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Looking after your kids on the slopes...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Neither the kids or I have ever possessed a EHIC and they don't ski with any kind of phone number or contact details with them. They're aged 7 & 6 and losing them is not something I've ever considered. I always follow them and my son knows to stand and wait for 5 mins if he finds himself suddenly alone and then ski to the bottom of the closest lift.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
doddsie, Exactly!
But sometimes you do need back-up.
Very sensible daughter, 14yrs, once took a wrong turning in Whistler and ended up at bottom of "wrong" lift.
A quick mobile phone call sorted it all out.
Would have been rather stressful without.
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 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?
I sometimes work as a ski instructor and can have groups of children significantly bigger than the average family Happy And it's only me in charge and I can be in front, in the middle or at the back depending on what I am trying to teach and where we are going. They have to pick themselves up most of the time and they soon learn. So none of this helicopter nonsense of having a parent at the back all the time.

Standard advice to the kids (which we go through before going out on the piste) is to go to the nearest lift if we get separated (or go to another ski instructor if another group is in sight). It's worked just fine on the one or two (rare) occasions I've lost someone.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I usually ski with 3x13year olds & 1x8 year old. They're all sensible & look out for each other & we restrict ourselves to one slope at a time; we go up together, they ski down whilst I give them a couple of minutes head start (I ski much faster than them), then go down as a tail-end charlie looking for any of them in trouble (which is extremely rare) & meet at the lift & decide where we're going next. I nominate one of them to be team leader (this alternates) & they have the walkie-talkie (almost non-existent mobile reception) so they can let me know if there are any issues. I feel it's important to give them as much time as possible with each other as they can collectively sort out most problems themselves but I'm not far away should they need assistance.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@doddsie, you need to check with your travel insurer. It could be that you are not covered if you don't have an EHIC. Plus an EHIC may save you paying the excess on your insurance. Basically it's wise to have an EHIC to eliminate problems with insurance or to prevent needing to use your insurance. And wise to have insurance to cover what EHIC doesn't.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Skiing in the forest with the little blighters is a nightmare. But it's also fun. What's a man... or woman... to do!?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It's a process. This year (daughter 9, son 11), son had a cellphone, we made sure it worked (Italy), and it was really useful as we (I) let him do a few solo runs. He managed neither to get lost nor hurt himself. Normally I make sure I'm behind them but my daughter skis really slowly. I did lose her, once, when she apparently got taken out by a snowboarder. She was fine, but it happened at a trail junction so thankfully we found her. I sent my son up on the next lift to "sweep" the trail while I waited at the junction. She came by in a few minutes.

I think expecting kids younger than 13 or 14 to be able to read a piste map is expecting a lot, to be honest. We have told them if they get separated to go to the nearest left and wait, but not sure what else to do.

I do think think skiing behind them and issuing clear instructions at the top of each run is key. No. 1 rule is stop at all trail junctions!

Next year we will give them a little more freedom, but I think having read various horror stories, much better to play it safe. When I want to let it all hang out I wake up early and catch first tracks for an hour or so.
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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!
@hyperkub, It's not "helicopter nonsense" to ski at the back of your kids. They are not as aware as we are, at least when freeskiing, and if they yard sale and lose a ski they won't be able to get back to it and get it on, especially on red or black pistes. Trust me on this. It's different as an instructor leading a snake, I think.
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 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.
I have been letting my 11 year old go off and ski by himself for a couple of seasons. We arrange a meeting time and place. My mobile number on the back of his season pass. He doesn't have a mobile.

However this is on a small scottish mountain that he knows very well. He also knows not to venture on proper off piste.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@WaitForMe!, mine’s a bit younger than yours but can see that skiing wise he will soon be capable and knowledgeable enough to ski with his mates. Don’t you worry about what happens if he gets stuck off piste or gets wiped out by someone?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@hyperkub, I tend to agree. Most ski instructors aren't in the habit of losing kids and generally kids with their peers are pretty durable and will pick themselves up, catch up etc.

However, there is somewhat safety in numbers. Other skiers typically give ski schools a wide berth. A parent with 2 or 3 kids is less of an obstacle. After one particular nasty incident with my 5yo getting taken out my reason for bringing up the rear is not so much as a sweeper but more as a barrier. Particularly if the slope is a bit steeper and the 5yo has resorted to traversing a larger part of the piste.

I have responded on another thread about to someones comment expecting everyone to ski neatly in 'lanes' on the piste. It is this skier I am trying to protect from taking out my currently unpredictable wee one.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@dozofoz agreed that wearing a uniform and having a bunch of kids all wearing reflective vests does tend to result in the idiots slowing down and behaving more sensibly. Sometimes it is appropriate for a parent to be at the back for the reasons you describe. Just not all the time. The vision of kids going around all day in a mum-dad sandwich makes me kind of sad. Kids thrive on adventure and it's our job as parents/leaders to seek out places where we can let them off the leash.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@doddsie, I was you 20 years ago, and then the unthinkable happened, we lost our 6 year old. Thankfully he was found safe after several very worrying hours. Things can, and do, go wrong. These days with mobile phones (why would you not give your child a note of relevant phone numbers at the very least) and lifts that track a lift pass our situation would have been resolved much more quickly.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@hyperkub, yeah it's kind of ironic. I give the kids a break from ski school on some trips as it can be a bit stifling for them (well in France anyway). But when they are not in ski school and on a busy piste I am less relaxed with them than any instructor would be.
Overall though it's great seeing them gain confidence and their personality/character reflected in the different way each of them approaches skiing. There is no better sport to share with them. There are risks no matter how much we might try to minimise but I think a true 'helicopter' parent probably wouldn't be in the slopes in the first place.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@BobinCH He was 9 when I first let him ski by himself but it was more of a one run and meet at the lift. There are always people around if he has a problem and he won't stray far off the piste. Usually he will be with friends. I always think 3 is a good number - one to go and get help and one to stay with hurt child!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Richie_S, I know some people mentioned phones already. In case you haven't seen it, there is an app called FATMAP which has really excellent 3d piste maps etc. For your purposes though it might be useful because i'm pretty sure it has a function where you can see your friends location in real time. If you logged your kids onto it, then you'd be able to just look at your phone to see where they were in the resort. I suppose the advantage to this is that it doesn't just give you a location on a satellite map, but shows you the name of the run they are on and where on the run they are.

Good luck.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
After an incident two weeks ago in Westendorf I'll make sure my daughter has a whistle in her pocket.

She was ahead of me on an icy track through trees with a steep drop off to the left. I got a glimpse of her falling ahead of me, but when I got there she had disappeared. I shouted, and after a heart stopping few seconds she replied. She'd gone over the edge of the drop off and fallen quite a long way through the trees. She was completely invisible from the piste. Fortunately she was unhurt and still had both her skis. It took me an hour to climb down to her through the deep snow and get her back up onto the piste. If i hadn't seen her fall I'd have skied straight past her, reunited with the other members of the party and assumed she'd gone on ahead. She could have been there for hours.

She did have her mobile with her, but the chances of her having any battery left in it were minimal. . A cheap whistle would have meant that someone would have found her pretty quickly if she'd used it.

Come to think of it, I'll start carrying one myself.
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 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?
@Spud9, that is scary sh_it. A great chalet story in years to come mind.

Three blasts on a whistle is SOS isn't it?
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Spud9, I think that sort of thing can happen very easily. Glad she was ok. My son (and I) both have whistles in our jacket pockets.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Layne wrote:
...Three blasts on a whistle is SOS isn't it?

In Europe the correct SOS signal is six blasts, then repeated every minute. Three blasts is the acknowledgement I hear you / coming to help / getting help response, so unless someone is really close by three blasts as a request for help won't necessarily be effective.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Cheers @ecureuil
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