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Advice Needed - Reluctant Partner

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@sheffskibod has a good point. Best take the kids separately from your wife - maybe see how she gets on watching them, and let HER decide whether she wants to have a go or not. I think lessons in a fridge are a good idea for keen people who want to get a head start. For people who anticipate that they are going to hate skiing, not so much. It's skiing without any of the really nice bits!
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pam w wrote:
It is far too sweeping a generalisation to say that "French ski schools start at 9 am".


It was rather a sweeping statement !

All the morning group classes in the small number of French resorts we have visited do seem to start at 9 AM
... but I am happy to be pointed in the direction of a more laid back French resort!

Whereas all the Italian ones (and a lot of Austrian ones) seem to be 10 am ish...

My point still stands , that extra hour can make a big difference...

Obviously private lessons can be booked to suit but will be very expensive.
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maggi wrote:

I don't go skiing in April so have no idea if these are suitable but Kitzbuhel is a lovely town and Wengen (thanks for reminding me @Ronald Cool ) is very nice too and full of non skiers who take trains everywhere. May be too low, though? As @JohnS4 said, Obergurgl may be good for you and that's high. The Bergwelt is fantastic but very pricey, although I've heard good reports of just about all the spa hotels there.


Most of Wengen's skiing is above 1800m, and almost all of that was open before the snow finally arrived in time for the MSB (of 2008). They've only gotten better at managing snow.

There are very few resorts I'd rule out on altitude Wink
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sheffskibod wrote:
pam w wrote:
It is far too sweeping a generalisation to say that "French ski schools start at 9 am".


It was rather a sweeping statement !

All the morning group classes in the small number of French resorts we have visited do seem to start at 9 AM
... but I am happy to be pointed in the direction of a more laid back French resort!

Whereas all the Italian ones (and a lot of Austrian ones) seem to be 10 am ish...

My point still stands , that extra hour can make a big difference...

Obviously private lessons can be booked to suit but will be very expensive.


Ski Classes in Austria often start a bit later too, though the exact time varies from resort to resort. I seem to remember that Obergurgl (which I recommended earlier) was one of the later starts, I think at 10am.

Also lessons in Austria are usually (at least every resort I have visited) in the morning and afternoon, so it avoids the temptation for the more expert skiing partner to 'help' the learner by giving them what they think might be useful lessons in the afternoon. It avoids the risk of arguments that way. It's much Better to leave it to the professsional teachers, and meet up with your other half for a drink after lessons and listen to the ski school stories.
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pam w wrote:
I think lessons in a fridge are a good idea for keen people who want to get a head start. For people who anticipate that they are going to hate skiing, not so much. It's skiing without any of the really nice bits!

This would be my fear. It may work out fine - but has the potential to put her off skiing before the holiday.....so as a strategy, is quite high risk.
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rjs wrote:
bezthespaniard wrote:
As an example, I like Chamonix town for the glacier, toboggan, luge, shops, train etc.

Have you been to Chamonix ?

Maybe have a go at taking the kids on the London Underground during rush hour as a warmup.


6 times. Thought the town and surrounding activities would be a good thing.

Never fell in love with skiing in Chamonix but surely enough there to enjoy in April? Les Houches etc?

The town and activities are perfect, just worried about the dreaded bus journey. Would probs rent a car. What's snow like in April there?


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 22-02-21 17:08; edited 1 time in total
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I've taken beginners to Chamonix, as a 'holiday-with-skiing-if-you-fancy-it' trip, and they loooooved it because of the balance of other activities, and are now full blown ski addicts (one did one weekend with me in Chamonix, then next winter quit her job to spend a season in Val d'Isere Shocked ).

But that was with adults, who were interested in skiing at least a bit, and weren't having lessons in resort - if you're needing to take kids and partner on a ski bus, to a certain timetable (lessons), that would be more stressful... I'm not sure I'd recommend that.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
How old are the children?

I wouldn't be for Chamonix either - it's not even somewhere I'd go myself unless I was wanted to do some gnarly skiing.

There are better places for mere mortals.
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Looking at your list, the only 2 resorts I've been to are Courchevel 1850 (a couple of times) and Val D'Isere (multiple times).

The one thing they both have in common (aside from being costly), are great Ski Schools - especially VDI, where I can recommend at least half a dozen Ski Instructors.

The upside of Courchevel, is there is almost a whole side of a mountain that is Green. The Downside, is the Glacier is way over at Val Thorens.

The upside of VDI is that it is very snow sure, with access to 2 Glaciers and it has lifts that can be taken down, avoiding the tough runs into the valley. It has adequate Green runs - but no more than that.

IMO. I think both these resorts are probably too big and too busy - so probably too intimidating.

Somewhere like Obergurgl has great Hotels, Ski In/Out, and is high. I would worry how snow sure The Dolomites are, if contemplating Easter.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Mon 22-02-21 19:13; edited 3 times in total
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@sheffskibod, French ski schools that I've used (and I've just checked a couple of websites) have classes for kids starting at various times - only the first ones at 0900 and adult classes in the afternoons, as well as mornings. Absolutely no need to start at 0900 unless it suits you.
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Layne wrote:
How old are the children?

I wouldn't be for Chamonix either - it's not even somewhere I'd go myself unless I was wanted to do some gnarly skiing.

There are better places for mere mortals.


They will be 4 and almost 6 when we go.

I Looooooove the town of Chamonix but hate the busses. Was thinking rent a car and have lessons at Les Houches.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Old Fartbag wrote:
Looking at your list, the only 2 resorts I've been to are Courchevel 1850 (a couple of times) and Val D'Isere (multiple times).

The one thing they both have in common (aside from being costly), are great Ski Schools - especially VDI, where I can recommend at least half a dozen Ski Instructors.

The upside of Courchevel, is there is almost a whole side of a mountain that is Green. The Downside, is the Glacier is way over at Val Thorens.

The upside of VDI is that it is very snow sure, with access to 2 Glaciers and it has lifts that can be taken down, avoiding the tough runs into the valley. It has adequate Green runs - but no more than that.

IMO. I think both these resorts are probably to big and too busy - so probably too intimidating.


I've been to Cham, VDI, Tignes, La Plagne, Les Arcs.

Would say only Cham has the range of non-skiing activities that would suit the holiday I'm thinking. VDI has nice shops and easy access skiing but not sure of anything there that compares to the Aguille du Midi, Funicular, or Glaciar...
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fixx wrote:
I've taken beginners to Chamonix, as a 'holiday-with-skiing-if-you-fancy-it' trip, and they loooooved it because of the balance of other activities, and are now full blown ski addicts (one did one weekend with me in Chamonix, then next winter quit her job to spend a season in Val d'Isere Shocked ).

But that was with adults, who were interested in skiing at least a bit, and weren't having lessons in resort - if you're needing to take kids and partner on a ski bus, to a certain timetable (lessons), that would be more stressful... I'm not sure I'd recommend that.


Ditto on taking beginners. Everyone hated the bus but loved the town, activities etc.

If there is decent snow there in March/April then I think it's a winner - with private lessons and a rented car.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
bezthespaniard wrote:
Layne wrote:
How old are the children?

I wouldn't be for Chamonix either - it's not even somewhere I'd go myself unless I was wanted to do some gnarly skiing.

There are better places for mere mortals.


They will be 4 and almost 6 when we go.

I Looooooove the town of Chamonix but hate the busses. Was thinking rent a car and have lessons at Les Houches.


As you need to tempt a reluctant skier onto the snow I would suggest that persuading them to get all their gear into a rental car before they even hit the snow is not a good approach. It's much better if they can put on their ski boots in the hotel boot room and walk straight onto the snow and preferably the lift. Lots of walking or other transport complications are not an incentive for the reluctant skier to get out in the snow.

As others have mentioned you need to see this as a long term objective to get your wife and kids to enjoy the idea of a ski holiday, so the places you might enjoy are of secondary importance for this purpose, don't be tempted to go somewhere you really like if it's not good for beginners. As an example, my favourite ski resort is St Anton but never in a million years would I have taken my wife and 4yr old son there as a place to learn. BTW he is 17 now and my wife also still skis and we can visit wherever we like now so I managed to achieve what you are hoping for Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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I've never been to Chamonix, so can't pretend I'm any expert on the town or the skiing, but I've rarely heard it recommended for Easter skiing for a family of beginners.

That said, it's your holiday and you have to be happy with your choice. Personally I'd google 'Easter skiing for families' and read through a few articles (Telegraph normally has a few good articles) - that will give you a good idea and potentially a short list of 2 or 3, then cross-reference it to this thread to refine your choices.
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Top 10 late season resorts: https://www.weathertoski.co.uk/top-10s/top-10-late-season-ski-resorts-europe/

Top 10 snow-sure Nursery slopes: https://www.weathertoski.co.uk/top-10s/top-10-snow-sure-nursery-slopes-europe/
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bezthespaniard wrote:
Layne wrote:
How old are the children?

I wouldn't be for Chamonix either - it's not even somewhere I'd go myself unless I was wanted to do some gnarly skiing.

There are better places for mere mortals.


They will be 4 and almost 6 when we go.

I Looooooove the town of Chamonix but hate the busses. Was thinking rent a car and have lessons at Les Houches.

At 4 & 6 they aren't going to appreciate the town. In fact quite the opposite. At that age ours were out skiing all day and then did some sledging and digging in the snow. Then bath/shower, meal, some down time/games and off to bed. We had access to a pool a couple of times but used it max twice in the week.

I think that is one of the issues you have is that actually you are trying to do come up with a plan for a) a beginner wife and b) kids going for the first time - the two of which have different needs and desires. Not saying you can't make it work but hence there is conflicting ideas.
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I love Chamonix but I don't think it meets the different needs of your group at all. Early April I think is generally a good time to go but you effectively rule out a lot of options which just aren't snow sure enough in April. Of the places I know for April skiing, Val D'Isere fits your needs best, certainly not perfect, but best I think.
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For 4 and 6 year olds the most fun is toboganning, preferably somewhere very near your accommodation, as they quickly get wet and tired.
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I would second the recommendation of Val d’Isere. I spent one of my weeks there pregnant so not skiing and got the gondola up to la Fruitiere for a nice lunch, there’s the swimming pool etc. It’s also an easy stroll from the town to the village nursery slope to see the kids. If she is doing some private lessons there are some lovely green areas up on each mountain for practice.

I would not recommend taking her on the Cugnai run for an icy morning high speed scoot down on her bum in her first week rolling eyes she won’t “be fine” and nor was I though fortunately only my pride was hurt!
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Skimum1 wrote:
I would second the recommendation of Val d’Isere. I spent one of my weeks there pregnant so not skiing and got the gondola up to la Fruitiere for a nice lunch, there’s the swimming pool etc. It’s also an easy stroll from the town to the village nursery slope to see the kids. If she is doing some private lessons there are some lovely green areas up on each mountain for practice.

I would not recommend taking her on the Cugnai run for an icy morning high speed scoot down on her bum in her first week rolling eyes she won’t “be fine” and nor was I though fortunately only my pride was hurt!

VDI is our favourite resort - and all my kids learned there - so have a very soft spot for it. It's unlikely anywhere will be perfect and it ticks a lot of boxes. At Easter it will be busy - and the Piste grading is a little optimistic (or should that be pessimistic)....but that would be the Instructors job to get around.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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I'm a bit late to this thread, but just wanted to say that I absolutely hated being taught to ski by my wife. I spent weeks being watched and told that I was failing in some *cowdoo* thing or other. In particular, I hated being shouted at while skiing. We had a fair few arguments along the way.

I strongly recommend lessons for the new skier!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Skimum1,
Quote:

I would not recommend taking her on the Cugnai run for an icy morning high speed scoot down on her bum in her first week


Laughing Which joker suggested that run?
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Courmayeur has more restaurants than lifts, great family atmosphere, a real town & the Pre St Didier thermal baths.
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VDI seems a popular choice.

Easy to see why it’s good for lessons and food.

What non-skiing could people recommend there?

Downside is the mega drive tho...
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bezthespaniard wrote:
VDI seems a popular choice.

Easy to see why it’s good for lessons and food.

What non-skiing could people recommend there?

Downside is the mega drive tho...

https://www.seevaldisere.com/news/top-ten-things-for-non-skiers-to-do-in-region-694350
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What do people think about UCPA Family Week Plus?

I always go to UCPA via AO.

The week includes yoga etc for Mum and lessons for the rest of us.
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My daughter and son in law, and two kids, greatly enjoyed the UCPA family week in La Plagne (Christmas 2019), but they're all keen skiers. It's a bit of a leap from a luxury spa hotel.
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You know it makes sense.
bezthespaniard wrote:
What do people think about UCPA Family Week Plus?


As someone who likes spa hotels and cocktails, I think I'd tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine. No way would that persuade me to go.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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maggi wrote:
bezthespaniard wrote:
What do people think about UCPA Family Week Plus?


As someone who likes spa hotels and cocktails, I think I'd tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine. No way would that persuade me to go.


Haha they do special packages that include spa/yoga etc
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@bezthespaniard,
Quote:

What do people think about UCPA Family Week Plus?


@maggi,
Quote:

As someone who likes spa hotels and cocktails, I think I'd tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine. No way would that persuade me to go.


Maybe OP should book a nice hotel in Benidorm. Skiers get dragged around bay on those drag type tows while wife happily watches, in the sun, sipping a cocktail.
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PeakyB wrote:
@bezthespaniard,
Quote:

What do people think about UCPA Family Week Plus?


@maggi,
Quote:

As someone who likes spa hotels and cocktails, I think I'd tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine. No way would that persuade me to go.


Maybe OP should book a nice hotel in Benidorm. Skiers get dragged around bay on those drag type tows while wife happily watches, in the sun, sipping a cocktail.


Haha I never understand this comparison.

Why do people think UCPA is like that? It’s the same a Ski Famille which is considered luxury.
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@bezthespaniard, fair enough. Maybe I’ve been missing out. I’ll try to call in and take a look next time I see one.
Is the one in Val D just La Fornet side of the main town Front de Neige? Sure I’ve skied past it at some point.


She might be more impressed with the Samovar at La Daille. But you bank account may be less impressed. snowHead
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@PeakyB, yes it is
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PeakyB wrote:
@bezthespaniard, fair enough. Maybe I’ve been missing out. I’ll try to call in and take a look next time I see one.
Is the one in Val D just La Fornet side of the main town Front de Neige? Sure I’ve skied past it at some point.


She might be more impressed with the Samovar at La Daille. But you bank account may be less impressed. snowHead


I think the Val D one has been done up recently. Some of the UCPAs are tired but the family weeks are only in the nice hotels like La Plagne.

VDI is on Rue des Leissieres. Right down the bottom or town near the Savonette 2 lift.
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@bezthespaniard, thanks, I’ll check it out next time I’m passing by.
Wish it was next week. snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
maggi wrote:
bezthespaniard wrote:
What do people think about UCPA Family Week Plus?


As someone who likes spa hotels and cocktails, I think I'd tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine. No way would that persuade me to go.

Yup, I'm thinking more Hôtel Les Barmes De l'Ours, and less UCPA (only suitable for ultra keen skiers).

https://www.scottdunn.com/france/hotels/les-barmes-de-lours

I took the OP very literally, when he said cost wasn't an issue. Toofy Grin

With the kids, we went to the Rond Point des Piste Apts - which served the purpose, but embraced the very ordinary and were very much less wallet terrifying.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Old Fartbag wrote:
I took the OP very literally, when he said cost wasn't an issue. Toofy Grin


So did I! I'm as keen a skier as anyone and have done mega-cheap chalets and cramped self-catering with lumpy beds in the past. However, I'm out skiing every day, whatever the weather, because I love it. The spa and cocktails are definitely for after the lifts are shut.

I'm not sure his OH will be converted to ski holidays by UCPA Laughing .
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@Old Fartbag,
Quote:

I took the OP very literally, when he said cost wasn't an issue.


A very reasonable interpretation, considering the OP wrote...

'The cost isn't a factor - any budget is fine.'
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PeakyB wrote:
@Old Fartbag,
Quote:

I took the OP very literally, when he said cost wasn't an issue.


A very reasonable interpretation, considering the OP wrote...

'The cost isn't a factor - any budget is fine.'

Well, sometimes it's fine....until.....it isn't! Toofy Grin
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