A trip to the ski fields is guaranteed to be a fun and memorable adventure for the whole family. Whether you plan on attending ski school, building snowmen, or sipping hot chocolate by a roaring fire, Victoria’s Alpine Valley is home to some of the best ski fields in the world. At the heart of the region is Bright, a character-filled, charming town which boasts phenomenal dinning, outstanding accommodation options and easy access to both Mt Hotham and Falls Creek. For beautiful Bright accommodation, travellers to the area can rely on Alpine Valley Getaways. If you’re heading to the snow for the first time, here are some of our helpful tips to keep in mind.
Hire Your Ski Gear, Don’t Buy It
Ski jackets, pants, boots, skis, and poles can all be a very big investment if you choose to purchase them. Not only will it set you back a large sum of money, but you will also need to store it all between ski trips. Additionally, kids grow out of their gear way too quickly, so save yourself the money and hire your gear in advance from local ski hire shops. Everything you could possibly need is available for hire. For any assistance on where to hire your gear, get in touch with your Bright, Victoria accommodation provider and they will be able to point you in the right direction.
Book into Ski School
Ski schools are the best way to learn the basics and they offer classes for people of all ages. From a half day group lesson to a week of private lessons, joining a ski school is a fun way to learn something new, meet other people and make the most of your time at the snow. In peak times such as school holidays, ski schools can book out quickly so make sure you book in advance, so you don’t miss out.
Understand the Piste Map
As a newbie to snow sports, you might be wondering what a piste map is? Simply, it is a map of the ski resort, and it uses symbols and colour coding to advise the difficulty of each slope. Understanding the piste map will ensure you don’t accidentally launch yourself down a slope designed for experts and end up in a potentially dangerous situation. In Australia, the colour coding means:
- Green – Beginner
- Blue – Intermediate
- Red – Advanced
- Black – Expert
- Black (Diamond) – Extreme
It’s important to remember that snow conditions can also affect the difficulty of a slope, especially very icy conditions, or slushy spring snow. If you are ever unsure, ask the ski patrol first before hitting the slopes.
Learn the Lingo
You will hear a vast array of jargon on the slopes and around the resort, so it’s a good idea to learn what a few words mean before you go. Here’s a few common ones we have translated for you:
Après skiing – French for ‘after skiing’, this refers to the nightlife of larger ski resorts, which offer numerous clubs, bars and other ‘after-ski’ facilities.
Backcountry – This is the area of a mountain not patrolled or groomed by the local resort. First timers should steer clear.
Black diamond – One of the most challenging (and usually one of the steepest) courses, denoted by a black diamond symbol on the piste map. For extreme skiers only.
Powder – Soft, light and very dry snow that is amazing to ski on. Advanced skiers love it but its great for everyone, especially beginners. Beautifully light & squeaky dry.
Grooming – Most runs on a ski slope are regularly ‘groomed’ by large vehicles with tracks. These machines pull a large rake, which helps keep the snow in good condition.
Off-piste – If you are off-piste, you are no longer within the boundary of the resort (backcountry).
Piste – Refers to groomed and/or patrolled trails.
If you need more help with ski field jargon, don’t hesitate to ask your holiday accommodation. Bright locals operate most cottages, cabins and hotels and they will usually be more than happy to help you with anything you need.
Choose Accommodation Wisely
Some snow goers, especially those who are experienced skiers or boarders and spend the majority of the time gliding down the slopes, prefer to stay on the mountain. However, for first timers, it’s unlikely you will spend every day on the snow. In this case, it is a better option to stay off the mountain in a nearby town, such as Bright. This gives you the freedom to explore the many attractions the town has to offer, experience different ski resorts on different days and it has the added bonus of being much more affordable.
If you are unsure about accommodation, Bright, Victoria has an abundance of options to suit all requirements and budgets. From self-catering apartments and cosy cottages for a romantic weekend to spacious holiday homes for large families and groups, you will be spoilt for choice. You will also have the opportunity to experience everything the region has to offer, from casual pubs and fine dining restaurants, cafes to breweries, boutique shops, bike trails and much much more.
Looking For Hotels in Bright, Victoria?
Alpine Valley Getaways is here to help with contemporary, affordable Bright accommodation. Luxury holiday properties in Bright, Porepunkah, Wandiligong and Harrietville can accommodate families, couples & groups – book online now or get in touch with our friendly team for more information by calling 03 5759 2555 / 0408 874 437.