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First time ski holiday are we good enough???

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We're a family of 6 who go to Austria (flachau) in 2 weeks on our first ski holiday. Our 3 yr old will be in nursery whilst the rest of us hit the slopes. On our first day we have a private tuition for the day but that's it, off on our own for the rest of the holiday (approx 8-9 days skiing). I wanted to know if people think we're good enough to hit the basic slopes on our own.

My hubby can ski with no problems, my oldest 3 daughters 10,8,7 have been having lessons on our very steep dry slopes that's near us, they have no problem with stopping, turns just starting parallel turns aswel, using the adventure bump area (20-30ft of close together bumps) they literally will try anything, love using the lift and always want to be at the top of the slopes lol.

Myself well I've had 3 lessons on dry slope, 1 day learn to ski at the snowdome where I'm recreational standard, I can snow plough and parallel stop, parallel turn although I only did an hour of this as our group progressed a bit to fast so we were able to squeeze in parallel tuns/stops. I've developed bursitis in my hip and knee so I'm on complete rest till we go with cortisone injections planned for Wednesday. I'm gutted cos I wanted to have a lot more ski practice before I go. My husband is more than competent to give us all lessons when we are out there but for me I wanted to be that bit more experienced before I arrived. I'm hoping to fit in a recreational day at the snowdome a few days before I go.

Are we all good enough to hit the slopes on our own - especially me? Any advice or tips would be great xx
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think you'd all benefit from some lessons once there. You'd probably find it enjoyable, help your skiing and your instructor will take you on runs that will allow you to explore the slopes at at appropriate level. It may also help your husband remain sane.... no offence meant by that!
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@blacksheep, we've got the first day with a ski instructor as a family I think it's 5/6 hours in total I was hoping that would be enough to show us around the area and have a run through what we can do.
I think if we did lessons on top of this we could only do them here and there or for a day at a time, we wouldn't be able to join a class because our first day on the slopes is on a Tuesday and we go home the following Wednesday it's really awkward cos of the days we arrive and leave. All the classes seem to start on a Sunday and end on a Friday?.
Haha about keeping my husband sane lol, tbh he's loving skiing with the girls and me tbh, although he did loose his cool with me on the dry slope so I gave up and booked myself in for a learn to ski in a day and the instructors sent the hubby all my videos of how I was skiing, cos he didn't believe I could do it lol bit of healthy rivalry between us lol
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Quote:

Are we all good enough to hit the slopes on our own - especially me?


From the sound of it I'd say yes. If you can control your speed, turn when you want to and are able to stop when you need to then you should be fine on the easy slopes.

Doing some more lessons would be good. At this stage I'd say it's not just knowing what to do but being able to practice and progress under tuition that will really make the difference to how quickly you progress and doing it with people at a similar level is great for your confidence and more enjoyable as you're all in the same boat and no-one will be judgmental.

A lot of ski schools will let you join group lessons for a few days rather than the whole week. It should be less of a problem now it's not the madness of half term.

Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy your first ski holiday. I'm sure it won't be your last.
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@rm1982, agree with o/scot - the coach to the British Youth team put it very well to me once: '...almost all the training I do is to UNDO the things which people hardwired into their brains in the first few years of skiing...' - and the latest approaches to coaching recognise that the way that foundations are formed in the initial learning phase are really important. So I would strongly recommend getting some tuition - either group or better, a lesser number of private lessons for the family.
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Such a shame that the bursitis has stopped you being able to do what you wanted. Still, you should be fine on your own on the more gentle slopes.

I think that it would be worthwhile booking something in for later on in your holiday as you are out there for such a time. You will all have made progress, but an extra bit of instruction to take you onto to the next step or iron out a persistent problem could never a waste. snowHead
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1 day of lessons in resort is no where near enough to gain a good level of knowledge on how to ski correctly, even taking into account your pre holiday practise. You mention that your husband could teach? Really, has he had any ski teacher training? Far too many people seem to think because they can do something that qualifies them to teach others, it doesn't. Having spent a considerably amount of money on your holiday, spending a little more on good coaching by a professional coach would be money well spent and stand you in good stead for your future ski trips.
Using the local ski 'school' will also provide you with things like the FIS rules and etiquette of the piste. Too many people on the slopes now don't have that basic knowledge simply because they never went to ski 'school', thinking they could do it themselves.
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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!
Quote:
My husband is more than competent to give us all lessons

Quote:

he did loose his cool with me on the dry slope

Does not compute. wink
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@rm1982, We would definitely recommend more lessons than just the one booked, but understand that cost can be a factor for a family skiing. Get as much out of the lesson as you can and don't be afraid to ask questions, and then when skiing, make sure each member of your family ski's to THEIR level. It's no fun trailing along behind a much better skier trying to keep up, and it can lead to danger too.

Have a great holiday.
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Your children will get far more out of lessons if they are with kids if their own age. You will get more from yours if your kids aren't there. We only did a famoly lesson once we were all reasonably competent.
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Same as @Hells Bells the OH and I weren't even in groups together because I was a newbie and she'd skied lots.

@rm1982, you'll probably have just enough ski ability to get by, but it wouldn't be a lot more than that. I'd recommend additional tuition if you can.

You also have the psychological impact of actually being on a mountain, it's a lot different to skiing a small hill in the UK or a snow dome. Although I would say that Flachau doesn't look too daunting, it's not rocky, pointy and won't give you the impression that you might be able to slide off a cliff anywhere!
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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.
You definitely need more lessons. you would be better having several half day lessons than the full days, means you can get shown a few things, then spend the afternoon working on them. Your kids might get on ok without the lessons, but will learn (loads of) bad habits, which will be very hard to shift. Your standard is basically absolute beginner from what you have said, about where you would expect to be at the end of the first morning of beginner lessons.

Can't strongly enough recommend more lessons, as said above it's a relatively small increase in the cost of your holiday, for a massive increase in the amount of pleasure you will ultimately have. It will also significantly reduce the chance of you further wrecking your dodgy knee.

Also would speak to the ski school, joining group lessons might not be out of the question, especially if you can get to a snow dome between now and then.
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Yes you can ski together but for the time that you are there lessons would be a worthwhile investment that will enable you to all to develop quicker and enjoy your skiing more
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Unless your husband is a qualified instructor to at least the 2nd level of the system used, no he is not "competent" to teach you!

What do they say about spouses and driving lessons? And it's way easier to drive than ski...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Nothing will prepare you for being on a real mountain, with real snow conditions other than being in the mountains.

Everything will seem steeper, faster, bumpier than anything you have been on previously. Rather than 1 full day of lessons, if possible split it into 2 or three half days.

If you husband isn't a technically competent skier, but a brave fit individual you also run the risk of his bravado dragging you onto a slope that at best will scare you and knock your confidence, at worst be dangerous.

Remember on a real mountain taking of thos planks and walking 200 metres to to cafe/bar is not often an option, with your only choice to ski down in abject fear.

I have certainly a long long time ago been stuck in the near death snow plough/side slip position wondering how on earth I am going to move whilst every molecule of my being was telling me that I couldn't move.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ansta1 wrote:
Rather than 1 full day of lessons, if possible split it into 2 or three half days.

If you husband isn't a technically competent skier, but a brave fit individual you also run the risk of his bravado dragging you onto a slope that at best will scare you and knock your confidence, at worst be dangerous.



I recommend this - especially the half days, and for 3 or four sessions. You can arrange to meet up with your husband for lunch and have some fun together in the afternoon.

As long as your instructor is good, you should find you all make very much faster progress as a small group of 4 - and with dry slope experience to at least get the basic snow plough faff out of the way... although your instructor may/should run through it again to ensure good technique etc.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I agree with the comments re splitting the lessons into 2 or 3 half days. I had group lessons for my 1st ski trip. For my second ski trip, I booked two 3-hr sessions of private lessons. The ski instructor actually suggested that I should have three 2-hr sessions instead as I would be less tired and be able to get more out of the lessons. I think it might be a good idea to have morning lessons and then spend the afternoon practising what you have learnt in the morning.
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If you have booked a one day private lesson from one of the local schools this will only be 4 hours of tuition (not 5 or 6).
2 hours in the morning, lunch break and then another 2 in the afternoon is the norm.
The blue runs in Flachau are basically mountain roads and each one crosses main red pistes; it is a very busy ski area.
I would say that you should take more advantage of being out here and benefit from either a ski course (you don't have to commit yourself to the whole week... just a few mornings or afternoons). That way your family will be divided into suitable groups.
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If you want to ski well and enjoy it, you will need a minimum of 2hrs of lessons every single day for at least 6 weeks.
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@rm1982, you can start group lessons any day in Flachau. Herman maier only does all day but sport am jet do a 4 morning course but i wasnt impressed with the quality
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@Whitegold, I ski well and enjoy it.... I didn't do that. I must be special!
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@rm1982, is there a reason you haven't booked everyone into ski school for the week?

Not sure the logic of booking a whole day of tuition on day 1 and then nothing after. If you don't want to do a ski school week then do 3 half days of private instead.
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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!
Hi all thanks so much for all your replies it's been great reading all your opinions and tips. Il try answer as many of your questions if I can remember them all, it's been a fab response.

The main reason why we chose not to do ski school on holidays is because we want to spend time with the kids. We have our own business, that's very busy year round and with just me and hubby running it it's very hard to get away, last year we spent 3 weeks away with the kids in June and I felt guilty about that we could only take them away once. So when we can get away i want to spend the time with them, I feel so sorry for the kids not being able to go away as much as their friends - maybe that makes me sound a bit ott but the fact that we don't have days off in the school holidays to spend time with them as we are working breaks my heart but it's just the way our business is unfortunately and it's hard being a mum in this situation. Full days ski school for us all for 7 days was working out at £1500 so it's not as cheap as some of you may think.

I've looked at ski schools in Austria and all I've found only seem to do the full day tuition where we could meet up for an hour at lunch. In France there seemed to be the choice of half days, so obviously if you all are mentioning half days or being able to do 3/4 days I'm looking at the wrong places/ski schools so il be sure to google that because I think my emotions could manage half day but certainly not a full day away from the kids. Tbh I was shocked that the slopes seem to closed around 4/5 from what I've read on reviews. Having never skied before I always imagined that if we did all do ski school we could all meet up and go out for a couple of hours til 5/6 then head back to accommodation but again that doesn't seem the case. So as much as it's a holiday for us I'm wary of the fact if I put everyone into ski school we wouldn't see each other except for an hour at lunch (not sure how realistic that is?) and after we collect the girls from ski school just to head back to our accommodation. I've also got to accept the fact that my 3 year old also has to go into nursery/kindergarten for us all to go off skiing - so again I feel guilty about that sorry if I'm sounding like a bloody emotional mess lol.

Its a holiday we are all really excited about and the plan is to go skiing over xmas and from next year make it a family tradition to go twice a year work permitting, so we really want to make it a success

To be fair to my husband loosing his cool with me - it only happened as was he was telling me to turn my left leg which I simply couldn't do but little did we both know I was at the start of developing bursitis, so no wonder I couldn't put pressure on my leg.

One or two of you have mentioned my husband and his level of skiing etc. What I meant by this is that he or I have no issues with him being capable to help the girls out of they are doing something incorrect on the slope. My girls had 3 lessons where the last lesson the girls were struggling with the instructor in the way he was wanting them to do turns, so my husband spent half an hour with them after the lesson and they understood and could do the turns competently. So much so my instructor told me not to carry on with the lessons for the girls because my husband is showing them what they need to do correctly an instructor wouldn't show them differently. My husband had one advanced lesson and the instructor said there is nothing more He could teach him unless he wanted to go down the route of wanting to better himself to be at the level where he wanted to compete for a club etc which he has no intention of doing. So I think personally he's a pretty handy guy to have around. But I completely understand what people are saying that he is not qualified to teach etc so could be passing bad skills onto the kids and he is aware of this also but so far so good, and after a few lessons with my husband my girls have been given the opportunity to join the local ski club which they start next week so he must be doing something right.

So the plan, If we could do the 4 days of mornings like mentioned that would be our Tuesday to Friday which would be great, that means we could spend time with the girls in the afternoon then which ideally is what I really want. There doesn't seem to be any ski schools on a Saturday? and they start back up on the Sunday so we could also do the Sunday-Tuesday of ski school then Also.

Again thanks for all the info, it's really daunting trying to plan a family ski holiday, maybe me and hubby should of gone first to suss it all out but I'm so glad that Ive found this forum cos all your help is invaluable xx
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Whitegold wrote:
If you want to ski well and enjoy it, you will need a minimum of 2hrs of lessons every single day for at least 6 weeks.


2 hours of lessons everyday for 6 weeks I can't see how anyone could have the time to do that to go away on holidays to be able ski well and enjoy. I've had quite a few chats with instructors and they rarely see people having more than 3 hours tuition, with most having lessons a few weeks before their holls and that's it. I wish we lived closer to our dry slope or even better a indoor centre to put in more practice hours. we can only go in the evenings and it's a 2 hour round trip most time we don't get home til gone 9pm.
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@rm1982, @Whitegold, is somewhat opinionated and not shy of letting anyone esle know. Usually best ignored.
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@rm1982, as others have said, you'll likely get more out of the lesson time if you can split it and do half later in the holiday. You will likely progress far more on the mountain than at a dry slope, so the second half day would move you on to noir advanced stuff. Also, will your bursitis be a problem if you want to ski intensely in a lesson all day?
As @Hells Bells said, kids learn in different ways to adults so it might be worth asking the instructor to concentrate on them for half the lesson, and you the other half.
If you're planning to spend lots of holidays together skiing as a family (and it sounds like you know you like it already) maybe see this trip as investment for the future: I had far more fun this year with my daughter now that she can ski as well as me (probably better Laughing ), even though the first few holidays were great watching her develop.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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@rm1982, We have recently learned to ski as a family. We did not go anywhere in the UK before (dry ski slope, indoor). We started 2 years ago, 2 Adults, 1Child. We are going again in 3 weeks. We have done 2 x beginner weeks courses. The third time we went we booked none and just gave it a go. We have booked 3 x 2 hour lessons again in advance this time. I think it would definitively be worth booking another day, just for you and your children, in my opinion.
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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
@rm1982, have you emailed the ski schools in Flachau? They probably list standard packages on their websites, but the reality is they are all usually fairly flexible, especially if it is a relatively quiet week.

Half day lessons might be an option. Full day lessons will definitely be available. They don't need to be for the whole week, 3 days would be better than none (would still give you 5-6 days of all skiing together). As for timings we've nearly always found we've been able to ski for an hour before and an hour after full day lessons (lessons being 10-3).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@mgrolf, I progressed so much quicker at the indoor snow centre than I did on the dry slope - I know it's not the same as real snow but I loved how quick I could pick things up, I've told hubby I'm not going back on dry slope before we go as I think it would just knock my confidence.
My bursitis - I'm having injections into my hip Wednesday so hopefully if I can be pain free even until I get back off holls that would be a bonus, but tbh I'm so determined to make this holiday a success il do anything to get through the days for my family. I'm fully stocked up with anti inflammatorys, pain killers, knee supports and strapping tape. I shouldn't of done that learn to ski course in he snowdome 10 days ago tbh but I think the mixture of adrenaline and pain meds kept me going, couldn't do that again mind the way my leg is now.
It's so lovely to hear about you and your daughter skiing and as u say we should use this holiday as an investment for our future ski holidays. It must be amazing thinking you and her can just go off and ski with no worries and I'm really excited for my family to get to that stage.
I agree with what U say about splitting our lessons with the girls for the instructor to focus on them for a while then me that sounds like a good idea.
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If you really want to share lessons with your daughters, which can be fun, it really is possible but depends on the instructor. We have done all sorts of combinations. Me private, son did group. I did group, son private. Shared private lessons with son. Shared private lessons for hubby, me and son. Our last ski holiday (our 9th family ski holiday), my hubby, who has been skiing since Uni days, shared some private lessons with my son and said it was really good and they both learnt something new. I can't keep up with them now (They were doing GS turns and edging on icy black runs with the instructor). So it might be worth sending an email to the ski school and explain your levels and see if there is a private instructor who might be able to teach you and your children together.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@louiscrow, hi this is good to hear that your family picked it up so quick. After reading everyone's messages think it's clear to see we should do at least 3/4 days of ski tuition, especially as u say for me and the girls I'm excited about going but also nervous of failing so having that tuition will settle my nerves I think.
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hammerite wrote:
@rm1982, have you emailed the ski schools in Flachau? They probably list standard packages on their websites, but the reality is they are all usually fairly flexible, especially if it is a relatively quiet week.

Half day lessons might be an option. Full day lessons will definitely be available. They don't need to be for the whole week, 3 days would be better than none (would still give you 5-6 days of all skiing together). As for timings we've nearly always found we've been able to ski for an hour before and an hour after full day lessons (lessons being 10-3).


Hi

Our first problem was getting a place for my 3 yr old daughter in a kindergarten everyone seemed full. Our accommodation has its own built in nursery we could use but this would mean not being able to have lunch with my daughter after a morning of skiing. so when we found our accommodation offers a ski school that's associated to them and they have a kindergarten we sort of stuck with them. But that also means that we have to drop the little one off first then sort all us out.
The ski school is called fun-pro, they don't do half days skiing only full day. They can do 3hrs in the morning of private tuition so that's an option. This company can also supply our ski equipment which again was a very daunting experience trying to search places to hire off, but this company also gives all the 4 kids free ski equipment which works out a good deal. Although DIY holidays work out a lot cheaper by god it's hard work getting all the pieces to fit together!

At the moment we haven't booked anything, everything's been on the back burner past 3 weeks cos of my leg and my daughters been in hospital. So now I'm back on track and ready to sort this all out asap. So no I haven't emailed any ski companies
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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@rm1982, it really might be better to let your kids go off themselves, either in a group or private morning lessons, kids tend to pick things up much quicker, and with no offence meant at all, you will almost certainly hold them back. Let them go off themselves for a few hours every morning and they will be coming back to meet you excited to show off the new tricks theyve learnt!
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@rm1982, out of interest where are you staying in Flachau?
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holidayloverxx wrote:
@rm1982, out of interest where are you staying in Flachau?


Sonnberg ferienanlage hotel
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@rm1982, ok..i want to be careful hiw i put this...you do know that us in reitdorf. .near not in Flachau? Will you have a car or does your accomodation have a shuttle? It is not far from the space jet lift which is one of the Fun pro meeting points.. do you know where the kindergarten is?
Edit...i see fun pro have one at the space jet. Fun Pro for lessons looks like the right answer
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@holidayloverxx, we have a car but the hotel has a shuttle bus stop outside that goes every 20mins.
I don't know where the kindergarten is but it's linked to the fun-pro. I'm not sure if it will be easier to have my daughter stay at the hotel that offers childcare, or have her attend the kindergarten - so we could have lunch with her. She turns 3 when we are on holls.
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@rm1982, the bus goes to the lifts in the mornings and back to reitdorf in the afternoons. Check the timetable carefully. I got the bus to reitdorf instead of Flachau by mistake a few weeks ago and i had to ring for a taxi to get back. If it were me i would drive to the free parking at the space jet 1 lift, put the little one in the fun pro kindergarten and book lessons and kit with them. Keep it simple.

For lunch at the base of the lift you have the dampkessel...which is a renowned apres place but the food is good. There is also the schonezeit next door. There might be other places but i dont tend to be at that end for eating
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@holidayloverxx, agree about using our car. Tbh the thought of 6 of us and equipment getting on a bus sounds horrendous, so our car is more than big enough to fit all our stuff in and us even if I have to strap a few of the girls to the roof NehNeh it will be a lot less hassle than a bus for my gang lol.

Yeh I think if I can just book everything through one company it would be so much easier and less stress for me to deal with.

The food suggestions are fab thanks so much. All feels like it's comming together now. If we have tuition for our first 3/4 days, we can collect my litttlenone from kindergarten and take her for lunch, pop her back have few hours skiing together in the afternoon.

What do people do on a Saturday?. We arrive on the Monday night and depart the following Wednesday, it looks like nothing happens on a Saturday with ski school or kindergartens?
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@rm1982, most would just go skiing, but as you'll have your littlest it might be nice to have a chill day. Wander round the village, go up the mountain with her for lunch (not to ski, use the Achter Jet lift), go sledging, throw snow balls around, build a snowman, go to the pool (good pools in Altenmarkt and Wagrain), there's a little roller coaster thing at the Space jet - if it's open the kids would love it.

Be aware though that a lot of shops are shut on a Saturday afternoon.
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