I am absolutely delighted to share with you my 7yo’s first L’ourson ski badge achievement! Thanks to the amazing ski instructors of L’école de Ski Français (ESF), my numéro 1 can now ski confidently without leaving his overly anxious mother worried of her son falling off the mountain! The ski session lasted only 5 days, 2 hrs each day, a total of 10 hours to learn the basics of skiing, like mastering the snowplough technique (chasse-neige), which is commonly used for beginners to brake and make turns and the duck-walk/ herringbone (marcher en canard), a technique to climb up slopes with skis. In fact, from his third lesson we were already taking him higher up in the altitude with the chair lifts (télésiège) and cable car (télécabine) to try other green and blue ski trails (piste).
The green pistes tend to be pretty flat for a surface which isn’t very enjoyable to ski because you’ll have to climb uphill with the annoying skis most of the time. It can be really tiring, dreadful and boring depending where you are. The blue pistes come with several downhill slopes and it can also be useful for beginners to master the snowploughing techniques, controlling speed and turns. However, some blue slopes tend to be steeper than the other. The steeper ones may look very intimidating when looked downwards but so long as you make long carve turns and be sure to put your body wight on the downhill ski, you could be well in control. Next is to stay confident on both your feet and especially your mind. It does help for the most part!
During this period though, surprisingly it didn’t snow and there were hardly any snow in most of the ski stations. Global warming is real I guess! However, these ski stations managed to make faux snow all over the piste. It wasn’t too bad but some areas felt rather icy hard than fluff. These are the areas you’d probably want to avoid falling.
Here is a little snippet of my son’s ski session with me, THE beginner who has fallen on my butt a billion times, even rescued by some super hot ski instructor only to feel silly and embarrassed, but somehow, for the sake of this video, I am capable of skiing ‘sans baton’ with the camera on one hand and carrying both batons on the other, recording this video like a pro! or am I? This is how the jonction blue piste looks like!
I am so impressed by my son’s control to make turns, manœuvre from side to side, brakes and his little jumps like he knows exactly what he was doing, for some first-timer freshly delivered out of Singapore’s tropical, snows-non-existent little island!
This ski session had been an amazing achievement for my son and I. Though I’ve had my embarrassing moments, to my very own surprise I managed to ski down the challenging red slopes! Yessss! Like I said, it takes confidence.
+ ski instructors are available on request. There is a booking counter at the étape as well as the tourism office. A 2hr private session costs around 80 euros. One to one is highly recommended for better and faster results but groups and ski schools are also available, be sure to book earlier. We stayed in Les Contamines for the whole week so we had some time to get the kids master some basic ski techniques before taking them higher up with us for better scenery and fresher air.