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Looking for some snow sport this year ?

Each year in mid-February sees the English Alpine Championships, promoted by Snowsport England – with the past few annual events held in Bormino, Italy.

Is this an occasion that whets your appetite for some snow sport this year? If it has you dusting off your skis or board already, what are some of the things you might want to keep firmly in mind when planning your winter sports holiday?

Get into shape

· any kind of winter sport can be physically demanding, but it’s never too late to start improving your fitness before you hit the slopes;

· however fit you are, though, take into account that accidents and injuries may happen;

· if the worst comes to the worst, you need to know that you are going to get the medical treatment you need, when you need it and, if necessary, with repatriation back to the UK when the time comes;

· what all of that underscores, is the importance of winter sports insurance – preferably from a specialist provider, such as Bengo Travel and others;

Know your limits

· everyone has a skill limit and it is important to know your own – better to watch whilst others go haring off than to try to follow them and end up with broken bones;

Know your resort

· planning where you intend to go and what you intend to do once you get there is part of the fun;

· it gives you time to do your research and settle for a resort that offers more than just the challenging slopes during the day, but plenty of other off-piste activities and a lively night life too;

· bear in mind that the travel agent’s brochure is going to show everything in its most favourable light – so be prepared to do a little of your own independent research or ask friends who might have visited before just what it is really like;

Will there be snow?

· if you are off on a winter sports holiday, the one thing uppermost in your mind is likely to be the prospect of snow;

· unfortunately, that is not something that can be guaranteed by any resort – however much you are prepared to pay;

· what you might do, however, is trace the snow records for your chosen resort – the website Igluski, for example, maintains snow records for the past five years for resorts across the Alps, including France, Austria and Switzerland;

· if you are leaving bookings until the last moment you might even want to base your choice of resort on where snow is actually falling or is forecast right now – the aptly named website, On the Snow, publishes information about conditions in European ski resorts, indicating the base depth of snow, recent falls, current weather conditions, skiable area and the number of lifts in operation.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of taking on a new winter sports season. By keeping a few handy hints and suggestions in mind, you might put yourself in a position to enjoy your winter holidays even more.