top of page

From the Kindergarten directly to the ski slope

It's that time of year again! It's cold, there is snow in the mountains and the passionate skiers have a tingling in their legs: they really want to hit the slopes!


Maybe you also love skiing – or would you like to learn it together with the whole family?


If you live as an expat in Munich or anywhere else near the Alps, you are in great luck! Here skiing is extremely popular.




If you look at the whole of Germany, 18% of the population goes skiing at least occasionally. But near the Alps, this number is likely to be closer to the ones in Austria (34%) and Switzerland (35%).


One of the reasons is surely, that many children are already on skis from kindergarten age.

There is also a wide range of ski schools that offer ski lessons.


When it comes to ski lessons for children, parents have many questions – especially if you don't ski yourself!


That's why I'm trying to give a few answers to these questions here.



Where can my child learn how ski?


If you live near a ski resort, there are several options:


You drive yourself with your child to the ski resort

  • You take your child to the ski course and come back when it finishes.


The ski school picks up the child

  • During the holidays or on weekends, many ski schools offer a service to pick up children: The skiing instructors will do a tour with a coach through several communities to pick up school children e.g. at the train station bring them back in the afternoon.

  • If the children are still in kindergarten, you can register as a group – then the coach comes to the kindergarten and picks them all up together and brings them back there in the afternoon.


All of these options have their advantages

  • If you take the children to the ski resort, you can also spend the day there. So you can do a course yourself or just go skiing. And of course, this way you can decide whether you prefer to book individual or group lessons. However, especially for small children, group courses are often the better option, because the motivation is higher. Not only do the children from the ski instructor but also from other children


  • If the children are picked up by coach, parents have the day off or can work just as usual. The children will quickly make new friends through the shared experience – and without parents, it may not be so bad if the weather is grey or if they fall down.


Ein Kind ist beim Skifahren hingefallen
Einfach wieder aufstehen ...

From what age can children ski?


It is said that the earlier the children start, the better. Many children are already on skis for the first time at the age of three or four. Motorically and physically, this is no problem. – and it is fascinating to see how quickly they get used to the skis.


Of course, they should also feel like it – if a child doesn't like snow and cold, skiing isn’t likely to become favourite either.



What does the ski course for children of kindergarten-age look like?


Almost every ski school also offers courses for small children. They are also affectionately called "Zwergerlkurse", which literally means: courses for dwarves


The first ski lessons usually take place near the ski school on their own, protected area.


Kinder lernen Skifahren
Kinder fahren auf dem Zauberteppich

There, many ski schools start with a magic carpet. This is a conveyor belt that the children stand on with their skis on and while they are taken upwards. This way they will train the balance on skis.


It is now important that they get to know the feeling for the skis and the gliding in the plain.


Later, it goes on slightly sloping terrain, where the children feel the skis glide downhill. If that works, they practice driving and braking the first corners.


They also learn to ride the platter lift or the t-bar lift.


The most important new words for the children are now pizza and Pommes (=fries) – not because they are available for eating, but:


Pizza is the "snow plough" – that's how beginners slow down.

You move the tips of the skis towards each other and make a V – that looks almost like a slice of pizza.


Pommes means that the skis are parallel – like two fries on the plate.





How do I know my child's level?


In the courses, the children are divided according to their ability – this is very uncomplicated and usually the children can also change if the level does not fit.



What does a child need for skiing?


Clothing

  • Ski suit

  • Neck warmer

  • Ski socks

  • Ski gloves or mittens (and a spare pair)

  • long underwear

Also important: Sunscreen with high sun protection factor for the face.



Equipment

  • Ski

  • Ski boots

  • Ski helmet

  • Ski goggles

  • Ski poles

  • Back protector

Tip: you can also rent the equipment from the ski rental.




Some sports retailers offer to exchange the equipment for a larger one in the following year if it has become too small. The equipment is not necessarily new, but you can save a lot of money.


Food and drink

Something to eat and drink during the ride on the coach (e.g. bread or pretzel)


Some bus drivers sell something warm during breaks, e.g. sausages.

In other courses, the children can order something to eat in a ski hut.

You should know this in advance so that you can give the children enough money or enough to eat.


Very popular: small snacks such as chocolate bars to get some energy during the day, kept in the pockets.


Others

The children will also need to have enough money for a lift ticket.




Important words:


Parallelschwung - mit parallelen Ski Kurven fahren – parallel swing

Schuss fahren
Schuss fahren


Schuss fahren – you go to your knees and drive straight ahead, e.g. to the finish line


In Kurven / Schwüngen fahren = skiing in curves





The colours of the Ski slopes


The ski slopes are divided into colours in German-speaking countries down to Italy.

There are no exact rules, but this standard has become established:



BLUE SLOPES

Here you can expect a gradient of up to 25 percent.

These routes are particularly suitable for beginners, children and families and are ideal for practicing the various techniques.

The descent is rather comfortable and the risk of injury is not so high.


Attention: In the US this is different: a blue square means steeper ski slopes with a gradient of up to 40 percent!



RED SLOPES

Red means a medium level of difficulty.


In the Alps, you have to expect a gradient of up to 40 percent.


These slopes are not suitable for beginners. Only when you have driven a blue track safely several times, you can try a red slope.


BLACK SLOPES

Black slopes are the most difficult descent and the biggest challenge

The gradient of these prepared runs starts from 40 percent. So you have to ski very well to get down these slopes safely.


Black is also considered particularly difficult in the US. Two black diamonds even indicate extreme conditions.


SKI ROUTES

Ski routes are marked as yellow or orange as dashed lines in the trail map.

A ski route is marked and secured, but it is not groomed by snow groomers. For such a thing you need a lot of experience, as it can sometimes get hunchbacked or you suddenly find yourself in the deep snow


The colour-coded slopes (blue, red and black) are regularly checked, groomed and protected against avalanches.

Here there is also a control in the evening, so that no one remains injured on the slopes.

On the ski routes, these checks are not very regular.



 

Since I didn't grow up in Bavaria myself, I found it very strange: you get used to the children in kindergarten only slowly being acclimatized so that they get to know the educators ... and then you will easily put them on a ski bus with ski instructors you don't know personally.

For my husband, who comes from this area, on the other hand, this was completely normal.


And it actually works great!


By now, my two older kids race down the black slopes together with my husband while the two younger ones are looking forward to their ski lessons on the weekend.


 


Get your 10 free tips with audios to improve your German  pronunciation



















 

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page