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List of what first time skiers need and top tips please

(33 Posts)
YouSpinmeRound Sat 12-Nov-16 09:56:33

First time skiing with kids during the pre christmas week.
What top tips do you have for things to take?
Do the children have to have a specialist ski jacket or will their gap down jackets suffice for example. Where should we shop for stuff?


ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 12-Nov-16 10:03:36

TK Maxx is good for skiing stuff.
I don't know what the Gap jackets are like but they definitely need to be waterproof.
Skiing when it is snowing hurts your face so goggles are good.
Some sort of clip to attach the ski pass to is a must the sort with a string that you can pull out to swipe it otherwise I can guarantee it will get lost and they are expensive!

Ineededtonamechange Sat 12-Nov-16 10:05:14

Not aure if you have skiied before from the wording so not sure how to pitch this but here goes.

I wouldn't ski in a gap down jacket.... not sure how waterproof they will be and they will fall over.

There is plenty of cheap ski stuff at mountain warehouse and sports direct with trespass sitting in the middle range and Ellis Brigham etc sitting at the top end.

Things to remember

Layers. Good base layers will really help as will a good fleece.
Ski socks, thicker is not better but there are plenty of midrange decent socks
Jacket - somewhere to put your pass so it won't get lost is handy. I've bought at least one jacket from ebay and will do that again as they get so little wear when small. Older kids may want new!

Will ponder more. How old are the children?

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 12-Nov-16 10:06:18

Oh and if you are hiring skis some way of telling your skis from other people's is a really good idea for when you have to put them on the racks outside cafes, buses, gondolas etc. I can't remember what they call them but we had little velcro things that you wrapped around the skis it keeps them together when you leave them and we also wrote our names on so we could tell ours apart.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 12-Nov-16 10:08:36

Oh and yes to layers I have never skied at Christmas but often start out fully kitted up and end up in just ski trousers and base layer on my top half. Try the football skins from somewhere like Sports Direct as a base layer for kids.

LIZS Sat 12-Nov-16 10:11:36

Layers - long sleeved base layers, cotton high neck and light fleece on top, long legged leggings (joggers) on bottom under the waterproof/windproof jacket/salopettes or all in one ( depends on age and loveless of activity). Good gloves, more than one pair if likely to snowball, thin hat which could be worn under helmet, fleece neck gaiter to block the wind getting down inside and can be pulled up over chin. Long thick socks. Be prepared for bitter cold and frozen rain on the face. You might want to take some of those hand warmers in pockets and heat the boots before wearing , sometimes the ski boot room has heated racks to place them over. Also resorts may not be fully open pre Christmas and as snow conditions have been variable in recent years so you may well make use of pool, ice rink, walks etc.

LIZS Sat 12-Nov-16 10:13:53

Yes down jackets do get soggy and take an age it dry. Try Decathlon for kitting out cheaply, many French kids seem to wear it. Where are you heading?

Ineededtonamechange Sat 12-Nov-16 10:14:06

There is lots of snow in the alps at the moment, where are you going?

I'm pregnant and jealous!! ;-)

LadyPenelopeCantDance Sat 12-Nov-16 10:18:15

Sports direct will kit the family out for cheaper than anyone else. They have everything - base layers, helmets, jackets, googles and not too bad quality too. Their own brand is called Campri and is decent quality despite the price. I swear by their base layers and gloves.

Don't forget to get proper ski socks. Walking or hiking socks will not suffice and will lead to blistering inside the ski boot.

Stock up on first aid supplies before you go. Things like blister plasters and deep heat are very expensive in the mountains!

Have a great time!

SweepTheHalls Sat 12-Nov-16 10:19:33

Take arnica cream!

YouSpinmeRound Sat 12-Nov-16 20:23:17

Thank you so much. I feel a bit thick and out of touch with the world of skiing and literally need to start from scratch. The children are 10 and 7. I have skied many times before but not since they were born and I honestly can't remember a thing! We're going to Courchevel and I want their first experience to be a good one and so i want to be prepared.
Some great tips there already - blisters etc. reminds me that i once got a bruise the size of a dinner plate from a rogue drag life in Are - i must take arnica too!

I am very nervous about hitting the slopes again

Artandco Sat 12-Nov-16 20:26:51

Get everyone to stretch and do leg excercise get between now and trip. Will really help with legs not aching within minutes. Squats are good as the bend legs where you would skiing. You can look up 'ski fit' online

carabos Sat 12-Nov-16 20:29:45

You can hire all the gear from the specialist companies that supply schools. You may find your local ski shop offers this service. I did that for my first time as I didn't want to spend any big bucks until I knew I'd be doing it again.

IsletsOfLangerhans Sat 12-Nov-16 20:31:46

Very excited for you - this was us last year (girls were 10 and 8)! I got the children kitted out with ski socks, fleece-lined leggings and tops and fleece buffs at ALDI. I also managed to get some merino thermals in Lidl which were fab. I'd also suggest finding a ski jacket with a zip pocket in the sleeve for ski passes (much easier to use). Goggles definitely.

GoodGirlsGuide Sat 12-Nov-16 20:43:52

We took our 2 DC skiing for new year last year and it was their first ski holiday.

We made them a list of stuff they needed which included:

Long johns or leggings x 2 or 3 pairs (to wear under ski trousers)- Matalan /Primark
Vests x 3
Long sleeved tops (cotton preferable) x 3
Ski socks x 5
Ski trousers x 1
Ski gloves x 2 (preferably so one pair can dry if they get wet)
Hats and gloves / scarfs for evening wear
Ski coat (which should have an appropriate ski pass holder - note that most ski pass readers these days are electronic so once pass is in the holder it doesn't need to ever be removed) (tip - take photos of them all when you get them incase one gets lost)
Goggles - we bought them at the resort ski shop and they were much cheaper than here
Sunglasses (ski appropriate ones - think Oakleys or similar)
Jeans x 2 for evening wear
Jumpers / sweatshirt / hoodie x 2 for evening wear
Additional coat to wear out in the evening - if ski coat gets wet it's nice to have another to wear in the evening if you intend on being out
Sensible boots (or wellies as insisted by DD!) for evening wear

We checked what they had and bought what they didn't from TK Maxx (or where I noted above) as it had the best quality/value stuff (apart from ski socks which we bought on a 3for2 deal from mountain warehouse).

I hope this helps!

cowbag1 Sat 12-Nov-16 20:45:45

Just to add, Courcheval uses electronic passes that you scan so a zipped pocket in your sleeve will suffice (you don't even have to take the pass out).

I've been to Courcheval at Christmas and it was quite cold so decent base layers and a waterproof jacket are a must, plus goggles and a neck gaiter in case of blizzards. Sun cream not as important but decent lip balm is a must. Not sure which part of Courcheval you're going to but 1850 has an ice skating rink, cinema and lots of shops if the weather is too bad to ski (including some ridiculously high end ones, good for window shopping!)

NuzzleandScratch Sat 12-Nov-16 20:56:00

Hi YouSpin, I started a similar thread to this recently, I don't know how to link but the title is 'Can someone give me an idiot's guide to what clothes we'll need'. Some good tips on there.

We've managed to kit dd1 (age 6) out from Mountain Warehouse at a very reasonable price, as they've got a ski package on at the moment. For underneath, I found some lovely thermals in M&S, long sleeve vests and long johns.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Sat 12-Nov-16 21:14:03

Don't wear cotton!!! It gets damp from sweat, which gets cold, which chills you down. Much better to wear merino, but that's expensive, or technical fabrics. Sports direct is good, decathlon and aldi too.

ChampsMum Sat 12-Nov-16 21:18:25

All our ski clothing is purchased from Moncler, amazing quality.

I hope you and your family have fun smile

YouSpinmeRound Sat 12-Nov-16 22:27:48

Thanks again.
It's courchevel 1850 in the very classy establishment that is the Esprit chalet hotel! wink. A very different experience from the places we've stayed pre-children in the states and Canada. Do you think the local pass rather than area pass will suffice? We have to pick kids up around 2pm each day.

Decathlon is a great idea! I think i will use the lists posted here as a starting point and then fill in the gaps. Time is racing by! I hope they love it, I'm sure they will.

Do you need photos for lift passes these days?

YouSpinmeRound Sat 12-Nov-16 22:29:56

Just noticed the comment about cotton - im pretty sure the ancient ski tops i used to have were all cotton back in the day!

GoodGirlsGuide Sat 12-Nov-16 22:45:33

I prefer cotton tops - I rarely sweat when skiing as I unzip my coat or fleece top if its hot so I don't get the wet-cold top thing. I find I sweat more in sports tops. Plus I always wear a base layer under long sleeve tops when skiing so if I did sweat that'd be the thing that got damp (..TMI..??).

I take enough base layers to wear clean each ski day but the DC only took 2-3 of each and re-wore (although I got them to wear clean each day until they'd worn everything as there is sometimes a day you can't ski due to inclement weather, and then once 'aired' they rewore tops).

GoodGirlsGuide Sat 12-Nov-16 22:49:05

And...We haven't needed photos in advance for ski passes for the last few trips (La Plagne - Borovets Bulgaria - Mayrhoffen). With the electronic passes they sometimes take a photo of you on first use at the first ski lift

cowbag1 Sat 12-Nov-16 23:45:30

No you don't need photos for the passes (our chalet hosts bought ours for us in advance a few years back).

If you've never been to Courcheval before then the pass for that valley will suffice as there's plenty of runs of all colours and it will take you a week to try them all out (plus the many great little bars and restaurants to stop off at along the way wink). There's also a few longer trips to La Tania, Le Praz and over to 1650 that are included on the Courcheval pass. If you've been before, a 3 valleys pass may be worth a go to try something new and it's not much more expensive but you may struggle to get over to another valley and back (especially to Val Thorens) before 2pm.

Courcheval during ski season is one of my favourite places in the world and the best place to ski imo. You'll have an amazing time!

arggghparanoidalready Sun 13-Nov-16 09:11:11

For kids gear (we've got a 5 &few weeks later that they were getting married or having kids or leaving 6 year old who've both had 5 weeks on the snow), check out Lidl and Aldi, really good quality for the price, as well as mountain warehouse. Get at least 2 pairs of salopettes and 2 pairs of gloves each as they will get damp playing in the snow. And label everything!
Passes - we're fairly advanced (red / black and bit of off piste) but don't get bored of the Courchevel valley in a week the few times we've been so I wouldn't worry about getting the full 3v pass. The passes are like oyster cards so as long as the kids jackets have a secure pocket you can put the pass in there and be done for the week, they don't need to get the pass out at all.
We've been to the Esprit Crystal hotel place - it's way out of town, there is a local bus that goes part way so good pairs of winter boots definitely needed. On the upside it's ski in/out so very easy in the mornings smile Have fun!

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