Skiing With Your Partner Or Family – A Méribel Survival Guide

Just because I live with you doesn’t mean I will ski with you!? O my! Bedroom politics and family squabbles before the trip even begins.

Méribel is witness to thousands of couples and families having fun on the hill but ski slopes can be relationship minefields, too. Whether such issues arise with your Significant Other or your lousy kids who don’t want to be seen with their lousy parents (ouch!) we have a few pointers:


  1. Avoid Teaching Those Closest to You

Every time you laugh, point and giggle, get mildly frustrated or (heaven forbid) downright critical, your closest friends, family and spouse will begin to frown – and this particular frown will turn into real displeasure very quickly indeed. Ski instructors and beginner classes were invented to save relationships, not just to teach people how to turn and stop! Enrol everyone who needs help in a starter class!


  1. We’re Serious; Don’t Try to Teach Your Significant Other

Please refer to Number One above and please, please, pleeeeze know that our hearts are in it and decades of experience have shown conclusively that letting someone else guide beginners is the formula for vacation bliss. If you are the beginner, smile nicely and get signed up for the morning class. If you have a room or two full of beginners, go take a class all together! On a romantic get-away? Approach the romantic “I’ll show you how…” concept with great caution; be gentle, be nothing but smiles and help, and be very, very, VERY patient.


  1. Not Every Run is for Everyone

Dear Super Skier: You want to zoom off into the serious black diamond stuff? When the rest of your crew isn’t up to some particular challenge just remember; there’s nothing wrong with doing your own thing and meeting at the chairlift for another run. If your Significant Other is uncertain of their skills alone, stay with them. You can ski black diamonds another time but repairing a busted relationship is an altogether more difficult thing to do.


  1. The Half Day

If half your group are having a love affair with the slope and the other half are thinking about a day of chillaxing, you can each do your own thing and then meet up for lunch or even at the end of the day. Peace, love and happiness will be restored – and everyone can enjoy time together later.


  1. Patience and Limits

Less skilled enthusiasts will enjoy – and benefit from – a little challenge and excitement tagging along into areas they wouldn’t usually venture into, but be aware of your partner’s limits and be helpful while leading them into something fun. Remind them: If you don’t fall, you’re not learning…! Just remember the purpose is to have fun while avoiding injury!


  1. Wine and Dine

You’re at high altitude, so remember to drink plenty of water! Be sure to take a break before the need for food and drink becomes overwhelming. A mid-day break will avoid a frustrating afternoon.


  1. Spring Fling

Those in search of a challenge will tolerate the cold for the reward, but couples and families might put spring skiing on the calendar instead. Spring is ideal for romantic or group skiing because the sun is out, the snow is soft and there’s really no hurry to be anywhere else, is there?


  1. Winter Gear

Make sure your partner has good equipment. Rent, buy or loan, but make SURE they’re well taken care of for all the essentials! Even if you’re simply loaning a few things, the difference between having the right stuff and not having it will be the difference between fun and misery.


  1. Empathize

Unfortunate sometimes, perhaps, but it really is funny when someone falls. (Someone else, that is!) All is fair in love, war and snow, but make sure your better half is laughing and OK before you start pointing and laughing. Once upon a time, maybe you were the object of a few laughs?


  1. No Friends on a Pow Day!?

On powder days, it may well be every man and woman for themselves. In Méribel, when the skies open up and deliver fresh pow, it’s totally acceptable to say, “I’ll meet you back at noon, honey. Have fun, love you, bye!” In deep powder you aren’t going to be seeing them anyway. Gotta go into some snow!

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