10/09/2010 18:00 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Learn To Ski For (Nearly) Free!

If you've always fancied strapping on a pair of skis and hitting the slopes, but have been put off by the price tag, Freshers' Ski Week is offering novices the chance to learn to ski for free.


You can't quite get away without paying a single penny, but first timers can pick up free lessons, lift pass and equipment hire, if they book a trip on particular dates with one of the six operators involved, First Choice Ski, Crystal Ski, Thomson Ski, Frontier Ski, Inghams and Ski Norway.

There's more than 25 resorts on offer in France, Switzerland, Andorra and the Aosta Valley in Italy, as well as Canada, Finland and Norway, with over 700 holiday choices, so there's something to suit everyone.

If you don't know your Alps from your Eiger, holiday advisors can give you suggestions on the different options. And you won't be tucked away in an obscure corner of a mountain (unless you'd like to be) with well-known resorts like Courchevel, Davos and Verbier among the destinations on offer.

The idea was launched last year by the Association of SnowSports Countries, and will be running from January 22-29 and March 19-26, 2011 – some operators are only booking for the second week though so check your individual destination.

Anyone who enters will also be entered automatically into a prize draw to win a week in a ski resort in the country of their choice absolutely free. You even get a £500 voucher from TK Maxx thrown in, so you can splash out on some kit. Check the terms and conditions at

Needless to say, if you take black runs in your stride and fancy a cheap week hitting the mountains and indulging in a spot of après ski, you'll be sorely disappointed as the operators will be issuing equipment, lessons and passes based on you being a complete novice – and reserve the right to cancel it if you start slalom-ing like a professional.

Quick facts: To take advantage of the offer, go to to fill in the questionnaire and receive contact details of the tour operators. Places are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.