Is It Possible To Learn To Ski In A Day? Tried And Tested

I wasn't brought up with regular holidays to the slopes of Courchevel, nor could my parents afford to send me on the annual school ski trip which cost in excess of £700-a-pop.

So here I am, aged 25, having never set foot on a mountain - let alone been skiing.

Each year when my friends sit down to plan their ski holidays, I feel like an outsider. Politely I'm invited to join them - "You'll pick it up with no problem," they assure me - but, like a coward, I get cold feet (pun intended), decline and book a beach holiday instead.

Because, in case you hadn't noticed, ski holidays are bloody expensive. And call me a tight wad, but I'm reluctant to part with so much cash for something I know so very little about.

So what if you could bypass all the uncertainty and try skiing on for size without having to take foot off British soil?

Milton Keynes Snozone offers just that: a twinkling ‘slope ready’ guarantee that claims to get beginners confident enough to tackle the slopes in just one or two days.

Determined not to miss another week of après ski, I sign up.

If I, a heavy-footed gymophobe with about as much stamina as a marshmallow, can do it - I figure anyone can.

All The Gear, No Idea

When I turn up bright and early at Snozone, I've hit my first snag. I've forgotten my gloves - but luckily, there are a spare pair in lost property, which saves me buying some for a pricey 12 quid.

I hire the rest of the gear - a jacket and a pair of water proof trousers with a flattering split at the crotch: if that isn't an incentive to keep from falling over, I don't know what is.

My next ski-related faux pas? I can't put my boots on. My instructor, who spends half the year teaching people around the world, has to come over and yank them on, as I whimper about being a total loser. Talk about mortifying; I feel about seven years old.

The Basics

Suddenly my feet are 10 times longer than normal and my usual carpeted or concrete terrain has been replaced with snow, in all its slippery glory. Just moving around is nigh on impossible, I have grossly underestimated this skiing lark.

For the first two hours we get used to move around on the skis ("Move like you're ice-skating," says Nick) and practise the laborious task of side-stepping up the slope, only to slide a short distance to the bottom.

Then we learn how to slow down using a snow plough (translation: turning your toes inwards to add more resistance) and turning by shifting weight to one leg.

We progress - well the majority of the group do, one man (who by his own request will not be named) could barely stay upright - by moving further uphill.

It might seem basic, but as a group of beginners we have our work cut out.

Advanced Technique

Once the basics are covered we start to work on advanced technique - perfecting posture, controlling speed, taking on steeper inclines.

The groups at Snozone are no larger than ten, so instructors are able to monitor each person's progression and give personalised feedback. You might even be lucky enough to have a smaller group - my own is just three people, meaning more one-to-one time with the instructor.

By the end of the day, under the watchful eye of my instructor, I could parallel ski (meaning: skis together)

Would I recommend trying learning to ski at Snozone? Yes, I most definitely would.

Although I'm yet to go on a real-life ski trip - I only learnt in early December, so give me a chance - I feel confident enough to do so.

Snozone allows beginners to learn on real snow in a controlled environment. Free from the elements, you can concentrate on honing your skills without ice cold wind blowing in your face distracting you and making you unhappy.

Snozone offer a range of courses including one to one training sessions. Learn In A Day course costs £159.99.