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07-19-2012, 08:43 AM #1gravityfed
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
French Alps Advice for my Teenagers
Hey Mags - hope I can get some constructive advice during the off season.
I currently live in Whistler but am taking my family on a sabbatical Sept-March and I'm looking for some advice from any euromags.
We are planning to spend Jan-Feb in the French Alps. Everyone I talk to here suggests we rent a place and ski in Chamonix. But we are flexible and the key determining factor is what kind of programs I can find for my kids.
My son is 15 and your typical Whistler grom - hardcore big mountain skier. He speaks French fluently so would fit in with a local crew. Is there anything equivalent to Whistler's Freeride program over there? He's also an avid filmer and would probably like to connect with local skiers trying to get exposure - he makes sponsor edits for up and comer groms. Here are some links to his vids. http://www.pinkbike.com/video/267342/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/HammersawFilms
My daughter is 13, also fluent in French, but more of a casual freeskier. Would be great to connect her with local kids.
I'd love any thoughts you may have. We will have a car so don't mind staying in a small remote town and driving to ski. The focus is more on the experience for the kids than accessing the best terrain. Don't worry, I'll make it to Cham even if it's not our home mountain for the season! We'll be riding in Morzine for a week in early Sept so will be able to check out your recommendations.
Thanks in advance.
07-19-2012, 08:57 AM #2Cham-wow!
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
The only other place I would remotely consider is Verbier.
But go to Cham, stay in Argentiere as close as you can to Grands Montets.
07-19-2012, 08:58 AM #3
The search function is your friend; lots of advice on skiing in France already posted/
That said, with kids you may want to consider some of the more destination places like Val d'Isere/Tignes (Espace Killy), Val Thorens/Courchevel/Meribel (Trois Vallees) or Serre Chevalier. Each of these places is huDge with killer skiing and will have good resources for kids of all abilities and inclination.Merde De Glace
07-19-2012, 10:26 AM #4sucks on the internet
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
If you intend to spend 2 whole monthes in France I would seriously consider Briancon and vicinity as a base - at least for most of the time. It's a place with some more of a town vibe which is nice to have close by. From there hit Serre-Che, La Grave, Alpe D'Huez, Les Deux Alpes, Puy St. Vincent, Vars/Risoul, Montgenevre. You pretty much can't get more variety than that within reasonable reach. Moreover, the incredibly beautiful Mediterranean Alps are within reach.
With regards to specific programs and hooking your kids up with locals: most of the programs run at reputated designations frequently swap their guests who mostly intrude from outside for a more or less brief vacation. There is a chance that around a somewhat bigger place like Briancon they might encounter more true local breed or resident kids whom yours can gang up with for the entire time of your stay. But I can't give you detailed advice here, best is to contact local guides in the region of your choice and confront them with your specific expectations.
Another option could be Moutiers or Bourg St. Maurice with access to resorts already mentioned such as L'Espace Killy, Trois Vallees, Les Arcs, Ste. Foy and the Italian Aosta Valley resorts. But you can also hit most of them towards the end of your stay while working your way back to Geneva airport for the homebound flight.
Cham is a rad place for sure but I would not consider it as ideal with the entire family in tow, it's rather the mountaineer's choice. La Grave can be similary intimidating though if that is what you like to do once in a while.http://www.facebook.com/pages/www3li...ref=ts&fref=ts 3Limits Slovakia
http://www.ymli.cz/en/ski.html Rippin' Skis
07-19-2012, 12:09 PM #5gravityfed
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
[QUOTE=Hicks;3692204]You don't mean to ski Morzine at that time of the year, do you?
We'll be mountain biking at that time of year. Morzine has some nice DH tracks and all mountain riding.
Excellent advice. Will check out Briancon & some of the other spots you mentioned.
07-19-2012, 12:18 PM #6
Are you looking to adopt?
07-19-2012, 01:04 PM #7
wait wait wait. How are you taking a winter off with kids?
Don't they have to go to school?
A "sabbatical"? you must be a professor. hehe.No longer stuck.
07-19-2012, 01:37 PM #8
damn, was just looking up info about that area. amazing. (Briancon)
Can I move to France with a dog?No longer stuck.
07-20-2012, 11:51 PM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- columbia valley
Do your kids speak french or fringlish?
07-21-2012, 02:44 AM #10
For kids, Morzine and Les Portes du Soleil is a decent place to be.
I recall lots of activities for kids there, clubs, dancing, snow park, etc.
The lodging is located on the hill, giving it an atmosphere all its own.
I think Verbier has an area focused on youth. Siviez?
Never seen the kid scene in Cham.
Never seen kids at La Grave.Ski, Bike, Climb.
Resistence is futile.
07-21-2012, 05:32 AM #11
Another shout for Bourg St Maurice or Briancon
Not sure anywhere has a developed freeskiing program like Whistler. Kids/teenager stuff always seems more biased towards racing. Might be worth looking at Les Deux Alpes for that thoughfur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob
07-21-2012, 06:15 AM #12
Took my family to Morzine a few years ago... mainly because my daughter wasn't fluent in French. It's "occupied" by the British, so I was able to get her in english group lessons. It was perfect for us, since they were intermediates and the slopeside hotel was awesome, but reasonable.
It's also very quaint, walking friendly and Avoriaz is just up the road. Chamonix was an hours drive, so not too far either. The slopes at Morzine are not going to satisfy your rad teen grom, though (but it sounds like you know this).Screw the net, Surf the backcountry!