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Where would you bring first timers?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Myself and a buddy are planning on bringing our daughters skiing for the first time in March 2023 and while we have both skied for twenty years I’m not sure where to go.
We are strong intermediate skiers and tend to ski hard and fast as we can when we go but obviously our needs are going to be very different on this trip.
The two kids will be 15 and 11 and we want them to have the best experience possible learning and hopefully catch the bug like their dads.
I’ve thought of Passo Tonale as a possible option but would love to hear any ideas of a resort that might suit two middle aged dads and their kids.
Cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Cervinia, we are taking a first timer there this year. Great for learning, high, fabulous scenery, and the opportunity to ski into Zermatt for some more intense skiing if you want, and children or learners are in ski school. Also great mountain restaurants
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Quote:

The two kids will be 15 and 11 and we want them to have the best experience possible learning and hopefully catch the bug like their dads

Then the quality of their ski school lesson (and whether they meet any boys...) will be the make or break.
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the lecht, worked for me and sis Laughing
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I think that there are lot of location that will be fine. The problem I've found in these circumstances is with the parental supervision. Because it can be really hard to accept that basically, you're not going to get a ski holiday as you know it. It's really hard to keep skiing the same blues again and again, and difficult to resist the temptation to try out a a red that 'has only little section that's difficult' - and then realise to late that it's basically a no-go for them. So perhaps worth organising in advance so one of you can supervise, while the other gets at least a bit of more challenging skiing in, even if it's only for an hour or two. Better to be realistic that you need a bit of a fix, and then everyone is happy.
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Assuming ski school every morning...

Plan every afternoon around where there's a blue/green/red combo that three can thrash the blues whilst the 4th gets the red. Rinse and repeat having identified all the relevant combos...
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Charliegolf wrote:
Assuming ski school every morning...

Plan every afternoon around where there's a blue/green/red combo that three can thrash the blues whilst the 4th gets the red. Rinse and repeat having identified all the relevant combos...


Yes ski school for the kids on the morning is the plan so we can do a bit of proper skiing in the mornings.

I’m just wondering where anyone has been with kids where the kids got great tuition and really enjoyed it.
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It's so much the luck of the draw - ideally you want to aim for a small group. Some kids will thrive in a big chaotic group, others not - depends a bit on how gung-ho the girls are - how willing to keep trying at something they don't "get" straight away. The older one, particularly, might struggle with feeling stupid if other kids around are swishing round looking cool.

Do they want to ski or board? Do they do stuff like skate boards? Or mountain biking? Are they OK with looking and feeling a mess? Are they good friends with each other? That's a significant age gap at their age.

Might be worth thinking about lessons in one of the indoor slopes in the UK. But they're quite expensive - how does your budget look?
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pam w wrote:
Might be worth thinking about lessons in one of the indoor slopes in the UK. But they're quite expensive - how does your budget look?


Exactly what I was going to suggest. It’ll give you an opportunity to see if it’s something that they both might actually like doing. If they do, then it’s also worth getting a few more lessons in so that by the time they’re on holiday they’re not in the most basic of lesson groups and will progress past the very basic nursery slopes a bit quicker.
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I’m in Dublin, we don’t have any indoor slopes here unfortunately but do have an artificial slope and I’m going to get the kids to do a few lessons here first. Both play plenty of sports and my little lady mountain bikes too so no worries there.
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Good idea - dry slopes are not for wimps - and if they cope with that, they'll have a ball on the snow. Do they want to board or ski?
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Dry ski slopes are dangerous. My only injury on one many years ago.
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Quote:

Dry ski slopes are dangerous. My only injury on one many years ago.


No they aren't! Been teaching on them for 30+ years... yes they can hurt of you fall badly...but I can count the number of injuries I've seen on one hand.....
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I can count the number of injuries I've seen on one hand.....

4 dislocated fingers and one dislocated thumb....
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Quote:

I can count the number of injuries I've seen on one hand.....

4 dislocated fingers and one dislocated thumb....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@maddness, dry slopes are cheaper, quicker back up to the top and less busy. give me plastic over a fridge always. I was in a race club on plastic. Plastic has produced some great skiers I know many level 4 BASI who lived on plastic
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Mother hucker wrote:
@maddness, dry slopes are cheaper, quicker back up to the top and less busy. give me plastic over a fridge always. I was in a race club on plastic. Plastic has produced some great skiers I know many level 4 BASI who lived on plastic


It’s the on,y option but it will give them the basics before we go which should be a big help.

Anyone want to share their success stories of bringing kids for the first time?
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I chose Andorra, partly as I can drive there, but also they try to get native English speaker instructors.
Canada might be too much for you Smile
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@maddness, imho, l'Alpe d'Huez ticks all your boxes. Very long time since I took my kids there to learn, but the tuition was good. Lots of greens and easy blues to progress to - with great intermediate stuff for you dads. Downside is that it's not a cheap resort.
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Quote:

three can thrash the blues

Unless your girls are exceptionally fast learners they'll not be "thrashing the blues" - or not until the very end of the week, anyway. And the best way of putting them off skiing for life will be to push them out of their comfort zone.

A suggestion - if you and mate are both skiers, why not ALL of you learn to snowboard. Then probably the girls will be thrashing you by the end of the week. wink
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Austria. Better instruction, in English. Somewhere straightforward for the beginners, attached to a bigger area for the experienced. E.g. Ellmau, Hinterglemm, Zell am See.
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Riccardo wrote:
Austria. Better instruction, in English. Somewhere straightforward for the beginners, attached to a bigger area for the experienced. E.g. Ellmau, Hinterglemm, Zell am See.


I’ve skied extensively in France and Italy but only a handful of resorts In Austria so don’t know it too well but have heard the ski schools are excellent.
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Montgenevre.
Easy transfer from Turin.
Great ski school - Apeak ESI ski school
Green runs from the top of the gondola so not restricted to only the nursery slopes with beginners
Other fun stuff to do in town like the Monty luge run and swimming pool
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I think Montgenevre is a good suggestion.
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I agree, for the reasons you e asked for - Montgenevre would be ideal. Plus you can go to Italy and the girls will totally love the food there.
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Flaine
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Quote:

4 dislocated fingers and one dislocated thumb....


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Passo tonale if you want to lean the trip more in their favour, Arc 2000 if you want to lean it (much) more in yours. Passo has the advantage for beginners of very gentle progression between slopes (and lifts) that allows beginners to progress without getting themselves into tricky spots. Arc 2000 has some nice easy terrain, but also plenty of gnarly terrain, and is obviously linked to the other Arcs. In Passo there is a very nice instructor at the local school called Evelin. In Arc 2000 I would recommend Lionel from evo 2. Both of these have taught my children whilst I watched and I was more than happy with what I saw.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Look at La Thuile. Really nice ski school and a big enough resort for intermediate skiers. We started our youngest there and she's never looked back.
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Look at La Thuile. Really nice ski school and a big enough resort for intermediate skiers. We started our youngest there and she's never looked back.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
pam w wrote:

Unless your girls are exceptionally fast learners they'll not be "thrashing the blues" .....

A suggestion - if you and mate are both skiers, why not ALL of you learn to snowboard. Then probably the girls will be thrashing you by the end of the week. wink


and you'll be thrashing the blues by the end of day 3.

Learning boarding on a dry slope is not too bad either, as you'll be going slowly, and you'll learn not to put your hands down when you fall over.

Avoriaz is very boarder friendly, easy to get to, has good snow in March, plenty of choice of English speaking board school too : Evo2, ESF, BASS, Mint, Switch5 etc...

+1 nailed it again pam w
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Thanks for the suggestions folks.
I’ve skied La Thuile a few times and it’s a great spot but am not sure about beginners. Skied into Montgenevre from sauze for the day and loved it too. Skied for a day in Flaine a long time ago and it’s certainly a good option.
Alpe d’Huez is a another Ive skied a few times and if I remember there are a lot of wide gentle slopes back to the village.
I really like the idea of a resort that is an easy ski back to the hotel, it will give the kids a good buzz skiing back.

Best ski schools in the Alps or Dolomites?
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AL9000 wrote:
Flaine
this one is so very good for mixed skills, literally walk out onto the snow and ski back to accommodation too, with great piste for introducing them to skiing.

Hotel le Totem, particularly good and Terrasses d'eos if you consider an apartment, has a superb outdoor pool, steam room, indoor hot pool (outdoor on balcony overlooking the whole ski area is fabulous at night) makes for a really good week.

Worth a guide for a day for the Dads too as there's much more to explore than immediately viewed. Good cafè for lunch and somewhere to travel to for duaghters (out to Samoens, Morillon and les Carroz ) if they get along well with ski skills.
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Ste Foy is small but perfectly formed, very pretty but not too much mad apres if you want to risk their, ahem, exposure to external influence.

If you want somewhere bigger, La Rosiere, the French but sunny side of La Thuile, is larger but has lots of gentle slopes.
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Humm, interesting thread here. I've just come back from Baqueira with a wife who has tried skiing 4 times before and not got along with it and a daughter-in-law; never skied. (Btw both came back very happy for lots of reasons.)
Leaving aside the issues with transport to the slopes each day, the best beginner area was Beret but the only English instruction was in private lessons. BB ski school in Baqueira offered English lessons but the transition from green to blue was not great, i.e. some narrow or steep sections to negotiate which made afternoon free time constrained to the slopes they were learning on in the morning, i.e a bit limiting by the end of the week.
Interesting side note, we were told whilst there was that natural English speakers are finding it tough to get work permits (post Brexit) so a lot of “English” instructors are Scandinavian. I guess any under-employed Brit ski instructors will be out looking for their Irish granny next summer!

Some of the earlier posts have favourable mentions of Tonale and ADH where there is a variety of easyish slopes at the base of the resort and a big enough English tourist presence to have English lessons. There are loads of other places that are great to learn but some resorts are just better for more the competent and experienced skiers.

Don't trust piste maps to make the decision in isolation. Grading of slopes is extremely variable. A nervous beginner can become terrified on a piste that is steep, narrow and/or icy. They might well genuinely believe skiing down this will lead to their immediate death and destruction, and never let you forget it!

Also be wary of travel articles about ski resorts. Often they are written by some lucky sod on a freebie so they write nice things to get another free trip rather than reporting the reality of what’s there...
Anyhow good luck with your holiday Very Happy
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What a lovely age to go with the girls - I took my two daughters to Les Arcs when they were that age (I also have 4 years difference) but they were decent intermediates by then.
Personally based on what I know now and the challenge you might have should one be more timid than the other, I would pick Alpe d'Huez, particularly in March as it gets the sun but is high enough to avoid really slushy conditions if it is very warm (L'Isle de Soleil) and the girls will love brown faces, warm lunches and the fab skiing near resort which is brill for any progression. Also Folies is an easy ski down so you can lead them astray with fatherly boundaries in place.
I really like ADH - But remember that ski choices are very marmite and individual.
I have recently come back from the 3 valleys again and I have to say I prefer ADH to Courchevel and Meribel now.
I don't know Passo in Italy but if the girls were young again I would also look at that as it looks charming: if you could add in the additional bits of that area and the girls could make the links. Otherwise it probably doesn't have the progression scope if the girls grasp the counter intuitiveness of skiing quickly. I was lucky with mine.
I envy you to have your time with the daughters again and skiing with them is one of the most wonderful things you can do.
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Hi, first post here so hello all Smile Just to say we went to Montgenevre for our first trip having never skied before and it was brilliant. We have been back twice. Haven't been back for a couple of years as there seem to be no catered chalets there anymore which we prefer. Off to Plan Peisey in 4 weeks and can't wait!
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I would recommend Austria for beginners as ski school operates morning and afternoon. They'll get maximum tuition, allowing you to ski at your level. They'll be intermediate by the end of the week!
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I always recommend Alpe d'Huez as the beginner slopes are graduated and can be reached by gondola from centre. Plenty of accommodation close to main lifts and a heated open air pool with chair lift overhead.
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Ottoline wrote:
I would recommend Austria for beginners as ski school operates morning and afternoon. They'll get maximum tuition, allowing you to ski at your level. They'll be intermediate by the end of the week!


Sorry.....but precisely why I wouldn't recommend Austria for a first trip. I would be so looking forward to skiing with the girls that I wouldn't want them in ski school all day - plus being in tuition all day would feel like a crash course. That Germanic approach would have got me so much moaning from my two, who thrived on doing in the afternoon what they had learned at ski school in the morning, with me alongside. Plus the girls may want an afternoon in the sports centre or a pamper or just mooching around the village. ADH is a delight for that
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