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21 January 2013

Flying solo?

One doesn't have to be the loneliest number if you're an independent spirit

Skiing and snowboarding are, for the vast majority of people, social sports. But what if you’re a solo traveller? Just because you leave the family at home or your envious colleagues at work, it doesn’t mean you also have to remain alone when you reach the slopes. That said, it’s not always easy to find a group (or a date) in resort. So here are a few ideas of how to make the most of the mountains when you’re flying solo…

Book your holiday wisely

Going on a group ski holiday might seem like the obvious choice. However, a lot of accommodation is based on double-occupancy, so if you're travelling alone you might be paying a single-room supplement on top of everything else.

Our own Ski Club Freshtracks holidays add more single-room capacity to their trips year-on-year. The demand for rooms to accommodate solo travellers is no surprise, as they constitute 70% of all bookings made.

Freshtracks apres

Some Freshtracks holidays are geared especially towards single skiers, as you won’t pay extra for your own room. Whether you want to dial your technique in traditional Courmayeur, explore the expansive terrain of the 4 Vallees with an off-piste week in Nendaz, or log some vertical in Val d'Isere – there are plenty of options.

Many specialist tour operators (which offer Ski Club members 5-15% savings) such as Mark Warner, Crystal, Neilson, Powder White and Ski Weekends offer holidays aimed at single skiers and snowboarders too. These holidays can cater for skiers firmly fixated on the on-snow experience, or those that live for après. Some even offer holidays that might help you find that special someone (if you're so inclined). Shared chalet accommodation is another option, as you could find yourself sharing with similar individuals who you can spend time on the hill with, although there’s always a risk if you don’t know who’s in the chalet.

Exodus Travel snow-shoeing

The team at Ski Weekends (11% discount for members) offer both affordable weekend and week-long holidays with singles in mind. They recommend Club Hotel Verseau in Brides les Bains (3 Vallees) and Le Vert (Chamonix) for solo travellers, offering singles the option to sit with others so you don’t dine alone. Both hotels have lively sociable bars too.

Crystal Ski have options for single parents travelling with kids (their ‘One parent savers’), while Powder White’s “Potentially” holidays in Courchevel 1650 aim to play cupid  - or at the very least facilitate a sociable time. Neilson offer holidays to Italian après hot-spot Sauze d’Oulx without single room supplements, and there’s a Ski Club Leader hosted in resort so you can make the most of this huge ski area.

Exodus Travel offer interesting winter holidays for adventurous types, so you can try your hand at cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing or dog-sledding while meeting like-minded travellers.

Warren Smith Ski Academy

Back to school

If you’ve booked your holiday already, or you prefer to book your own travel and accommodation, taking an instructional course can be a fantastic way to find skiers who are looking for a similar experience in the mountains. Whistler-Blackcomb’s Ski Espirit (now re-branded as Max4 Camps) have long been a favourite of British skiers who cross the ditch, combining reasonably priced instruction with a sociable atmosphere. There are a number of instructional weeks offering 10% savings to members too, such as All Mountain Performance (Chamonix), Warren Smith Ski Academy and Powder Extreme (Verbier).

Chat forum

Make the most of being a member

You’re already part of the largest snowsports community in the UK, and we’ve got what you need to find a ski buddy whether it’s before your trip or in resort.

The Members Meet-Up area in the newly re-vamped Chat Forum is a great way to find out where other members will be skiing, and who might be skiing in the same resort as you.

When you join a Ski Club Leader in one of more than 30 resorts worldwide, they’ll be showing you the best bits on the mountains, searching out the perfect piste and untracked powder. But they’ll also help facilitate a sociable day on the slopes and a provide an opportunity for members to meet and to ski with each other.

Alpine Romance

Sure, it’s an opportunity for ski resort marketing departments to lure the singles market, but if you’re truly on the lookout for more than just a ski partner, there’s bound to plenty going on in resorts from Squaw Valley to Cervinia on 14 February. As Valentine’s Day only happens once a year, you could also check out websites like www.fitness-singles.com and brush up on your "chairlift chat-up".


For more information:

Crystal Ski: www.crystalski.co.uk/family-ski-holidays/one-parent-saver
Powder White: www.powderwhite.com/winterbreaks/singles-ski
Neilson: www.neilson.co.uk/ski/solo-ski-holidays
Ski Weekends: www.skiweekends.com/ski-holidays/ski-holidays-for-singles.aspx
Mark Warner: www.markwarner.co.uk/adult-friendly-holidays/ski/adult-ski-solos

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