Early Season Ski Club Instruction Holiday to Val d'Isère, France

Sunday 6th December 2020 for 7 nights

Get your ski legs and brush up your technique before the main season!

This holiday has proved very successful for the last eight years, based on the excellent instruction offered by the development centre (TDC). As before, the instruction will be for 5 mornings, Monday to Friday, with sufficient coaches to provide for member only groups with an average size of 4/5 persons. Last year, based on members' feedback requesting better accommodation, we enjoyed high quality catered chalet accommodation with excellent service in VIP Ski brand new Aspen House building, perfectly located close to the main square at the heart off Val d’Isère. We return there with another excellent offer. As with last year, no charter flights are available this early in December and VIP will be buying in flights. Please read all the details below carefully, as although similar to last year, the arrangements do not follow the Club's usual pattern. Please note also the minimum ski standard required.

Why Val d'Isère and why 'the development centre'?

The resort: Val d’Isère, with Tignes, forms the world famous Espace Killy comprising 300kms of pistes, with plenty for all levels and all served very efficiently by over 90 lifts. A ski range of 1850-3456m usually ensures excellent early season conditions. Yet again in 2019 it opened on time in late November offering great skiing.

Instruction: All TDC coaches are fully qualified to level 4 ISTD with full “equivalence”. Many members have skied with TDC in Val d’Isère, Tignes or Meribel. The feedback has always been excellent. Instruction will be in groups exclusive to SCoM — average group size 4/5 persons - for 3 hours per morning Monday to Friday.

Please note: this is not a holiday for beginners but rather intermediates and above. If in doubt consult Steve Wardle. The minimum standard is confident on blue pistes in all conditions and able to maintain a consistent pace and turns.

Please give an initial indication of your level on the booking form.

  1. confident on blues
  2. reasonable on reds
  3. strong on reds and OK on blacks
  4. comfortable on blacks and keen to explore the whole mountain

TDC will qualify the self-certification above on the first morning. You will be asked to take instruction independently at your own additional cost if you do not meet the minimum standard. There will be a preliminary meeting on Sunday evening so any queries, including the organisation of the groups, can be dealt with directly with TDC. For further details on TDC visit the development centre web site.

Previous comment has included: "It was no surprise to hear everyone singing their instructors' praises after day one; they really are on top of their game." "TDC and holiday organisation were excellent."

For some details of previous December holidays read the articles from the Newsletters here and here. Extracts from reports of previous instruction holidays, when we have always been able to ski the entire Val d'Isère/Tignes area and back to our hotel, are below.

The accommodation

VIP has been operating for 26 years and offers " chalets known for their luxury and exceptional locations" and states 99% of last year's guests would recommend them to their friends. Please visit their website VIP Ski for full details.

The accommodation is in Aspen House, which was brand new at the beginning of the 2019/2020 season. In a quiet location close to the church, it is still close to the town centre and only 150 metres from the Snow Front. We have taken 28 beds, all in twin, en-suite rooms, in 5 apartments, 1 for 4 persons (Aspen House 2) and 4 for 6 persons (Aspen House 1, 3, 4 and Loft 1), with an option on a further 8 beds in Aspen House Loft 2. All are twin en-suite rooms. Each apartment has its own lounge and dining areas, WiFi and television with UK freeview in all rooms. There is a concierge service, ski room with individual ski lockers and boot warmers and a spa with sauna, hamman and jacuzzi.

VIP hosts will offer "sumptuous food and fine wine"

  • continental breakfast every day with a cooked option on 6 mornings
  • champagne and canapés on the first and last evenings, this will be served from two of the chalets to allow club members to socialise
  • afternoon tea on 7 days with a selection of fresh cakes, bread and jams, teas, coffee and chocolate
  • dinner on 6 nights with 3 courses followed by cheese board and coffee and a choice of red and white wine throughout
Members can arrange to swap between apartments for dinner if they so wish with prior arrangement the day before.

Travel: VIP will buy in flights from Manchester, almost certainly Easyjet, when available, probably May or June, and charge them to us at cost. These will be paid for at that time on a non-refundable basis. The actual flight cost will be included in the final payment request when times etc will be notified. If it should prove that flights are not available the holiday will be cancelled and a complete refund will be made by VIP. However, as carriers such as Easyjet will reserve the right, independently of VIP, to cancel and change flights this risk is not borne by VIP but by members who should ensure they are adequately insured. VIP will arrange the transfer from airport to Val d'Isère.

Cost: £1042 per person which includes the accommodation, instruction and a £12 non-refundable administration fee. This cost reflects the superior quality accommodation, service etc and a general increase in prices. This cost does not include the flights, an initial allowance of £200.00pp for the flights is suggested at this time, although VIP advise and last year's experience suggests this is quite generous. Ski carriage rates are not known at this stage. A non-refundable deposit of £350.00 is required on booking.

Surcharges, particularly linked to exchange rates, are possible (to date the Club has never been surcharged) and will be passed on to members. An exchange rate of £1.00/€1.15 has been used. If the pound has improved significantly when the instruction is paid for a refund on that element will be made.

Lift passes: Are not included in the above costs. Details of the options available and any special offers will be provided nearer the time. Over 75s are free and should get their pass locally.

Insurance: You must arrange your own insurance and the name of the insurer is required when booking.

Brexit: Should Brexit result in changes to any element of the holiday you will be notified as soon as possible.

Extracts from the reports on previous instruction holidays:

"Overall, a great start to the season!" "An excellent holiday. We went to learn and I am sure we all beneffited from the instruction we received." "Our instructor, Rab, was great and we beneffited greatly from his instruction" "The instruction was second to none." "TDC aim to coach you on your style as an individual allowing you to really make a breakthrough in confidence and ability." "The week's skiing was immeasurably better than I expected. I can't ever remember skiing untracked powder for a week before, mostly in sunshine. TDC are excellent, highly recommended and a really nice bunch. I learned a lot from my time with them, gained more confidence and hopefully am skiing better."

To reserve a place send a deposit of £350 per person along with a completed application form to David Shepherd. The deposit is non-refundable unless the place is taken by another member. In that case the £12 administration fee and any costs associated with changing the booking will be deducted and the remainder refunded. If you wish to pay by bank transfer a completed application form is still required to reserve a place. Account details are available from David Shepherd or Janet Winstanley. Transfers must be made to the SCoM holiday account (ending 244).

The application form is a PDF form. If you don't have the Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download it here.