Skiing with a partner that is at a different level to you

Medicine_Shoes

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I like to go skiing with my partner. However I'm way more into it then she is and I've progressed to an intermediate, whereas she is happy to just stay as a beginner and snow plough down the hill. We have been away together a few times to Falls and also to Japan. We always end up just going and doing our own things. For me, I like to be able to just go and do whatever run that I want, but also I get lonely when I'm just on my own all the time.

When skiing locally I try to get mates to come along that are at a similar level so we can share the experience. It's a bit hard to do this when going for an OS trip with your partner though.

How do other people in a similar situation cope with this?
 
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Fozzie Bear

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I like to go skiing with my partner. However I'm way more into it then she is and I've progressed to an intermediate, whereas she is happy to just stay as a beginner and snow plough down the hill. We have been away together a few times to Falls and also to Japan. We always end up just going and doing our own things. For me, I like to be able to just go and do whatever run that I want, but also I get lonely when I'm just on my own all the time.

When skiing locally I try to get mates to come along that are at a similar level so we can share the experience. It's a bit hard to do this when going for an OS trip with your partner though.

How do other people in a similar situation cope with this?

Buy her lots of private ski lessons. And wait for her.

Unless you wish for and can afford a new partner.
 

Fozzie Bear

Where's my flapping ears gone.....
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I don't wish to change my partner. I'm not looking for solutions for that. I'm asking about how people deal with loneliness when skiing solo.

Same answer I gave before. +0.95 (Mk III) is a wonderful skiing partner, even if I'm a significantly better skier. We ski here and overseas together. If I want to ski something gnarly I do it alone. And overseas trips with skiing include plenty of non-skiing activities.
 
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Sandy

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I'm asking about how people deal with loneliness when skiing solo.
That's tricky....
I've discovered it can be lonely when none of my friends have been able to come to Japan for the past 2 seasons.

Some say "no friends on powder days" but in reality, powder days are even better when you can share it with others.
 

Untele-whippet

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I like to go skiing with my partner. However I'm way more into it then she is and I've progressed to an intermediate, whereas she is happy to just stay as a beginner and snow plough down the hill. We have been away together a few times to Falls and also to Japan. We always end up just going and doing our own things. For me, I like to be able to just go and do whatever run that I want, but also I get lonely when I'm just on my own all the time.

When skiing locally I try to get mates to come along that are at a similar level so we can share the experience. It's a bit hard to do this when going for an OS trip with your partner though.

How do other people in a similar situation cope with this?
As you’re a member of the ski forums, put in a post on your resort thread asking for people to ski with.
Easy.
Happy skiing.
 

GlendaN

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I like to go skiing with my partner. However I'm way more into it then she is and I've progressed to an intermediate, whereas she is happy to just stay as a beginner and snow plough down the hill. We have been away together a few times to Falls and also to Japan. We always end up just going and doing our own things. For me, I like to be able to just go and do whatever run that I want, but also I get lonely when I'm just on my own all the time.

When skiing locally I try to get mates to come along that are at a similar level so we can share the experience. It's a bit hard to do this when going for an OS trip with your partner though.

How do other people in a similar situation cope with this?
Why not divide your day and have separate lessons in the morning at both your levels then ski together in the afternoon. That's what my husband and I did and it worked out fine. If you want to do a harder run arrange to meet at the bottom or in the cafe. For OS pick resorts that have different level runs that channel into the one lift eg Sun Peaks in Canada although I prefer to ski in company from a safety angle.
 

Medicine_Shoes

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Thanks for all the practical ideas. But I'm more looking for how people mentally deal with the potential loneliness of skiing solo. I cycle solo a lot and never get this feeling, only when skiing. Maybe because the cycling is more of an exercise activity and the skiing is leisure (although technically is exercise too)?
 
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Untele-whippet

beard stroker
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Thanks for all the practical ideas. But I'm more looking for how people mentally deal with the potential loneliness of skiing solo. I cycle solo a lot and never get this feeling, only when skiing. Maybe because the cycling is more of an exercise activity and the skiing is leisure (although technically is exercise too)?
I backcountry ski solo a lot and really enjoy the whole experience alone.
Resort skiing is more of a social thing though. Solo can become hum drum.
Concentrating on technique helps.
 
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Sbooker

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Lessons for your partner.
Take the same lift but different runs or two runs for you while she’s doing one.
When overseas join a guided group. Or make contact with other solo skis via social media.
 

dawooduck

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My beautiful wife enjoys green runs on sunny days for a max of 3hrs, I enjoy the whole mountain fast for 5hrs.

I really enjoy searching out the runs that she enjoys and sharing the relaxing mornings out.

When she says she would like a break we find a happy place for a coffee or lunch and after lunch she chills out making new friends and I smash out an hour or so on the runs I enjoy.

Those green cat tracks around the world bring her great joy as she cruises down and enjoys the beauty while I take the more challenging routes and meet up at the junctions.

We never get lonely ❤️

I learnt to enjoy solo skiing by finding challenging lines and playing with the mountain. Chairlift chats included.
 
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ski

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Jan 8, 2011
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I like to go skiing with my partner. However I'm way more into it then she is and I've progressed to an intermediate, whereas she is happy to just stay as a beginner and snow plough down the hill. We have been away together a few times to Falls and also to Japan. We always end up just going and doing our own things. For me, I like to be able to just go and do whatever run that I want, but also I get lonely when I'm just on my own all the time.

When skiing locally I try to get mates to come along that are at a similar level so we can share the experience. It's a bit hard to do this when going for an OS trip with your partner though.

How do other people in a similar situation cope with this?
I am in a similar situation - although reversed - my family are far more confident and adventurous than me and I used to end up spending days by myself. I got to the point where I didn't want to go on ski holidays anymore as I found it too lonely.

Our last 2 ski trips overseas have "fixed" this issue.

We find a lift that caters to blues and blacks - I go down the blues - they go down the blacks - we ride the lift back up together (sometimes they do 2 laps to my one!). It doesn't work all the time - but most of the time we can travel over the mountain together and get the mountain experience together. Sometimes they will be "nice" and stay with me while I attempt harder terrain - this generally happens when they are tired though! We all enjoy hot chocolate/lunch breaks together and of course apres ski. I have actually really enjoyed the last 2 trips (Sun Peaks, Canada and Park City, Utah)

There also tends to be at most resorts a guided tour or a social ski and I always join in with those which gives the family the opportunity to let it rip for a morning or afternoon. Also group lessons can be fun and a good way of spending time with people on your level.
 

Jonathan_P

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Never get lonely and I ski solo all the time, have the whole mountain to keep me company, plus make lots of friends on the way by sharing T-Bars and lifts. Got to say those chats are the best you learn so much in a couple of minutes.

This year I had to share my time with my little one, Miss 5 in between lessons. I was a bit worried if I would find it boring, it has been the complete opposite, its like discovery the mountain all over again. The smile on her face when I took her to new or slightly more difficult terrain was infectious, I can see why instructors become instructors (thought about it at one time, but I will never be good enough for that job).

Now I should point out I am pretty lucky, my little girl loves skiing so she will stay out all day, but still limited to terrain match to her abilities.

My recommendation get some private lessons, accompany them, I found that you got some great tips that you can use later to assist if you take them on different runs. This way you keep the explanations consistent, makes life nice an easy. Enough lessons and eventually you should be skiing around together (once you get up to intermediate most of the mountain is unlocked), sure it may not be at the same pace or exact same runs but meet at the bottom catch the lift up together.

It’s fun though to share moments together:
F4C38F2A-B28B-4590-A32E-61C1BA672C6B.jpeg

962FF2BE-BD02-49C1-8974-8E1B1476123E.jpeg

C12356D8-AA6A-470A-AABC-6482994FC7EE.jpeg
 

Annabuzzy

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I like to go skiing with my partner. However I'm way more into it then she is and I've progressed to an intermediate, whereas she is happy to just stay as a beginner and snow plough down the hill. We have been away together a few times to Falls and also to Japan. We always end up just going and doing our own things. For me, I like to be able to just go and do whatever run that I want, but also I get lonely when I'm just on my own all the time.

When skiing locally I try to get mates to come along that are at a similar level so we can share the experience. It's a bit hard to do this when going for an OS trip with your partner though.

How do other people in a similar situation cope with this?
I typically just ski alone until 10-10.30am, have a coffee, and then ski with the family for the balance of the day. My wife’s a pretty decent skier but cautious and even though thoroughly technically competent to ski blacks and more difficult terrain, has a bit of a mind block about it. I nudge her occasionally but the health of our relationship means I can’t push too much!!

She’s actually doing some lessons this week for the first time in say 15 years - she’ll no doubt be a stronger skier and more assertive at the end of the lessons.
 

bluess57

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I don't wish to change my partner. I'm not looking for solutions for that. I'm asking about how people deal with loneliness when skiing solo.
Just strike up a conversation with people on lifts, ask if you can tag along. I do this plenty , is easy, and people will accommodate you.
If ability levels are too different, just be polite and excuse yourself and try again.
I've hardly skied alone whilst OS
 
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almontyrat

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Loneliness is not a concept I can relate to personally. I spend a lot of time alone by choice and relish silence and solitude. I do however tend to chat to people on lifts and gravitate towards any other telemark skier I find on the hill. Sometimes I share a run or two and have even exchanged numbers and made a few long term ski buddies that way both here and OS. It takes a bit of personal confidence though to just strike up a conversation on a lift and then suggest a run together if the intro goes well.
 

Sandy

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Just strike up a conversation with people on lifts, ask if you can tag along. I do this plenty , is easy, and people will accommodate you.
If ability levels are too different, just be polite and excuse yourself and try again.
I've hardly skied alone whilst OS
That's tricky....
I've discovered it can be lonely when none of my friends have been able to come to Japan for the past 2 seasons.

Some say "no friends on powder days" but in reality, powder days are even better when you can share it with others.
Not easy to do if nobody is on the lifts and the very few who are wanting to be socially distanced on a different chair!!!
 
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Goski

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It can indeed get lonely during the day on an OS ski trip by oneself. My three trips to Japan sans family had days when I was happy skiing on my own and days when I was wanting company and some days when I had people to ski with. A memorable day was a bluebird day at Shiga Kogen skiing all day with my Japanese friend Masahiro. He stayed at Giant slope to watch his daughter ski racing the next day but a young Japanese guy also using tele skis and I found each other. Tele skiers tend to say hi to anyone else similarly infected with the tele bug. We enjoyed skiing half the day together. I left that evening on a "luxury" night bus ( never again!) to Osaka else I would have met up with him and his friends the next day. They were working at one of the other hotels.

Other times several days could pass without much social interaction and loneliness would be a factor on the slopes. Not having anyone to share the moments with can be a drag. Next trip I'll have my wife with me, and our two adult offspring may join us.

When skiing on my own I try to focus on what I'm doing with my ski technique, I do some people watching, and remind myself I'm fortunate to be there.
 

Goski

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Not easy to do if nobody is on the lifts and the very few who are want to be socially distanced on a different chair!!!
Can be a problem in Japan, pandemic or not, if in areas without many westerners and the Japanese opt to wait for the next chair. Lots don't want to ride the chair with a Gaijin. IMO some of that is due to them not wanting to be embarrassed by not being able to have a proper conversation in English or Japanese with the Gaijin person, some of it is their view of what a "typical Gaijin" might be like. It does make the positive interactions more precious.
 

Annabuzzy

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Can be a problem in Japan, pandemic or not, if in areas without many westerners and the Japanese opt to wait for the next chair. Lots don't want to ride the chair with a Gaijin. IMO some of that is due to them not wanting to be embarrassed by not being able to have a proper conversation in English or Japanese with the Gaijin person, some of it is their view of what a "typical Gaijin" might be like. It does make the positive interactions more precious.
I’ve skied Japan solo twice. On one of them I did catch up with friends while there but I’m happy to ski solo and in any event there’s always group lessons.
 
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dawooduck

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Thank you for all the very well thought out answers. I will have to take time to digest them.

IMHO doing a snowplough everywhere is not conducive to enjoying skiing nor does it build confidence to enjoy more of the hill.

I spend the majority of my teaching time on building confidence by turn shape and gliding. I.e. undoing the reliance on the snow plough.

I never teach snowplough for speed control or "security".
 

'H' Jones

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My wife was a new skier when we met. The main decision I made was she needed to have fun, so sacrifice your own fun for a little while whilst she gets confident. So much about skiing is confidence, especially when you start. If she has fun starting there is more chance she will be a long-term ski enthusiast.

So, yes, lessons in the morning, I dropped her off and then skied hard for 2 1/2 hours. Then I waited for her, had an early lunch, and then pottered on beginner slopes in the afternoon until she'd had enough. Always finish before she gets too tired and ratty.

We did that for a few trips, but quickly she very hit the blue slopes and now some reds. So, I ski hard in the am, and with her in the PM and still have heaps of fun.
 

LMB

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Great answers here that cover the whole spectrum of options.

I was much less confident than PB early on in the journey. I’d get a morning private lesson (usually with the same woman in Niseko, the lovely Yuki, who I called my “Rent-a-Friend”) which allowed PB and the boys to go hit the hard stuff and tire themselves out, then they’d meet me for lunch and we would ride together for the afternoon. Stretching my limits and bringing them back into easier terrain. We slowly got closer and closer together in skill until today when we ride anything and everything together.

I often do girls trips with varying abilities, we use the lift with varying difficulties down and split up at the top and meet at the bottom. If I’m riding greens with others I’ll ride switch, or use that time to do some 180 practice or something.

Riding alone music helps.

Only once I got totally frustrated with a low level girl on the girls trips, she claimed being an advanced skier before the trip, then couldn’t even manage a green without tears and walking down while I carried her skis. I organised (and paid for) a lesson for her to try to get her confidence back and babysit her while we had some fun, but she blew the instructor off part way through and went and sooked in the restaurant while we continued our day (with her instructor) until the end of lesson time. The difficult part was the expectation that we all stop riding/skiing and keep her company. She has never got an invite back! As long as you’re not dealing with that kind of carry on, you can find a way to meet everyone’s needs.
 

absentskier

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Thank you for all the very well thought out answers. I will have to take time to digest them.
Just to add to the other comments, if your partner can get to the stage of being comfortable (and enjoy) skiing blue terrain, it will make a big difference. Obviously you'll still want and need time to explore more challenging terrain (or even ski the blue terrain more aggressively etc), but having your partner ski blue runs with you will open up a lot more options. Often blue runs have some trees on the side etc that you can explore while the less confident skier sticks to the groomed run. Will make a big difference if she can get to that level.
 
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telecrag

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I have often skied resort, and ridden bikes resort, alone. But my +1 doesn't do either. If she did, Id probably go first chairs for a couple of hours, and arrange to meet after that. If skiing (or riding) with someone of less ability, or with a different speed tolerance, either hang back and tootle about with your own technique (slow is often harder than fast and forces better skills IMO), or mix it up with a bit of zoom and wait.

My first season pass was bought after all my BC mates stopped (kids and health) and I was left with no one I knew to ski with. Having not done any BC alone, I figured the resort would be safer. I started meeting people right away (locals) and have since met and made some lifelong friends off this place. I have been friends with the very first local I met (who ripped my legs off that day) for 15 years now.

Now, while I prefer a shared experience, I actually really enjoy the days I get alone (not so much that I would pass a shared day). And have now also done many bc trips solo.
 

Schnitzelnschnapps

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My husband's a good skiier and I'm just intermediate. He is happy to ski with me but I feel like I hold him and all our friends back so I am happy to ski alone. I work on my technique consciously and endlessly when I ski. I have had endless years of group lessons, to the point that the concepts got all jumbled in my head and I got overwhelmed and confused. I take the few concepts I can recall which gelled with me and work on those. Improvement is incrementally there over the years. I never get lonely, the day just flies. I just love it out there and constantly remind myself how lucky I am to be there. We usually have plans to catch up somewhere around 11am for an early lunch, then we might stay together for a few hours or go our separate ways again. I'm getting better, maybe I'll hang with the crew a bit more this season and be less self conscious. Our daughter joins us in the arvo after her lessons and then we'll hang together until the end of the day. I'm the idiot you'll see on the lift grinning at a bird in a tree or chuckling at a kiddo blasting down the mountain under me, just loving nature and the snow. And the joy of those random meetings and conversations with strangers on lifts! Even when we skiied overseas, my husband was sick one day, my daughter was in ski school and I happily spent the whole day exploring the massive resort on my own.
 

telecrag

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I was sharing a powder day with close friends, one felt she was holding us up, and got teary. We had to reassure her that sharing the POW with her meant more to us than going nuts. And it was true, I think she would have known if we were lying. She needs a guide, so I guess that was another layer to her feelings.
 

LMB

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I was sharing a powder day with close friends, one felt she was holding us up, and got teary. We had to reassure her that sharing the POW with her meant more to us than going nuts. And it was true, I think she would have known if we were lying. She needs a guide, so I guess that was another layer to her feelings.
Most people just need reassurance that spending time with them is more important than cutting sick that one day.
 

DidSurfNowSki

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I was sharing a powder day with close friends, one felt she was holding us up, and got teary. We had to reassure her that sharing the POW with her meant more to us than going nuts. And it was true, I think she would have known if we were lying. She needs a guide, so I guess that was another layer to her feelings.
RuOK ?
 

skichanger

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I like to go skiing with my partner. However I'm way more into it then she is and I've progressed to an intermediate, whereas she is happy to just stay as a beginner and snow plough down the hill. We have been away together a few times to Falls and also to Japan. We always end up just going and doing our own things. For me, I like to be able to just go and do whatever run that I want, but also I get lonely when I'm just on my own all the time.

When skiing locally I try to get mates to come along that are at a similar level so we can share the experience. It's a bit hard to do this when going for an OS trip with your partner though.

How do other people in a similar situation cope with this?
Well it just so happens that we are working on an offering that is perfect for this situation because we see it often.

Originally we were going to offer packages that had lessons for the beginner in the morning. But now, prompted by comments in another thread, we are looking at adding guided afternoons that include the better skier so they know where the beginner is comfortable.

Happy to have thoughts from others about what we should include in the offering.
 
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