Realistic ski expectations for a nearly 7 year old?

(39 Posts)
theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Mar-13 17:23:10

DS has had lessons on the dry slopes so we headed off to the Cairngorms this weekend.

First time for me skiing in Scotland. In the morning he complained of being cold - fair enough the wind chill factor was horrific, so we stopped after 20mins had some lunch and I went down the funicular with him to buy a snood.

In the afternoon he was nice and warm and DH had found some easy runs that we could all do. Technically DS is fine, he has only learnt snow plough but can stop well and navigate himself down a green slope with ease. He seemed to enjoy himself when whizzing down the slopes.

Thing was he seemed to get bored after about 1hr 45 mins. I said we could go for a hot drink and then back out, but then he had a tantrum and manufactured a wee fall to stop him having to do anymore.

Slightly gutted as it cost £150 for the three of us to hire the gear and get the lift pass for the day. We didn't bother with it today as it just seemed like so much money when he gets fed up so quickly.

We are thinking of visiting our friends next year who live near ski slopes in France, as there is an apartment we can rent near by. My thoughts are that we stick DS in ski school for half a day each day as otherwise we won't get much of a chance to ski. Is it realistic to think he could ski for a bit in the afternoon as well?

I know the weather would be nicer abroad, and there are more places to stop and have a drink and something to eat, but I'm just not sure what would be the norm at that age - obviously he will be a year older - so assume it would be a bit easier?

Wallace Wed 06-Mar-13 20:16:42

Due more snow the end of this week smile

Piffpaffpoff Mon 04-Mar-13 22:31:12

Fab, hope you get good weather. We're up to Aviemore for the Easter week so I'm hoping that the top bowl at least will still have enough snow for a bit of afternoon skiing. Last year I skied there in May!!

deste Mon 04-Mar-13 21:54:29

Sounds good, we are going next Monday Tuesday to Cairngorm.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 04-Mar-13 20:57:59

Glad you got a good days skiing Wallace.

Wallace Mon 04-Mar-13 18:49:07

You missed the good weather by a day - Friday was scorching!

A good easy run is the Ciste Fairway up the top of the funicular, as long as you are ok with T-bars. Top to bottom is a lovely run, but over 2 miles long I think. You can get an afternoon pass which is cheaper, and it is staying light later now smile

The snow is lovely, but apparently was a bit firm today as it froze overnight. The forecast isn't looking so great for the end of this week sad

Piffpaffpoff Mon 04-Mar-13 08:13:34

deste I was at Glenshee last week and I have not seen cover as good for many, many years. All pistes full width and no rocks or heather showing through. And I was lucky enough to be there on a blue sky day with not a cloud in the sky, it was brilliant.

Lift queues were tricky though, I mean sometimes there were, ooh, two or three people in front of me. Although most of the time I was just skiing right onto the lift, no waiting. gringrin

SanityClause Mon 04-Mar-13 07:59:48

My DC have gone skiing for at least one week each year, since my youngest was 3yo.

They have always gone into ski school in (usually) the morning, and then we would have more of a ski after lunch. Ski school will often have a small break with a snack for the littlest ones.

When they were smaller, I would take the little ones to the nursery slopes, while DH would take whoever wanted for a longer ski. More recently, we have all been able to ski together in the afternoons, which is lovely.

When DS was only 3, we went at half term, then again at Easter. The difference in his ability and desire to ski in that short time was amazing. He went from hardly attending the ski school, to being properly involved. You might find your DS is much more interested, next time.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 04-Mar-13 07:51:22

The snow was excellent des te

Waswondering Mon 04-Mar-13 07:44:47

Good desire ... If you become friends with Cairngorm Mountain on fb you'll get a daily report to update you.

deste Sun 03-Mar-13 23:05:54

Can I ask what the conditions were like, are the pistes covered or is the snow melting? Were planning on going up for a couple of days this week or next. We have all the gear to keep warm.

Waswondering Sun 03-Mar-13 22:12:40

If the light wasn't good for you, I feel for you. It was hard to see when we were there.

But the best runs for beginners are at the top, eg the Cas. Ds did manage the whole run from the Ptarmigan to the car park, though he found it "challenging" in parts. That whole run is a green run.

The nest morning, ouch for me but not the kids.

Hope you've a good to to France when it comes.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Mar-13 18:34:35

Good to know that your shy DD enjoyed ski school Gradually - hoping DS will be the same.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Mar-13 18:31:45

We have tried geocaching, biking and he goes for swimming lessons. It's just I love skiing and now DH has had his dry slope lessons and his taste of snow so does he.
Prettybird I think that's good advice - go for the morning ski school and then do what he wants in the afternoon, if I get a good couple of hours in each day I'll be happy.

GraduallyGoingInsane Sun 03-Mar-13 18:28:50

My DDs did ski school from 5 - we'd taken then out and done basic bits with them before then. Even my shy DD took to ski school like a duck to water - they seem to make friends really quickly there and enjoy the camaraderie of skiing with their peers. You might be surprised at how much he likes ski school - and then of course they want to ski with you after to show you what they've learnt! Double bonus!

prettybird Sun 03-Mar-13 18:16:13

(BTW - we live in Scotland and have never ski-ed outside in Scotland! --'cos I'm a wimp--) grin

LIZS Sun 03-Mar-13 18:12:07

There are lots of other activities he could try - he's only little . Climbing , sailing, orienteering/geocaching , biking, swimming etc all of which are rather more accessible in UK anyway.

prettybird Sun 03-Mar-13 18:11:53

Ds has been skiing since he was 4. Even by the time he was 6 or 7, we had to be really careful about trying to ski in the afternoon after a morning in ski school. Sometimes the "lights would just go out" - and if that was a few ski runs away from "home" it could be a nightmare coaxing him back.

We always made sure that he was really warm - good salopettes, thermal long johns and thermal long sleeved top, a long sleeved rugby top or fleece (and maybe another top if it's really cold) and then a good quality jacket.

He also wears a thick fleece "snood"/turtleneck made from genuine turtle fur wink

He suffered from cold hands, so we got him silk gloves to wear under his ski gloves (dh and I also wear them) which has solved the problem.

It does get better in time but you just need to be patient and not try to force him otherwise you might put him off.

Make the most of morning ski school and get your skiing "fix" then and then just follow his lead in the afternoon. Have a long lunch to get him to recuperate a bit and maybe get a second wind.

Last year (when he was 11), we were able to ski all four valleys in the Trois Vallees (confused) with him without complaint. smile

PandaNot Sun 03-Mar-13 18:05:16

My ds and dd have lots of hobbies they like to do but both of them would be bored rigid having to anything for 6 or even 4 hours a day. Maybe he just doesn't like it that much?

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Mar-13 17:55:22

Apparently it was quite good conditions for Scotland grin. Yes the weather may have played a part, it wasn't quite as enjoyable as doing it in the sun abroad.

He would be fine in lessons once he settles in. To be honest the main thing he enjoys at the minute is playing minecraft on the i-pad with his friends, but he certainly can't have that as his main hobby !

LIZS Sun 03-Mar-13 17:53:12

If he is used to shortish runs on a dry slope , then longer runs on snow where he perhaps couldn't track the route to the bottom or anticipate the terrain is a bit ambitious. Better to build up confidence on a few short easy runs, doing each several times . Definitely prebook lessons if you go again as he will learn quicker and behave better for an instructor than you and he can then show you the runs he has managed in the afternoon.

bigTillyMint Sun 03-Mar-13 17:51:52

The weather sounds like it was a bit of an endurance test! Try the alps - it's generally quite sunny (especially by March!) and maybe that will help?

And maybe you should stick to the green runs until he's really confident and begging to to blues? Lessons might be good, but not if he's going to get upset at you leaving him (no friends with him)

Or maybe he just doesn't like real skiing that much?

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Mar-13 17:48:47

I think he was warm enough once he had the snood on, but to be fair to him I didn't expect it to be that cold, so I'd make sure he had better gear for next time.

Yes we need to build up his stamina. We're going to Disneyworld at Easter and apparently thats the equivalent of walking 8 hrs per day grin. Generally we are reasonably active but we could probably do more - I get additional exercise through running and cycling and DH through tennis, so need to focus a bit more on DS.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Mar-13 17:46:18

Thanks all for responding.

We had a good time waswondering , we were staying at the Hilton so we also went swimming, did the mini golf and outdoor play area this morning and some of the lovely walk around Loch An Eileen.

The snow was really good, I was impressed by it and really enjoyed the nice wide slopes but found the wind chill and poor visibility a bit of a challenge. I didn't fancy going off and doing anything harder on my own because my map reading isn't the best when its hard to see.
I think we should have stuck to the lower slopes rather than going up in the funicular.

Timetoask Sun 03-Mar-13 17:44:17

Are you sure he has enough clothes on? Maybe it's not really his sport? (some people hate the cold, I do).
We took DS last year (just turned 5), he had one hour lesson and he then had DH going up and down the slope for 4 hours non stop... for 5 days.
DH was far more tired than DS.
This year we did it again. He loved it, except for 1 day when we made the mistake of putting a separate ski trousers and jacket combo (instead of an all in one ski suit) and he felt cold, didn't last as long.

He might just be tired rather than bored, perhaps for next year you can build up his overall fitness before you expect him to spend all day doing physical excersise.

Not been skiing with DS, but we are climbers and go on long climbing holidays every summer, where we climb for between 6 and 9 hours a day. I have to make sure DS gets lots of practice in over the year (especially over winter) and lots of high physical excersise to make sure he is fit enough to cope, and enjoy, the physical demands of our summer holidays.

I bet you'll find next year he will be able to go for longer, especially if you spend lots of weekends on dry ski slopes and generally being active.

Does he enjoy the skiing though?

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