La Rosière is a very child friendly resort and its layout makes it hard (although probably not impossible!) for children to get lost. During winter, La Rosière benefits from the closing of the Little St Bernard pass, meaning that there is no through traffic. The combination of being able to walk easily to most places in the village and the bus system also means that many of those who arrive in cars do not use them again until they leave, although for those that do want to drive to the pistes, there is ample parking.
This all helps to make La Rosière a family friendly resort and children are warmly welcomed by the resort, with some activities, such as the annual Easter egg hunt, laid on specifically for them (and at no charge). Bars and restaurants cater for children, with some even allowing the kids to hone their pinball skills.
The mountains are a fantastic place for kids, but do make sure that they are dressed to suit the weather conditions. They can get very wet when playing in the snow, so some spare, dry clothes, and, especially, gloves are always useful.
To help get young kids “in the mood”, download this colouring book.
The ESF happily teach kids from absolute beginners through to advanced and competition levels. Progress is measured by the ESF’s French wide system of “étoiles” (stars), culminating in the Etoile d’Or. There is then the choice to specialise in slalom, downhill, freestyle and ski-jumping, for those who wish to.
What Age is It Appropriate for Them to Start?
There is no reason why children should not start skiing as soon as they can walk properly, possibly around three years old. In La Rosière, they can attend ski school from this age. However, before the age of seven or eight, most children do not master any advanced techniques, so they will not have missed out if they start a few years later. Be guided by the child: if they want to ski, fine; if not, don’t force them. There are plenty of places for tobogganing or snowball fights.
What Should the Children Wear?
Boots – Ski boots should fit like trainers – with enough room for toes to wiggle. It’s hard sometimes to get feedback from smaller children so, if you can, take the liner out of the shell to get a better idea of where their toes are. Boots can be hired in the resort, and this is often the best option while kids are growing.
Le Club des Galopins
There is a kids’ club (Le Club des Galopins) in La Rosière where you can safely leave children (up to the age of 12) for either half a day or all day (they will provide meals, and/ or collect children from ski school, if required). Creche facilities are available for children aged 16 months to 3 years.
Outdoor activities include sledging, skiing, cross-country skiing, snow shoes etc, depending on age. An appreciation of the mountains and the environment may also be given.
Beginners aged 3 or 4 can attend ski lessons at Le Club des Galopins on a specially prepared area with a moving carpet and obstacles to ski around. These “Premières Glisses” lessons are designed to be fun and are supervised by fully qualified ESF ski instructors. For older children, the ski school has a “Jardin des Enfants” where there is supervised skiing and various courses to complete, again in a protected environment.
More advanced lessons, up to, and beyond, competition level are held on the mountain.
The ski schools in La Rosière run a full range of courses catering for beginners to experts on both alpine and telemark skis and snowboards. Private tuition is also available. Baby-sitting facilities may also be available through the Club des Galopins.