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Your next ski holiday could be a waste of money

by Staff

If you’ve been skiing or snowboarding long enough, then you would be familiar with the perils of relying on the weather for a great holiday. All of us have had a dud ski trip at some point in our lives – this isn’t a new phenomenon.

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I went to Thredbo back in the mid-2000s in June – touch-and-go even in a good season –and it was pure grass all the way up to the mid-stations. I went snowboarding in Austria in March about seven or eight years ago, at a time when the snow should have been good, and instead got rained on for four days straight.

But these incidents are likely to become far more common in coming years. And herein lies the risk.

Ski trips are expensive, particularly if you’re forking out for a northern hemisphere holiday. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars in most cases. You also have to take leave from your job, which is a finite resource that needs to be spent wisely.

And then, what? You arrive and find you’re going zip-lining for the next five days instead of taking powder shots in the backcountry?

This is the future for skiers and snowboarders. The primary risk to consider now is not ACL tears and broken collarbones and how you’ll manage with your life back home if you wrap yourself around a tree.

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The primary risk to consider when booking a ski trip is that you won’t be going skiing or snowboarding at all, because the snow cover will be so bad. Or perhaps you will be able to hit the slopes, but all that money of yours has been spent on riding icy, man-made groomers in the mornings and vast acres of slush in the afternoon.

These new conditions are also going to make peak periods at ski resorts even busier, with fewer visitors keen to roll the dice on early- or late-season holidays. That means longer lift lines, longer food queues, higher prices.

All of this makes a ski trip harder to justify, and for a lot of us, a ski trip was already hard to justify.

I feel for those in the industry, because this is one of the great holidays, and those who work at ski resorts are generally great people who are there to provide a fun time. I also love a ski trip as much as the next powderhound, and have done since I was a kid.

But the world is changing, and in the future perhaps a trip to a mountainous region for the likes of biking, hiking or even zip-lining is going to seem like a much safer bet.

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