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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.

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