Never been skiing before- whats arinsal like?

    • Hi Emma

      Arinsal is fantastic for beginners!! You've got some really gentle slopes to get you started then moving up the mountain some lovely long blues as you progress throughout the week. By the end of the week you should hopefully be able to get over to Pal too for a wider selection of runs. The instructors here are great and loads of them are British so can communicate with you easily!

      The snow this season so far is fantastic and hopefully it will continue for you!!

    • Freestyle Areas in Vall Nord (Arinsal, Pal & Arcalis)

      Hi Autotech01

      Arinsal Freestyle Area = YES
      Pal Freestyle Area = NO
      Arcalis Freestyle Area = YES

      I'll list the Freestyle Areas for you, then just have a look at the 'Piste-Map' (click on the 'Mountain' tab, then 'Area' at the top of any of the pages within '

      First Up - Arinsal Freestyle Area: Get to the ski domain by either Els Orriols gondola or the new 6 man chair which takes you from near the Hotel Crest to the base of the Arinsal ski area. Then turn left and head over to Les Fonts 6 man chair, you will spot the freestyle area over to your left as you approach the end of the chair lift. Once you get off this (at the top of Les Fonts 'Blue' run), DONT turn immediatley left, this will put you on Les Fonts which runs parallel to the freestyle area. Head over to 'Xina Igloo' and you will see the freestyle area laid out before you, with it's own draglift (Planells). The area includes; FIS Half Pipe, a Big Jump zone, the Rail Avenue and the Junior Rails Zone. It can be a lot of fun, if there has been a lot of snow... :D Another of the big novelties is the opening in the Arinsal zone of a giant mattress to try out tricks and aerial acrobatics in total safety, 20 metres long and 10 metres wide it is an ideal zone to improve and evolve your freestyle.

      Pal - Freeride Areas: While there is no Freestyle area in Pal, there is some superb freeriding to be had (practice those 'butters', nolies, tail-slides etc). Easy to access from Arinsal, OR get the ski bus to La Massana and then the gondola up to Pal resort.
      I think it's more fun to get over to Pal by getting to the top of Bordes de Seturia... Take La Tossa 4 man chair (it's just the other side of Les Fonts 6 man chair). Once off this, take Port Negre 4 man chair right to the top of Bordes de Seturia; then take the Arinsal-Pal cable car over to Pal. Then take the La Botella 4 man chair which goes up Pic de Cubil. Once you get off you have the choice of La Comellada (steep & deep if it's been snowing). OR, you can take Coms (a bit 'moguly'), treat the bumps like little kickers, just watch your landings 8)

      The Jewel in the Vall Nord Crown - Arcalis: Get the ski-bus to Arcalis. Take la Basera 4 man chair to the top of Les Portelles. Now you have got a few choices about how to get to the freestyle & freeride areas. You can either ski/snowboard down La Portella del Mig (the quickest way) OR you can take La Balma down to an off-piste drag lift (Els Feixans) which will take you to the top of the freeride area, from which the freestyle area is visible. Improvements for this season include; Boxes of all difficulties, double draws of all difficulties, double piped railings and rectangles, a Step – down, a big jump or a 5 metre table, so if you are 'jib-happy', there should be more than enough here to keep you busy! :thumbsup:

      Be safe and where protection ;) (on mountain...and 'apres')
    • Getting lost on piste.

      Hi autotech01

      Grab a piste map in resort (available almost anywhere) and always have one in your pocket & don't forget to check which runs are open on the day you are snowboarding 8) . This info is always available at the top of the Gondola station for any of the Vall-Nord areas.

      I'm heading to Arinsal for 2 weeks in Feb 09, first day on the mountain will be the 23rd :thumbsup:

      I've finished waxing/tuning my board (a lovely 'Automaton' Seek & Destroy 154'). My bindings have had the upgrade that I requested from Flow UK (so HOPEFULLY I wont have the problem I had last season of one of the powerstraps detaching from the footplate while I was riding !) New Giro Bad Lieuy helmet with built-in 'skull-candy' headphones :thumbup: I'm pretty much all set, just counting the days :)

      Am pretty stoked looking at the weather, gonna be a good season !
    • was how much was that helmet and where did you buy it from?
      as i am only really just starting out in snowboarding just trying to get all the bits together as already have 24/7 board from canada! boots and bindings also its ok to start out on!
      if you could give more info on the helmet would be great cheers!
      Also say if i wanted to buy a helmet or jacket etc out in andorra is it alot cheaper than england?
    • Hi autotech01

      I got the helmet off 'fleabay' it's a 'Giro Bad Lieutenant Leather Snowboard/Ski Helmet'. Cheapest I could find in my size (ie FAT HEAD/XL) in the UK; cost me £39 inc delivery. I've seen them sell for less from the USA, but then you have to figure in P&P, by which time your looking at £60....which, incidentally is what they were selling for last season in Andorra, so not much cheaper than getting an import from the USA ?( . If you google the helmet or search ebay, you should come up with a few options in the UK. As you chose wisely in your snowboarding trip vacation (ie Arinsal), you will only be about 5Km from Andorra La Vella (shopping). I have noticed a few things cheaper in La Vella, oddly enough the exception was the Bad Lieuy helmet :( There are a few good shops in Arinsal, St Moritz for example, although I know they didn't carry the Giro line of helmets last season (I looked). To answer the 2nd part of your Q; outerwear in general (jackets/pants) were considerably cheaper than say 'Slush & Rubble' (Snow & Rock) here in the UK. Some of the best bargains can be had in stores like TK Maxx (I've seen snowboard helmets in there). If you simply gotta have a certain brand (O'Neil, Grenade, Westbeach, Patagonia, HH etc) and don't mind it being last seasons, then you can get reasonable quality stuff at TK Maxx for very little cash. Not that I am saying branded gear is the way to go. There's a lot of BS in the world of snow-sports (sports apparel in general too). As long as you have got a reasonable quality waterproof/breathable jacket and pants, you'll be fine, along with some layers for when the weather gets cooler/warmer etc. Much more important (in my opinion) to get decent boots, that fit well. Your boots are the interface between you and your tasty-new jib-stick (pretty sick looking boards btw, 24/7... 8) . So, although it's really difficult to know what your boots are going to be like in the shop. It's a sure-thing that if they pinch or make your arches/toes hurt after 10 mins in the shop, you will be in agony after a day on the slopes :cursing: So you got your boots, bindings and got the most important things. Although I would defo invest in a helmet (which you are going to do), you may want to consider some impact protection shorts too.... ;)

      Sorry for the r-e-a-l-l-y l-o-n-g reply, but hope you got the info you need.

    • yup thanks for that helps alot i will definately have to get an audio helmet they look really cool and must be a sweet touch to boarding!
      hopefully it snows throughout february to give us the best conditions for boarding i mite just have a go on a small jump if i feel brave enough!
    • Audio Helmets

      I know there will be some people that think it is a bit irresponsible to have your head full of music when out on the mountain. One thing I will say, is that a proper audio equipped helmet will still allow you to here outside ambient noise (other mountain users etc). If you intend to ride with an audio helmet, be responsible and familiarise yourself with whatever device you are using and be aware of 'the mountain code'.

      Let's ALL be safe out there and respectful of others on the hill :thumbsup:

      Check-out the Mountain Safety page (under the 'Mountain' tab) on any of the pages within

      I'm sure even seasoned skiers/snowboarders sometimes need reminding of the 'code', not just the 1st timers.

      Have fun!
    • Helmets, Buying In Andorra, Clothing

      Firstly, helmets ... since I had a smash on a board several years ago I'm never on the mountain without my helmet. It gives me a bit more confidence, keeps my ears warm, plus I know if I have a bump (or someone else bumps into me) my lid will give me at least a bit of protection!

      Next, buying stuff in Andorra ... It quite often is cheaper, and shops are willing to barter with you, however, do your research before you come and make sure things are like for like. St Moritz is one of the better shops in the village and their staff have been around for a number of years so know their stuff.

      Clothing ... buying the big brands is nice if you can afford it, but heading to TK Max or the like can get you kitted out for half the price and still keep you warm. Remember the key rule of layers that trap air between them and thus keep you warm, plus you can always take a layer off if you are getting too hot!

      If you are worried, jut ask someone who's done it before - there are plenty of people around to ask!