Taking Mason skiing for the first time!
My family ski and I have skied for many years, I'm no pro but I can get down the mountain confidently. My husband has grown up skiing from a young age, he is a confident and stylish skier and this year he insisted on yellow trousers but that's another story!!
So a family of skiiers we knew we wanted to introduce Mason from a young age. He's just turned four, with no fear and low centre of gravity he is sturdy and stable and we felt ready to be taken on a skiing holiday. We visited Montgenèvre, France with my parents and stayed in a self catering apartment.
Luckily for us, the weather conditions were perfect with predominantly blue skies and powdery snow which if you’ve skied before you will know how fortunate we were as the weather can be so unpredictable in these climates. We had 5 days of skiing with Mason on the slopes from 10am - 2pm. We had one day that we were unable to ski due to a thick downpour of snow which is beautiful to look at but makes skiing really difficult.
We chose not to put Mason into ski school. My husband is a very, very good skier and he felt confident he could teach Mason. I can ski but certainly could not have done what my husband did! We have said that we think next year Mason would go into ski school so that he is taught the skills and technique properly. But for now, we just wanted him to experience the snow and skiing with no pressure!
Here’s a few things we learnt and have used that i am hoping you might find useful!
(Only Amazon links are affiliate!)
I know, obvious right?! As you can imagine its bitterly cold so its essential you are prepared for the cold weather. Pack what you think you will need and then pack more. One typical day for skiing, Mason wore:
underwear, normal socks, ski socks, Long Johns, base layer, jumper, joggers and an all in one ski suit (great because when they fall snow doesn't go down the back!) Then snood, hat, helmet, googles or glasses.
Hand warmers have been a life saver for use. Every day we popped them in the end of Masons outer gloves and they were great at keeping his fingertips warm as these can get cold and painful quickly. We found ski mittens most useful for Mason. Firstly because they are the easiest to get on and off and secondly because the hand warmers were able to sit in the end. Or you can get alternatives with zip pockets on the back of the hands.
Helmets. This is another essential item. We hired our helmets with our skis and absolutely everyone you see on the slopes now wear helmets, it’s just not worth the risk!!
Despite being cold it is extremely sunny! Goggles and sunglasses are essentials not only for the sun but to shelter their eyes from the snow and sun cream must always be applied as the sun is reflected on the snow. I also took a Nivea lip balm as lips quickly dry out in the cold weather.
Click here to affiliate link to items used from Amazon
(Goggles are linked below, sunglasses are from Little Hotdog Watson)
It can be tiring skiing all day particularly for little ones using muscles they've probably not used before and in such cold conditions! We took a rucksack with lots of snacks, sweets, juice and water. We also made regular breaks so that it wasn't too much for Mason so check out where the cafes are on the slopes before you head out!
Learning to Ski
Before Mason even put any skis on we made sure we went out to play in the snow. It was beautifully white and powdery and just so inviting! We sledged in it and rolled in it. Just to get used to it and make the most of such glorious conditions.
So as I said, my husband decided to teach Mason to ski. This was a combination of going on the nursery slopes to get a feel for the skis, to going on long flat green runs to practise and then returning to the nursery slopes to practise techniques such as stopping and turning.
Something we couldn't have done without was the harness we used on Mason. Click
here for the harness we used from Decathlon was amazing for my husband to hold on to Mason for skiing, it helped him to learn how to balance, shift his weight, turn etc and can also be used the other way for pulling when on flat green runs. Lots of people stopped us to ask us about it for using with their children!
We also bought and took an edgie wedgie (click here for aff link) which clips on the front of the skis for children to learn how to ski without the skies crossing. This was brilliant. We got ours here on amazon, we only took one with us and unfortunately snapped when Mason fell on the first day. We were lucky that a passing ski instructor leant us his for the rest of the week! I would recommend taking two!! As the shops are not cheap in the resorts!!
The beauty of going self catering is that you can cook and prepare meals to suit all of the family. We chose to eat out a few nights but sometimes you're so exhausted from a days skiing we were all in bed by 8:30pm!
Breakfasts, this might sound a silly one but I was really keen to get a hot breakfast into Mason before heading out onto the slopes. Being a fussy eater I knew it could be tricky so actually packed porridge sachets from home! This is always a guaranteed eat for Mason so a bowl of porridge followed by fruit was a great way to start the day and get him through to lunch time which we packed a sandwich.
Hot chocolates! These certainly got us through the tough times! Not bribery let’s call it encouragement! Particularly when the weather was cold, after a fall or when Mason had decided he’d had enough but we still had to get down a mountain, the promise of a hot chocolate certainly helped!!
I know travelling with young children can be daunting so I have videos with ideas of things to pack for entertaining children on your journey. You can watch the videos by clicking here
. And here
are a selection of items from Amazon I always take when travelling with Mason.
Don't forget we also have the journey playPROMPTS to help you entertain the kids no matter how you're travelling! Click here to see!
However, its also worth noting, one of the days the snow was so heavy we were unable to ski so have plenty of games and entertainment with you as it can be a long day with little going on in the villages! This is also the same for afternoons as Mason would normally finish about 2pm, then we’d head back to the apartment to play!
And this is where the Family members come in handy!! I know it’s not always possible but going away with family or friends can be a huge help particularly when skiing. It meant that someone was always with Mason but also allowed certain adults to do additional skiing in the afternoon or split up and meet later so everyone can ski at their own pace!
If you’ve never being skiing before you will love it! There’s nothing like it! The atmosphere and scenery is wonderful and so great to spend a week outdoors! However, it is exhausting! So be prepared for early nights!!