Head to the slopes for a win­ning re­sult

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - THE GENERATION GAME -

Bring­ing to­gether the nearelderly with the very young on an out­door ac­tion-packed hol­i­day might not, at first glance, seem the best idea. But ski­ing with three gen­er­a­tions can work bril­liantly – as long as you pick a suit­able re­sort and take every­one’s in­ter­ests, ex­pec­ta­tions and bud­gets into ac­count.

Some grand­par­ents rel­ish pot­ter­ing around the vil­lage, col­lect­ing the chil­dren from ski school, or look­ing af­ter a tod­dler while Mum and Dad dis­ap­pear into the après-ski hut. Some are bet­ter skiers than their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, and lead the tribe around the moun­tain. Most are some­where in be­tween.

My par­ents, for in­stance, ski only in the morning be­cause they like quiet slopes and freshly groomed pistes. We meet for sev­eral runs and lunch, then they re­tire for a rest or a walk. My par­ents-in-law, who no longer ski, go swim­ming, ex­plore the town and ride the moun­tain rail­ways.

The grand­chil­dren adore hav­ing grand­par­ents join­ing in and ad­mir­ing their snow­ploughs, par­al­lel turns or jumps. We stay in sep­a­rate lodg­ings in the same re­sort, as our bud­gets vary and we like time to our­selves.

The sim­plest way to in­volve grand­par­ents is by meet­ing for lunch; some re­sorts are hand­ier for this than oth­ers.

Cha­monix is too spread out, with the slopes and lunch spots a drive away. But Wen­gen is fan­tas­tic: non-skiers can ride trains over the moun­tains to meet up with skiers. The ho­tels at Ober­gurgl are per­fect for three gen­er­a­tions, as they tend to have other non-ski­ing guests, so the grand­par­ents can make friends – plus there’s a pool, spa, child­care and early din­ner.

Ul­ti­mately, three-gen­er­a­tion ski trips are a win­ner be­cause grand­par­ents can help out – per­haps by pick­ing the chil­dren up from ski school, al­low­ing par­ents to have an ex­tra hour to ski – with­out feel­ing put upon.

When is the best time to go? It’s ap­peal­ing to get away en famille for Christ­mas, but I rate the Easter hol­i­days higher, as the days are longer, the ter­races sun­nier and – based on form – the snow more re­li­able.

There is some­thing for every­one, even non-skiers, if you take a trip to the moun­tains, says Yolanda Carslaw ‘We stay in sep­a­rate lodg­ings in the same re­sort’

Five of the best re­sorts for a three-gen­er­a­tion ski trip


Best for: scenery and food Well-heeled Cor­vara (1,570m) is rel­a­tively cheap, the food is out­stand­ing and the pistes are quiet on week­days. Sur­rounded by easy slopes with awe­some views of lime­stone cliffs, There are ex­ten­sive walk­ing trails, and many moun­tain restau­rants ac­ces­si­ble to non-skiers. Lodg­ings range from apart­ments to spa ho­tels.

Les Gets

Best for: chalet-dwellers A charm­ing vil­lage plus gen­tle lo­cal ter­rain and ac­cess to a larger, more chal­leng­ing area nearby make this sunny re­sort an ideal spot – though, as it is rel­a­tively low (1,170m), Les Gets is best for Fe­bru­ary half-term. It has two sec­tors of lo­cal slopes of­fer­ing enough pistes (120km, plus some wooded off­piste) to keep in­ter­me­di­ates oc­cu­pied. Les Gets has a cin­ema, ice rink and

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