The upshot of this is ever-higher levels of people finding it relatively easy to do a dangerous sport with a fair degree of competence and comfort fairly quickly. The issue is that both skiing and boarding, like many sports, have inherent safety protocols which are vital to learn and only time on the slope or in lessons enables people to understand these properly.
Ski season in Europe kicks off in December and runs right through until the end of April. People often think summer holidays are when our skin needs the most protection, but winter breaks can be just as damaging due to the glare from the piste, as well as dehydration and chapped lips to contend with.
The first thing I notice is the difference in ski apparel. Last time I skied, ski pants were tight and had stirrups. Ski jackets were short and fitted, sometimes with clear pockets to display lift tickets. Since my old ski pants and jacket still fit, I literally dusted them off and donned them, believing I was back in the game.
Daffodils may be blooming here in the UK, but that doesn't mean you have to pack away your down jackets and snow boots just yet. There are plenty of destinations where the white stuff is guaranteed, from high-altitude ski resorts in the Alps and log cabins in Lapland to more far-flung 'chillspots' like Greenland and Antarctica. Read on for eight guaranteed winter wonderlands...