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

Sunday 8th December 2019 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 seven years, based on the excellent instruction offered by the development centre. As before instruction will be for 5 mornings, Monday to Friday, in member only groups with an average size of 4/5 persons ensuring individual attention at all levels. Based on feedback from members in recent years requesting better accommodation the committee has this year obtained an excellent offer of high quality catered chalet accommodation with VIP Ski in its Aspen building, perfectly located on the High Street at the heart of Val d'Isere. This year no charter flights are available this early in December and VIP will be buying in flights. Also Brexit threatens its own complications. So with a number of changes from previous year's arrangements please read all the details below carefully.

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 2018 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. Otherwise you will be asked to take instruction independently at your own additional cost. Please give an initial indication of your level on the booking form.

  1. strong 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

Further details will be requested nearer the time to assist with setting provisional groups which will be subject to change as the coaches find necessary. There will be a preliminary meeting on Sunday evening so any queries, including the organisation of the groups, can be dealt with. 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 accomodation

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.

We have taken 28 beds in twin rooms, all ensuite, in 2 x 6 and 2 x 8 person apartments comprising the all the 3rd and part of the 4th floors in VIP's Aspen building; they have the whole building. Each apartment has its own lounge and dining areas, wifi in all rooms, television with UK freeview and Sky sports. There is a concierge service and a large, comfortable area where all members can meet, relax, read newspapers and enjoy complimentary coffee, tea, wine and beer. Also available are a pool table and, on the terrace, 3 hot tubs to soothe aching muscles.

VIP hosts will offer "sumptuous food and fine wine"

  • continental breakfast every day with a cooked option on 6 mornings
  • 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.

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: £968 per person plus flights (includes a £12 non-refundable administration fee). This price for the accommodation and instruction reflects the superior quality of this year's accommodation and a general increase in prices in part linked to lower exchange rates. An initial allowance of £200.00 per person for the flights is recommended, although VIP advise that previous experience suggests this is generous. Ski carriage rates are not known at this stage. A deposit of £325.00 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 £1.08/€ has been used. If the pound has improved significantly when the instruction is paid for a refund on that element will be made.

Val Spirit Rentals are offering members a 40% discount on equipment hire with free hotel delivery and collection.

Lift passes: Lift passes are not included but can be pre-booked. VIP are usually able to obtain discounted lift passes at this time of the season but no details are yet available. Over 75s are free and should get their pass locally.

Additional places / instruction only: Further bookings with VIP and TDC or just TDC may be possible. Please contact in the first instance Barry Lewis: b.lewis33@scom.org.uk or 07870 609533.

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

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 benefitted from the instruction we received." "Our instructor, Rab, was great and we benefitted 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 £325 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.