Is it possible to take four kids skiing for a week and arrive home unscathed?

Here’s our Top Ten Tips to skiing with kids…

  1. Don’t worry about the weather too much. After a few days at the Snow, well, more specifically, Perisher, I’ve learned not to listen to anyone’s personal opinion on what conditions are going to be like tomorrow. Not even the Bureau of Meteorology. None of them have the faintest idea. Just wing it – head up to the slopes and make the best of it. Especially if you’ve already paid for a weekly lift ticket and hired a shit-load of gear. Like we have.
  2. Pre-book your lift tickets and lessons online – and do it early. There’s loads of special offers available pre-season and late into the season. It’s worth subscribing to a few newsletters from the resorts to keep an eye out for bargains.
  3. If you have a large family (like ours) stay at The Station. If you have a large family it’s probably the best value accommodation in Jindabyne. Prices start at $99 per person per night – and kids stay free. The rooms are enormous, most packages include breakfast and dinner, and it’s only a 20-minute drive to the ski tube.
  4. Put Alpine fuel in your car. We managed to break down half way along The Alpine Way on Day 2. Typical. I say typical, not because our lovely Ford Territory was likely to break down – it has driven us comfortably and without issue all the way from Sydney. But typical, because the weather was glorious. It’s our fault of course – not knowing that Alpine conditions require Alpine fuel. The car is towed away to sit in the sun for a while and we’re left standing on the side of the road. But not for long. There appears to be an Alpine Angel patrolling the road this week. A South African guy called Brett, who has busted his knee and therefore cannot ski with his family. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he’s decided he might as well help other people ski. And drives all six of us (plus gear) to the slopes. My faith in humanity is restored.
  5. Head Away from Perisher’s Front Valley (especially on a Saturday) and take your Kids to Blue Cow. It is the safest place to get back in the swing of things – especially for the novice skiers and boarders among us. Front Valley can get very congested with novice adult skiers – and it hurts when they hurtle into you at break-neck speed. Especially if you’re a novice child.
  6. Enjoy the long family runs at Perisher. Stay on the mountain until the last lift closes to make up for any late starts, and be sure to explore the easier long runs with the kids such as Pleasant Valley, Pretty Valley and the Copperhead Road (a family favourite).
  7. Go to ski school. I include myself in this advice – not just the kids. In fact they learn faster than adults, and considering MOST people only ski one week a year (if at all) we can all use a refresher. I had trouble convincing my youngest most headstrong little nomad about this.
  8. Don’t break any of your bones. Obviously no one tries to do this deliberately, but if it does happen – try to aim for the latter part of your trip. And don’t worry, the Snow Patrol will take care of you if/when it does happen. This of course happened to me on Day 4 (busted knee) forcing me to explore the finer cuisine of Jindabyne to compensate. And it happened to my eldest son on Day 6 (broken arm) who was stretchered away dramatically via t-bar and skidoo from possibly the FURTHEST ski run from Perisher Valley. (Particularly impressed with the t-bar initiative!)
  9. Definitely sample some of the fine Alpine dining. While the buffet dinner at The Station is great (and a firm favourite with the kids) with busted knee my partner and I treated ourselves (not the kids) to dinner at Lake Crackenback Resort’s Cuisine. A starter of beetroot carpaccio with goats cheese followed by an enormous piece of lean rump steak. Divine. Simon goes for the smoked salmon followed up with pork belly. (According to tradition we swap halfway so I’m able to say confidently that it is all heavenly food.) My busted knee and I sat out Day 5 and 6 with lunch at Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery. A very delicious goulash it is too. And the schnapps is not bad either. I recommend the sour apple flavour.
  10. Compare stats on Perisher’s My Ride. If you’re lucky the My Ride Free WiFi will not be too overloaded at the end of each day with people checking their MyRide dashboards via smartphone, comparing their total vertical metres and the number of badges they’ve collected as a result. I did poorly (obviously) but most of my little nomads clocked up over 15,000 vertical metres in a week – it’s an awesome little app that will even map your runs and present you with a cool little pictorial summary of your week’s runs to share on Facebook.

 

About Deborah Dickson-Smith

Deborah plays the mother role in a blended family of seven. She's a travel blogger, diver and passionate eco warrior. She has lived in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Edinburgh, London and now resides in Sydney’s northern beaches with her Brady Bunch-style family. Follow Deb here: @where2nextblog and @diveplanit