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Winter Sports Life


worry too much about where you are because the village is small, so you get more freedom than you might somewhere bigger,” says Letitia, a seasoned 18-year-old skier who has been visiting Alpbach since she was small. Her mother, Harriet, says, “It’s not a worry letting them out in the evening in Alpbach, they all know each other and look out for one another. Harriet recommends staying in a chalet such as Penny Mayerhofer’s. “You can hire the whole thing or simply book rooms. Penny cooks delicious three-course dinners every night, and organises everything from your airport pick-up to ski passes. People return year after year, and the atmosphere is friendly, low key and lots of fun.” Add to this the fact that Alpbach is picturesque, with ski runs, off piste to suit every level of experience and it’s a holiday where the parents can maximise fun and minimise anxiety. For a more high-octane experience,


Courcheval 1850 in France is a favourite destination for families with teenagers. A vital nexus in the famous Three Valleys skiing area, Courcheval off ers a lot of fun on an international scale. Olivia, a 20 year-old who has spent her teenage years skiing there explains: “The skiing is just amazing, and there’s


so much else to do as well. 1850 is the place to go to hang out, and the clubs, like Les Caves, are really glitzy and a lot of fun.” “Unless you don’t want your kids going out, you’re wise to go to 1850, though there are buses and taxis from the other resorts,” says Olivia. She adds that skiing is the one incentive she knows that will get all her friends up in the morning, and her mother Sasha adds, “The bliss of the area is that everything is so easy, and such good quality. There are incredible fancy restaurants with great lunch menus, like La Soucoupe, where you can get a set lunch for 35 or so Euros, and then ski down to meet the children. It’s a treat, and it’s glamorous.” This restaurant, and others like La Taiga in La Tania (included in the area covered by the Courcheval 3 valleys lift pass) are popular with celebrities and a ritzy international crowd that will have you reaching for your fi nest Prada sunglasses and a hot skiing look from teen brand of the moment, Spyder.


In Courcheval ski


school is run to meet the varying needs of a family. So while a small child might need all day, a teenager can book a


Nothing


wakes teenagers up to life more than the glitter of snow outside, sunny skies and skiing


Courcheval in France


provides a high-octane experience for families


couple of hours with an instructor, or go for a fun session where the instructors take those with a certain level of skiing to snow parks and speed tracks where they can perform activities where the adrenalin buzz can be felt. After that, an evening at the Jump bar for après ski is crowded and lively, or shopping, a spa visit, climbing walls and an ice rink at Le Forum are a great alternative selection of activities. Skiing is a holiday that cements friendships and creates the most wonderful family


memories and good cheer. It is expensive, so it pays to research carefully and fi nd the right holiday for your family. If the well-trodden pistes of Europe seem a little tame, there are new skiing destinations opening up all the time. Russia, Canada and Japan all have a ski season. What does it take to wake up your teenagers? Answers on a snowy postcard please…


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Autumn 2011 FirstEleven 73





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