Though most people ski as a group or family, solo skiing can be great fun and just as sociable.
There’s plenty of opportunity to meet new people, both in your accommodation and out on the slopes.
Put yourself in the right environment, and everything else comes together around you.
Pick a big, busy resort
Places like Chamonix and Whistler have a great community of snow-loving locals, expats and travellers.
There are loads of bars to choose between, most selling food if you want to eat in a lively location. Events like pub quizzes, tours and parties are easy to find and join.
Pick social accommodation
Self-catering might seem cheapest, but it can be lonely holed up in a rabbit hutch apartment with just pot noodles for company.
I find the chalet concept a lot more sociable, gathering everyone together for supper and wine, which comes with the price besides breakfast and afternoon tea on 6 days out of 7.
Every chalet has hosts to cook, clean and basically hang out with the guests.
But small chalets can be a gamble – I know some lucky solo skiers who’ve ended up sharing with a group of likeminded singles, but also less lucky people who have found themselves sitting round the table as the only single with couples or young families.
My solution? Chalet hotels.
The same chalet catering but more capacity, so more chance of meeting people you get on with – and bars, games rooms etc. to help you.
AirBNB is another option I always look into, where you can stay with a local.
Steer clear of underoccupancy fees
One big bonus about travelling in groups is that costs tend to be lower, and underoccupancy charges can be a bit of a nightmare for solo travellers: I’ll find somewhere to stay that I like the look of, the price seems reasonable, and then it turns out it’s ‘based on 2+ sharing’ and likely to hike the price of single occupancy up a lot.
My advice is to look out for advanced search tools which will churn out only the results most relevant to you: my favourite is the search system for ski chalets SNO have built, which can specifically show single rooms or rooms that can be booked for 1 person.
Or check out options for room shares where you book a bed in a twin room rather than a whole room, and share with someone of the same sex.
Join ski school, guiding or hosting sessions
Whether you’re a complete beginner or the best skier or piste map reader on the planet, this is a super way to get to know people who ski or snowboard at your level (and get some pointers in technique from an expert – nobody’s perfect!).
I’ve found that if you book ski school through your accommodation, you’ll most likely be skiing with fellow guests who you can catch up with outside of lessons over meals etc.
If you’re skiing in North America, free ski hosting is provided by most resorts (like Whistler’s Mountain Tour program), where confident skiers and snowboarders are led in a group by a local host.