So our first family ski trip was looming and despite a snowboarding trip in my late 20s/early 30s this by no means meant I was in position to hit the slopes. We decided on some lessons pre-holiday to help give us a head start (was going to put flying start but I know that would be overstretching it slightly). The Bennetts therefore headed down to our local indoor ski centre. We are lucky to live so close to the Chill Factore in Trafford Manchester so this was where we would set the slopes on fire.
We booked all three of us on to lessons. I decided to opt for skiing this time around mainly so that Ella and I could do this together and more realistically as I just don’t think I am cool enough for snowboarding anymore.
Nigel however opted for snowboarding. (I probably should have mentioned that we were heading on our first trip with friends. It was our friends 40th and along with their little family and some of their other close friends we were a party of 12). So back to Nigel and his snowboarding. Our friends are seasoned snowboarders. They have had a break whilst they had children but I think his plan was to nip off for some boy/man time on the slopes with his best man.
Mr Organised and Mr Take the Micky out of my Mistakes only went and booked himself on the ski lessons with no space whatsoever before we left to change this – oh how I basked in this error.
It turned out well though and in the end I think he like the fact it was something the 3 of us were starting together and could do together.
Well, Ella of course took to it like a duck to water and despite just being on the nursery slope and appearing to not make much progress she loved it and by the end of her courses she was super excited to get on “real snow”.
The grown ups however, slightly more tentative. In fact after my first lesson I was pretty sure I was going to hate it but once the muscles adjusted and I started to get the hang of it we were feeling good about hitting the French Alps. Don’t get me wrong we were still very much beginners but we could link a few turns.
Chill Factore is a great way to get your ski-legs – and to give you a bit of confidence for the real thing. The staff were really helpful when we were signing up and recommended Ella join the club so that we benefited lots of discounts – which was great and really worth it. I am sure there are a few more reasonable places around but we waited for the deals so it worked out pretty well. The additional travel would have worked out roughly about the same.
One thing I would recommend is to find out when is their quietest time a when it is busy you can spend a lot of time waiting for the drag lifts. I managed a session once when there was only about 6/7 on the slopes the whole time so we got so much more ski-time.
So with our snowploughs, parallels and traversing nailed it we were ready for Morzine