Snowbizz prides themself on being welcoming and friendly, especially for families, and the Snowbizz team are always at the end of the phone happy to answer any questions, to make sure that everyone has a fantastic time on their ski holiday. To prove this point, I wanted to share with you a letter sent from Wendy, founder of Snowbizz, to Belle. Belle likes to know the details about things, and so Wendy took the time to let Belle know exactly what was going to happen on the trip. Wendy didn’t just write this because she wanted to impress us – this level of personal care is absolutely genuine and is what keeps people coming back to Snowbizz for their family ski holiday year after year.
Your mum has told me how excited you are about your ski trip and also how nervous you are feeling. I just wanted to reassure you that we all remember our first anxious moments as a beginner, so I thought I’d try and put some of my thoughts down for you. If you’ve got time over half-term please pop me any other questions you can think of. I will do my best to answer them. Perhaps when you get back you can give me marks out of ten for accuracy!
Travelling to Puy St Vincent
Puy St Vincent is on the French/ Italian border. We fly into Turin, where you’ll be met by Lucy, one of our pink ladies. Lucy also works in the Junior Ski School, so you’ll have time on the coach to ask her any questions. The first part of the journey is motorway and isn’t very exciting, so we play a DVD. As soon as you come off the motorway the scenery starts to change dramatically. The coach climbs up to 1800m. It doesn’t matter how many times any of us have done this journey, you just can’t help being overwhelmed by the beauty of the mountains. You’ll pass by several ski stations: Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, Claviere, then you cross the border into Montgenevre, where the coach literally passes through on the main road. You will see real skiers out on the slopes for the first time. The coach then heads down a very windy road into Briancon, the highest town in Europe. At this point please listen to mum, and don’t read or play any games – because even adults get queasy on the mountain roads. It’s a good idea to have a little bottle of water to take sips. If anyone feels particularly bad Lucy will ask the driver to stop so you can get some fresh air.
You’ll be passing through lots of cute old mountain villages then the coach starts its ascent up to Puy St Vincent, first passing through the old village of Les Alberts at 1400m then upwards to 1600m where you will be staying. The coach stops right outside your accommodation. The first thing you are going to see is a very steep ski slope, but don’t panic that’s a red run! You and mum will be starting on a very gentle green run – which has a cordoned off, almost flat area called a nursery slope. Although it’s called a nursery slope, the nursery children don’t use it! They have their own even flatter area , called le jardin de neige or snow-garden. You will be able to see both of these slopes as soon as you get into your apartment.
Ski hire shop: Skis and boots
Lucy will take you to the ski hire shop. Don’t forget to take your ski socks for the fitting. The boots will feel very strange to start with. Don’t rush. The boots need to fit like gloves. They mustn’t pinch you, but neither should you be able to move your foot around freely. The boot adjusts with a series of side-clips. The idea is you start on the loosest setting then gradually adjust the clips a bit tighter, until you get the perfect fit. You will also be given a pair of skis and your instructor will explain everything you need to know about them. The one thing we have to ask of you is not to lose the skis! They should always be in your sight. You would be amazed even in a sweet friendly resort like Puy St Vincent there’s a naughty gnome who goes round pinching skis. Best bit of advice is anytime you stop, either put your skis away in your locker, or if you’re out on the mountain swap one with one of your mums. A non-matching pair won’t interest the gnome! Hope this makes sense.
Lucy will give you your lift pass, this is also another valuable piece of equipment and should be kept safe in a separate jacket pocket. Don’t put anything else in this pocket. Each time you use the lift, the pass automatically activates the barrier. The weather might be quite warm when you go in March. If you decide you only need a fleece to ski in the afternoon, don’t forget the lift pass!
After you have settled-in, got your skis and boots and lift passes, there is a welcome drink in the lounge. Our team will tell you all about what’s going on during the week. This is also a great opportunity to meet all our other lovely families, many of whom go back year after year.
Then comes the really exciting bit: First morning on skis!
I will write up some thoughts on that too and try to get across to you next week. I hope that your holiday is going to be just amazing.
Isn’t that thoughtful? We can’t wait to get there now!