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Skiing advice please

(31 Posts)
spykid Tue 18-Jan-05 17:27:16

We are taking ds1, 6 and ds2, 4 skiing to colorado at half term in feb. This is the first time skiing for us all, so any advice, tips etc would be very gratefully appreciated!
Any essential buys, ideas to keep them occupied on long flight....in fact any ideas to help it run smoothly, thanks

Frizbe Tue 18-Jan-05 17:37:51

Wow! you'll have a great time, I'd suggest thermals! but seriously wait until you get to the states if you can to buy clothes (although only do this if your getting a car so can get out of resort) as their ski wear is so much cheaper, (having said that if you can get to Makro, in this co, they're quite good for cheap ski-wear) I'd recomend waterproof jacket and trousers/salopets (or is that with a c? anyway) if you don't want to afford a ski jacket, get you/the kids a berghaus type thing and fix a fleece inside, does the job nicely....
Get good waterproof gloves! and a nice warm hat, buy nice new posh sunglasses over there, to look cool on slopes
Saw a good recomendation on here the other day for long flights, which said, take small prezzies for your kids to open, one per hour, thus makes flight time go faster, am going to use this at Easter myself on way to Vegas!

spykid Tue 18-Jan-05 17:43:35

Thanks Frizbe, will definately use the pressie idea!
What is the best way to pack ski gear, I can imagine it taking up all of our luggage space!

spykid Tue 18-Jan-05 18:04:44

bump

Merlin Tue 18-Jan-05 18:07:28

Wear your ski jackets, but obviously everything else will have to be packed, but at least it's all soft so you can squash it in!! Don't forget the sunscreen and proper ski socks are a must, otherwise your boots will hurt.

spykid Tue 18-Jan-05 18:09:24

What spf for suncream, should I get a sun bock?

LIZS Tue 18-Jan-05 18:44:36

Minimum 25/30 suncream and lip salve - block is better but you can get mini sized ones with built in lip salve to fit in pockets by either Nivea or Ambre Solaire (or a US brand), with a special one for kids so you cna reapply frequently. Good sunglasses and/or goggles are also a must as the glare is fierce. Pack layers rather than bulk - you can always take a fleece off if need be. Outside layer for beginners especially should be waterproof. Sleeveless fleeces are good for extra warmth where you most need it. Long ski tube socks spread the pressure from boots and waterproof gloves, especially recommend long cuffed mitts for the kids, are a must.

Good news is although skiwear can be bulky it is light! If you can pack a few days beforehand and close the case, when you reopen it the stuff will be more compact !

Enjoy !

Yorkiegirl Tue 18-Jan-05 18:47:23

Message withdrawn

mckenzie Tue 18-Jan-05 18:58:26

I would recommend taking 2 pairs of thermals and outer wear if possible so that if the little ones have lots of falls and get cold and damp during the morning session you can go back and get changed into warm dry gear for the afternoon.
Layers are a must as is lip balm, a good hat, sunscreen and goggles or glasses. Even if the sun isn't out as such the glare from the snow can cause problems ('can' cause, not 'does', I don't mean to scare you).

I'm sure you are going to have a fantastic time. I've been a skier for about 15 years and I've still never been to Colorado!

Trifle Tue 18-Jan-05 19:37:38

I know people keep saying about needing to keep warm but that really is no exaggeration. I worked in Vail, Colorado from Dec until May a number of years ago and I have to say it was the coldest place on earth so take heed and dont compromise on good quality ski wear. You can buy fantastic reasonably priced ski gear when you get there but not from the resorts which will be expensive. You would need to head off to the out of town discount malls to get the best prices and would have to weigh up whether it really is worth the hassle or not. Another consideration is the altitude. Vail starts at 9000 ft and the skiing goes up to 13,000 ft with Breckenridge just slightly higher. This is unbelievably high compared to European ski resorts and some people, particularly those who smoke or are unfit, do have difficulty adjusting to the altitude and jet lag. As for the skiing for beginners, resorts in Colorado have special ski areas sectioned off for learners and families. Tuition, like most things in Colorado, is fantastically well organised with small groups and obviously people speaking the same language helps enormously. I feel that once you get there it would be worth taking a day to explore all your options, what ski school would suit you best (ie private tuition for your family or whether the children would be better served in a kids class or whether you want to take a day off and go snow mobiling etc). I hope you have a good time, you have picked one of the best areas in the world and will be spoilt forever more.

Ps Take LOTS of money, it's darn expensive

Chuffed Wed 19-Jan-05 11:19:58

Where in Colorado are you going?

binkie Wed 19-Jan-05 11:34:28

Suggest couple of pairs of M&S boys' longjohns each for your dss (wear them over ordinary pants so needn't change each day) - or, if they'll let you, girls' tights. Ordinary socks. Second others on layers - long-sleeved t-shirts, flannel shirts, don't bulk up - under skisuits. Lots of spare gloves & hats. Snow is very bright - pair of robust sunglasses or goggles each (airport for sunglasses, resort for goggles).

We took far too much of non-skiing-clothing - all you need for apres-ski is tracksuit each, and if where you're staying does laundry you don't even need very much of the stuff for layering under skisuit. Snow boots - wear to travel. Slippers/trainers are all you need otherwise.

Distractions/toys: we took a bag of stocking-filler/party bag type presents they'd not seen before. New Tintin for ds (5) - occupied him the whole week. No other books - too tired for bedtime stories!

Are your boys sporty? My two aren't, and 2 hours of ski school each day was almost beyond them. Might have been better to do private instructor route. So unless you've got childcare, don't expect to get long stretches of skiing yourselves - but if it's your first time you might not mind that!

For you: North Face do fantastic lightweight fleeces for under skisuit, not cheap but just wonderful - don't need anything else.

Have a lovely time.

alibubbles Wed 19-Jan-05 12:03:49

I use those vaccuum bags for our ski stuff, especially fleeces, sock, underwear, hats etc stuff that doesn't crease Infact these bags don't need to be sucked out, you just seal and then flatten, they are like great big ziplock bags.

I was skiing last weekend and it was 22 C! My DS is in Whislter for 3 months traing toa be an instructor, he will make a brilliant kids ski instructor.

Lots of tissues, some sweets to suck in their pockets, name their gloves , hats etc.

Everything is so much cheaper out there, if you forget anything just buy it, and take a spare case!

binkie Wed 19-Jan-05 12:12:14

Another thought - the one thing I really missed when we went skiing, and wouldn't have anticipated, was a general local guidebook. I thought the resort would be all we wanted but then felt a bit hemmed in as I had no idea where to go if we wanted a day or afternoon out.

renaldo Wed 19-Jan-05 13:15:03

you can buy disposable handwarmers and footwarmers in millets, thay are brilliant if its really cold

spykid Wed 19-Jan-05 17:12:31

Thanks so much for the advice everyone!!
W are going to a resort called copper mountain near to Denver. This holiday was rather unplanned. My sister moved out there just after xmas and is now getting married. Just so happens to be in a ski resort!!!
Went to Aldi yesterday and bought ds's a fab ski suit each for £9.99 ! th ey seem such fantastic value, but on your advise girls am spending my money wisely on good quality thermals.

Newbarnsleygirl Wed 19-Jan-05 17:18:01

Let us know how you got on. We're going skiing at xmas but don't know where to go yet. DD will be 2. The place your going to sounds great.

Anteater Wed 19-Jan-05 17:27:10

Copper Mountain was recommended by a local to me as excellent for kids. Cousin works near Breckenridge, he says the main problem is altidude, and the way round it is to drink masses of water, (and NO booze!!)
Please report back on what you think of it... Have a great time.

spykid Wed 19-Jan-05 17:29:43

Thanks Anteater, getting really excited now!
i am having a skiing lesson on dry slopes next weekend with ds's. dh is an 'expert skiier'lol!

Lolski Wed 19-Jan-05 17:32:22

Colorado is a fantastic place to ski. You will have a great time. One thing that I would say is drink plenty of water on the flight. The combination of the long flight and then the altitude at the ski resort can sometimes cause dehydration. I would also not ski the first day there to give yourself a chance to climatise. It took me many years of skiing holidays to realise that is why I felt a bit sick for a couple of days!!!

Trifle Wed 19-Jan-05 19:26:51

Copper Mountain is a about 2 hours from Denver and sandwiched in between Breckenridge and Vail which are both situated a couple of miles either side. If you can, it would definately be worth checking out Vail if you fancy a trip out. There was talk of the one lift pass covering neighbouring areas so you might well be covered to actually ski there. Worth doing if you are confident enough at the end of your stay.

hatstand Wed 19-Jan-05 23:34:12

oooh spykid. Ski-ing holidays with kids are the best. You get time to yourself, lots of fresh air and exercise, and fantastic fun time with the kids, making snowmen and going sledging. I would go for several weeks a year if I could. I agree with Binkie about non-ski-ing clothes, it kind of depends what kind of accomodation you're in and whether or not you'll be eating in restaurants in the evenings but when I've been self-catering or in a catered chalet, all I've ever needed is a pair of jeans or tracky bottoms. I'd put a clean t-shirt on after showering after the day's ski-ing, and then wear the same t-shirt for ski-ing the next day. It's worth taking playing cards / games and some good books to keep you amused in the evenings - I don't know about the US but certainly in France it's rare to have a tv - which is good in my book. I would also - especially as it's your first time - highly recommend taking a bottle of radox or similar muscle-relaxing bubble bath. You will ache like you've never ached before, I'm afraid. Another tip is to take passport photos with you. It's probably better organised in the US but in France you can waste precious time running around trying to get them (and paying some ludicrous price) - you generally need then for your ski pass. Re equipment - mittens (proper ski-ing ones, that is) are warmer than gloves but some people (including me) don't get on with them. I understand the states can be double cold so I'd also recommend thinking about a fleecey balaclava - might sound extreme but they're fantastic for keeping your face warm on the lifts

hatstand Thu 20-Jan-05 00:05:15

another thought - do some exercises before you go. One of the best for ski-ing is to stand with your back against a wall, with knees bent so your thighs are horizontal, and your shins are vertical. See how long you can stay like it.

DaddyCool Thu 20-Jan-05 09:26:51

damn, I wish I had got to this thread earlier. This is my kind of thing. I haven't had time to read all the posts but here's the main stuff:

1. Tight fitting ski socks (I see this mentioned below)
2. Really decent gloves. In fact ski mittens are actually better (the fingers keep each other warm)
3. Ski lessons. If you have a half day, morning ski lesson on the first day, it'll do you a world of good and will greatly improve your skiing for the rest of your holiday.

frootolphtherednosedreindeer Thu 20-Jan-05 09:39:44

Glycerine suppositories!!

Altitude always constipates me a bit and last week we took the kids skiing for the first time to La Rosiere in France (fantastic by the way - came back sun, rebooked for next year at 9.a.m on Mon!!) Anyway dd (7) got horrendously constipated but the glycerine suppostories worked a treat. Had to bribe her with toblerone to let me stick it up but gave very gentle effective releif!! She has only been costipated once before, when she was 11 months old but something made me stick that old packet in the first aid kit!

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