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Old 10.02.2012, 18:50
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Skiing for the first time ever in France

Hi,

Tomorrow I am going with some friends to Le Markstein in France, just outside of Mulhouse. I have never skied before ever, and am terrified, but I feel I ought to give it a go. What advice can you give me in terms or skis vs. snowboard. Has anyone been to this resort, do they give lessons / in english?

Also, is there anything I should do to prepare or when I am there?

Thanks!
Mike.
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Old 10.02.2012, 19:00
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

Well, you'll either love it ... or hate it- whichever you do, lol.

Without knowing more about you it is very difficult to advise. If you are a surfer or skateboarder, go for snowboarding. Make sure you wear wrist and knee protection, and a folded towel in your pants at the back

Take a lesson honest, whatever you do. Neither are sports that you can just 'pick up' as an adult- and without you'll be a danger to yourself, and perhaps more importantly to others. And without help you'll possibly be put off for life.Do you have any idea of which type of lifts they have there. Some are easier than others. Lots of preparation can be done, but the day before is a bit late. Skiing and snowboarding use muscles you never knew you had, lol.

Bonne chance, have fun.

www.lemarkstein.net
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Old 10.02.2012, 19:04
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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Well, you'll either love it ... or hate it- whichever you do, lol.

Without knowing more about you it is very difficult to advise. If you are a surfer or skateboarder, go for snowboarding. Make sure you wear wrist and knee protection, and a folded towel in your pants at the back

Take a lesson honest, whatever you do. Neither are sports that you can just 'pick up' as an adult- and without you'll be a danger to yourself, and perhaps more importantly to others. And without help you'll possibly be put off for life.Do you have any idea of which type of lifts they have there. Some are easier than others. Lots of preparation can be done, but the day before is a bit late. Skiing and snowboarding use muscles you never knew you had, lol.

Bonne chance, have fun.
Unfortunately for me, the site is in French - http://www.lemarkstein.net/galeries_photos.htm

I guess that means lessons are in French?

I've not really done anything similar before, I've got reasonable balance, its not awful. I believe the lift types are the pull ropes? And one is a button push, but not 100% sure.

Im going with a guy who has skiied about 3-4 times before, he says he is ok, and he is trying snowboarding this time.

Does that help?
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Old 10.02.2012, 19:13
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

Not really lol! Smaller ski resorts that have few outsiders/tourists going there (like my local resorts here in the Jura) do not normally give lessons in English. Here I personally know a couple of instructors who'd be happy to teach in English - but none that would have sufficient language finesse to teach really effectively.

Which do you fancy most? Snowboarding is much harder to learn at first, but then the learning curve is much much faster. Easy to say you should be better prepared- but let's face it, most will never be! I guess you are young - so youth helps (I learnt to snowboard age 49- but I had skied all my life and am a ski instructor).
Just go for it and report back. Or .... wait another week or so and give yourself the chance do study a suitable resort first and make enquiries well in advance re lessons in English and book in advance. Shame you don't live nearer as I could lend you stuff.
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Old 10.02.2012, 19:16
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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Not really lol! Smaller ski resorts that have few outsiders/tourists going there (like my local resorts here in the Jura) do not normally give lessons in English. Here I personally know a couple of instructors who'd be happy to teach in English - but none that would have sufficient language finesse to teach really effectively.

Which do you fancy most? Snowboarding is much harder to learn at first, but then the learning curve is much much faster. Easy to say you should be better prepared- but let's face it, most will never be. Just go for it and report back. Or .... wait another week or so and give yourself the chance do study a suitable resort first and make enquiries well in advance re lessons in English and book in advance. Shame you don't live nearer as I could lend you stuff.
I will pop along, we can but ask. I saw on Google Earth the green course, and its pretty much flat, so we will see what happens. Thanks for the offer, will rent stuff tomorrow and see how it goes.

Mike.
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Old 10.02.2012, 19:18
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

i know the markstein area quite well and its far from flat but of course various runs will be flatter for leaners, get a lesson before having a go yourself , wrap up warm and enjoy yourself.
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Old 11.02.2012, 20:13
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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i know the markstein area quite well and its far from flat but of course various runs will be flatter for leaners, get a lesson before having a go yourself , wrap up warm and enjoy yourself.
Hi all,

thanks for the advice. Le Markstein is very steep for a beginner but I tried a green slope, after some tuition from a friend. I fell over twice, the second face first into a snow bank (it didnt hurt). At that point because I found I couldn't stop, hence the crash, I chickened out and went and sat in the cafe. They said I should try again so I did but on a really gentle slope at the top. I didn't complete a run, wasted my lift pass unfortunately.

I feel happy that I tried it, but a bit down I couldn't ski the course for the photo of us at the end of the day, yet I sort of want to try again, to prove to myself I can do it.

Two questions:-

1. How would you be left feeling after a day like that? Happy for trying or a bit down for not completing a run? Im so tired after it, I can't make my mind up.

2. Are there any places close to Basel for English lessons and also are there any really really gentle ski slopes?

3. I wasn't put off like you suggested I might, but although I know falling doesn't hurt, I couldn't get over the scared feeling or careering down an icy slope. Is this down to again proper lessons?

Thanks.
Mike.

P.S. Glad I tried rather than not bothering!
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Old 11.02.2012, 20:31
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

if you want a really nice gentle wide slope area that is perfect for beginners look no further than saanenmoser - its about 2hrs by car from basel, you can get english based lessons there
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Old 11.02.2012, 20:45
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

Hi
You must try it again. I really would get proper lessons if you can. The group lessons are usually good value and you get to meet and compete with your class mates which does make it more fun initially (whilst you gain enough skills to learn to really ski and then the fun really starts).

Also, were you warm enough? Often without the right clothing skiing can be a bit misreable if you are a beginner as there is a lot of standing around and falling in cold snow. I thought i was warm enough then i got thermals, they made such a different.

Better luck next time.
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Old 11.02.2012, 21:05
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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if you want a really nice gentle wide slope area that is perfect for beginners look no further than saanenmoser - its about 2hrs by car from basel, you can get english based lessons there
Engelberg is even closer by car 1 hr 20 and 2 hrs by train, there are 2 native brits who teach there at the weekends, me and Ace1. There is some great learning terrain with moving carpets and then easy lifts to progress to. The ski school we work for offers group (if enough takers) or private lessons and there have been a few people from EF who have come over to ski there if you want references I can refer you to give info on suitability. Places like lemarkstein are great, but as a few people have said the terrain is not so good for learning and as the Market is typically Alsace schoolchildren then they are not geared up for adult non French speakers. much cheaper though than ch. Having said that though you tend to get what you pay for Pm me if you want more info, as I am not interested in advertising, just helping fellow expats out. Ski chick.
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Old 11.02.2012, 21:36
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

Really - do try again. I am willing to bet that with tuition and the right start (appropriate slope) you will love skiing.

I only learnt to ski pretty late in life and have a love/hate relationship with it. I wish I could be more relaxed about it, but I spend half of my time thinking of all the potential disasters that could befall me

So I guess my advice is, give it a good try but if (really unlikely) it really isn't your thing, don't be afraid to admit as much. The cafés, sledging and winter walks have much to recommend themselves!
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Old 11.02.2012, 22:16
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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if you want a really nice gentle wide slope area that is perfect for beginners look no further than saanenmoser - its about 2hrs by car from basel, you can get english based lessons there
Thanks rob1, I had a look and looks feasible, although maybe for a weekend.

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Hi
You must try it again. I really would get proper lessons if you can. The group lessons are usually good value and you get to meet and compete with your class mates which does make it more fun initially (whilst you gain enough skills to learn to really ski and then the fun really starts).

Also, were you warm enough? Often without the right clothing skiing can be a bit misreable if you are a beginner as there is a lot of standing around and falling in cold snow. I thought i was warm enough then i got thermals, they made such a different.

Better luck next time.
ShaysLou - I will! And I will! Group lessons sound fantastic, I sort of felt bad getting my friends to not ski and teach me. I was plenty warm bar my fingertips. The snow accident was funny, I wish I hadn't stressed about myself crashing. I was only 10 minutes on my fist ever skis.

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Engelberg is even closer by car 1 hr 20 and 2 hrs by train, there are 2 native brits who teach there at the weekends, me and Ace1. There is some great learning terrain with moving carpets and then easy lifts to progress to. The ski school we work for offers group (if enough takers) or private lessons and there have been a few people from EF who have come over to ski there if you want references I can refer you to give info on suitability. Places like lemarkstein are great, but as a few people have said the terrain is not so good for learning and as the Market is typically Alsace schoolchildren then they are not geared up for adult non French speakers. much cheaper though than ch. Having said that though you tend to get what you pay for Pm me if you want more info, as I am not interested in advertising, just helping fellow expats out. Ski chick.
skichick - I heard a lot about people going to Engelberg, and I think this or Feldberg are most feasible if I go again. Could you send me that info, would definately bwe greatly appreciated.

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Really - do try again. I am willing to bet that with tuition and the right start (appropriate slope) you will love skiing.

I only learnt to ski pretty late in life and have a love/hate relationship with it. I wish I could be more relaxed about it, but I spend half of my time thinking of all the potential disasters that could befall me

So I guess my advice is, give it a good try but if (really unlikely) it really isn't your thing, don't be afraid to admit as much. The cafés, sledging and winter walks have much to recommend themselves!
ecb - I definately will! I cracked the starting and stopping by myself on a very gentle bit about 10mins before sunset, it left me buzzing! I just look to improve the confidence.
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Old 11.02.2012, 22:55
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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skichick - I heard a lot about people going to Engelberg, and I think this or Feldberg are most feasible if I go again. Could you send me that info, would definately bwe greatly appreciated.
What more do you need? We both work with Prime Ski School and have been doing quite a lot of beginner, and progressor, teaching of adult 'expats' this season. I have to say I've been very impressed by the commitment and attitude we've seen, and we're really pleased with how far we've helped them progress in such a short time. Particularly true for those that have joined the Ski Academy groups.

If you have any specific questions then just ask; hopefully the website will be able to answer most, but we're happy to help. PM if you want to talk in more detail.
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Old 18.02.2012, 20:05
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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What more do you need? We both work with Prime Ski School and have been doing quite a lot of beginner, and progressor, teaching of adult 'expats' this season. I have to say I've been very impressed by the commitment and attitude we've seen, and we're really pleased with how far we've helped them progress in such a short time. Particularly true for those that have joined the Ski Academy groups.

If you have any specific questions then just ask; hopefully the website will be able to answer most, but we're happy to help. PM if you want to talk in more detail.
The 2 half days at weekends look a good possibility if these are for beginners? How many more weekends will you be offering ski lessons for?
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Old 18.02.2012, 20:40
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

Fellow newbie here.

I'd strongly advise professional lessons - I did the same thing as you, thinking it would be OK getting advice off friends and it ended much the same way. Except in my case, it did hurt

I did a week-long beginners' package (equipment, lessons and passes) in France to get me started, and it was well worth it: cheap, effective and in English.

Feldberg in Germany is very close to Basel and has some ski schools teaching in English, e.g. https://hirt.skischoolshop.com/en/feldbergskialpinkurs/ .

If you want to go to Saanenmoser from Basel, this company does coach travel and ski pass from Basel SBB for just 65CHF:
http://www.saner-reisen.ch/reiseange...esfahrten.html
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Old 18.02.2012, 21:33
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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Fellow newbie here.

I'd strongly advise professional lessons - I did the same thing as you, thinking it would be OK getting advice off friends and it ended much the same way. Except in my case, it did hurt

I did a week-long beginners' package (equipment, lessons and passes) in France to get me started, and it was well worth it: cheap, effective and in English.

Feldberg in Germany is very close to Basel and has some ski schools teaching in English, e.g. https://hirt.skischoolshop.com/en/feldbergskialpinkurs/ .

If you want to go to Saanenmoser from Basel, this company does coach travel and ski pass from Basel SBB for just 65CHF:
http://www.saner-reisen.ch/reiseange...esfahrten.html
Thanks for the links, but no idea how I would get there? Train station nearby? Google maps says no...
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Old 19.02.2012, 00:37
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Thanks for the links, but no idea how I would get there? Train station nearby? Google maps says no...
To get to Feldberg, take the S6 train from Basel SBB to the end of the line (Zell im Wiesental), and from there you can get the bus towards Titisee, which stops at the ski lifts at Feldbergerhof.

For train times, look on www.bahn.de with destination Feldbergerhof.
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Old 19.02.2012, 04:31
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

Engelberg! :-)
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Old 19.02.2012, 07:03
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Re: Skiing for the first time ever in France

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If you want to go to Saanenmoser from Basel, this company does coach travel and ski pass from Basel SBB for just 65CHF:
http://www.saner-reisen.ch/reiseange...esfahrten.html
excellent price as the ski pass is 62chf
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Old 19.02.2012, 22:40
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To get to Feldberg, take the S6 train from Basel SBB to the end of the line (Zell im Wiesental), and from there you can get the bus towards Titisee, which stops at the ski lifts at Feldbergerhof.

For train times, look on www.bahn.de with destination Feldbergerhof.
Thanks all for suggestions. Regarding this bus, I see a bus 7300 frm Zell to Feldbergerhof in just over an hour, and occasionally it goes from Basel Bad Bf. Is that meant to be or what?!? Lol.
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