Skiing equipment included
None of our snow holidays require you to bring any specialist equipment. The only thing that we recommend you bring is a good pair of walking boots and if you have them, a set of lightweight, telescopic walking poles. If you have a pair of gaiters then bring them along, however they are by no means compulsory.
If you are doing cross-country skiing (classic style), you will be kitted out with a pair of thin, lightweight skis, around 190cm long (varies depending on height/weight) and a pair of ski boots/shoes, which unlike downhill ski boots are usually soft, light and comfortable, rather like a training shoe with a special toe attachment. You will also be given a pair of lightweight alloy ski poles that should reach no higher than your armpit.
If you are skiing in one of the Central European countries you will usually be given a pair of non-wax skis, these have a small section in the middle of the ski (the kick zone) which has a fish-scale texture to give you extra grip in the snow when you're pushing off. This type of ski can be mounted on your boots and you can set off each morning without any preparation.
In Scandinavia you will usually be given a pair of skis with a completely smooth base, these require the application of a 'grip wax' that does the same job as the fish scales. With wax skis you need to wax the ski base each morning before setting off, your rep/guide/ski instructor will show you how to do this. A wax ski that is correctly waxed will perform much more efficiently than a non-wax ski.
For any snow shoeing excursions you will be given a pair of lightweight, oval-shaped, aluminium and plastic snowshoes, these can vary in size depending on your weight and the type of activities you are doing. They usually just strap securely around your walking boot. The wide decking of the shoe prevents you from sinking into the snow and allows you to traverse otherwise inaccessible areas off the main footpath.