BIGGER CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS
Bigger children, once they’ve turned 5, are much easier. They can now cope with a whole day on skis, leaving you with the choice of how much time to spend with them. Some of the ski schools will provide lunch, but need much persuasion to confirm it for any given date.
Morning or afternoon group lessons (the latter tend to be warmer, cheaper and less subscribed, but obviously your child may be more tired if he or she has skied with you in the morning), can be great with an inspired instructor. Prices for group and private lessons for various ski schools are listed on the Ski School section of this website, under the Val d’Isère heading. They vary hugely, per child, per hour – and sometimes five children in a private lesson in one school work out cheaper than a group lesson at another.
When you ski with your children, you’ll find lots of long, exciting circuits they can manage, all on green and blue runs. Rapid chairs, such as the new Marmottes six-seater, have made the Verte and similar runs much more child-friendly.
YSE Child Discount 2-12 years: £50 off per week in standard beds.
Teenagers who have been perfectly behaved for months at school will be desperate to let off steam. During the day this seems to mean dressing with their crutch around their knees to ride snowboards and glare at anyone over 21.
After dinner, of course, it means sampling every forbidden pleasure possible out on the town. Under-18s often gain illicit entry to nightclubs, but sometimes don’t. The former might worry parents, the latter drives teenagers crazy. At night during school holidays Val d’Isère echoes to young voices fortified with chalet wine discussing how to get into Dick’s T-bar through the fire escape! And that’s just the 13-year-olds… Still, they’re going to test the limits, and Val d’Isère is a fairly benign place to do so.
If you are bringing youngsters to a top chalet, please bear in mind that the smarter the chalet the easier it is to damage and the more the damage costs to put right. We have to repair any damage for subsequent guests, and have to ask the parents for the money, which is never easy.