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A Family Of Beginners!

Organising your first ever ski trip can send most people into a fit of panic and fear. Rachel, a mum of 2, embarked on her first ever ski trip as a family, daunted by the prospect of the entire family being first time skiers, she turned to Esprit for help. This is her experience….

When we decided to embark on our first ever skiing holiday we were filled with excitement as to what was ahead, but also a little daunted as we’d never skied before ourselves! We were up for the challenge of something new and wanted to push ourselves out of our comfort zone but were definitely a little worried about what that might entail…

We chose to head to Peisey after much research and The Esprit team had informed us it was perfect for a family of skiers. Peisey has a huge ski area with lots of slopes to suit our ability (or lack of!) plus the chalet was only 1 minute walk to the Vanoise cable-car which would be great seeing as we had never walked in ski boots before!

Our first task however, was to tell our 5 year old about going skiing. He was initially less than keen, and with no experience ourselves, we were unsure how to encourage him for the new challenge. To get him excited we found some great clips on YouTube of children and adults skiing. Our son loved watching these and seeing what other people were doing on the slopes. We also used the snow reports on the Esprit website, and ‘snow watch’ was a regular thing in our house in the run up to our trip!

The second task was getting all of our skiing kit organised; we had great fun choosing our skiing gear, making sure we were colour coordinated and more importantly, warm! We had a few bits and pieces, and as well as borrowing from friends and family, I’d highly recommend buying buying from eBay and Gumtree as well. Our essentials list would be; thermals, ski gloves, ski socks, salopettes, ski jacket, goggles and a snood – we had great fun in trying on all our gear! As beginner skiers YouTube was also great for learning the basics of all the gear, from putting your boots on, skis on, and even how to use the lifts on the slopes.

Then it was time to head to the mountains and get stuck in. We decided to do lessons each morning and were chuffed that we definitely picked it up fairly quickly. ESF were absolutely fantastic – so helpful and nothing was ever too much trouble. They had lots of patience, which was certainly needed the first day or two! By the end of day three we could pretty much ski down the slopes unaided. It was an incredible feeling to know we were capable of skiing independently, and with the added advantage of having been taught how to stop in a few different ways! Nothing can beat the exhilaration and freedom you feel when you glide down the slopes, and this is something we’ll never forget.

What made our skiing so much more enjoyable was that we booked our 5 year old into morning ski school,snow club and cozy club, and also our 1 year old into nursery. The Esprit childcare on site were amazing – the children were entertained for the whole day as well as learning new skills, meeting new friends, building confidence, and enjoying the great outdoors. Knowing that they were enjoying themselves, meant that we really could let go, enjoy the slopes and concentrate on our skiing lessons.

Having never experienced the mountains before, we were hesitant (verging on panicking) about how cold it was going to be! Would our 5 year old cope with the snow and cold? Would they be miserable and would we regret the whole experience and head straight for a beach holiday next year? To our absolute relief, it wasn’t actually as cold as we’d expected, even with the amount of snowfall we had. It was magical playing with the kids in the snow; a real memory-maker. Our 1 year old had never encountered it before, with us having had such mild winters in the south of England the last 2 years. So it was all new and exciting for her and meant we had some great family moments bonding on the trip.

As first time skiers we were amazed at how easy everything was. Everyone was so knowledgeable, from those booking the trip for us, to every single person in the childcare team and the chalet hosts themselves – it took the stress out of everything!

We loved our first ever skiing holiday; time spent as a family learning something new together, happy kids who loved meeting new friends and doing all the activities on offer in the kids club, and time for us to relax, soak in the mountain air and really get away from it all. In fact, we think it’s time to start planning the next one…

Rachel is busy mother of two young children, living in Hampshire and working part time. She volunteers running both a Rainbow & Guide unit in the local area. As a family, we enjoy the outdoors and going on holidays!