Come and be excited with me!

(63 Posts)
clam Tue 21-Jan-14 21:17:42

We leave for France 3 weeks on Saturday. Have spent most of the weekend checking the webcams to see how much snow has fallen (loads). DH is now taking the piss and won't play.
So, where are you all going, and have you all got metres of snow to look forward to?

snowgirl1 Tue 21-Jan-14 23:26:04

Going this Saturday (yay!), there's 2m on the upper slopes and 75cm on lower slopes with more snow expected on Thursday -yesh!

massistar Wed 22-Jan-14 09:53:18

I'm going on Saturday to Avoriaz. It's a girls trip with no kids and I am beyond excited! Looks like there has been some fresh snow so fingers crossed.

Also going to Morzine with the family at half term with a big group of friends.

PatriciaHolm Wed 22-Jan-14 11:55:22

We went at New Year, snow was OK but needed more but it's there now! (saint foy) We are off again at the beginning of the Easter holidays so a little early to check conditions ;-)

flashheartscanoe Wed 22-Jan-14 14:56:31

We are going 3 weeks on Sunday to Vaujany! (saved £400 going on a Sunday)

Our house is a frenzy of excitement. I got the gear down from the loft and the kids keep putting it all on. They even walked the dog in salopettes yesterday and managed to get them covered in mud.

We watched Chalet girl last night for the millionth time and have seen every you tube video of our resort there is.
What else can we do for 3 weeks!
Where are you going Clam?

clam Wed 22-Jan-14 17:45:59

Isola 2000 in the French Southern Alps. Excellent snow record and quick and cheap transfers from Nice.
The friends we usually ski with are going to Vaujany that Sunday too.

helencw77 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:48:45

I am excited ! We are going on our first ski holiday with our four children (aged between 9 and nearly 3). Dh and I have skiied before (not amazingly, but reasonably competently) but we haven't been for 7 years and last time I was pregnant with dd so had to take it easy (I was 27 weeks lol !). We booked this holiday 13 months ago, and I have been frantically collecting ski clothing from ebay ever since. We are going to Are in Sweden (we liked the family friendliness and activities available for small non-skiiers). I am now obsessed with snow reports, particularly as Sweden hasn't had a great start to the season but I think it is improving..... My mum is coming with us to look after ds2. The children have got another ski lesson up in Hemel this weekend - I can't wait !! (Has anybody else ever skiied with multiple novice children - is it going to be a disaster ?)

OwlMother Wed 22-Jan-14 21:05:28

We're off to Ellmau in Austria three weeks in Friday!! Saved £600 going on the Friday, even once you'd taken the cost of an airport hotel into account. And it means we'll have hot all the hire stuff early on Saturday, should beat some queues. Very excited, we were at Nevis range last Saturday and are virtually living at the dry slope so we're ready! Snow seems good- not as good as last year but still good. Private lesson (treating myself!) booked- keep trawling the hotel website! Very excited! grin

clam Wed 22-Jan-14 21:55:21

Rather annoyingly late in the day, I've just seen that the dcs have an inset day on the Friday before half term and I could have arranged a work swap, so we could have gone early too! confused

PatriciaHolm Wed 22-Jan-14 21:59:15

Oh dear clam! We have inset on the friday before Easter, so are going down on the thursday night.

flashheartscanoe Thu 23-Jan-14 14:53:23

Al those resorts sound really interesting- I'd love to know how you all get on-

Helen- I took my novice children for the first time last year although they were a bit older than yours- 9-13
The youngest one hated the first day and said she was never doing it again- I panicked about what to do but ended up making her go back. By the end of the second day she was fine. The eldest loved it from the start. We had a brilliant holiday. They were all able to ski a bit with us after lessons by the third day.
Top tip - if they are big enough get them independent with their stuff as soon as possible, its all the heaving around of gear that can get wearing. Also bring big labels for your kit to avoid a child going off to ski school with someone else's boots on blush

Owl- it was great arriving on Friday- but we wanted to get our stuff on Friday ready for the morning and they wouldnt let us as it was all coming back and needed sorting out. First thing Saturday was great, though- no queues! The kids missed the Friday races at ski school but they didnt seem bothered.

Off to google Are, Isola and Ellmau!- looking for next year already.

flashheartscanoe Thu 23-Jan-14 14:58:26

Clam, thats funny your friends are going to Vaujany too- have they been before?

OwlMother Thu 23-Jan-14 15:30:52

That's good to know- about queues being ok on a Saturday. The children still go on about how awful the Sunday queues are. And we don't fly out until the Saturday so we have the Friday as well. Really getting properly excited now. Slightly tempered by the fact that someone in my Monday ladies ski group broke her wrist!! Thinking I'll take it easy between now and when we go!!!

clam Thu 23-Jan-14 16:53:57

Saturday is usually changeover day, so those leaving aren't skiing, and the new lot haven't arrived yet. But, some of that is countered by locals coming up for the day.

Re: breaking things just before going - I got the gold medal in that last year, by slipping on the stairs and breaking my leg in three places 5 weeks before we were due to go. In hospital for a week having surgery, and it's taken virtually all year to recover. This will be my first time back on skis for two years, and I have Fear to conquer. The year before that, I put my back out 6 days before we were due to fly, by leaning forward to put my knickers on! Fortunately the osteo mended me in time.

Stay safe out there, ladies!

MajorMajor Fri 24-Jan-14 19:06:29

We are going to Sainte Foy in three weeks! First family ski trip, kids aged 8 and 6. Very excited!

PatriciaHolm Fri 24-Jan-14 19:15:43

Oh enjoy Major! Where are you staying? We've been going to sainte Foy for 10+ years ( friend owns a chalet)

MajorMajor Fri 24-Jan-14 20:48:25

We have an apartment booked at L'etoile des Cimes. Photos look nice but to be honest we booked quite late in the day so didn't have a lot of choice! Do you have any tips for Sainte foy PatriciaHolm?

PatriciaHolm Fri 24-Jan-14 21:23:26

Right grin

- if the kids are in ski school, drop them and ski immediately to the lift. Otherwise you will be waiting 20 mins to get on the lift behind all the schoolies. Rest of the time lift isn't too bad, though it will be half term.
- restaurants; bar/pizzeria in the centre has just changed hands and was woefully underprepared at new year but might be better now. Maison a colonnes is local food, we love it, but do book for dinner. Actually that goes for all restaurants in half term. Iceberg bar near the ESF ski school is good for burgers and hot dogs (served in crusty french bread). La Bergerie next to iceberg is posher, good for a nice dinner out just the adults. Book early!! Book babysitters early too if you want them. The premiere neige nannies are good and all british/ Aussie in our experience.

It will be busy, so I can't emphasise booking ahead enough. It never used to be so mad but it's getting more popular and half term this year coincides with many french half terms so it will be busy. Little problem on the slopes, but the Main village does struggle a little in very busy times. Book ski kit ahead too and buy ski passes online.

helencw77 Fri 24-Jan-14 22:11:15

Flash, thanks for the tips, particularly about getting them to be independent about their own things, dd1 (7) is really organised, but ds1 (9) is totally hopeless. Dh and I will be physically incapable of carrying the amount of stuff we will have to take out and about, so the dcs will just have to do it. I'm not sure how dd2 (5) will get on, how much do children this age really ski ? She's quite sporty and has had a few lessons now but although she can do it, I'm not sure how much stamina she will realistically have compared to the older two. My mum as going too (and won't ski) so at least she has the option of doing other activities with her. I suspect that dd2 will want to come with us, but will then get stroppy because she falls over/gets hungry/hurts her little finger etc.....

We are sorted with clothing (I have so much !), but I have seen gimmicky things like things that hold skiis together to carry them, and boots together, and "glove glue" to hold gloves together on a thread. Does anybody have tips for useful "accessories" that are really handy, or are they just manufactured to try and squeeze even more cash out of me ?

clam Sat 25-Jan-14 00:40:07

Depends if you're ski-in ski-out. If you are, then you're unlikely to need boot carriers, for instance (handles that hook onto your boot buckles and make them easier to carry). But those little Velcro straps that keep the skis together tidily are useful wherever you are - even putting them in the ski-store overnight. As we all have similar-sized skis these days, different-coloured ones help too.
For kids that age, I would definitely make sure their gloves are attached to them in some way. Or, if you're skiing with them and carry a small rucksack, spare pairs might be useful, as they can get wet and unpleasant.
We always take little bars of Dairy Milk, and share a square or two on the chair lifts as a pick-me-up.
Neck gaiters are easier to manage than scarves.

MajorMajor Sat 25-Jan-14 09:26:13

Thanks for the tips Patricia! I am slightly confused about booking ski passes online, as my ds2 is free as he's under 7, he still needs a photo pass though but there doesn't seem to be any way to order that online. So we are going to have to queue at the office anyway I think... have you done this?

clam Sat 25-Jan-14 09:40:20

There are various ways of doing it - sometimes there might be a rep from an agency who brings the passes to where you're staying, or you can queue up at a kiosk in resort with vouchers (ordered online) which is meant to slightly speed up the process. We've panicked before about ID photos, but they ended up using those from our passports.

Most resorts use credit-card type passes that sit in your arm/breast pocket for the week (and don't get lost, although make a note of the long code printed on them so if they do get lost, you have a better chance of doing something about it), but I have also been to places where you have one that hangs outside from a zip and they make spot-checks on ID throughout the week.

clam Sat 25-Jan-14 09:42:56

Sorry, don't think that answers your question re: your 7yo. If he needs a photo ID then yes, I think you will have to queue at the kiosk. Factor that in to your timings for the first morning! It's usually a bit of a bun-fight in the run-up to the first ski-school session so glad we're past all that.

flashheartscanoe Sat 25-Jan-14 12:43:56

Our kids had a private lesson on the first day (ski school didnt start until the next day). The first thing the instructor did was show them how to put their skis together and put them over their shoulder in the correct way (facing forwards). I thought it was brilliant.

As for kit- as clam says- cheap fleece neck gaiters are much better than scarves- ours were wider at the back and I could put them all the way over their heads under their helmets when they got cold.
I bought a pack of very cheap glove clips from ebay- (so they can clip to a sleeve not to each other) means they can take off their gloves if they want to get something out of a pocket.
I havent taken a 5 year old but friends have and they say the most important thing is to hand them to the instructor and get as far away as possible! They tend to do much better when theres no choice.

Clam- I think I remember that happening to you last year- I hope you have a fantastic time this year to make up for it. Its amazing how the years roll around...

I cant emphasise enough - train like mad from now on everyone- Last year was my first year for 10 years and the difference in my ability to cope was amazing- my legs hurt so much and it made the first few days really hard. I had to keep stopping for gluwein!
This year I have been doing this
and running.

clam Sat 25-Jan-14 13:32:38

I can't emphasise enough how much of a difference it makes if you do stretching exercises at the end of each ski session. Plus a hot bath. It lessens that hideous "cardboard slats down the back of the calves" feeling the following morning.

clam Sat 25-Jan-14 13:38:39

flashheart blush I was on here moaning about it quite a bit! I did manage to hobble along with the rest and watch from a balcony, but it was tough.

PatriciaHolm Mon 27-Jan-14 12:14:28

Ah yes Major, sorry I think you will need to queue as you will need to have a photo take for him. Also make sure you take passports for the children when buying the passes; they are getting much hotter on checking ages, to the extent that they refused to sell a friend a pass for his 3 year old until he showed them proof she was under 7.

Johnogroats Mon 27-Jan-14 16:49:32

I am off next Thursday for a long weekend. Without children! Going to Les Orres, Crevoux and Reallon (or possibly Risoul) with some friends. Can't wait. The snow looks fab...much better than Christmas.

Clam - I always wanted to go to Isola. Let us know what it's like! Hope the leg holds up.

clam Mon 27-Jan-14 17:49:10

I've skied Les Orres and Risoul a few times. Risoul is better, I reckon, and you have the option of skiing over the top to Vars. There's 2.5metres of snow at the moment on the mountain at Isola, and 1.85 at village level. Not sure why it's more than Les Orres and Risoul when they're not that far away from each other really. From what I can see, Isola is quite an ugly resort (quite a few French ones are) but it'll do, and it's notably cheaper than others - but there might be a reason for that. Will find out!
Thanks re: leg wishes.

Johnogroats Mon 27-Jan-14 23:10:39

Clam. We've discussed merits of les orres and Risoul before - have nc. I agree with you re Risoul (we had an amazing day there at new year) but les orres is nearer and I am going with some friends who haven't skied for years, so hoping they have fun. I love the variety of different resorts...the view from Reallon, the half pipe at Risoul, the trees at Crevoux...I could go on grin. Isola is a bit far, but keen to hear what you think!

clam Tue 28-Jan-14 20:34:29

Ah, I wondered if it was you! You have a place near Les Orres, yes?
Dh's knees are still recovering from that half pipe last year!

Doshusallie Tue 28-Jan-14 21:03:15

We are off to Tignes for half term, can't wait.

Went to val d'isere for new year, snow was fabulous. Dad is in France now, can't remember where but he says the snow is totally amaze balls.

We are looking at morzine for new year this year, and passo tonale for half term next year has anyone been there before? Might start a separate thread...

clam Tue 28-Jan-14 21:13:34

Morzine is quite low isn't it? Might be a risk, snow-wise, at Christmas, although you can get up to Avoriaz if necessary. not been myself, but know a few people who have.

helencw77 Tue 28-Jan-14 22:24:05

Clam, thanks for your tips, particularly about taking plenty of chocolate in a rucksack :-) The children will be lucky if they see any of that though..... We are not quite ski in ski out, we're staying in a lodge which is part of a big hotel (lots for ds2 to do with mum whilst we ski), we will either walk to the nearest (close lift), or do a 10 minute drive in our hire car up to the family ski area so I will definitely get some of those ski straps and maybe boot carriers.

I'm really excited but do have this small fear that my 36 year old body is not quite the temple it was the last time we went skiing 10 years ago (it has had four children in between times - lol !) However I do exercise regularly and play a lot of netball so I am hopeful that it will last without being too stiff and creaky......

My house is becoming overrun with ski clothing, I thought I had got everything but then discovered the little trekkers sale and bought some really cute things for dd2 and ds2 :-) I will need to ski next year too just to get my money's worth from this years clothing purchases (note, we certainly haven't bought everything new....)

clam Tue 28-Jan-14 22:54:17

Actually, was in Snow&Rock yesterday looking at ski-boots, and most of them actually have webbed handle thingies on them these days. Not sure about kids' boots though, but tbh, you'll be carrying those.

clam Tue 28-Jan-14 23:01:56

Ooh, another tip: put all the smaller bits (socks/thermals etc) in separate carrier bags per child. Then it's all in one place when you unpack. I now have different colours per person (I'm red, dh black, ds blue, dd pink) because I was fed up trying to sort out whose was whose when their stuff was only a bit smaller than ours but not enough to be obvious until you realised halfway down a run that your socks weren't long enough.

PatriciaHolm Wed 29-Jan-14 10:37:31

Oh clam, that is genius! I've been skiing with kids for 7 years now and never thought of that.grin That will revolutionise my Easter packing gringrin

hillyhilly Wed 29-Jan-14 12:35:27

I'm off on Friday for long girls weekend in Morzine, its snowing there and I've just bought myself a not entirely needed new ski jacket in TK Maxx plus some new socks.
Super excited!!!! Am heading for the airport tomorrow night, partly as flight is early but also if I'm honest, just to get started early!!

hillyhilly Wed 29-Jan-14 12:36:43

BTW Clam thats such a good idea, I think I'll patent it, you'll see me on dragons den with it soon!!
Obvs I'm joking but you could personalise them and everything if you were crafty!

clam Wed 29-Jan-14 17:30:52


flashheartscanoe Wed 29-Jan-14 18:20:47

So Jealous Hilly!
I live 3 hours from the nearest airport so weekends away are hard work. No female friends interested in skiing either.

Have a great time.
Let us know how you get on in Morzine- and if you happen to spot some brilliant independently run apartments close to the slopes ... do share!

winklewoman Thu 30-Jan-14 14:52:52

Clam, have a great time. We had a lovely week at Isola a few years ago. Superb chalet, but a bit of an uphill trek to get to it - but we were a lot younger then. We were in Courchevel the week before last and had a really excellent week.

oiseau Sat 01-Feb-14 10:38:48

can I join in! we are going for our first family skiing holiday to La Tania at the end of March and I just can't wait. I haven't been for 10 years - flash heart - could you still do it? I'm worried I'll have forgotten everything! Going to book a private lesson for Day 2 - do you think this is a good idea?

Just hoping all the rest of the family love it as much as I do. Have forced DH into going in a shared chalet and he is convinced we are going to be spending our entire holiday with Mr and Mrs Bore and their hideous children …. he is not the most sociable of people. Keep telling him it will be fine (crossing fingers)!

Think snow.

clam Sat 01-Feb-14 11:07:14

Sounds fine. What are you going to do on Day 1? Have the kids ever been on skis before? Do you have a snow centre anywhere near you that you could get some of the basics covered for them beforehand (like how to use a drag lift). Personally, I'm not sure I'd want to be the one introducing dcs to skis for the very first time otherwise. We'd have all fallen out very quickly.
Don't underestimate the amount of time it takes to get kitted out on the first morning (so avoid lessons first thing),

oiseau Sat 01-Feb-14 11:44:22

Kids are in ski school from Day 1 and 2 year old in Creche! I meant a private lesson for me and DH?

We are going to the snow centre in Wetherby in half term for the boys to have a lesson as well and just get used to the feel of boots and skis. hope that will be enough?

clam Sat 01-Feb-14 12:01:31

At that age, I would say so, yes.

flashheartscanoe Sat 01-Feb-14 21:45:01

Yes I could still do it fine. Feels impossible for the first 5 minutes and then it all comes back - but oh the pain! Very different from 10 years ago! I'm not useless and walk alot but I had to keep stopping. This year I am training more.

Kids in ski school and independent skiing for DH and me was how we did it - the first day was amazing- I just couldnt believe I'd dropped them off and we had all this time to play.

The private lesson on day 2 is a good idea but I know that I couldn't ski 2 hours straight on the second day. I'd say 1 hour on the second day and another hour later in the week would be good. If you are flexible on times you can book in resort so you can see what suits you. I had a lesson on day 5 and learned a few little crucial things that made alot of difference.

I've never done a shared chalet but would love to. DH is so unsociable he'd never agree. Its an apartment for us!

oiseau Sun 02-Feb-14 10:54:00

Very relieved to hear you could still do it!

I am training quite hard so that hopefully I don't hurt so much - I had a 4 year break from 18 - 22 (i.e. my parents stopped going and I had to earn enough to pay for myself!) and I was in such pain by day 3 I woke up every time I moved in bed! I did that ski fit link you posted flashheart on Friday and my calves are killing me! I am also going to ski fitness sessions twice a week and dragging myself out running, in theory I should be much fitter than when I last went as I could barely run half a mile then - but I was 32 not 42 …..

I said this morning "I am so excited aren't you?" and he said "well yes, but I am really worried about the Chalet" ... Beam me up!! Think we'll be in an apartment next year but I don't know what we will do about childcare for DD as she will only be 3.5 next year.

Good advice re the lessons - I think I will see how we go and book in resort.

flashheartscanoe Mon 03-Feb-14 11:12:17

Don't let me stress anyone out over the fitness thing- I didnt train at all last year, I think thats why it was a shock!

Oiseau- shame DH is worried about the chalet- tell him it'll give him extra peace as you'll have lots of other people to talk to besides him. If it doesnt work- lots of ski resorts have nurseries you can drop them off at- I know Vaujany does.
I'm at the other end of things- I have a 14 year old who has skiied one week who reckons I should let her go off on her own. I think thats a no!

winklewoman Mon 03-Feb-14 11:48:03

I wil be 70 in June and despite some urging frim DH I could not be bothered to do any advance exercise at all. I am not fit, have arthritic old hips, mild asthma and am missing one Anterior C L (yes, an old skiing injury). Three weeks ago in Couchevel, I just put on my skis and set off, skiied every day, not all day but plenty of hours, and milder runs than in the old days. I had said, pre-holiday, that it would be my last ski trip, but ended up saying 'Maybe just one more' . All you young gels will be absolutley fine, stop worrying!

flashheartscanoe Mon 03-Feb-14 15:17:18

Brilliant news Winklewoman-
Generally I love getting older but I always felt not being able to ski any more would be one of the worst things- glad to hear it doesnt have to be the case!
I think my sore legs were probably as much due to bad technique as anything else- I'm not one of those people who glide down easily!

oiseau Mon 03-Feb-14 16:35:52

I am in awe Winklewoman, I want to be just like you! My Dad ski-ed in his 74th year, he took it very easy but glided down so stylishly.

It's snowing in the Alps - just been checking the webcams.

winklewoman Mon 03-Feb-14 17:03:17

Thanks, oiseau and flash smile. I have to admit that Co-Codomol and Ibuprofen were my friends, plus our warming hipflask of Drambuie to swig sip on the chairlifts

clam Mon 03-Feb-14 17:45:44

winklewoman Keep those tips coming. There's hope for me yet. As I said up-thread, I'm only just recovering recovered from a bad leg injury, so may well be necking some of those pills myself.

flashheartscanoe Mon 03-Feb-14 18:33:04

dont forget the Drambuie, Clam. An excellent idea if ever I heard one.

helencw77 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:05:12

Oh my skiing backpack is looking more appealing, chocolate and now alcohol too grin I am getting nervous that I haven't done enough exercise prior to this trip, I think my Wii Fit age is about 95 - lol !! Seriously, I am in awe of you winklewoman, I can't wait until I retire and ski three times a year........

This time in two weeks I'll be there - woohoo, the children had a fab lesson up at the Snow Centre in Hemel yesterday, they've had five lessons altogether 2 group lessons and three private lessons and can now ski better than dh and I (well, maybe by day 3 !) My ds (9) doesn't quite understand that the actual pistes are much longer than the indoor slopes, he was complaining about the shortness of it all !!

Thanks for all the tips....

poshme Tue 04-Feb-14 11:34:30

Ooh I'm excited too! Tignes at half term.
I really need to get fitter... Last year I think I was ok as I didn't ski the first afternoon after ski school (looked afterDD) so I think I started gradually.

I'm also looking forward to NO RAIN! I don't mind if its cold, or if it snows. I'm just so tired of rain!!

clam Tue 04-Feb-14 13:23:24

We now have 3 metres of snow, with another half metre due this week. Have decided that's enough now, so it can stop and let the sun shine for our trip.

Theonlyoneiknow Thu 13-Feb-14 18:44:32

oiseau where are you going in La Tania at the end of march? We are away to book a couple of rooms in a chalet there

flashheartscanoe Thu 13-Feb-14 19:12:14

Have a great time everyone going at half term...lets hope we escape the rain.

Good luck with the packing. I am online panic buying salopettes for DD1 (bought on ebay and too small) and insurance for us all (forgotten).

and dont forget to report back how you got on- love hearing about ski trips and very interested for next year.

And all those going later I'll be envy when I get back.

Doshusallie Thu 13-Feb-14 19:25:06

Poshme see you there! We are at the diva in val claret, can't bloody wait, so excited, and so are the boys...

oiseau Mon 17-Feb-14 21:51:01

Sorry - theonlyone - only just seen this, Chalet Rabel …. going on the 23rd - will you be joining us I wonder!

bideyinn Wed 19-Feb-14 16:45:04

Getting very excited here, off to Let Gets on the 1st to celebrate my 50th. Staying in a fully catered chalet, can't wait!!!

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