For me, learning to snowboard was a painful process, spent fighting the elements over a bleak weekend at Cairngorm Mountain in the late 1990s. But I was lucky; for those who live further from the hills, getting into snowsports can be even harder. It can involve paying a small fortune for flights, transfers, accommodation and lift pass – just to spend all week on the lower slopes, watching others head for the peaks. For this reason, it’s wise to avoid super-resorts when you’re only looking to pick up the basics.
On a recent visit to Zakopane, at the foot of the Tatra mountain range in southern Poland, I discovered what may well be the ideal destination for beginners. Sorry Scotland!
My cheap flight to Krakow got me within two hours’ drive of the resort, where the guys from WhiteSide Holidays (one week from £389pp with lift pass, transfers, lessons, ski hire and self-catering accommodation) met me for the last leg. They’re on hand all week to shuttle guests among the many small resorts that surround