We caught up with ski experts, Ski Famille to ask them for their top tips for first time family skiing
For most people a winter trip to the mountains is hugely appealing. It is easy to imagine ourselves playing in the snow, eating hearty mountain food, enjoying the occasional mulled wine and soaking up the stunning views. Put children in the picture and first time family skiing can all seem a little daunting.
In the interests of making your first ski holiday as simple as possible, we asked the experts at Ski Famille
to pull together some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers!) they receive from families thinking of skiing for the first time.
Which resort should we go to?
The first tip is don’t be too swayed by the advice of hard core ski friends! With children involved priorities inevitably change. Good ski schools, a nice selection of easily accessible beginner runs and a pretty ski area are going to be a lot more important than powder filled couloirs. Ski Famille has carefully picked just four resorts; La Plagne, Les Gets, Les Bruyeres and Reberty 2000. All offer a good variety of skiing for all abilities and excellent facilities for children away from the slopes.
What should we wear on the slopes?
The sky's the limit when it comes to buying ski kit, but in essence you need to be two things; dry and warm. You can avoid highly technical ski wear but do get a warm waterproof jacket
, warm waterproof trousers (salopettes
) and warm waterproof gloves. Aside from these items you probably already have the base layers and fleeces you need to stay nice and warm. Goggles and a good hat are vital, but as with the outer layers, borrow if you can.
What do we do about lift passes?
Anyone over five will need a ski pass to access the lifts that get you to the slopes. A lot of resorts offer a choice of passes that cover different sized ski areas or multiple linked resorts. If you are beginners you can almost certainly go for the most limited option. Many resorts have a few free slopes for complete novices, but you’ll progress beyond these runs pretty quickly.
What about skis and boots?
Buying skis and boots rarely makes sense until you have done quite a few trips and are sure that you’ll make use of them. Ski hire is the best option and can be booked in advance of your holiday. The shops used are very good at ensuring everything is just right for the whole family and it is easy to swap kit during the week if you want to make any changes.
Ski school or private lessons? How do beginners learn?
No matter how fit and sporty you are (or how talented other members of your group may be) there is no substitute for learning from a professional. We would always advise booking ski lessons. Group lessons are a sociable way of learning with other people; whereas private lessons will give you one to one interaction with an instructor and you may progress more quickly; you’ll pay for the privilege though.
The children are too young to ski all day, what can we do?
Young children are unlikely to want to ski all day. Options vary from taking turns to look after children to using a local crèche. The best option may be to book a property that has its own kids club or childcare service. Ski Famille offers in-chalet childcare in all of their well located catered family ski chalets. To find out more about Ski Famille visit www.skifamille.co.uk
or call 01252 365 495 to speak to their friendly and knowledgeable team.