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First family holiday with Snowbizz

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks @intermediate, the girls dig mittens rather than gloves and seeing as we're going mid Jan they'll probably be the best option.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Graham Warren, I've had a place in PSV for the last 13 years and I'm still not bored of the pistes or the resort. You'll soon find the best runs and what off piste tracks to follow. All the locals are super friendly. Wrap up warm on the lifts as they aren't the quickest in the world but the resort does boast of having 300 days of sun a year !!
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Wheely, thanks. I've read good things about PSV but that's a true endorsement! With the 300 days of sunshine I'm Keeping everything crossed for a week of bluebird days so the girls have the best possible learning experience . Will you be around that week? It'd be nice to meet a fellow snowhead for a pint and get some local knowledge.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Graham Warren, I'm actually travelling back to the UK after spending Xmas and NY in Puy on the date that you arrive in PSV. What you'll find though is that a lot of the Snowbizz clients are repeat customers so I'm sure that they will spill the beans on the local secrets.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It's not long now to you head off to PSV. We went last year with a one year old and a 4 year old and will be going again this year.

1. Bring your bathers as there is a pool next to the main lift station at 1600. It's a nice activity for an afternoon.

2. The kids club run by snowbizz in the evenings is brilliant - they take the kids on treasure hunts, host discos/DVD nights etc

3. Start the day with a ski down to 1400 - its nice not to have to start the day on a lift

4. In the complex there is a fantastic bakery that opens early (I think 7 / 7.30 am from memory). We picked up fresh rolls and pastries each morning. There are two supermarkets which are fairly large given the location and offer a similar range. Next to the supermarket in the complex there is a place that will prepare meals to order that you then pick up later in the day.

5. Skiing in between the larch trees is huge fun.

6. You won't have an issue finding English speaking instructors. One of the ESF instructors, David King, is from the UK and was great help to my wife.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Graham Warren, I don't think you'll run out of options in Puy. We wen't with Snowbizz for 10 years and both kids learnt to ski with them. There may 'only' be two blacks but they are both serious - Rocher Noir is short and v steep with plenty of off piste on either side, Carmen is longer but generally v bumpy. I would not recommend Col du Bal without a guide or on your own, goes without saying you'llneed avo gear. Plenty of 'within bounds' options once you get to know your way round.
I'd recommend ESI Puy St Vincent for lessons and guiding. Snowbizz used to use them and I don't know why they now use ESF, politics I expect.
We wen't independently of Snowbizz last year (half term and Snowbizz a bit too pricey for us) and myself and the kids did a week off-piste course with ESI, v good value.
Enjoy, hope there's plenty of snow.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@chivdog, @philipb, I didn't pick up on your posts at the time. Was packing and then travelling. Really great advice from you both had I actually read them!
Well we had a blast, although the pistes were rock hard for the first half of the week but then about ten inches fell just as the ski school deemed it safe for the girls to mooch about with us in the afternoons. I'm pleased to say they absolutely loved it and we're off to the local dry slope at Silksworth on Saturday for a session, weather permitting that is.
The thing that surprised me most was that I didn't really do much actual skiing (You know - reeeeeelly skiing!). I spent the mornings with wor lass on the same two greens and blues whilst she worked on technique and (re)built her confidence from the ground up, and then the afternoons as a family. We had such a good laugh with the girls that I just didn't feel the need to go charging off. I didn't even bother with the black runs let alone go looking for adventure. Fatherhood is chilling me out I guess.
I can second chivdogs endorsement of the bakery. The guy was happy to tolerate my terrible grasp of French at 7 in the morning and give local weather forecasts for the day.
Thanks again to everyone for the advice.
Anyhoo - sorry for reviving an old thread but it would've been rude not to reply. Toofy Grin
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

The thing that surprised me most was that I didn't really do much actual skiing (You know - reeeeeelly skiing!). I spent the mornings with wor lass on the same two greens and blues whilst she worked on technique and (re)built her confidence from the ground up, and then the afternoons as a family. We had such a good laugh with the girls that I just didn't feel the need to go charging off. I didn't even bother with the black runs let alone go looking for adventure. Fatherhood is chilling me out I guess.

I have found exactly the same. They joy I get from pootling about watching my kids ski is greater than I ever imagined possible.
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@HotDogger how did your week go? we are off with Snowbizz for Christmas week this year with our 3, 5 & 7 year old. (almost 4, 6 & 7 year old)

Any top tips?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Get a ski strap for the kids. Based on my 8 year old, he can carry skis properly on his shoulder until something distracts him (like a friend in class, a loud noise, a wistful glance at the swimming pool) then they fall apart. Makes the walk to/from the slopes and lifts much easier. Think we picked up two from Decathlon.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hi @Stinkpickle,
We had a thoroughly good time. We're going back again this season - first week of January. Semi DIY this time as the only pain for us was that we couldn't fly from Newcastle therefore had to set off the night before to Manchester for hotel & park up for the week. Still having to get up at daft o'clock to catch a really early flight.
Crystal ski flights actually fly out of Newcastle which we didn't Know about then so it actually works out cheaper and less hassle for us this way.
The advice from @chivdog and @philipb above are very helpful.
A couple of of other money savers is to book your ski gear independently. We used snowell's which saved us around £50 and are a short walk up from the 1600 apartments.
Same goes for the lift passes too. If you buy the family pass it saves a few quid. Although the lift pass web site is a bit clunky. Snowbizz sorted it out for us and didn't seem to mind losing the mark up.
The apartments are a bit pokey and dated but they were fine for us. Though my partner would've preferred it if there'd been a catered chalet option.
Kids club is really good value as are the ski lessons for the kids. The esf instructor called Sebastian was ace with the kids and our girls still talk about him. Drop off is really simple in the mornings and the "pink ladies" are very helpful and attentive to the kids - they seemed to have childcare backgrounds rather than just be gap year party animals.
We went to la Rosiere with esprit the following year on the assurance from my very well off in laws that it wouldn't cost any more than Snowbizz....... It did, £1000 extra actually. Everything cost more and the childcare was nowhere near the standard of Snowbizz. Chalet was nice and more up OH's street. But I came away with the assertion that we'd be heading back to Puy next time.
Now we know we can fly from Newcastle direct it's a no brainer. Although oddly this Crystalski flights lot don't offer ski carriage.
I'm sure you'll have a great time, it's a shame we'll miss you!
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