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Recommendations - i need to sell skiing to the Mrs

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Definitely think that a group of lessons before you go is a good idea, it will mean she has a much better chance of progressing off the nursery slopes during the week and getting to experience more of the mountain.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
At Les Gets you need to get the bubble up to the nursery slopes so I think a lift pass will be required for the Les Gets sector.
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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?
@Daviejohn1983,
If you are settled on Les Gets then your wife will need at least a local area pass as lessons commence from the top of the Chavannes bubble.

This is a link to a Google street view of the beginners area, the hut in centre is the top of the magic carpet travelator for beginners.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@46.1493564,6.6855641,3a,90y,184.42h,75.04t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5TICBWYiYib9tg1TL0XAxA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

She will probably only spend a few days there before progressing to taking the Croix chairlift which you can see by panning left.
There are quite a few restaurants in the Chavannes area which make good meeting points for after lessons.

We used Ski Ecole 360 last winter for our 4 grandchildren aged 4 - 8 and found them excellent. They also gave a discount of 78 Euros on their local area pass, I don't know if this was available just for children as I could find nothing about it on their website.

If you do decide to commit early then there are usually discounts available on the lift passes.
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adithorp wrote:
How about the MYAsH bash? Next years is on the 20th Jan and it's specifically set up to be easy for beginers/learners with slopes/ski school less than 50m from the hotel and 6x1/2day lessons and equipment included and plenty to keep their skiing friends/partners/husbands/wives busy.


This. It is exactly the purpose of the bash, she will meet others that are in the same boat, a good learning environment, and you will have others to ski with too.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Madesimo, Lombardy, Italy

Ticks all but your France, CH, Austria box

2 hrs from Milan Malpensa
If you hire a car then Lake Como is on the way to Madesimo. You could easily take an afternoon/day off and spend it at Como
Excellent range of accommodation at very reasonable prices
Excellent range of dining options at all price points, including a magnificent 1-Star Michelin restaurant
Pedestrianised village with real shops and some cool bars
Dedicated beginners area at village level just across the road from hotel with pool, or short walk from main square
Good progression from beginner area to mid-mountain blue runs
More than enough terrain to keep you happy
Great mountain restaurants accessible by walk on gondola
Wonderful views
Big snowmobile area for alternate winter activity
Tremendous value for money

My TR from March 2017
(scroll to half way for Madesimo)

Pic links aren't working - Facebook coding - so check pics on second link

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=131459

https://www.facebook.com/mike.richards.927/media_set?set=a.10155176152418624.1073741889.506688623&type=3
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the closest snowdome is Glasgow (I think) so ill try and get down for a day or two to get her going. Potentially get a lesson or two so at least shes not totally green when she gets onto the piste and she can enjoy the mountain better.

thank you @Timc that's a good idea

I'm going to have a look at MYasH Bash, I suspect shes not going to be too keen on that, would probably prefer the first attempt just the two of us plus since its her 30th she may want to do something romantic every so often! ...maybe not snowHead

Great welcome to the forum from everyone so far!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Daviejohn1983, don't write off dry ski slopes, especially if more accessible. Though point out it will be easier on the real stuff. I learnt the basic on a course of lessons (a very long time ago) and getting on the real stuff was a pleasure.
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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!
Daviejohn1983 wrote:
Great welcome to the forum from everyone so far!

Just ask the question "should she wear a helmet" and that will be solved Very Happy Toofy Grin wink
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Personally I'd keep MrsDJ off dry slopes. I used them a lot decades ago. Now they scare me and I don't hesitate to tackle black runs anywhere.
Snowdome lessons definitely worthwhile.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
gorilla wrote:
I think @rob@rar is right about this one. What makes things work for beginners is quality of instruction. If she hates the skiing she will not enjoy the holiday. Personally, I would stack the deck in your favour here and go with a female British instructor. That may mean compromising on resort choice in order to get the right individual. I have ended up spending more time in Meribel than I would personally like as the choice of BASI ISTDs is better than anywhere else.

If you go with Les Gets then I would take Rob's advice. For Courchevel, I would think about Lara (bookable through the independent ski co) and Millie (bookable through Marmalade in Meribel). Both of them are good with female beginners.


Actually, I'd say that the most important thing for a beginner is the quality of the weather. Blue skies, sunshine and not freezing to death are far more important than the quality of instruction. Obviously you can't 'fix' the weather, but I always encourage new skiers to go in March/April when it is likely to be warmer with longer days.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Good point by @foxtrotzulu, about weather conditions. You may get lucky in January but it can be challenging. Having a few good pieces of decent quality clothing and kit is important.

I'm sure friendly snowHeads will advise on that and other things you might want to ask. You might find becoming a snowHeads member the best investment of all.
ski holidays
 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.
I would recommend some lessons in the UK either dry slope or fridge - myself and my better half both learnt basics in a dry slope for a decent price. Then would suggest as digger said going on the myashbash which is ideal for people like this. I will be back there this year.
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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
If I was in your position I'd go to Champoluc in Italy with Ski-2. They'll pick you up in a car from GVA and they've got great British instructors in their own ski school. Not the cheapest option but I bet your wife would love it!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Talk to the ski school about the pass for your wife before buying one as there is a special area for beginners with free lifts called les Mappys in Les Gets..

As others have said 3 or 4 dry slope or snow dome sessions to get to the point where she is comfortable moving around on skis and can snow plough is a really good investment.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Valkyrie wrote:
If I was in your position I'd go to Champoluc in Italy with Ski-2. They'll pick you up in a car from GVA and they've got great British instructors in their own ski school. Not the cheapest option but I bet your wife would love it!


Although I love this area and the food in it is fantastic, there are a number of standing up lady's toilets in the restaurants on the slopes,is that likely to put her off?
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm going to be different and mention Levi in Finland - really easy skiing as it is a hill rat her than mountain, quiet, nice places to eat, nice spas etc

Importantly you can have it as a winter break with Skiing rather than a ski break, so you can do snowmobiling, huskies, reindeer, all that fun stuff.

Just bare in mind at that time of year it's dark 23rd a day and cold but it makes it rather romantic. Toofy Grin
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Don't rule out some snowshoeing as an alternative: no problem for a non-skier and can be much more pleasant if the weather conditions aren't good. It might also lay the ground for future trips together, even if she doesn't take to skiing. We started to snowshoe about 5 years ago and now on most holidays we spend a couple of days out from skiing on racquettes. This not to be confused with Nordic cross-country skiing. Now, we'd much rather go for a snowshoe walk on a bad weather day, as opposed to skiing in a whiteout. And if it's warm and slushy, then again, a snowshoe walk may be more rewarding than an afternoon of water-skiing.

So I'd look for somewhere where there are some signed easy snowshoe routes. One thing we like is that you get away form the crowds very quickly while remaining close to civilisation, so to speak. And if the walks are near the resort, then no need for a lift pass, which saves a day's skipass costs x2.
ski holidays
 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?
Personally I would say definitely not Chamonix. The other places currently on the "hit list" look good, you want a pretty village with some spa facilities (at least hot tubs and perhaps a pool) plus manicure/pedicure opportunities. Perhaps available for snow shoeing if she doesnt want to do too much skiing. A bix of luxe and also glamour. Megeve could go on your list.
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In my experience the level of instruction at Breahead is miles behind Bellahouston (dry slope). Only a couple of miles away from each other so using the same talent pool, but Braehead instructors seem as if they've stumbled across skiing whereas the dry slope instructors have been skiing since an early age and are way more positive. Worth checking your local dry slope for lessons as I definitely think it's worth getting some time on skis before hitting the slopes
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
(Deleted double post)


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 17-08-17 23:04; edited 1 time in total
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Another vote against Chamonix for beginners. Wengen would be lovely, not least because it's so easy for skiers and non-skiers to meet up at mountain restaurants.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you are flying out of Abz, then Glenshee or The Lecht are the obvious places to take the Mrs. Better than driving further to ski indoors. If the conditions are good, for a complete beginner, The Lecht is hard to beat. You'll prolly get bored, but £'s in the bank.
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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!
I would say forget Europe for her first trip and push the boat out and go to the USA or Canada. Better snow conditions generally, less crowds, fewer lift queues, better customer service levels & no language barriers. Wherever you end up going I hope you have fun.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Wengen or Zermatt, Switzerland.
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How about a spa+ski trip? Somewhere like Leukerbad or cheaper Ovronnaz in Switzerland? With the emphasis on the spa, then the skiing as the supplement, so to speak. This takes the pressure off the novice. And you won't be doing a lot of skiing anyway, if you have to accommodate her lessons, so you'r not losing out. An alternative might be the Bains de Saillon spa in the Rhone valley and then drive up for lessons somewhere at one of the Valais resorts like Nendaz, Zinal, La Tzoumaz, Ovronnaz and some culture at the Fondation Giannada in Martigny, Lausanne or the Chateau Chillion. i.e. a holiday that includes spa and skiing but isn't 100 focused on the snow.

http://www.ovronnaz.ch/en/?season=winter
https://www.bainsdesaillon.ch/en/
https://www.chillon.ch/en/
https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/destinations/regions.html (select Valais on the map)
http://www.gianadda.ch/
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Whats wrong with the lecht, hour and half in car. job done......

Personally for your wifes first ski trip, i would be thinking more of Austria. Fly to either salzburg or innsbruck which opens up a lot of lovely resorts. Zell am see worth a look but other people on here has lot more recommendations.

Have you tried the dry ski slope beside garthdee for a lesson?
ski holidays
 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.
I've booked the wife on my next trip. Haven't told her though! 2 weeks in Whistler with our son and his GF ( they have done 2 seasons there). Hoping she actually tries skiing.
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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
@Daviejohn1983 - how about a shorter trip with the romance of Verona, and a bit of lake Garda? Then skiiing isn't the 'total focus' ).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Cervinia ......
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Austria has drunken fat people smoking and dancing on tables. At lunchtime.

@philwig, We're not all fat! Shock Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Indeed, and I was describing the tourists wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not sure whether it's been covered already but in Les Gets the BASS school is very good (or was, when I and mine had lessons there, some years ago). Even if you ski well already, @Daviejohn1983, you might consider taking lessons as well. Most of us have plenty to learn (and equally important, unlearn) and skiing on your own could get a bit samey.

An alternative, if you've only ever skied, is to take beginner snowboarder lessons. Then when you get out with your wife after lessons you will empathise with her fear of falling off lifts, doing the steep-looking bits or - worst of all - those narrow rather flat paths which masquerade as "green runs".

Or if your wife is sporty and up for it, why not both learn snowboarding together (unless, of course, your scared that she'll be better than you.....)


Ask the ski school when you book (and you MUST book) what ski pass your wife will need. IIRC there aren't many free lifts in Les Gets - or anywhere else in France, for that matter. Don't know about other countries but when my family of 5 all had beginners lessons in Austria we ALL needed ski passes from day 1. It'll depend on the resort.

If your wife wants to ski with you after lessons (rather than eat, sleep or cry...) you'd be well advised not to take her on any slopes she hasn't done with her instructor. Relationships have foundered on less wink wink wink
ski holidays
 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?
Quote:

I've booked the wife on my next trip. Haven't told her though! 2 weeks in Whistler with our son and his GF ( they have done 2 seasons there). Hoping she actually tries skiing.

Laughing Well if she doesn't, @endoman, it won't be for any lack of romantic empathy and loving support on your part. Laughing
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

I've booked the wife on my next trip. Haven't told her though! 2 weeks in Whistler with our son and his GF ( they have done 2 seasons there). Hoping she actually tries skiing.

Laughing Well if she doesn't, @endoman, it won't be for any lack of romantic empathy and loving support on your part. Laughing


Told her now, and I'm still alive, some fridge lessons next which she has agreed to. Taken me 27 years! I do love the tip of not taking her where the instructor hasn't taken her.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I know it's not a vote but +1 to Les Gets - and Les Gets over Morzine, even though you personally might prefer Morzine to access the rest of PDS. I think the Les Gets beginner areas are better than Morzine/Pleney - longer, a little gentler with better progression.
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skidoodle wrote:
I would say forget Europe for her first trip and push the boat out and go to the USA or Canada. Better snow conditions generally, less crowds, fewer lift queues, better customer service levels & no language barriers. Wherever you end up going I hope you have fun.


I disagree. I can't speak from personal experience of the Rockies, so please correct me if you think I'm factually wrong:

Al the advantages you mention are, I'm sure, true but I think the flip-side is probably more important for beginners -

Rockies are generally colder than the Alps. May not be pleasant in December/January.
Charming mountain restaurants are, AFAIK, thin on the ground in the Rockies. Isn't it more vast cafeteria serving pizza, burgers and hot dogs?
Alpine resorts can be far prettier and chocolate-boxy
Almost certainly far more expensive than the far shorter journey to the Alps

I appreciate there may be great NA resorts and rubbish European ones, but for a beginner I think the snow quality is less important and the overall experience is more important
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
driz wrote:
I know it's not a vote but +1 to Les Gets - and Les Gets over Morzine, even though you personally might prefer Morzine to access the rest of PDS. I think the Les Gets beginner areas are better than Morzine/Pleney - longer, a little gentler with better progression.
Anywhere gets my vote over Morzine. Rule 1 of skiing - Go somewhere with snow.

OK, I know that last remark was a bit trollish, but the OP is planning to go in January and if he's thinking of the beginning of the month then I can't help feeling that a more snow-sure and better integrated resort would be more suitable for his wife. Somewhere small and cosy. Les Gets may be perfect, although it's still a touch low for my taste.
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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!
I concur with FTZ. In late January there are loads of European resorts with negligible lift queues, uncrowded conditions and perfectly acceptable - even charming! - customer service levels. As for "language barriers", anyone who is fazed by being in a European ski resort where the local language is French, German or Italian or whatever is probably best advised not to travel at all! And certainly never venture to such weird foreign places as Bali, Thailand, Japan or Egypt! Some people actually quite enjoy the experience of not being bathed in English!
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pam w wrote:
I concur with FTZ. In late January there are loads of European resorts with negligible lift queues, uncrowded conditions and perfectly acceptable - even charming! - customer service levels. As for "language barriers", anyone who is fazed by being in a European ski resort where the local language is French, German or Italian or whatever is probably best advised not to travel at all! And certainly never venture to such weird foreign places as Bali, Thailand, Japan or Egypt! Some people actually quite enjoy the experience of not being bathed in English!


The last time I was in the Far East and they bathed me I couldn't understand a word either of them said.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Endoman - great shout, lots to do in Whistler and if the wife doesnt take the skiing she can even quite easily have a couple of day trips down to Vancouver for city shopping. I dont agree that Whistler is much colder than Europe in December and January. The people in Whistler are delightful, courtesy is the norm. There is plenty of good accommodation with all mod cons and accommodation tends to be more spacious than in Europe unless you spend gazillion of pounds on your European hotel or apartment. Its definitely not so chocolate boxy but neither is it too "high rise" and there are plenty of resorts in Europe which are much less attractive. Nearly every apartment block and hotel has a heated pool and hot tub(s). Lots of spa opportunities and plenty of alternative activities if skiing doesnt work out. Great Ski School too.
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