Our only family skiing experience was five years ago. We were staying with some Italian friends at their apartment in Limone Piemonte. Their children learnt to ski when they were small with Saturday afternoon lessons, just like ours learnt to swim. The (hopelessly naive and flawed) plan was that while our friends were zipping around the mountains the four of us would learn to ski with an instructor on the nursery slopes. But the youngest, five at the time, had other ideas. Even before we’d finished encasing him in the copious layers of clothes required to leave the apartment, he’d had enough. By the time we’d hired our skis and boots, bought our ski passes and found the instructor, he refused to even put his skis on. He just wanted to play in the snow, whizz around on a sledge and go back to our friends’ apartment to play on their Wii. Fair enough: he was five years old, snow’s fun and he’d never seen a Wii before.
This meant that my husband and I (who had both skied a little before) had to take it in turns to ski with the eldest and look after the youngest, didn’t get to ski together and missed out on time with the instructor, which was frustrating. The eldest absolutely loved skiing and skied more than any of us as, being nine at the time, she had no childcare responsibilities, so at least she was happy. We’ve not been skiing as a family since, although my recent winter trip to Madesimo made me think that we should try again. But next time I’ll make sure there’s a kids club.
The family travel lowdown: If you’d like to go on a family ski trip this Easter there’s still some availability. Crystal have some Easter ski deals, as do Neilson. Free ski passes are on offer for kids at Pierre Et Vacances, and Balkan Holidays have some good value trips to Bulgaria.