. #3

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    Ways to reduce that cost.....
    Don't stay on snow - if you're prepared to drive 20-40 minutes to the snow fields you will pay less (the other issue then is that you might have to drive on snowy roads which can be quite stressful if you're not used to icy conditions).
    Bring a packed lunch and thermos of hot chocolate and hire a locker to stash it in (some people eat in the car park and save on the cost of the locker - DH just pops it in his back-pack).
    Group lessons not private - the afternoon lessons generally have less students so you will get more attention from your instructor. Turn up in time for an afternoon lesson day 1 then practice on fresh legs in the morning of day 2 before another afternoon lesson. I actually prefer group lessons - one of the funnest days skiing I have had was a group lesson that just by coincidence was all women and for some reason we all just clicked. Once the lesson was over we kept skiing together and then went back to meet up for another lesson the next day.
    Spring skiing - the ticket on the 1st of September is cheaper than the day before and the snow is just as good (same can't be said for later in spring). Avoid school holidays!!
    Going mid-week isn't cheaper but you do get more bang for your buck. Shorter lift queues, smaller lesson groups etc.
    In NSW there is a resort called Selwyn Slopes. It is smaller than the other resorts and the terrain isn't challenging. It's also cheaper. I have no idea if there is an equivalent resort in Victoria but if there is go there to learn.

  4. #4

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    This might help......

    Preparing for skiing.

    16. Visit your local butcher and pay $30 to sit in the walk-in freezer for a half an hour. Afterwards, burn two $50 dollar bills to warm up.
    15. Soak your gloves and store them in the freezer after every use.
    14. Fasten a small, wide rubber band around the top half of your head before you go to bed each night.
    13. If you wear glasses, begin wearing them with glue smeared on the lenses.
    12. Throw a hundred dollar bill away-now.
    11. Find the nearest ice rink and walk across the ice 20 times in your ski boots carrying two pairs of skis, accessory bag and poles. Pretend you are looking for your car. Sporadically drop things.
    10. Place a small but angular pebble in your shoes, line them with crushed ice, and then tighten a C-clamp around your toes.
    9. Buy a new pair of gloves and immediately throw one away.
    8. Secure one of your ankles to a bed post and ask a friend to run into you at high speed.
    7. Go to McDonald's and insist on paying $6.50 for a hamburger. Be sure you are in the longest line.
    6. Clip a lift ticket to the zipper of your jacket and ride a motorcycle fast enough to make the ticket lacerate your face.
    5. Drive slowly for five hours - anywhere - as long as it's in a snowstorm and you're following an 18 wheeler.
    4. Fill a blender with ice, hit the pulse button and let the spray blast your face. Leave the ice on your face until it melts. Let it drip into your clothes.
    3. Dress up in as many clothes as you can and then proceed to take them off because you have to go to the bathroom.
    2. Slam your thumb in a car door. Don't go see a doctor.
    1. Repeat all of the above every Saturday and Sunday until it's time for the real thing.

  5. #5

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    I don't remember costings etc so can't help you there, but as far as being a novice goes - The first time I skiied was on Bulla. Second time was on Hotham and we had a group lesson. Bulla, well I took to it like a natural. I used to roller skate/blade heaps when I was younger and I found that controlling the skis was much like controlling a pair of roller blades. The people I was with couldn't believe I'd never tried skiing before. I found it was much more ski-friendly for a newbie. But on Hotham, I found it much harder. They were steeper slopes and the instructor, whilst he had us in stitches laughing, had a habit of calling out instructions while he skiied away from us - and nobody could hear a word he said It was a disastrous but funny lesson (which also included my DH falling over often from simply being stationary).

    We've never stayed on the mountains, but stayed in a cabin at both Mansfield and Bright. We hired our gear from our accommodation in Mansfield, but on the mountain at Hotham. If you don't want to drive up, there are shuttle buses that go up and down from the towns.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for all this. I'm thinking Baw Baw or Buller might be best for us newbies.

    Of course, me still having SPD and being terrified of driving up high, windy roads might put a dampener on our plans. But I'm keen to see what all the fuss is about. I've ice skated before. It's been a while and my core strength is not what it was......Hmmm. Well, I'm sure it will be amusing to others if not myself.

  7. #7

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    With the SPD - on a snowboard your feet are held together whereas on skis they can go in 2 different directions. It might be that snowboarding is more SPD friendly although getting up involves more core strength. Snow boarding is harder for the first day or so but once you pick it up progression is much easier.

    Speaking of getting up - it's astonishing how many people don't click out of a ski to get up. If you fall it cam be much easier to get up if you take a ski off and put it back on once you're on your feet. You will fall so you may as well get up as quickly as possible.

  8. #8

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    Scoopon has a deal atm, while it's not a ski lesson, it might lesson the costs - full day snow trip to Mt Bulla, including return coach trip, resort entry and chair lift pass for $69.

  9. #9

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    Baw Baw is not a good choice for beginners! I love it, we used to go there a lot when we lived in Melbourne, but I rank it as my worst skiing experience. The snow frequently sucks and the runs are mostly narrow. I think it has a good magic carpet for learning though, not sure.

    I prefer Buller. More choice, better snow. I've only been twice.

    DH taught MIL to ski at Lake Mountain. I don't think you can get lessons there though, I don't know for sure.

    I learned to ski in Italy, mostly. I had two private lessons (one awesome, one crap) and 5 days of group lessons with a bunch of five year olds and a very good looking instructor, and that was enough for me to feel confident skiing most runs. I also won a bronze medal in a slalom race. Against the aforementioned 5 year olds. So proud.

    Ski clothes - op shops are a winner, they have the best stuff.

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