Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies


Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies

Started by Silverflora in Beginning Skiing - 13 Replies

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Silverflora posted Apr-2010

Thanks to everyone for advice prior to our 1st ski trip - it was very useful.We were back yesterday, after a gruelling trip on a coach as the airports were still closed then.

Re the skis - they were left for an hour over lunch and disappeared then. I was the only English speaker in a group of 12, and the others were told what to do and went down the chair lift - he then told me in English how to get off the chairlift and I came down by myself. There was no one else around to copy what they did ( the beginners start later and finish later than all other groups), and I truly had no idea that I had to take my skis in - on the way up they were taken up for us and given to us individually at the top of the chairlift.

The ESF lessons weren't great : my instructor had poor English, and after the first 30 minutes hardly ever explained anything to me and I got fed up constantly having to ask. SO after 2 days, I had decided to just about give up. Everyone else was doing so much better than me. I did't ski on Day 3 - and decided ( on Jonah690's advice and Ally's encouragement ) as a last ditch effort to try a private lesson with the New Generation Ski school on Day 4.

This proved to be the best thing I could have done. In that 2 hours, I learned more than I had done in the previous 2 days, was constantly helped and reassured, and ended up after 2 hours taking the 3 km blue piste run back down to the hotel.

The next couple of days I spent practising by myself and with my daughter - it was fantastic! really enjoyed it and can't wait to go back next year.

Lots of the english people at the resort gave up with ESF, and most took private lessons - or did their own thing. We may have been unlucky - but I was amazed at how many people stayed at the hotel on Day 3 ( when I wasn't skiing) whom I had previously seen on the slopes.

And the skis? I was told after 4 days of worrying that I wouldn't have to pay the 300 Euros.

Thanks again

reply to 'Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies'
posted Apr-2010

That sounds like a "challenging" first trip... so, the most important questions... did you get to the point of enjoying it and when are you going again? 8)
The Admin Man

reply to 'Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies'
posted Apr-2010

Yes - it was a bit "bumpier" than I thought it would be, but in spite of everything, all three of us are hooked and can't wait to go again.

Next trip - probably March 2011 : I was told by people at the hotel that skiing at the end of the season is nicer than when its bitterly cold. Being on the slopes in bright, warm sunlight was FANTASTIC!

reply to 'Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies'
posted Apr-2010

Hi Silverflora

Welcome back and I'm glad to see you haven't been put off posting on here!!

Sounds like you had a mixed result on the holiday but I'm glad to see it hasn't put you off skiing again next year. :thumbup:

Sounds like ESF lived upto their reputation but I'm glad to hear you gave a private lesson a try. You will often find that you will learn a lot more and faster when in a one on one situation as the instruction is aimed directly at you rather than generically at a group!

I can understand that you were in a horrible position when coming down the chairlift with no-one around to copy or ask. When you left your skis did you leave them in a rack with other skis or where they on their own? However regardless of this its good news that you didn't have to pay for them. Did they give you a reason?

reply to 'Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies'
posted Apr-2010

No - the chap at the top of the chairlift took them off me - as I concentrated getting on the chair and remembering how to get off. There was literally no one else around ; it was late and everyone had already gone down to lunch.

As to not paying - it took them 4 days to decide not to charge me, probably because I phoned up Club med in London and talked to their customer services.

And another lesson learned - ALWAYS TAKE OUT THEIR SKI INSURANCE!

They mentioned something in French which I didn't understand when they gave me the skis, which turned out to be ski insurance for loss/breakages etc.. At 18 Euros this was a snip ; I wish I'd asked to have this explained to me in English but it was a real rush to get boots / skis / helmets for the kids / sign up for lessons / sign up for club etc, etc. and make it for dinner.

Ian Wickham
reply to 'Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies'
posted Apr-2010

I have looked for a feed back form on the ESF Peisey Vallandry web site with out any joy, if you have not already I would certainly email them and feed back
your experiences naming the instructor. This year I was sent a feed back email from the ESF Le Grand bornand, I was not happy with the instructor my daughter
had telling us on the second day with four days still to go that she was not going to pass her third star due to her "sitting back in her skis too much," I have made it quite clear to them that I pay the ESF a considerable amount of money for my daughter to receive instruction to improve her ability, this year she did not receive this.
If you are not happy with the service that you have received it is important that you feed this back, I'm glad your experience has not put you off skiing.

reply to 'Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies'
posted Apr-2010

I am pleased you managed to enjoy the holiday what with all the issues, and then with the flight problems too. I hope you become addicted to skiing as I have, and apologies for being so sceptical at the outset.
www  New and improved me

reply to 'Report back after First Skiing trip - hope this helps other newbies'
posted Apr-2010

Hi Silverflora,
Thanks very much for being brave enough to come back on and tell us all how you got on, and explain what happened to your skis :thumbup:.

I think it was the other 'Allie' (ACarr) who was kind enough to encourage you to keep going at the ski-ing. I'm afraid all I did was to try to explain to everyone how you might possibly have had your skis stolen, and say that I've done equally daft things.

In fact, if it makes you feel any better, I did something far more stupid today. I went shopping in Tescos, put it all through the till, and then discovered that my wallet wasn't in my pocket, and I had a very nasty moment when I thought I'd been pickpocketed, before I remembered that I'd very likely left it in my coat in the car. So I had all the embarassment of being 'escorted' to customer services with my trolley, and leaving it there while I went to look for my wallet (which luckily I found). And I had no excuse of any kind, except for being over tired and stressed. I know perfectly well that I need my wallet to pay for my shopping.

I'm glad to hear that they didn't make you pay for your skis. That seems only fair if they were the ones who took your skis off you. I think we were all a bit confused because one doesn't normally take skis off to go in a chairlift - I suppose they did it for you because you were all beginners (unless there was some other reason - like lack of snow or something?).

We have had some bad instructors with ESF as well (and also some very good ones). I'm very pleased you finally found a good instructor with New Generation and learned how to ski and have fun. I don't suppose you got a refund off ESF though - we tried that once and didn't get anywhere :cry:

As for what time of year is the best to go ski-ing, I think it depends on various factors, like which resort you go to, and if you want to avoid crowds, and what price you're prepared to pay, as well as what weather to expect. We have skied at the beginning of January, and February half-term, and Easter. Both times we skied at the beginning of Jan we had lovely sunny weather and it was nice and warm. In February we have had very cold, foggy, windy weather as well as nice sunny weather. And at Easter we had masses of snow, freezing cold and very windy, and than at the end of the week beautiful sunshine. So the weather varies a lot, and is fairly unpredictable, I would say. But if you ski too late in the season, you may well be ski-ing on slush in the afternoons and ice in the mornings, and if you go too early there may not be enough snow.

Best Wishes,


Topic last updated on 23-April-2010 at 05:13

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