It’s been 30 years since I first took to the mountains and I’ve never looked back. In Kirchdorf, a small Austrian resort, my father took me to the top of the nursery run and we had a make-or-break moment. Inching to the edge, there were tears and some strong words from my father, but I managed to get down and I’ve had a love affair with skiing ever since.
Making the decision to take our girls skiing hasn’t been an easy one, mainly because there’s a little bit of me that wants to be selfish and indulge in my lifelong passion without the worry of the children. Having them at home under Grandma’s expert supervision is an appealing prospect. But after a lot of procrastination, on Boxing Day giddy with the festivities and a little bit merry we decided to go for the full family option.
Big D’s now 4 and I really want her to be one of those tiny kids on the slopes who whizzes past you as fearless and fast as a pro downhill skier! I dream of the day I can take to the slopes with my children gracefully skiing behind me like mother duck and her ducklings (although they’ll probably be in front of me pulling flips!). In order to do this you need to start ’em young and hope they love it. One of the first books we bought for Big D was “Learning to Ski with Mr Magee“, which she knows off by heart – so she was primed early!
The start of the 2015/16 ski season has to be one of the worst on record. No snow and too warm, right up until Jan. This meant that between Christmas and New Year companies were offering some amazing deals. We plumped for a chalet holiday in Val d’Isere on a deal that was too good to be true. Now Val isn’t the most child-friendly resort – the ski area’s vast and there are some challenging runs like the infamous Face (Olympic downhill) and Sash (/”Gash”), a nice, narrow icy black-run of death. It is not, however, contrary to recent reports, Magaluf on Ice! Having been a 2 x Seasonnaire at Val, I feel it’s my second home and want the girls to feel the same. Knowing your way around a resort if you need to get back to your child quickly has got to be an advantage!
There are some incredible ski companies out there that are really capturing the family market – making skiing accessible for those parents with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. From arranging transfers with car seats, to discussing menu plans for your children, nothing is too much bother. Professional, fully vetted, nannies are on hand to look after Little D, Big D will be in ski school in the mornings and hanging out with her sister in the afternoon, and the adults will have some quality time on the slopes.
I’m more than happy to swap apres ski for sledging, snowman building and hot chocolate with the girls in the afternoons, so the family all gets to hang out together and have fun. …I can wait ’til later in the evening for that glass of red wine by the burning fire once the girls are happily tucked up in bed – hopefully exhausted by that fresh mountain air.
I’m so excited to let you know how we get on and I’ll report back with what worked and what didn’t. For now, if like me you’re weighing up your options, check out these great ski companies that will help take the stress out of skiing with little ones.
Powder Bryne – Family ski holiday experts covering luxury resorts in Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Amazing child care from babies to teens.
VIP Ski – Specialise in chalet holidays. With dedicated family chalets and qualified nannies on hand you and your little ones will be in a safe pair of hands. They also have some great deals for early bookings and last minute options so keep an eye out if you want to snap up a bargain. Having stayed with them a few years back I can highly recommend.
Scott Dunn – Offer the option of chalets and hotels and have several ski options outside of Europe for those wanting to venture to the States or Canada. With the option of having a private nanny or checking into the Little Explorers club, the children will be spoiled with fun activities while you get to be at one with the mountain.
Mark Warner – Award winning family ski holidays with great value childcare on tap.
Love Mummy B