Skiing with Children
When it comes to a family ski holiday, Les Gets is one of the best resorts in the world, and has won awards from both The Telegraph and The Independent.
Les Gets has outstanding facilities for children learning to ski and helping them advance to the next level – all while having lots of fun.
For the youngest ones, lessons will begin in the Snow Garden, which forms part of the ESF creche. Children learn the basics of skiing, and get used to wearing the boots through play.
Les Gets has a wide range of pistes gradually increasing in level, from green for beginners to blue and red for the more advanced, with black runs available for the more experienced skier. These incremental levels support learning and rapid advancement. For more information, take a look at our article, Why Les Gets is the best resort in the world to learn to ski.
The meeting point for the ski schools is either at the bottom of the Chavannes lift or right next to the nursery slopes. If the latter is chosen, children can start their lessons immediately without spending time taking more lifts or buses.
The Grand Cry and Milka runs are great for all ages. There’s even free face-painting in a tepee during the school holidays, and a video link to upload fun videos to Facebook.
A typical skiing holiday will see the children being dropped off at ski school for the morning while the parents explore the slopes. After collecting the children for a delicious lunch on the mountain, the family can spend the afternoon skiing together.
Now, the big question: where do you go? A basic understanding of the resort and your child’s skiing level can make your afternoon skiing together an amazing experience for the whole family.
The Grand Cry
After children have mastered the nursery area and have basic skills, they will usually want to have as much fun as possible, but this needs to be in a safe environment where they will also subconsciously be improving their skills.
The Grand Cry area is a North-American-themed ski park comprising green runs, with American-Indian music playing in some parts. There are many small, safe tracks at the sides of the piste which dip in and out of the trees – here, the children can explore safely.
The Milka Run
The Milka run is the next progression from Grand Cry. It’s particularly popular as the Milka Cows give out chocolate on the runs!
The run is an easy blue, with fun rollers available and endless tracks into the trees off to the sides. Children will often want to lap this all day.
Children’s Snow Park
Many children are passionate about trying to do jumps, and love the thought of skiing in a snow park. Just off the green piste 64, there is a snow park designed for small children, with small, well-built jumps that are safe for children of all ages at the green-run level. The bumps are designed so children naturally learn to gradually improve their skills.
The best way for children to progress is by gradually and incrementally skiing harder slopes after the basic skills are learnt, starting with green runs and then spending a lot of time on blue runs. Skiing a slope within a child’s ability is much better than doing so on one outside a child’s ability, as they may adopt ways of skiing that are unsafe or incorrect.
Les Gets Ski Cross
Located under the Chavannes red bubble, off the Blue Piste, this is a starter-level ski-cross course. It’s great fun, fast and thrilling – suitable for anyone who is confident on a red run.
Nyon FreeStyle Park
This intermediate park, located in the base of Mount Nyon, is a great park for children wanting to push themselves a little harder.
Again, this is designed to be safe; the jumps all have a table top and no ‘lip’, so children who don’t have the ability to jump will naturally roll over the bumps and, again, instinctively improve their skills.
There is a great atmosphere in this area, and the Inferno hotel is located nearby, hosting BBQs and putting on live music.
Fun at every age
The ESF ski school has a fabulous play area located near the main office. This protected area is fenced off for the sole use of children signed up to the ESF school. This is a great place for small children to be taken care of while their parents enjoy the day skiing.
The highly qualified staff ensure that the children are in a safe, enjoyable environment during their first stages of learning to ski. Typically children will spend part of the day in the Snow Garden, and part of the day inside.
Once children can snow plough, they move onto the Grand Cry area. Although there is a small steep section at the beginning, a confident skier will be able to carry their child over this section, so they can then have a great time exploring the area.
At this age, children are becoming more independent and confident. They will now want to explore as much as possible. Allowing them freedom to explore while keeping them safe is key.
The Grand Cry and Milka areas are perfect for 5-to-7-year-olds. There are also runs at the sides, through the trees, which are ideal for this age group.
Typically, this age group will be comfortable with blue runs, and will want to explore further afield.
They can have an amazing day covering the whole of the Les Gets and Morzine pistes on blue runs.
From the top of the La Rosta lift, there is the Reine des Pres run: one that this age group will particularly enjoy. This is a long, easy blue ending up in the Les Gets Bowl.
Children of this age will usually benefit hugely from the Nyon Ski Park – where the jumps are specially built to be safe, so children can follow the bumps without jumping and gradually improve their skills.
This age group typically wants to learn more technical skills. Some will want to practice what they’ve learnt, while others will enjoy exploring different areas and having as much fun as possible.
Children of this age can be fantastic to ski with, as they’ve often learnt very strong skills from ski school and have excellent technique. A really solid foundation can be forged here, which will continue to improve in years to come.