December 19, 2022

Beginner's skiers guide, 10 things you must do before you start

  • If you have decided to take up winter sports, congratulations! They are exciting and if you follow a few simple recommendations, you will be able to enjoy the snow from the first day.

1.- What should I know before coming to Sierra Nevada?

We recommend you to visit our website: Take a look at our webcams to get an idea of the state of the slopes and get an overview of the resort. It is also important to familiarise yourself with the snow report and all its details: the names of the pistes, lifts, snow conditions, etc.

In the resort section you will find all the information on Sierra Nevada services: how to get there, internal transport, restaurants, nurseries and a section dedicated to safety on the slopes.

2.- What do I have to do before going up?

It is very important to book accommodation in advance, especially in the high season.

We also recommend that you buy your ski pass before you come. If you buy it online, the price is cheaper. On the other hand, if you belong to a family unit, the resort has several discounted rates that adapt to all types of families and ages. To benefit from these discounts, it is indispensable to make the purchase online.

Likewise, the university community and young people with European card have their own promotions.

All the information can be found in our shop:

3.- Should I start with a ski school?

Sierra Nevada has more than 400 qualified instructors who teach all types of winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, Telemark...).

The best way to get started and not spend the whole day trying to keep your feet up, which is very frustrating, is to book a private instructor or take a course. There is a wide range of options, and many of the schools can rent you the equipment or even offer you an all-inclusive package.

The schools are all located in Pradollano, but they also have offices in Borreguiles (ski area), located on the side of the Al-Andalus gondola lift, to assist their clients.

4.- What to wear in the snow?

Warm, waterproof clothing and footwear is recommended. It is best to dress in layers to be able to adapt easily to the temperature changes. The air between layers is the best insulator.

It is important to remember to wear: gloves, goggles, and hat. If you are going to ski or snowboard, as with other sports such as cycling, a helmet is recommended. The speed and the existence of obstacles make it important to protect yourself well.

While enjoying the snow, we sometimes forget that we are exposed to dangerous ultraviolet rays. We should protect ourselves with a sun cream of at least factor 30.

The cold often conceals the feeling of thirst, but to keep your muscles working properly, you need to stay well hydrated.

5.- Where do I hire equipment?

The resort has a wide range of ski and snowboard equipment for hire. It is worth renting your own equipment, much better than borrowing it. The rental shop will advise you on which skis or snowboard is best suited to your beginner level.

You can even go to the piste area without equipment and rent it there, if that's more convenient for you.

 6.- Where do I buy or collect my ski pass?

If you have already purchased your ski pass online, you can go to one of the cash machines located in the Plaza de Andalucía, the covered car park or the Parador chairlift (the urban chairlift) and collect your ski pass with the QR code that you receive at the end of your purchase.

If you are going to buy directly at the resort, Sierra Nevada has ticket offices located next to the cash machines to make the purchase in person. To avoid waiting, on Fridays and Saturdays there are advance sales until 21:45.

7.- How do I access the beginners' slopes?

There are several ski lifts that give access to the slopes. Beginners access the initiation area via one of the two Pradollano gondola lifts:

  1. Al-Andalus cable car: This is the most convenient mechanical lift for beginners, as just at the exit is the green slopes (the easiest) of Borreguiles.
  2. Borreguiles cable car: The access is parallel to the Al-Andalus cable car. On arrival at the piste area you can access via two escalators to the exit to the slopes. In its shopping gallery you can rent ski and snowboard equipment or buy some accessories in the resort's official shop.

8.- On which tracks should I begin?

The skills must be acquired progressively, going from the easiest to the most difficult.

The slopes are grouped by colour depending on their difficulty:

  • Green: Very Easy. For beginners.
  • Blue: Easy. Medium level. Parallel skiers.
  • Red: Difficult. Good skiers or snowboarders.
  • Black: Very difficult. Expert.

Snow and weather conditions can accentuate the difficulty. We must know our own limitations and stay on the slopes of our level until we can move on to others of a higher level. Better not to take any risks!

9.- Which lifts are the most suitable to start with?

Once in the piste area, you have to start with the conveyor belts or magic carpets

The closest to the cable cars is the Borreguiles magic carpet, which is usually used to access the conveyors that are higher up and less steep: the Bosque carpet, the Maitena carpet and the Dauro carpet.

Once you know how to make wedge turns or have learned how to turn on a snowboard, it is time to start going up the chairlift.

You can start with the Emile Allais chairlift, going left at the top station, which has the gentlest slope. Then you can continue with the Borreguiles I chairlift, which has a slightly steeper gradient, and continue with the Veleta II chairlift. The latter has a longer route and gives access to one of the most famous green slopes of the resort: the Perdiz slope.

10.- What are the main safety rules on the slopes?

  1. Do not ski or snowboard off-piste or enter closed areas.
  2. Do not go near the edges of the slopes, to avoid going off unexpectedly.
  3. For the same reason, it is advisable to stay away from windbreaks, canyons, towers or other obstacles.
  4. Keep skis and snowboards well prepared (edges, soles, bindings). A little maintenance of the equipment guarantees more pleasure and control.

Let's go!