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Teenager outgrown ski school - what next?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking for what to do next with our teenage daughter. She has finished with ski school, having done her equivalent of ESF Diamond this year. She actually really enjoys being in a group of other children for some of the holiday and her younger sister will still be in lessons, so we would like her to do some sort of class. I think we will probably be in Sauze D'Oulx next year. What she wants is to cover some miles and have a bit of fun off piste, snow parks etc with a group of similar aged children, but we would also like her to be picking up some more skills at the same time. Any thoughts appreciated. I had suggested we could get a guide together for a day, but I got a typical teenage response to that! Also while I am on that topic, what is the best ski school for our 10yr old? thank you in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
*what is the best ski school for our 10yr old? - In Sauze D'Oulx.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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I wouldn't expect that a 10yo has outgrown ski school, there is plenty of stuff that you can only learn when you get close to adult strength.
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@rjs, the 10 year old wants ski school. The teenager is looking for something else
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@rjs, yes @holidayloverxx, is correct. It is the 13yr old and she has outgrown the child system in ski school. thanks
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@trmacc, Enroll her in the race classes
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What is ESF “Diamond”?
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It's a few years ago now so you'll have to consider the current course offer available.

We took a "breakthrough" course with Italian ski school in Sauze d'oulx, it was tutored by an ex local racer and one of the most informative courses I've taken skiing.
Coaching and looking at such a variety of skiing, he took us all over the place between all the pistes, quiet and ignored areas, got us skiing and extending knowledge of so much more than straight instruction.

Spread out over a week of three hours each morning, it gave me things two work on for many trips following. Very worthwhile.
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under a new name wrote:
What is ESF “Diamond”?
Google tells me that ESI Diamond=ESF Gold.
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@trmacc, most ski schools (including ESF I think) do "teen" groups - often called something related to freeride. Usually requires ESF gold level or equivalent, and does a range of stuff covering piste, off piste and park. Mini_mgrolf, now 14, has had a couple of good weeks with different schools in different resorts. Or there's race training, as @johnE suggests. Can't comment on Sauze specifically though.
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Ahhh, @Hurtle, that makes some sense, hadn’t heard of ES[F] Diamond.
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@under a new name, sorry that's what I meant, ESI diamond or ESF Gold. @mgrolf, Yes I've seen those in France but a quick scan in Sauze only seems to have options for season long freeride classes or private groups, not something for just 5 days. Got a while to think about it but if anyone with experience of Sauze has suggestions I'd love to hear them.
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@trmacc, I am just somewhat pedantic - although I did wonder if the ESF had actually been creative enough to come up with a higher level than "Parisien who has skied a week a year since they were 4 and doesn't need lessons any more now they're 25 - get out of my way peasant scum".

I don't know about Sauze, but in Champoluc I think you'd be looking at private lessons at this stage which 1. would be expensive and 2. doesn't get the cameraderie and chums thing.

Hmmm, maybe there's a little gap in the market there.

How young do UCPA go? (I realise that's France). Any options with say, Interski? Or, alternatively, have a look at Ski2 in Champoluc who have their "own" ski school and one frequently sees "classes" out and about doing less formal lessons. Might be interesting for her? They are very much a family company so presuming you're out during school hols, there will be lots of contemporaries around. (I heard they bring in ~65* anglophone instructors for half term... Shocked )

*not vouching for the truth of this!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@trmacc, can she not ski with the you/the family????
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kitenski wrote:
@trmacc, can she not ski with the you/the family????


If she is anything like my 12 yr old - she may asking to do the lessons/ group. Earlier in the year my 12 yr old said she just wanted to ski with us at Easter. No problem, she is more than capable. Two days before ou holiday - I want to do lessons! Oh ok I haven’t booked you anything but have booked you can join your sister in her private but that will be at HER pace. Not long after lunch Ellie’s spies off as we get of the lift at similar time. Mummy / Daddy I am bored can i join you!

She is asking me to book her something for next Feb. So looking for her.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In a similar situation with our 12 year old, for all our sanities, she needs to be in lessons after we tried without at half term - we were barely speaking by day 3! She was much happier at the Family Bash in morning lessons and we got on far better with her in the afternoons than we did with her with us all day.

We did have her booked into SkiCool's "Teen Freeride" or equivalent, but they couldn't get a teacher to run it so she ended up in the "Gold" class. SkiCool (only in Val Thorens, as far as I'm aware) gives out ESF badges, probably because they're secretly ESF. However, it does seem like a lot of places do a "higher than gold" course, particularly once they hit 13 (or occasionally 12). They're often related to racing, but there's also park, off-piste, and sometimes a mixture of lots of those things, which is what our 12 year old was originally going to be doing.

Sometimes ski schools have a "teens" section as well as "kids" and "adults" - it can be easy to miss. That said, I've no idea what there is in Sauze D'Oulx.
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@trmacc, depends a bit on just how "teenage" she is. At the upper end of she's going to tear your heart with an inappropriate boyfriend, you could send her off on her own to the Off Piste Bash . . . Don't worry, there's plenty of fatherlike chaperone attitude and more than enough snowlasses to place in a pickle jar the nuts of a local lad dim enough to attempt summat stupid.

Besides, the hotel propriatrix would skin and use for a sunshade, anyone with I'll designs on yer lass. It does depend on what she wants and how hard she wants to push her ski skills

I'm sure others will have thoughts for a young teen . . . And, of course, you could be supernumerary and push yersen to new levels of skiing nirvana with her wink

Ah... just seen she's 13, a lot borderline for the OPbash as a solo girl (though not completely off the option if she's as independent as you make out) and a snowHead(s) would be willing to be in loco parentis though insurance might be an issue. The Gressoney, Gnarly but Gnice bash would certainly suite a mum or dad and his daughter to push skills and ski boundaries.
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@Masque, the Gnarly bash doesn’t coincide with any school holidays.
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@kitenski, yes of course! We will have 2 full days and every afternoon together but as @NickyJ, and @sparklies, point out sometimes they actually want to join a group of teens and get away from their parents.
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@Masque, might wait a few years for that! Good idea for a bit further down the line.
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I know of this which gets run out of Meribel by a British ski school

http://www.skimarmalade.com/services/advanced-kids-ski-group-lessons/
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@trmacc, call or email the ski schools in Sauze to ask what they can offer. I'd be really surprised if none of them do a teen group offering on a weekly basis.
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My teenage daughter is at this stage. Have booked her on the school ski trip which will mean she can ski with friends and still continue to improve her technique through lessons. For family holidays we try and go with at least one other family so she has company her age.
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@mgrolf, thanks, I will do that closer to the time. @snowymum, yes that would be what we usually do, but doesn't seem to be working out for next year. I am trying to persuade my similar aged niece to join us. And of course if any Snowheaders out in Sauze 08 Feb (Scottish school hols) with similar aged child, give us a shout.
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is this an issue with the choice of ski school/program?
Also what is ESF diamond (no-one answered previously) - just curious
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@stuarth, ESI Diamond = ESF Gold, according to a post nearer the top of the page from Hurtle.
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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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@trmacc,
don't know about Sauze, but where we are, the independent ski schools created a teen-based slightly-off-the-beaten-track, post ski school "thing". Can include off-piste, park, race, mogul stuff and what Mini_roll came back with one time, "extreme carving" - your hip on the ground making its own track in the snow as you complete the turn...

(It was initially created because in Arc 1950 the owners, mainly Brits / Irish, tend to come out 2,3,4 weeks a season so the kids by the time they got to teenage were considerably more advanced than the 1 weekers).

It might be worth having a scout around the smaller schools see if there is similar where you are heading.
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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
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Put her on a snowboard. Or introduce to an alcohol Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It looks like esf sauze only offer freestyle& freeride after race (silver fleche): http://www.esf-sauze.com/Ados_Freestyle.html So if he/she's interested in racing you could look into a 'competition' course offered in french school holidays. Not sure how strict they are about actually having the gold star for the competition course though as opposed to an equivalent as esf can be a little funny that way.
If you're headed elsewhere Evo2 do 'junior academy' which is aimed at kids who are past esf gold star level.
Sorry not much help for sauze!
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@kosmoz, Snowboard - that's not going happen! NehNeh As for the alcohol, they get so many lectures at school these days, she thinks it's poison!
@Canuck, thanks, the freeride looks like a possibility, like the fact that it translates as bring a "backbone" I assume they mean back protector!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Canuck, ESF is the Ecole du Ski Francais, it only operates in France, the OP is planning on going skiing in Italy.

Your link is to a ski school in the Ubaye region south of Gap.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
trmacc wrote:
Looking for what to do next with our teenage daughter. She has finished with ski school, having done her equivalent of ESF Diamond this year. She actually really enjoys being in a group of other children for some of the holiday and her younger sister will still be in lessons, so we would like her to do some sort of class. I think we will probably be in Sauze D'Oulx next year. What she wants is to cover some miles and have a bit of fun off piste, snow parks etc with a group of similar aged children, but we would also like her to be picking up some more skills at the same time. Any thoughts appreciated. I had suggested we could get a guide together for a day, but I got a typical teenage response to that! Also while I am on that topic, what is the best ski school for our 10yr old? thank you in advance.


My kids have always lessons with Evolution 2 “Panda club” in Argentiere. There are now a large cohort of multi trip Brit families who have their kids in here in preference to ESF.

Mine now do off piste, Avi training, park and ( frighteningly) some small kickers.

There is talk of a touring group next year.

The top group Now split in busy weeks based on age and size have a lot of fun.

It is well run and the instructors SEM to be having a lot more fun than the ESF lot.
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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?
Have to say, I don't really get this. My kids are 16 and 14 and stopped taking lessons 3 years ago having started to ski at about 4 years old (although my youngest is giving the race club at Hemmel a go for PE GCSE).
They stopped lessons because they wanted to ski with me and my oldest claimed that he was learning as much form the odd tip I throw out than from his instructor (may or may not be true!). I love skiing with them and they seem to love skiing with me. Chairlift time is precious "side by side" chatting time away from screens, homework, etc. To my mind the whole point of lessons was to help them get to the point where we can enjoy skiing together all day.
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@jedster, I am certainly of that viewpoint.... sadly my daughter doesn’t always agree with me.
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@jedster, we love skiing with the children and it gets better each year, but they definetly get the most enjoyment from a mixed day and have specifically requested it - ie spending some time with other children of a similar age/skill and then the rest of the day with us. Skiing with them all day clearly works for your family and many others and you may not "get it" but for my children, at this stage - a few hours a day in a lesson of sorts will be of great benefit fun, socially and skiing wise - hence my request.
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@trmacc, don't get too hung up on whether or not it's "right" to want lessons/something other than skiing with parents, for kids. This is one of the Snowheads favourites, we have the full gamut of views and plenty of people who will put their own position forward as the best.
Re-reading the thread, I can't help but think you should be considering the SFaB next Easter (assuming it happens) - based on families there this year and expressing an interest in next year, your teenage daughter would have a ready made gang of peers to ski with (and to go to teen-friendly lessons with). It's not Sauze, and you may not be planning an easter trip but I'll put the idea out there (and confirm another SHs stereotype - providing answers to a question the OP hasn't asked about Laughing).
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@mgrolf, we would love to actually Very Happy . Sadly the place I work has pretty much a full ban on any holidays last 2 weeks March and first 2 weeks in April as that is our financial year end. So Easter hols skiing is never an option for us Crying or Very sad
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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!
@trmacc, we have the same issue. elder female Grom now 15 and bolshy. Zero interest in improving skiing. Younger male Grom (ValaisGrom2) deeply committed to improvement and skis at a level which causes talent scouting. My answer to the problem? We don’t have one ... it’s all very upsetting and more to do with the dynamics of the family and emerging teenage identity than anything else. We simply don’t push it on days when her heels are dug in but we have the luxury of her simply being able to stay in for the day with friends or family, and do some bribing re nice lunches and trips to thermal baths.
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@valais2, thanks. It's not actually a huge problem for us, I just know she'd have more fun with a bit of variety on her skiing day. If we can't find something suitable we will ski together all day and we will all enjoy it, but I know she will improve her technique (which she is keen to do) much more with an instructor than with her parents and enjoy the fun of being with a group of teenagers doing things like snow parks, bit of off piste etc. At the end of the day, whatever we do, we all love our skiing holidays and will have a fantastic time Cool
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@trmacc, ooops...looks like your family setting is more functional than ours...

...ValaisGrom2 had three private lessons (mornings) with the brilliant Alaine from Swiss Mountain Sports (thanks Yves) in 2017-18 in order to ‘acquire’ snowboarding .... it was a great experience for him; really good to spend time with a coach who has sports psychology background. Carole, his ski coach of years back said ‘how’s the snowboarding going Alex?...’ at the end of the second week, and took him on a couple of laps of the hill, both on snowboards. She came back shocked ‘How many days has he done with Alaine?’ - ‘Three mornings...’. ‘Not possible...he’s carving all over the mountain and doing jumps in the Park...’ ‘Well it’s true...really...’. She smiled and gave Alex a big hug. Wonderful.
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