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Your thoughts on a new set of Ski Coaching holiday weeks

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are toying with the idea of running coaching courses in parallel during the same week which we think may be of interest to couples or friends of differing abilities who would like to stay together in the same chalet but with a focus on making improvements with daily coaching.

Not sure if there is an appetite for such a thing or if people would say wow exactly what I have been looking for Smile Any comments gladly received...

As an example for the last week of Feb 2021:

Feb Course 1. A ski holiday focussed on enjoying some great French cuisine with an American guiding you around the ski area, providing a bit of teaching along the way. Cruising on the pistes we will keep it "civilised" with proper coffee breaks and some very "nice" lunches organised each day at our favourite restaurants in Les Trois Vallees. We will be skiing reds and blues with a big white flag being raised at the thought of any black runs! We won't rush you (or the lunches) and will ensure you enjoy your week in the mountains whilst bringing on your skiing a bit as a bonus Smile This holiday is suitable for level 6 and higher skiers who enjoy cruising the groomers and love good food, wine, company and scenery.

AMENDED Feb Course 1. A perfect ski holiday if you like cruising the wonderful Trois Vallees red and blue pistes, with a big white flag being raised at the thought of skiing any black runs! We are limiting the group size to 6 people to make sure everyone gets close personal attention, suitable for confident level 6 and higher skiers who enjoy cruising the groomers, love good food, wine, company and scenery.

The plan is a relaxed and highly sociable ski holiday with fellow enthusiasts, enjoying the slopes, the mountains, the lunches and bringing on your skiing technique with a mix of coaching and gaining quality ski mileage under the watchful eye of an instructor. I have skied in France for 20 seasons and will keep it very civilised with proper coffee breaks and some fantastic lunches organised each day at our favourite hidden gems within the Three Valleys. Our base for the week is in a luxurious chalet located in Meribel Les Allues, offering spacious accommodation, a fireplace and great food.

This holiday coincides with our Off Piste Development course and we will share the same chalet accommodation during the week, coordinating the groups so we meet up for a few lunches during the week. If you have a friend or partner who fancies that course we offer a Bring a Friend discount of 10% each on the courses coaching fee.

Course 2. This week is perfect for skiers who are happy skiing off piste red and black terrain, variable snow conditions, icy slopes and bumps but are looking to gain mileage and the confidence to get further from the pistes and enjoy skiing slopes that are "demanding but doable". If you have wider off-piste focused skis please bring them along. Backpacks with avalanche rescue equipment will be required every day. If you have your own equipment please bring it along, if not we will issue you with a backpack, shovel, probe and transceiver. The course will be a mix of guiding and coaching and conditions allowing we will be maximising your time off piste with an end of week goal to ski an extensive backcountry route outside the resort boundary. Should weather conditions not allow for off piste skiing we will do technical skills development that will help improve your off-piste skiing. We will refresh and extend your knowledge of avalanche rescue equipment. When out in the mountains we will point out avalanche prone areas and give you some knowledge and understanding on how to read snow pack conditions to give you some knowledge of mountain craft. This holiday is suitable for level 8 and higher skiers who would consider themselves off-piste Developers (or stronger) who confidently enjoy skiing off piste on steeper slopes (red-black) away from pistes.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 15-02-20 15:11; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@skimottaret, interesting. I couldn't do group 2 and wouldn't do group 1...I would want more than 'a bit of teaching' otherwise I might as well just go on holiday.

It strikes me there is a bit of a gulf between the 2 groups...but maybe that's the point.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 14-02-20 15:22; edited 1 time in total
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@holidayloverxx, kind of my thoughts too, and although I know J would probably do group 2, he'd also want the lunch wink
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@holidayloverxx,Thanks, I could amp up the coaching during that week and make it less "cruisey" I have another week in consideration for Jan that may be more what you are thinking but aimed at improvers and early intermediates who are keen to get better.

Jan Week course 1 - This week is perfect for skiers who are happy skiing easy gradient off piste terrain, variable snow conditions, icy slopes and easy bumps but are looking to gain mileage and the confidence to get further from the pistes and enjoy the powder. We will seek out fresh snow and develop your skills and confidence to truly enjoy skiing off piste. If you have wider off piste focused or touring skis please bring them along. Backpacks with avalanche rescue equipment will be required every day. If you have your own equipment please bring it along, if not we will issue you with a backpack, shovel, probe and transceiver. Conditions allowing we will be maximising your time off piste with an end of week goal to ski a lift served backcountry route outside the resort boundary. Should weather conditions not allow for off piste skiing we will do technical skills development that will help improve your off-piste skiing. The course includes training on how to use avalanche rescue equipment and discussions on avalanche safety during coffee breaks. When out in the mountains we will point out avalanche prone areas and give you some knowledge and understanding on how to read snow pack conditions to give you some knowledge of mountain craft. This holiday is suitable for level 8 and higher skiers who would consider themselves off-piste Improvers (or better) with at least a weeks experience skiing moderate off-piste slopes (blue-red) confidently and comfortably.

Jan week course 2 - During this week we will help take you from feeling like you are only just “getting down” the slopes to being a master of the groomed runs. Our aim would be to take you from being happy(ish) skiing down most blue runs to being confident to take on any groomed slope in resort and maybe some slightly rougher but easier slopes too. From this point you would have the knowledge, capability and confidence to ski anywhere in resort plus have the ability to slow down and handle harder situations as and when they arrive. During the week you can expect some really useful, valuable and attainable technical tips on how to make your skiing easier and more effective. As well as this we can talk you through how best to approach steeper runs, or slightly less well maintained slopes, so that you can still control your speed and choice of route down the hill. This holiday is suitable for level 5 or 6 skiers who can ski parallel but maybe still have a slight snow plough at times. You would be confident to ski down green runs and then easy blue runs too but wouldn’t feel happy to ski down red runs or harder.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 14-02-20 15:49; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@skimottaret, I think you probably do have the kernel of a good idea. I know a good few couples who would see the attraction of that sort of set up.
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@Hells Bells, we would very much try to link up for lunch / coffees when we can Smile but terrain may not allow for that.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@skimottaret, group 2 ...that's too much of a leap. Group 2...too easy.

I'm probably not your target customer, although we would both benefit from coaching.
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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!
@skimottaret, FWIW - not a lot, probably - I don't think I'd fit into any of the categories. But then I could do one of your high-end intermediate courses. I guess you're assuming a wide gulf in ability between the partners/friends.

Maybe one group off-piste and one group on, a bit like GnarliBug?

Sorry, just wittering...
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@holidayloverxx, good food for thought.. and Hurtle very much the idea is for one course being on piste other off piste.. Perhaps I need to shift the focus of course 1 of the Feb week to have more coaching with the added bonus of longer lunches and coffee stops instead of making that the focus, as you say may as well just go on holiday or free ski...

Tough to get the levels right, on the Jan week I wanted to run something that our clients who are getting into off piste would like and could bring a much earlier stage skier than could come on our regular trips... would keep the group size way down to accommodate differing levels in the piste group...
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I see that I'm thinking along the same lines as @holidayloverxx. Our problem would be solved by having 3 groups rather than 2. If possible.
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I think you have something there
Once little miss sev112 finishes A levels in a few years time, that’s the kind of thing my wife and I would like - the Blues Reds coffee lunch wine and company, plus some technique improvement.
As we’ve got older, the desire to ski hard and fast an all day has changed to smelling the flowers and looking at the views while skiing around the mountains.
Good idea
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Hurtle, we used to run 3 groups on a few holidays like our Italian Food and Fun trip and our trip to Spain but mainly for logistical reasons it is tough so we are tending to only run two groups max but we dont really have a trip that works for L5 or slower/less confident L6 skiers hence the bolt on parallel group idea.
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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
@skimottaret, I understand that. I'll get back in my box. wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Hurtle, happy for you to be unboxed... As a "travelling" ski school we have found it is hard for us to accommodate lower level skiers as we cant just put em in another group if they are struggling and not improving or are nervous... I forgot to mention that we will be partnering with a local ski school with them taking one course and other taught by us and visa versa. BUT the accommodation and transfers handled by a single entity to make booking and accommodation simple for the couple.. IME hard to find
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@skimottaret, I think the concept could definitely appeal to couples/pairs of friends who both wish to improve but who have very different levels ability, aspiration or confidence. Like @Hurtle, however, My own personal box doesn’t fit any of yours!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@skimottaret, basically a couple of Warren Smith groups, but with added cuisine for one group? Very Happy

Sounds a good idea, there is certainly room for more than one operator in that space.

Let's be honest here...what you are really saying is that Mr and Mrs Jones can go on the same holiday, and enjoy themselves in different groups (but with like minded skiers) and have a really good time.

Great idea...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
skimottaret wrote:


Course 1. A ski holiday focussed on enjoying some great French cuisine with an American guiding you around the ski area,


hmmm makes me think of this for some reason



Interesting comment about the difficulty of catering to low level skiers - but don't you teach them in the snowdome?

Having just completed a very intensive 1 week technical course I can see why you don't want to overload people with too much teaching. We were so tired in the evening we just flaked, people were in bed by 7pm !
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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 think it's a great idea, if would be a good fit for us if we were making a trip without children (which is unlikely at the moment, so while I think it's a great idea I'm probably not able to take advantage of it). If you could arrange for the two groups to meet for lunch once or twice that might add to the unique selling point of this rather than just booking each person into distinct levels of traditional ski school.

I suspect your biggest problem (as others have already alluded to) will be how to manage those who fall between the two groups in one respect or another.
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Quote:

basically a couple of Warren Smith groups, but with added cuisine for one group?


I dont think they run on and off piste courses in parallel and don't see anything on their site to indicate that. Might just be missing something as their site is somewhat difficult to navigate NehNeh Not just couples but hoping to get friends and colleagues interested..
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Interesting comment about the difficulty of catering to low level skiers - but don't you teach them in the snowdome?


We do indeed and in the domes it is much easier to coach as people run laps at their own pace. In the mountains improvers and early intermediates vary quite widely and either worry about holding up the group or being bored going to slow... We tend to limit groups to 4 at those levels to compensate...
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[quote="davidof"]
skimottaret wrote:

hmmm makes me think of this for some reason




Were did you get a picture of my Brother ??
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I might be interested; done an intro to off piste week and a few days off piste with instructor since. Think this might pitch me somewhere between, reasonably happy off piste but would like to gain more confidence in powder, but have no particular desire for a week majoring on developing on piste skills since I am pretty happy with this (and had lots of instruction).

What would make this interesting for me is if this was definitely residential; I would be a single (wife doesn’t ski), so the idea of sharing the experience with like minded individuals has some appeal.
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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!
Sounds good for my crew. Myself and the kids would be group two while my wife would probably prefer the idea of group one.
But she would be away from the rest of the family for every day of the week.....
I assume this is a full day type thing?
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
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@Iski,
Quote:

Like @Hurtle, however, My own personal box doesn’t fit any of yours!

That's because, over the years, they've pummelled us into advanced intermediacy, but we have failed them (or at least I have) in their quest for proper gnarlitude. wink
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From a quick read through, I am very interested in both courses. I am ready to start at a moment's notice and feel that I could really add value to your company and your clients would certainly be in safe hands. No doubt about it! How much does it pay? Very Happy
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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Mrs RL doesn't ski so no good for me, I'm afraid but the concept sounds like the much missed Italian Food & Fun week but with a greater spread of terrain.
Will you be allowed to instruct in France? I thought I read there were issues in that regard, ie, TOs 'guiding'...
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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 would really love to go on a holiday like January week course 2 ( on the second post). I have been skiing for a few years and am improving but really slowly. I'm not really up to level 6 yet but really want to get there, and pretty much all the coaching holidays I can find are for more advanced skiers than me . For now we just go skiing and have a couple of lessons when there in resort. However if my husband came he would be in the same group as me so personally we could not make use of the parallel skiing idea.
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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
Thanks for everyones comments. After chatting about it with MrsSkimottaret she conjures with most SH's so I have amended the Feb course to :

AMENDED Feb Course 1. A perfect ski holiday if you like cruising the wonderful Trois Vallees red and blue pistes, with a big white flag being raised at the thought of skiing any black runs! We are limiting the group size to 6 people to make sure everyone gets close personal attention, suitable for confident level 6 and higher skiers who enjoy cruising the groomers, love good food, wine, company and scenery.

The plan is a relaxed and highly sociable ski holiday with fellow enthusiasts, enjoying the slopes, the mountains, the lunches and bringing on your skiing technique with a mix of coaching and gaining quality ski mileage under the watchful eye of an instructor. I have skied in France for 20 seasons and will keep it very civilised with proper coffee breaks and some fantastic lunches organised each day at our favourite hidden gems within the Three Valleys. Our base for the week is in a luxurious chalet located in Meribel Les Allues, offering spacious accommodation, a fireplace and great food.

This holiday coincides with our Off Piste Development course, we will share the same chalet accommodation and be coordinating the groups so we meet up for a few lunches during the week. If you have a friend or partner who fancies that course we offer a Bring a Friend discount of 10% each on the courses coaching fee.

The January "1 On- 1 Off" piste weeks feel about right to me...

@sbooker, We would definitely be meeting and finishing up each day at the same spot and will plan on coordinating a few lunches with both course groups. Wont be able to do that every day as the off piste group will be able to get to some cool refuges inaccessible by piste.

@clairep, not a problem to both come along for the same group Smile

@Red Leon, Our Food & Fun trip was great but in the last few years of running it had more than a few problems with the Tour Operator who will be shutting down at the end of this season.. Stay tuned as we may be putting that one back on the roster. The French version will be similar but with full day coaching instead of half days to take advantage of the three valleys.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'd be interested in a level 5/6 course. Too many places seem to take skiing reds confidently as the minimum level for courses, and despite years of trying I'm still not quite there. I'm happy to take on an easy red with a good instructor around, but am also not that fast on anything, so often hold up groups. Last year I did a short course with inspiredtoski, which was great, but this year couldn't find anything equivalent at my level, so ended up just joining a regular ski school for a few days in January, not bad, but not the same quality of tuition as you get with other outfits.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
skimottaret wrote:
After chatting about it with MrsSkimottaret she conjures with most SH's...


Hey presto! Or is it, "et voila"? Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I think it’s an excellent idea!

It won’t suit everyone but it doesn’t need to. It will help some couples who’re at different level so the other half have someone to ski with while one is having lessons. That’s a common complaint of couples of differing level I often heard.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@skimottaret, Really interested - how do we find out more / be informed please?
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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?
@skimottaret, I have done something similar, in a way, with UCPA. Between me and Mrs, part-time lessons worked best though. We both had different groups for the lessons during the morning and could meet up lunch time and ski together afternoon - and reinforce the learnings. We both find full-time lessons quite demanding (mentally and physically) and feels like not enough repeating of the drills before progressing forward.
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A few thoughts from me. I‘d call myself a confident red run skier now (having learned later in life!) and nice lunches etc are all very important to me as part of a ski holiday. It sounds very appealing except - if I am having a training type of holiday with instructors I would really want to see progression and tackle the odd black in the morning etc. Most people I know in my boat want to push through the intermediate plateau and not bask in it! I suspect the group who love reds but won’t touch a black could be small?

The improver holiday - it’s taken me maybe 3 weeks to get from nervous red run skier to tackling blacks (even if not pretty coming down). Sounds like a lot to promise in a week if you are dealing with learners later in life (maybe just going by myself - it’s been a long ol road!)

I always wished you did more weekends as I can’t leave my family for a week but perhaps the target here is the childfree couple (or with hugely understanding grandparents).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Gustavobs wrote:
We both find full-time lessons quite demanding (mentally and physically) and feels like not enough repeating of the drills before progressing forward.


Yeah that can be an issue if not managed correctly. We have found over the years that during a six day holiday two options have worked best for our clients. Either 4 full days, 1 half day with a day off OR 4 half, a full day and a day off is what we have settled on..

Full days typically for off piste courses, intensive piste performance camps or for earlier stage skiers who prefer to ski with an instructor all day. But it is very important on full days to manage energy levels and not overload learners with too many things to think about...
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@Skimum1, We run a range of courses and most of the piste based courses are along the lines you categorise yourself... Only do one long weekend type course pre-season as it is tough to find decently priced accommodation in the main season. Whenever we have tried it the cost is almost the same as a full week..
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@skimottaret, if you're looking for flexible long weekend accommodation in mid-season Ski Hame (who I think you've worked with before) sell one of their chalets in La Tania by the night throughout the season.
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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!
@kieranm, yeah saw that but when you add up all the costs flights, transfers, pass, coaching fees etc they dont work out very well. We did a few long weekends over the years and only the Pre Season gained any traction...
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