ADVENTURE • November 2015
Love the idea of a ski holiday, but too embarrassed to ask your know-it-all mates for planning advice? Ski expert and travel writer Gabriella Le Breton answers some common questions
How do I pick a resort?
Taking your young family for a relaxing break with some skiing, sledging, great food and short transfers? Go for good-value, family-friendly resorts such as Andorra, Sauze d’Oulx and Seefeld.
If your kids are teenagers, consider places like Tignes and Innsbruck with great terrain parks, as well as bars and restaurants for you. Plotting a romantic break? Then pick Isola 2000 or Sierra Nevada – perfect for sunny ski getaways.
If you’re going with a gang of mates, choose resorts that offer skiing for all levels and good nightlife: Chamonix and Engelberg are perfect.
How do I look after the non-skiers?
If they’re culture vultures head to Davos or Salzburg, which are littered with art galleries, exhibitions and musical performances. For shopaholics, go for St Moritz or Aspen, while active types will again love the activities on offer in Chamonix and Engelberg as well as many North American resorts, including Banff, Whistler, Vail and Breckenridge.
How will the kids get on?
Tuition is generally available for children aged three and upwards, with the littlest ones corralled in snow playgrounds where they get used to having ungainly skis strapped to their tiny feet. You’ll even find dedicated classes for girls, teens, park rats, snowboarders etc.
Any great kids’ clubs to recommend?
At Grindelwald, enrol your angels in the Swiss Ski and Snowboard School and you can leave them at the Snowli Children’s Club all day. Over in Vail, your daughter(s) could take part in the Ski Girls Rock girls-only classes developed by Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, while both boys and girls can take a two-day race camp in Killington with another Olympic skier, Chelsea Marshall.
How do I learn to ski off-piste?
Do not think about straying far off the marked and groomed trails without a guide and off-piste equipment. If you long to make like a pro freerider, enrol in a course on making the transition from piste to powder, while also teaching basic mountain safety. Courses are available in most resorts with decent off-piste terrain, such as Tignes, Chamonix and Engelberg.
Ski Girls Rock is a ski course for girls aged 5-15, designed by Olympic gold medalist and World Alpine Ski Champion Lindsey Vonn. Click the image below to watch the video (00:53)
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This article has been tagged Adventure, Travel Tips