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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Easter in Val T with the snowheads family bash is a good call. Something of some sort will definitely happen so you can make travel arrangements.

There are probably other cheaper places but higher up snow quality does matter
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Lots of good advice above. DIY is feasible, but I wonder whether a package would take the faff and uncertainty out of it. Even with the benefit of the internet, and Mr Kip's previous expeditions, a packag really should make it less stressful . Transfers from airport to accommodation can be an expensive and tiresome exercise for a family. The options tends to involve either a private taxi transfer (pricey) hire car (less pricey), a scheduled bus service (which may involve a change, sitting around waiting and, when you are paying for 3 people, not necessarily cheap and won't deliver you to the door of your accommodation). Somewhere in the mix ideally on arrival day, you need to buy groceries, get to the ski hire shop, work out where the group lessons start from and pick up lift tickets (though these days they can be bought online). A tour op will help with all of that. The grocery shopping can be mitigated a little by making and freezing at least a couple of meals and popping them in your luggage. In my case, spag bol mix, cake, biscuits and a shepherd's pie are nice to bring from home.

I wouldn't recommend afternoon lessons in April as the snow conditions are likely to be more challenging. The reality is, on the morning of day one, you need to be at the ski school meeting point for the start of the weeks' group lessons, (usually 9.15.9.30am) with ski kit and lift pass already in your possession.

Lots of tour ops offer self catering, but I would suggest looking at catered chalets and chalet hotels. They are often very good value for money, and I (almost) always met nice friendly people when I've been away with them-it's very sociable if you want it to be. The food offerings may vary in quality but you will be fed and not have to worry about it.
Igluski is one website that pools offerings from all sorts of tour ops-they have a link showing the prices of some easter offerings for this coming season. Not all include transfers-but the bigger tour ops do (they don't say which TO the holiday is with on Igluski, but a quick google search will take you to the relevant page).

For easter, I would say go high, so in France (where I do most of my skiing) that really means a resort with a base elevation of 1800m plus. That's not because there won't be snow lower down, but at that time of year the lower you are the more mushy the snow gets after the sun gets to it and warms it up. It may well then freeze overnight and be really hard and icy first thing. It can be really hard work to ski on it, it's harder to practice what you've learned in a lesson and it's all round more energy sapping for a beginner as the day goes on. The last run of the day tends to be the slope home -so inevitably low down in the resort and more chopped up. It's nice if you can avoid being in too much "mashed potato" when your legs are burning with all of the effort. Also, if it snows-which it still does at that time of year-it's more likely to be snow than rain if you are high up!

Also agree-go somewhere with native english speaking ski schools. The group lessons for kids tends to limit the numbers to 8, rather than 12-15 which can happen with the ESF. Before you buy lift passes online, check with the ski school what pass to buy-as you may only need a pass for a more limited ski area as a beginner.

In France, though some may say they are rather too obvious-look at Val Thorens and Tignes. Tignes may win out on ski school options-my sister-also a teacher, has had some great holidays early and late season there with her hubby and 2 boys staying at one of the offerings of http://thetigneschaletcompany.com (linked directly with a ski school) and also
https://www.alpineelements.co.uk/ski-holidays/france/tignes/hotel-hauts-de-toviere

Also-though it's a bit lower-Courchevel 1650 (also known as Courchevel Moriond). It has lovely wide north facing slopes, including down to the village, the snow keeps really well, and english run ski schools. It's always on my list for beginners.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 25-11-19 21:38; edited 1 time in total
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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 personally think this is a very easy task. You’ll have virtually no sense of perspective being first timers so whatever hill you choose you’ll have a ball. Probably best to choose a ‘second tier’ resort so you’re blown away for a second time for your next ski trip (I almost guarantee there will be a second). Step it up each trip would be my recommendation.
Easter is a good call.
Make sure you get the youngster lessons.
The rest will work itself out - just get out there on the snow.
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johnE wrote:
@Kip, Just fill you in with going by train. Let us say you are going to Les Arcs, which is accessible by funicular from Bourg st Maurice.

Train to London,
Cross London by underground
Train to Paris
Cross Paris by Metro
Train to Chambery
Train to Bourg st Maurice
Funicular to Les Arcs

It will take most of the day and is not for the feint hearted

Or:
Train to London,
Cross London by underground
Direct Eurostar to Bourg St Maurice (overnight or day)
Funicular to Les Arcs

Which is a lot simpler but will still take most of the day. The outbound direct services run overnight on Friday or during the day on Saturday, but for the latter you might need to stay in London on Friday night.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I’d recommend the lesson in the fridge. We had a gentleman named John from MK who was in his 40/50s and he put my 7 and 11 year old at ease and had a wonderful manner with them which took away the first day nerves when we got to Norway. We did a private lesson in Sept when it was cheap at £100 for the hour.

The difference is at ski school there are 6-15 kids all with one teacher. There isn’t really time for him to give any one to one time. A private beforehand in a fridge addresses that issue. From putting on skis to getting on a magic carpet or what to do if you end up going backwards.
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Crikey, loads more information to take in, thanks everyone. I basically finished work, got home and family duties kicked in so this is the first chance I've had to look again.

I put forward the idea of skiing at dinner and it turns out that Mr Kip is actually a big fan of the ski package. Apparently years of school trips has made him realise that it's easier to get someone else to sort everything out as far as ski holidays are concerned. Who have thought it? Not me that's for sure.

Kip Jr was not at all impressed with the idea of solo ski school (as I thought might happen, even though we did our best to big it up) so we're going to have to look at possible other options. There's no point forcing her out of her comfort zone on everything in one go and I suspect a lot of it is not wanting to be on her own, in a strange place, doing something she's never done before without either of us around. Not surprising really.

We have friends skiing in the New Year so hopefully her mate will get her excited about the idea, and it may spark her off for ski school, who knows?

As for all your amazing information, it's a bit late for me to digest it now but I will look over the next few days and if I have questions I'll ask.

Thanks again.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Kip jr might be better knowing that the kids in the hotel/chalet will be at the same ski school may help. Mine were terrified about not being understood or understanding the instructor as they might be French and needing a wee (girls!!) they had reason as first ski holiday we did diy nursery/ski school, promised they spoke English and they didn’t at all. Only English kids with French speaking teachers and put my 5 year old (at the time) in a bib for lunch.

They lasted 3 days.

Only other option is a private instructor for the 2 of you. More £ but an option.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We had our first family ski trip this year, I have skied before, husband a non-skier (refuses to try) and a7 year old. We went to st Johann in Tirol in Austria and it was great. Our son went into ski school with a load of German speaking kids plus one bilingual girl who he made friends with. He’s naturally quite shy too but loved it. The instructor was Dutch but spoke perfect English and German. We did half board via crystal so it was easy to organise and plenty of food choice. What I liked was the resort was small enough that I could always find the ski school group pretty easily as they generally stuck to the same couple of runs so I’d go over them in the lift and ski past them on the way down so I could keep an eye from a distance. I’d always ask where they were stopping for lunch and stop at the same place, but he preferred to stay with his new friends and I got an embarrassed wave and then ignored!
I echo comments about snow dome first. We paid for 3 lessons but it just meant he was familiar with all the gear and what skis felt like. He was on red runs after a few days so they pick it up so quickly!
Have fun!
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If you are used to independent travel then you can look at many accommodation options. At Easter you can pick up a good self-catering apartment at a reasonable price. If you want France, take a look here - https://www.pierreetvacances.com/gb-en/ski-holidays-france_ms -
We ski every year at Easter staying in a resort at 1200, and ski up and around the Grand Massif inc Flaine, so if it is a hot year, then we go high but if it has been cooler we have the option of lower tree skiing. As your OH is a teacher you could have the skiing as part of a larger Easter holiday which gives you the option to drive? We often tend to take a side trip on the way back at Easter - Paris, Dijon, Lyon or into Belgium for Ypres or over to Normandy for the D-Day memorials and then back on Brittany Ferries into Portsmouth or Plymouth. You can book singles on all ferries/eurotunnel at no additional cost. As to your 9 year old, if she is good at gymnastics then she will have the balance, strength and drive to take to skiing. I suspect any nerves could evaporate when she realises that she is picking it up quicker than the rest in her group Laughing . If you have the money to go in 2020, I'd just go for it, and not bother waiting another year. You might all get the bug, you never know.
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Hi some great advice on here so far.

Few thoughts from me, strongly agree that Easter is your best bet for your first holiday, the snow is usually plenty good enough for beginners/returners to the slopes it can get a little heavy towards the end of the day, but if you stay high you will manage. Trains are amazing, and I have done it many times at half term if you want advice then ask, however at Easter I am not sure that its any cheaper than flying and in addition I am also not sure if they run as full a timetable to the mountains as during Jan-March?. One piece of advice is prebook your taxi/transfer well in advance and also when changing in Paris between Gare du Nord and Gare du Lyon always take a cab, its about 15 euros normally and takes 15 mins, the underground can take a long time if there are issues, take the stress out of it and grab a cab.

For a specific recommendation for your family I would recommend Avoriaz, disclaimer I am biased as its my favorite resort, however the reasons why I like it may help you find something similar or give you an idea what to look out for.

1) Its relatively high altitude, which for Easter means surer snow and the snow stays in good condition longer, other resorts to look at for this are Les Arcs and Tignes and I am sure others will suggest some.
2) Its ski in ski out, which is a huge boon on your first holiday and especially with kids in tow as instead of the logistical nightmare of getting everyone to the bus stop on the bus then along to the lift and then realizing that you have left gloves/ski pass/teddy/hip flask etc back at the chalet or hotel. With Ski in Ski out, you walk out your building click into your skis and go.
3) Avoriaz has the village enfants, possibly a limited advantage over ESF at your childs age, but we have found them to be great with children and they help them learn in a much less pressured environment, sadly the Village has been taken over by ESF, but it retains many of the same staff and seems to still have the same culture, for how long?........ I would definitely investigate all ski schools in your intended destination and don't be afraid of a smaller outfit with good reviews. ESF are not all bad, I have had some great lessons with them, but they can sometimes be a bit cruel to be kind with the kids and depending on the child this can be counter productive its worth looking around. For example I have had friends skiing with us use Avoriaz Alpine ski school and they were also extremely happy with the tuition. Good luck

Final thing I would say is don't over think it, your daughter will take to it amazingly, the no 1 skill required is balance, she will have that from Gym and at 9 will still have a low centre of gravity she will take to it like a duck to water, and remember you are in the mountains, just being there is worth it.
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@Kip, Welcome to the madhouse. Starting out from scratch must feel quite daunting. You've given yourself plenty of time to figure it out though.
The two main options for you (pretty much as people have suggested) are either a complete package, or a DIY drive/flights & transfers/self cater.
I think Crystal do an "all in" package that does what it says on the tin. Flights, transfers, accom, lift passes and equipment hire. This would take care of a lot of the "what ifs" for you but obviously comes at a premium. Book around Easter time. Pack the sunscreen and Bob's your your uncles brother.
You may find that the total costs of DIY'ing for a one week stay don't always stack up. If you're driving for example, Proximity to the ferry ports or tunnel can make a difference. We're in the north-west so it's 600 mile round trip to Dover. If you only have a week it can feel like a mad dash to get to and from a ski resort. Over the years we've figured out that we can't DIY cheaper than a reasonable one week package. (others will no doubt disagree but this is snowheads). Maybe consider one of the smaller independent chalet companies like The Tignes Chalet Company. They also run transfers, you book your flights. Their own ski school Ultimate Snowsports has a super reputation for teaching kids. www.ultimatesnowsports.com It won't be cheap but probably a good investment in your daughters skiing progression.
Just remember that it's a holiday. By the way some people may tell you that somewhere like Tignes is far too hard core for complete beginners. But it's great late season. Snow will be better than the slush-fest that you may find at lower altitude. Learner facilities have improved with more scope for development. And usually you're never very far from accom to ski lift. Quite important if you don't want to be getting daughter and kit in ski boots to a ski school meet. Good luck.
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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.
I think @gordonrussell76, and myself were having similar thoughts and typing at the same time. Sound advice Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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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
@Kip, welcome to Snowheads!

Your daughter is too old to take advantage of what Esprit offers. BUT catered chalets or chalet hotels are a good idea.
I'm with Mr Kip: Hotels are not great. You come in from a day's skiing: exhausted, exultant, damp, exuberant. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a 15sq metre bedroom until dinner time. Chalets with lounges where you can sit around in your base layers, regalling your fellow skiers with tales of derring do, enjoying a glass of wine and homemade cake before staggering up to get showered and changed for a communal dinner are far more suited. Or you can be a grumpy old whaytst and sit in your room if you prefer...

Easter this year, depending on your actual school dates will be fine: like many, we're restricted but we will be out for first week in April: just as we are every year.
A word of warning though, Daylight is longer, but beginners skiing time is restricted: too icy first thing, too slushy last thing. You won't get many more hours on the slopes than the dead of winter. ( You won't get many less, either...) It just means you can sit out on the veranda of your favoruite restaurant soaking up the rays and enjoying everythig the mountains have to offer without having to have full arctic gear on.

Ski school - is done mainly on ability. This did lead us to issues when MiniRoll was about 10, 11, as she and her friend had been sking 3 weeks a year for 8 years, so were considerably more advanced than the usual '1weeker' brit kids of the same age: they were placed with Older, bigger teenagers. It meant they didn't have the body mass to shuss (or wade through deep powder) like the bigger boys and girls, but did enjoy being everyone's "littl'uns who could".
But as a 1st timer, I would imagine your daughter will be in the same boat as all the rest, and hence it will be done on age or size grouping, enabling her to make friends: and you will meet other likeminded adults at drop off and pick-up.

Travel: we're train addicts, but that's because we are only 40 mins from London, and have a guilt trip about Co2 ( yes, yes, skiing: how harmful do you want your chosen sport to be?). I think from Devon it may be too much for a day's journey. One option might be to get to Paris in the late afternoon/ early evening , stay at the Mecure above Gare de Lyon, and catch an early TGV south. We do it after work on a Friday sometimes: for you I'd suspect it will mean taking the Friday to travel Devon - London - Paris, and a 7 or 8am TGV to arrive in resort just after lunch on the Saturday. Reverse the stopping on the way back, do a little sight-seeing in Paris, with an early Eurostar back to London on a Sunday. Just a thought.

But whatever you do, it will be great. And, bank balance on stand-by, addictive
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Direct Eurostar to Bourg St Maurice (overnight or day)

I am not sure if this runs at anytime in April never mind at Easter. It only runs a few times a week. The normal trains run more or less every day of the year and as
@Arctic Roll, says allow more flexibilty. Do not, however, expect them to be cheep.

@Arctic Roll, I'm with you and Mr. Kip and Pamw in that I don't actually like hotels, last weekend for example I found myself in a 5 bed bunk room in Linz. I thought it was actually better than a 3* hotel of the holiday inn type. However, when I walk past the Cachette hotel in Arc 1600 every day the lounge area looks inviting, the bar more so and late in the Season the terrace. It does look much nicer than the city centre hotels I usually end up in.

@Kip, One thing that no one has warned you about yet when skiing later in the season is sun burn. It may sound odd for a winter sport but the combination of intense sun, high altitude, reflection of the snow and the need to cool off by undoing jackets or skiing in a Tee shirt can catch the unwary out very badly. You need at least factor 50.

Sorry, another warning. Once you have gone once you'll want to go every year, then twice a year, then most of the season. It is addictive.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Caveat applies to this season and there maybe an additional cost as it's not a London airport

But, it looks like EasyJet do flights from Bristol to Geneva - Others fly from Exeter or Southampton

So, whether you DIY or get a package deal, flying should be an option.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:
I would choose Tignes over Val Thorens for your levels as there are loads of really nice, gentle, wide runs!
I absolutely disagree with this. Having skied both extensively, I'd say Val Tho is by far the better area for 1st or 2nd week skiers and is without peer for beginners at Easter.
Two key points:
1) The green slope skiing is right in the centre of town. No walking, no up/downloading. And it allows debutants to actually travel a little without ever leaving the safety of greens. The progression from the magic carpets to the Deux Lacs chair tends to happen very quickly, opening up access to Deux Lacs and The Knife n Fork restaurants, and the opportunity to meet for lunch on the mountain "Like proper skiers".
2) At 2300 v 2100, VT has a slight altitude advantage over Tignes which is very important for snow quality that late in the season, but above that, there are at least 3 places on the lift system above 3000m that are totally accessible by blue runs. Tignes has just the one option above 3000m, the Grand Motte.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Tignes is crap for beginners (I successfully introduced my son to skiing there) but IMHO, VT is significantly better.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Definitely worth looking at the direct Eurostar ski train. We've done this a fair few times and it is very civilised, especially with younger children.

"From 20th of December 2019 up to the 4th April 2020 from London, and 11th April from Bourg-St-Maurice, you can hop on the Eurostar ski train at St Pancras International or Ashford International and be whisked direct to the French Alps at 186mph."

https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/holidays/ski-holidays
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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?
admin wrote:
... I'd say Val Tho is by far the better area for 1st or 2nd week skiers and is without peer for beginners at Easter.
In general I agree with this, other than my recommendations for ski schools would have Tignes scoring more highly than Val Thorens.
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@Kip, remember than most people here are experienced skiers, many have their own gear, and have enough experience to put together a DIY trip without issues. As a novice, I recommend you start with a package: you will enough things to worry about even with that.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
skitrack wrote:
Caveat applies to this season and there maybe an additional cost as it's not a London airport

But, it looks like EasyJet do flights from Bristol to Geneva - Others fly from Exeter or Southampton


In general flying from Exeter is exorbitantly expensive. Bristol can be fairly expensive too depending on the week, quite a lot of my trips will be flying from Gatwick or for Christmas I'm flying from BHX. Southampton can be more affordable than Exeter but generally more expensive than Gatwick, despite being similar hassle to get to.

I don't see train as an option from the SW, takes circa 5 hours to get to Ashford from Exeter if you're driving. A solid 4 hours if you're just getting the train to central London.

@Kip, the Exeter ski slope could be worth a visit, although it will probably be an initial slap in the face of your confidence, that will disappear when you realise how much easier it is on snow! Plymouth & Torquay also have slopes if you're near them, but I've not been to them and IIRC Torquay charge to be a member which makes it quite expensive.
I agree with Admin that VT probably has better slopes for starting out compared to Tignes. Although it's ugly IMO and can be miserable if the weather closes in.
Oh and in regard to what JohnE said about sunburn, that's not just late season either. Very easy to get burned even when it's cloudy, as my giant red face a few years ago proved.
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Quote:

Make sure you get the youngster lessons.

Make sure you get BOTH Mom and daughter lessons!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@Kip, belated welcome to snowHeads. Great advice on different options already.

Good also to have that 2015 book. Especially will help after your first trip, when you’re planning the second, third and so on. BTW I’ve got a set of the 3 separate country guide books that have effectively filled the gap since the old guidebook finished. I find them useful, as some things are changing quite quickly in snow sports, eg new lifts, fewer tour operators, new apartment developments, etc.

My take on your first trip is shaped by experience of all the options you have + beginner wife and son beginning skiing a few years ago now.

Definitely Easter. Preferably the first week of school holidays, the one with Good Friday in it usually (bit quieter).

First week skiing is exciting, exhilarating but usually physically exhausting. Lots of stuff for the brain to absorb too.

Make it as easy for yourselves as you can afford. Package. Fly with transfers included. Or train to Bourg St Maurice.

If possible I’d go with specialist family operator, as I think that would help your daughter a lot. If not then a good sized hotel or chalet hotel. Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner sorted, apart from one dinner usually, midweek.

Morning lessons, afternoon practice, fun skiing together or other activities (swim, tobogganing, etc).

Where? For probability of good snow conditions, La Plagne or Les Arcs could be ideal. La Rosiere another decent choice. Les Menuires too, though tends to get slushy on sunny afternoons late season. Tignes maybe but can be a bit gnarly for beginners.
None of these villages is pretty IMO. All have more slopes than beginners need but your husband may be looking for more challenge?

All very prescriptive I’m afraid. Unusual for me. I know your group has objections to hotels. Apartments hard work for some poor exhausted soul on a first ski week IMO. Shopping, food prep, cooking, wash up? No thanks.

Once you can ski reasonably well, know about the kit, confident navigating around the mountains, etc then lots more options suit then.

Enjoy the planning.
snowHead
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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!
@PeakyB, oh yes, travel this end, starting from Devon. I still shake recalling a drive from Woolacombe to Gatwick, in the middle of a 2 centre holiday, Devon & Croatia.

I thought the drive would never end. Does each person in central south England have big slow cars and drive 20 hours a day, or what? Arrived frazzled only just in time for the flight, having thought we’d left 2 hours contingency time.

If flying from London, a pre departure night stay near airport is far less stressful. Usually reasonable cost if booked well in advance, eg Premier Inn.

They have some ski flights from Southampton I think? Don’t know about Bournemouth.
snowHead
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Lozza1uk wrote:
We had our first family ski trip this year, I have skied before, husband a non-skier (refuses to try) and a7 year old.


O.M.G! Shocked What's wrong with hubby? Puzzled

It's a real pity he refuses to try a sport that can reward a family so much and a shame that he doesn't realise what he's missing out on. Sad
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@Kip, We did something similar with our daughter at the same age; beware you may be creating a monster Shocked She is now a supervisor in Snow School in Canada. Great place but not on a budget.

We went to Norway to start with. However it is a pain to get too and I would say that the French advice on here is first class. We have always done the Easter breaks and never had an issue with being able to ski. Often looked at DIY and never found it a huge saving so gone with TOs - booked in advance so we knew it was happening.

Really wanted to give you some comfort re lessons. We all started off in the same lesson (She did not want to be alone) on the first day. She was bored and they offered to move her up for the next day. As it happens she bounced 2 groups up (not that they told her); and whilst apprehensive was more than happy. When they came back down we were still on the button lift in very rigid snow plow and she flipping well turned round and was skiing backwards chatting to us. Grrrr.

I think there sounds some similarities, our darling can not catch a ball to save her life (very disappointing) so not sporty at all. Also very tiny and off the weight charts - though eats well and always has. She did enjoy dance and gymnastics so had core strength and balance. Ideal for skiing. Layers is the answer, Aldi is your friend - though there is a very small time window to get the kit before it sells out. Skiing is very physical and you do keep warm in the core just the extremities that can be a problem.

Do take spare gloves as dry ones are always handy to change into after lunch. All good ski schools care for the child and take many breaks to warm them up. It is you that will need the extra lessons to keep up.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Dave of the Marmottes,
+1 for a SnowHeads Family Bash in Val Thorens. Would it be confirmed as definitely on well in advance though I wonder?

Traditionally that Bash has been mid April I think, later than Easter school holidays in 2021.

Great shout for 2020 if OP decided to start skiing then instead.
snow conditions     
 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.
Quote:

I think there sounds some similarities, our darling can not catch a ball to save her life (very disappointing) so not sporty at all.

Quote:

She did enjoy dance and gymnastics so had core strength and balance.

These appear contradictory. Being able to catch a ball (or kick one) does not define "sporty". I suspect many of Englands finest slip catchers couldn't do a single somersault, never mind multiple ones with twists.
snow conditions     
 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
Lots of good advice already but I'll give you my thoughts
1) when- at Easter go high (>1800m) for better snow. Snow will often be soft & hard work by mid afternoon but you may have had enough by then anyway. Think about Christmas, it's often quite reasonable for school hols and is magical but doesn't always fit with family commitments.
2) Where - have a mooch through WTSS book. You won't need a massive area (you'll just be paying extra for bigger area lift passes) Places we've been that might suit include Montgenevre and Risoul, also had Pila recommended.
3) Accommodation - ideally v close to the lifts/ski school saves walking in boots.
4) Packages are handy initially though it's not hard to DIY. We've had good packages through crystal and they do self-catering. However beware and check the facilities if you plan cooking, sometimes kitchens are very limited (we've seen places with only 2 cooking rings and no oven) and buying food in resort may be limited to a small mini mart type shop if you dont have a car to get to a supermarket.
I wouldnt go for a child specialist company with a 9 yr old, you'll probably find yourself surrounded by under 5's and they are pricey.
5) When you've picked your resort ask for recommendations on here for ski schools.
Have a great time
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
johnE wrote:
Quote:

I think there sounds some similarities, our darling can not catch a ball to save her life (very disappointing) so not sporty at all.

Quote:

She did enjoy dance and gymnastics so had core strength and balance.

These appear contradictory. Being able to catch a ball (or kick one) does not define "sporty". I suspect many of Englands finest slip catchers couldn't do a single somersault, never mind multiple ones with twists.


I enjoyed rugby but doesn't mean I was any good at it. Also having core strength and enjoying one sport doesn't define sporty either.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Kip, Welcome to snowheads, hopefully you have found us helpful and less judgey
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Brittany ferries over from Plymouth or Poole? Drive diagonally across France? I'm always more relaxed with Ferry and Drive.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sorry Kip, re read opening remark over not driving Embarassed
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?
Welcome and enjoy researching. Loads of good advice on here.

johnE wrote:
a quick look on Amazon shows second hand 2016 editions going for almost £160. Go older, the basics haven't really changed that much so a 2014 copy would be of considerable use to you.


Shame the 2010 version isn't worth quite so much (£3!!) , I'd have sold mine lol
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Kids and learning to ski. Daughters started at 5 and 7. We decided to bite the bullet and have paid for them to privately taught together by ESF. That was 3 years ago skiing 2 weeks a year. Same instructor. About 560 euro for 5x2hours together. Last year I left the booking late (note to self, late = anything shorter than 2 months from Feb half-term) and could only get group lessons. Never again. Kids learned nothing in terms of technique.

They'll be outskiing me next year. Job done. Wallet empty.

If you can, to private. For at least the first two trips.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
welcome @Kip, Very Happy

I would take a look at UCPA (Action Outdoors) it's a French non-profit charity running adventure holidays. They are incredibly good value (food+rental+ski pass+lessons+accommodation for cheap), but the properties are glorified hostels which is not to everyone's taste. You can get private rooms and I think I saw that they run 'family' weeks so maybe they can offer a package that works for the three of you. For what it's worth the place and food in their Serre Chevalier property is excellent.

If you want to do DIY:
Avoid big name resorts and Switzerland. You simply will not get the most out of it and won't enjoy being ripped off. Italy has great food and wine and is really good value. Austria better known than Italy and food is ok, more traditional Alpine charm but not as cheap. France you can try smaller resorts, but it's France (I never really liked France for some reason) and as others have mentioned Andorra is cheap too.


Personally in your case I would go with Austria say Solden, Obergurgl, Flachau/Zauchensee (Ski-armade), Brixental (Ski-welt).....


+1 ski lessons both in a fridge in the UK before and lessons during the holiday.

Regardless what you do, it'll be a blast Smile
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