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When should I let teenagers roam free?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The age old question, but specifically when skiing!
I have two teenage girls 13 & 16 both have got 6 years skiing under their belts and can handle pretty much any piste.
We’ve always skied together as a four so far, including myself and OH, but can I let them have a hour or two without us?

Thoughts please
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hell yes. They’ll be on the vin chaud or Folie Douce in no time ! If they are sensible then why not.
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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 was off with my mates on school trips from around 11 onwards. Admittedly only Glenshee and Glencoe, but still ...
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under a new name wrote:
I was off with my mates on school trips from around 11 onwards. Admittedly only Glenshee and Glencoe, but still ...


Likewise.....still remember the history teacher taking my fags off me on a laganlia trip to Cairngorm, the bug Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Another likewise.

My folks, who never skied, would sometimes drive me over to cairngorm when I was about 12. They’d drop me off, then go for a run in the car, and come back for me when the lifts shut.
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When we took grandchildren on their first ever ski trip (they had learned at the dry slope first) at 7 and 9 after the first few days we always let them ski "on their own" for a spell at the end of the day (We just made sure at that age and experience they were never more than one drag lift away from us. Was quite interesting when a storm came in and all lifts except the low level drag were shut, watching the 7 year old stoically carry on skiing, even getting blown 20 feet sideways on the drag lift in the gust - she just assumed that was what it's like skiing!
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@Drammeister, obviously some precautions to emphasise before they go: such as should they fall out, as sisters are prone to do, you do NOT ski off on your own in a huff. Suck it up until you get back to a pre-arragned meeting spot with you.

But sure as above, if they are competent skiers, its no different to sending them into town on their own to do a bit of shopping.
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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!
orange wrote:
Hell yes. They’ll be on the vin chaud or Folie Douce in no time ! If they are sensible then why not.

And, I think, the 16 yr old can buy alcohol in Austria.
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Arctic Roll wrote:
@Drammeister, obviously some precautions to emphasise before they go: such as should they fall out, as sisters are prone to do, you do NOT ski off on your own in a huff. Suck it up until you get back to a pre-arragned meeting spot with you.

But sure as above, if they are competent skiers, its no different to sending them into town on their own to do a bit of shopping.


Thanks, we’d talk to them about what to do in case of an accident and, yes, I’d thought about the falling out thing!
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Mods, please move to Mumsnet
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Set of skins and decent transceivers is assumed but why ever not?
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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.
Just have a meet up point after an hour or so on their own, or if you they need to build up trust wait at rest point & let them go up & come down one run on their own.

As long as you keep a meeting point & have ample time for a search if they dont make it there/get lost, etc. whats the issue?
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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
Yes, no question - but yes, they should stick together and stick to open runs. No off piste, no closed runs.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Make sure they all have mobile phones not one between them - my two managed to lose each other, but soon sorted by phoning each other.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Drammeister, yes, mobiles, power pack and walkie talkies as a back up, then have some peace and quiet wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Depends on whether they can find their own way around the resort - even some adults just can't manage this and will only follow in a group! If yes (which you can check by letting them do all the navigating say the previous day) then no problem. If not, then if all runs end back at a single base point, like some of those mentioned above, probably still no problem, but if they might accidentally end up in another valley/village late in the day it could be an issue.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Drammeister, My niece has an app on her 10 year old daughters iPhone so she can track her when she is out with her friends, would expect their will be similar for android.
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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?
My thoughts would be similar to those mentioned above:

1. They stick together and let you know roughly their route.

2. They have mobile phones with all relevant numbers (Yours, each others)

3. A meeting point, if all else fails. I had an iphone that switched off and wouldn't work when very cold.

4. Written details of accommodation ie. Name, address, phone number

5. Make sure they can read and follow a Piste Map...and who to speak to if get lost ie. An Instructor, Pisteur etc
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We have 16 year old triplets and ski with friends who have a 15 year old. Frankly we just hold them up these days. I have no concerns about their skiing and last year we would let them ski by themselves but keep meeting up at lifts etc. Apart from anything else they wanted to be with us at drink and lunch stops so we could pay for them.

This year there is talk of them going off by themselves for the day. What concerns me about that is getting the call from the other side of the mountain after the lifts have shut. We'll almost certainly let them do it though, probably starting with a day where we set off together and agree a time and place for lunch .
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
larry1950 wrote:
@Drammeister, My niece has an app on her 10 year old daughters iPhone so she can track her when she is out with her friends, would expect their will be similar for android.

They have iPhones, so yes could do that.
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Having asked this, I showed the 13yr old this thread. And she said she wanted to stay with us.

We’ll see when we get there I suppose.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sat 23-11-19 13:59; edited 1 time in total
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Drammeister wrote:
Having ask this, I showed the 13yr old who said she wanted to stay with us.

We’ll see when we get there I suppose.


Hmph - on piste policing of parents!

How are parents supposed to get sozzled on skis when a little voice (not so quietly) chimes in: "you said you were only going to have one at lunch, and you meant glass, not bottle"
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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:
My thoughts would be similar to those mentioned above:

1. They stick together and let you know roughly their route.

2. They have mobile phones with all relevant numbers (Yours, each others)

3. A meeting point, if all else fails. I had an iphone that switched off and wouldn't work when very cold.

4. Written details of accommodation ie. Name, address, phone number

5. Make sure they can read and follow a Piste Map...and who to speak to if get lost ie. An Instructor, Pisteur etc


Thanks. Good advice.
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SBP wrote:
Drammeister wrote:
Having ask this, I showed the 13yr old who said she wanted to stay with us.

We’ll see when we get there I suppose.


Hmph - on piste policing of parents!

How are parents supposed to get sozzled on skis when a little voice (not so quietly) chimes in: "you said you were only going to have one at lunch, and you meant glass, not bottle"


This exactly!
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dode wrote:

My folks, who never skied, would sometimes drive me over to cairngorm when I was about 12. They’d drop me off, then go for a run in the car, and come back for me when the lifts shut.

Same for me. Parents would stay if we went to Glenshee or the Lecht but I always skied Cairngorm by myself.

Also went on first ski club holiday to Tignes at 14, was given Espace Killy lift pass and told "dinner is at 7pm". I went hillwalking on my own in the UK at that age too.
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@GreenDay, Half way up a hill near the Benmore Centre in the early 80s, maths teacher turns to me and a mate, I know you both smoke, I've left my fags at the centre, so if you let me have one, you can have one as well.

Our two were skiing on their own on our side of the hill from 12/13 ish.

Youngest when he was 15 got stuck on a chair with his mate for 15min a couple of years ago and got a 5chf voucher each for the Alpage. Came back to the apartment proudly telling us that he quite liked Carlesberg. When he saw the vouchers, the waiter just said to them two beers? They weren't going to say know were they.

Edited to add @DJL, Laughing
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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.
According to one party a 16 year old should be on a full wage and allowed to vote. Let them go with some check of understanding. In 2 years they may be in Cambodia on a gal 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
chocksaway wrote:
According to one party a 16 year old should be on a full wage and allowed to vote. Let them go with some check of understanding. In 2 years they may be in Cambodia on a gal year....


Holiday in Cambodia just doesn't have the same meaning these days Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
True about Folie Douce.

16 yo




13 yo




Little tinkers said they were in ski school Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
It surely depends on how sensible the youngsters are?

I live in a big city. See kids on the city bus going to school everyday. Their uniforms tell me they may be as young as 13.

I grew up in a medium size city. My parents let me take the city bus to attend sports camp when I was 10.

My Mom was at first shocked when my 13 year old cousin living in another city several hundred km away showed up at our door! He handed over some items from his Mom, which convinced my Mom his 4 hr bus journey had the proper blessing.

The next summer, I was allowed to make the same bus journey in reverse by myself to visit my cousin.

Ski lifts are just like buses. Once the youngsters figure out how to use it. It’s pretty easy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mosha Marc wrote:
True about Folie Douce.


What you haven't admitted is that's you and the missus in the foreground of the 16 yr old shot
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Dave of the Marmottes, Laughing
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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?
My kids (11 &13) have started to head off after lunch and at the end of the day for a few runs but their sense of direction is not brilliant so they're building up gradually.

Who knew it was 16 to buy beer in Austria?! I sent a friend's daughter to the bar to get the beers in when she was 14 as, 'that's what the legal age is!'. They didn't seem particularly bothered...
https://www.tripsavvy.com/legal-drinking-age-in-european-countries-3149735
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Klamm Franzer wrote:
My kids (11 &13) have started to head off after lunch and at the end of the day for a few runs but their sense of direction is not brilliant so they're building up gradually.

Who knew it was 16 to buy beer in Austria?! I sent a friend's daughter to the bar to get the beers in when she was 14 as, 'that's what the legal age is!'. They didn't seem particularly bothered...
https://www.tripsavvy.com/legal-drinking-age-in-european-countries-3149735


Wow, I knew we were liberal...
United Kingdom: Age 5 for drinking on private property; age 18 for both drinking in public and purchasing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My 16 year old is an adrenalin crazed lunatic.
By mid afternoon, I usually have to claim to need the toilet break whilst he does one run. If I can point him at the slowest, crankiest lift to enable me to get more than one vin chaud in, so much the better Wink

I do make sure that I have his phone tracked through.
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Tazz2bme wrote:


I do make sure that I have his phone tracked through.


I was going to suggest this - enable location sharing on the phones so you have some idea of where they are should you need to find them... but yep I’d let them start to spread their wings even if it’s doing a couple of runs and meeting you at the bottom to start with. We’ve done the same with our young kids - wife at bottom, me at top (reasonable short runs) or mid point and watch them go down whilst on home to wife.. they’re fine with it apart from my youngest bombing off and the losing that privilege was instantly rolling eyes
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
All phone tracking should work both ways so kids can find a parent who is injured!! My son was once "roaming" in La Rosiere. I came across him in a
quiet corner having a furtive smoke. I think he was 13!
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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!
@pam w, the lifties came and told me that my two were getting stoned with their mates in the terrain park once, would have been 14 and 16 at the time Very Happy

I left mine to their own devices from the age of 9 or 10. But they would usually be roaming the mountain as part of a pack of frothing youngsters, who know the smallish area well and could ski or board well. No cellphone reception anyway. Just made sure they had some cash and told them to get back to the truck after the lifts shut.
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My philosophy with kids and independence has mostly been that if they feel confident to do something, I'll let them do it. Like getting the train into London for the day - I think my son was 14 the first time he did that, in a group. Depends how sensible they are though, and mine were intelligent and pretty sensible, and by us giving them the responsibility to be allowed to do stuff, I hope it means they had enough respect to not go and do anything stupid? Obviously I'll probably only find out if they abused that in some after dinner conversation in years to come! But they have both become confident, independent, self reliant young people.
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@Drammeister, I assume the kids get the bus to school on their own, go to the park to play on their own etc. Why not ski on their own?

Having said that I love skiing with my son and I think he doesn't mind looking after me.

I suspect you are really more worried about having someone to look after you than you looking after them. You will be fine without them.
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