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Less than 2 weeks to go..

(29 Posts)
namechangedtoday15 Tue 08-Dec-15 13:56:07

.. to first family ski trip. All been booked independently - so flights, apartment, car hire etc rather than a package hence the questions.

Can anyone answer a few questions for me :

1. Have seen a few people recommend hand warmers for the little ones (children are 10, 10 and 6). Can anyone recommend which brand to buy (they have complained about cold hand despite gloves etc when we've been to local ski centre).

2. We're off to Cervinia - have booked private lessons the morning after we get there. Will we need to have bought lift passes before the lesson (am presuming so)?

3. We've never driven in snowy conditions before - driving through Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy. Any tips?

4. Anything that you found useful the first time you went skiing as a family that I wouldn't have thought of? Just realised they might need photos for the ski passes.

Any tips gratefully received. Beginning to panic now!

bluetrees Tue 08-Dec-15 22:12:19

When we drove to France you had to have certain things in your boot in case of emergency. Hi viz, warning triangle. Also you had to have snow chains. Never actually saw this happen but they can randomly stop cars at the bottom of the mountain and if you don't have snow chains, they don't let you up. Whenever we have driven the road conditions weren't to bad so that's probably why we've never seen it happen to anyone.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 08-Dec-15 22:40:09

Thank you for your reply. We've booked snow chains with hire car company and hopefully the car will be equipped but will check. Thank you.

zc Tue 08-Dec-15 22:46:16

1.I have used disposable hand warmers before which were great & lasted the full day - can't remember what make, but have a look at Amazon & the reviews should guide you.
2. Yes to lift passes before your lesson, you can usually book online & we haven't needed photos for years.
3. Can't help with the driving
But 4. Essentials we take - mini Mars or similar for jacket pockets!
Have a great trip.

You will probably need to buy ski passes before lessons. We have always needed to, but I'm not sure if this is a blanket rule or not.

Also is the car a diesel? Because diesel can freeze at low temperatures, so you need to make sure that you top up your tank at a petrol station with anti-freeze in the diesel. It's called alpine diesel or something like that. Otherwise your engine will freeze and the car will break down <bitter experience>

Enjoy the holiday, I bet your DC will love it!

namechangedtoday15 Tue 08-Dec-15 23:29:04

Thank you. These are exactly the tips I was looking for xx

PatriciaHolm Wed 09-Dec-15 10:13:42

The one that always catches me out is how heavy are the kids? This may only be relevant once they are good skiers - ours have been skiing since they were 2 - but the ski hire shop always asks and I always kick myself for not remembering to check!

namechangedtoday15 Wed 09-Dec-15 11:47:32

Great thank you. Will get them on the scales smile

lovetoskimum Wed 09-Dec-15 14:20:22

Patrica, well done about weighing the kids, we make the annual trip to Boots for the weigh in !!!

Oh and yes to mini bars of choc too, we also use one of her pockets for jelly babies !!

Love this topic !!!

Namechange, keep us posted and I want to hear all about your trip x smile

macarooni Wed 09-Dec-15 14:37:17

I'm trying to think of some top tips as I've had three dc regularly skiing in the French Alps mine wear fingerless elbow length gloves and waterproof mittens over the top....snow always seems to get in the cuff area. Thick tights under ski clothes or good long john set. Googles are a must as it gets blowy up those mountains. For the car you also need a disposable breathalyser kit. A neck warmer snood thing... Again keeps snow out.

Are your children very young? It can be difficult to source fresh milk, it's usually uht.

Lip balm....their lips get very dry!

macarooni Wed 09-Dec-15 14:39:16

Good comprehensive winter sports health insurance too. Had a few minor scrapes and one major one

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 09-Dec-15 15:02:28

Know your shoe sizes in european sizes as well.

Best to get the lift pass before the first lesson. Some resorts you don't need the pass for the main nursery slope but some you may. Most lift pass offices open early, before the lesson will start.

Lift passes normally need to go in a left hand side pocket to activate the barriers on the lifts remotely. If it's a resort where you still need to show the pass then you need lift pass holder on an elastic clip.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 09-Dec-15 15:03:10

Oh and sun screen.

PatriciaHolm Wed 09-Dec-15 15:08:56

We've never done under layers under ski trousers - maybe I just have hot children! Top layers yes, but not trouser ones, and we've skied some cold new years ;-)

Snacks essential, but I don't do choc bars as they melt in your pocket (body heat) if you ski too. Mini eggs seem to survive though, and kendal mint cake will survive the apocalypse....

SweepTheHalls Wed 09-Dec-15 15:11:34

Put your name, contact details for you and their ski schools in their pockets just in case they get lost.

macarooni Wed 09-Dec-15 15:20:12

We all wear ninja outfits under ski clothes....it's the Scottish connection....any hint of cold and the wailing starts grin

Did you say it's Italy you are going to? Start them on a basic bit of hello/goodbye/ I'm sorry I don't speak Italian/ where is the toilets/thank you

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 09-Dec-15 16:18:48

Dh always photos the lift passes on his smart phone. Unsure why, something to do with getting a replacement if they're lost.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 09-Dec-15 16:32:03

Thank you all. Yes Italy. Cervinia. Keep checking the snow reports. All looks good (higher up!). Children are 10, 10 and 6 so should be OK without fresh milk etc.

Macarooni - I don't think I can even remember the basics in italian despite doing a year of italian at university

lampygirl Wed 09-Dec-15 22:31:26

The french aren't enforcing the breathalyser thing, presumably as its actually unenforceable...

Hi viz jackets you might need to take yourself in case you have a breakdown, but hopefully the hire car will cover first aid kit/spares lamps/warning triangle.

A black bin liner or two. You can kneel on it to fit chains, and then put that one and the chains into the second bag when you take them off again. Chances are they will never go back into the original packaging and will keep the stuff in your boot dry. A kids plastic spade can also help dig your wheels out in the car park...

Muchtoomuchtodo Wed 09-Dec-15 23:06:20

We all carry a copy of our passports, EHIC cards and travel insurance in a jacket pocket - when DS needed pisteur assistance off the slope they wanted that information before they did anything.

Yes to photographing lift passes in case they get lost.

Layers are good. Neck muffs (wind proof are best) are a must. If your DC have cold hands, then glove loners can make a massive difference. Ma esure gloves and boots are thoroughly dried every night.

Have fun!

Radiatorvalves Tue 15-Dec-15 12:48:49

Putting snow chains on isn't much fun. Do practice preferably on a sunny day without a snowstorm) before you need them. I had some rather odd looks in s London one Easter! grin

Also baby wipes...your hands get filthy. I use a spare pair of gloves. DH tends just to use his hands (mad).

Rinse chains after use...you may need them again and they can be a bugger to sort out.

Do I sound obsessed??

namechangedtoday15 Tue 15-Dec-15 12:59:57

We're hiring a car at Geneva (with chains) so won't get chance to try beforehand (until we potentially need them!). Oh gawd.... there are so many things that can go wrong!!

MrsUltra Tue 22-Dec-15 09:57:29

Have driven many times to the Alpes and have needed to use the chains on several occasions, tho much les often now we have winter tyres on the car.
Definitely practice before you go.

MrsUltra Tue 22-Dec-15 09:58:26

Sorry just saw you are hiring a car.

clam Sat 02-Jan-16 20:34:27

How did it all go? Enough snow? I'm guessing you didn't need the snowchains!

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