Why is Abetone ideal for beginners?
I was lucky! I learned to ski when I was 6 years old. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to have skied in many places and countries around the world. I love skiing with a passion!
So what in my opinion makes Abetone so good for beginners?
GLIDE ALONG INSTEAD OF HAVING TO CLIMB UP ...
Ask any seasoned skier about the 'fun' they had endlessly sidestepping up the slope during the first day or so of ski school!
Not so at Abetone! There the nursery slope has a rolling carpet travellator - a bit like the moving walkways you find at airports.
This almost effortlessly helps you to get started and to have more of the excitement of skiing down, without the hassle, effort and frustration of trying to climb up.
... AVOID SCARY DRAG LIFTS ...
In most resorts, as soon as you can do a basic 'snowplough' you are taken to the 'dreaded drag lift'.
This type of lift comes in three unpalatable flavours - a bare rope that you have to hold on to (the worst), a 'T-bar' on which you have to perch precariously - sometimes side-by-side with another person (scary) or a 'button' which goes between your legs (still horrible, but probably the least bad of the three).
With all of them, you have to quickly grab hold as it whizzes by without dropping your poles and brace yourself for the shock when moments later you are suddenly 'yanked' up the slope.
If you are lucky and don't lose your balance straight away, then you then have to struggle to keep your skis together and going in a straight line all the way to the top.
Finally, you have to get off the lift and throw it away from you at exactly the right moment, quickly move out of the way of the next person following right behind you, avoid sliding back down the slope - and, of course, still keep your balance!
snowboarders it's even worse - you have to do the whole thing on one leg!!
Ask any skier or snowboarder what they think of drag lifts and they'll all say "they're awful!"
Everybody hates them and tries to avoid them whenever possible - even me!
Despite this, as I said before, in most resorts these are the lifts that beginners have to use.
Why? Probably because they're cheap. What other reason could there be for inflicting these awful lifts on you?
So what happens when you take absolute beginners and force them to use the most difficult type of ski lift there is?
Firstly, a lot of people fall off! Does this help your confidence?
Is it fun?
... AND LONG QUEUES IN THE COLD ...
Secondly, a long queue develops.
Every time a beginner falls, the lift has to stop and the poor unfortunate has to struggle to get out of the way before it can start again. This isn't much fun either!
Freezing to death waiting in line for two-thirds of your skiing time is frustrating and not the best way to learn.
Seeing person after person falling can also make you nervous! Then there's always the possibility too that someone may lose control on the slope and knock you off the lift!
It's a fact - more people give up skiing because of bad experiences with drag lifts than for any other reason!
... AND ENJOY RELAXING CHAIRLIFTS INSTEAD!
However, at Abetone, instead of drag lifts, they've invested in not just one but two chairlifts for beginners! With friendly staff to help people on and off, beginners get to ski a whole lot more and queue a whole lot less.
Each time you ski down you get a 'buzz'. You have fun! You gain confidence! You get better!
Then, you can rest your legs as the chairlift 'whisks' you back to the top. No falling down. No lift stopping. No long queues. No 'out-of-control' beginners skiing into you, because you're flying high above them!
What this means in reality is that the need to learn the skills of sidestepping and using drag lifts may safely be postponed until you have completely mastered all of the basics.
This is a fantastic advantage and I cannot stress the benefits enough! It can make all the difference between hating the sport and loving it!
ON A SAFELY SEPARATED NURSERY SLOPE ...
Most people are a little afraid at first. It's probably a good thing! Accidents are very rare, but mostly they happen to the over-confident and reckless!
Even so, keeping the fear factor under control is very important:
If you've ever been a learner driver you'll understand that supposedly 'experienced' road users pushing, crowding or zipping around you can be intimidating.
This is similar to what happens to beginners at most ski resorts.
... ADVANCED SKIERS WON'T BOTHER YOU!
At Abetone though, they have cleverly placed the main nursery slope 'across the road'.
Although it is extremely easy to get to, from a skiing point of view it is in effect entirely separated from the rest of the resort.
This means that you
are not going to become a human 'skittle' or 'slalom pole' for 'more
advanced' skiers who are trying to keep up momentum to reach the lift.
No-one is going to become annoyed if you get in their way because, unless they are beginners, they simply will not be on 'your' slope at all!
WITH AFFORDABLE PRIVATE TUITION ...
Although Abetone offers excellent ski schools, for absolute beginners it's a recognised fact that there's no quicker, better or safer way to learn the basics than with a private tutor.
Of course you can do this in most resorts, but the big difference at Abetone is affordability.
The tutors at Abetone by and large charge very reasonable rates for anything from an individual to a small group. They will offer times to suit your convenience, and you can pay for as much or as little time as you need!
... VALUE-FOR-MONEY LIFT PASSES ...
Daily and afternoon passes at Abetone are some of the cheapest anywhere in the world and, for those days when you're only going to be on the nursery slope, they're cheaper still!
On weekdays, even an adult afternoon nursery slope pass costs only 15. Ski or board all day on the nursery slope for just 21!
Compare this with the cost of going to XSCAPE in Milton Keynes, Leeds or Glasgow where just one hour of recreational skiing on snow a fraction of the size of Abetone's nursery slope and using the 'dreaded drag lifts' will set you back between £16 and £21! One hour at Abetone costs just 7,50!
See for yourself: http://www.xscape.co.uk/
When you're ready to go 'up the mountain' at Abetone, the system of 'zoned' passes let you discover 'affordable exhilaration'.
Progress from slope to slope trying out each zone at your leisure until finally you are ready for the 'Abetone Multipass' - the best value all area access pass ever!
Adults can go everywhere all day from just 26,50 or for five days from 107.
Children up to 14 can go everywhere all day from just 24 or for five days from 90.
See for yourself here.
Buying passes daily also lets you skip a day if you fancy a rest or don't like the look of the weather - without it costing you.
Why not take time out at the weekend when Abetone is at its busiest to visit Lucca, Pisa or Florence instead and chill out? This is a great idea for people who are not quite so addicted to the idea of 'ski, ski, ski' - like Trudi, for example!!
... AND HIGH QUALITY MODERN LIFTS TOO ...
Comparing prices with other resorts you'll find that you can enjoy so much more for so much less at Abetone. Total enjoyment without the 'rip off'.
For example, do you really want to pay 5 or more for a small bottle of water in a French resort like 'Les Trois Valιes' when you can pay 1 in Abetone?
With five mountains, four resort 'zones' and eleven brand new lifts installed in recent years, at Abetone you won't get bored.
Added to this there are some lovely mountain bars in picturesque locations serving yummy Italian food and drink at prices you can easily afford even for the whole family!
Even compared to the supposedly 'cheap' new Eastern European resorts which are becoming popular like Kranskja Gora in Slovenia, Abetone ...
... has many more lifts, mountains and slopes to enjoy ...
... is higher in altitude with better chances of good snow ...
... has superior provision for beginners as described above ...
... and will save you money too!
A well thought out resort with excellent lifts, fantastic slopes, incredibly low prices and wonderful Tuscan hospitality all come together to make us truly believe that ...
... ABETONE REALLY IS 'HEAVEN FOR BEGINNERS' !!