Teach your kids how to ski without the expense of a foreign holiday
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 January 2017
Learning to ski can be jolly hard work, even for someone who is both fit and has natural balance, so anything you can do to ease the process is a very good thing - and lessons at Chill Factore in Trafford is a very good place to start!
Perhaps the greatest joy of Chill Factore is not that you can have lessons on a surface pretty close to that we will find in the Alps this February, but that everything is so well organised. They have the whole process of booking in, getting sorted with kit and hitting the slope down to a fine art.
We booked 10-year old Zac into a late Sunday afternoon two-hour class, for people who had never skied before. Advised to arrive no less than a half an hour before the lesson, that’s what we did. Next time, I think a half hour would be fine, but actually for a first ever visit, I would recommend an extra 10-15 minutes, just for the sake of your blood pressure.
Checking in, we collected his ski pass and headed to the boot collection point, having borrowed ski gear for him and so having no need to avail ourselves of the kit Chill Factore have available. First – weigh in. A very clever machine weighs and measures you, while you feed in ski experience level. A ticket is produced that you then hand to the boots expert, who fits you with boots and skis. This is where you grab a helmet too, if you wish. From here you simply buckle up (okay, that’s not so simple, but just ask your instructor to help!) and wait in the appropriate zone before being taken to the slope.
Zac’s instructor was cheerful, clear and incredibly patient. In a class of six he trekked up and down the slope, getting each participant to progress as far as they could in a one hour and 50 minutes lesson. By the end my son was snowploughing down a short stretch and even putting in a turn, of sorts. More importantly, the instructor gave him a short but sweet introduction to the very concept of skiing and convinced him that, like Bob, yes he could. This initial conviction is vital for future contentment, for mums as well as children, trust me!
I booked a two hour ski pass for the same time as Zac’s lesson. With two button tows it’s an easy way to refresh your skills with a few up and downs in a safe environment. While the changing area seemed incredibly hectic, the slope was relatively quiet, allowing for skiers at all skill levels to enjoy their time with no frustrations.
Anybody who has skied will know what a hunger inducing form of exercise this is. Luckily, there are various options available in the building, one of which drew my son like a beacon – the pizza place! Despite it not looking as appealing as Nando’s, over the way, the food was fabulous and the service excellent. We love a proper pizza, and Pizza Dalle Piste obliges jolly well.