It’s all down­hill from here

A multi-gen­er­a­tional ski hol­i­day in the Alps can be the per­fect fam­ily es­cape

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Europe - MARK PALMER

MY 22-year-old daugh­ter is feel­ing a lit­tle low. Me, too, ac­tu­ally. I’ve just told her there aren’t enough pen­nies in the cof­fers to go ski­ing this sea­son, just as there weren’t last sea­son.

‘‘We’ll go next year,’’ I say. And we will. In fact, I am about to sign up for a 12-berth chalet in Courchevel that has an open fire, a hot tub on the roof and the prom­ise of freshly baked cake ev­ery evening when we get down from the moun­tain. My chil­dren, step-chil­dren and all their re­spec­tive girl­friends and boyfriends will be in­vited. My wife, who doesn’t ski, but likes the scenery, won’t have to boil a ket­tle or wash a pan for a week.

I am feel­ing quite emo­tional just think­ing about it, but that’s be­cause I get quite emo­tional about ski­ing. For a start, I’m chuffed my chil­dren still want to ski with me. I’ll be al­most 60 by the time we get there in Fe­bru­ary. When I split up with their mother it was the one hol­i­day that worked. We would wake up in the morn­ing, have break­fast and ski all day. Then we would do the ex­act same thing the next day and so on for a week.

We prob­a­bly had some tiffs, some awk­ward si­lences at lunch, but when we were ski­ing we were one unit. Pri­mo­gen­i­ture ruled. I was in front, my son be­hind me, younger sis­ter be­hind him. From the age of seven and four, re­spec­tively, they would fol­low in my ex­act tracks.

We shared ev­ery turn, rode ev­ery bump, ne­go­ti­ated ev­ery patch of ice. And we went faster and faster each year. When­ever we reached our cruis­ing speed I used to


Fam­ily fun on the slopes

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