Best Ski Resorts for Mixed Ability Groups
When organising a school ski trip one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your ski resort is the skiing ability of your group as this tends to vary considerably amongst student groups. It is very common that some students will have never skied before and some will be advanced skiers learning from an early age with their parents on family holidays. As group leader this will be one of your most important concerns when choosing whether a ski resort is suitable for your school ski trip.
To ensure that each student is challenged on your school ski trip, Ski Adaptable have come up with a definitive guide on the best ski resorts available for intermediate groups and what factors to look out for when choosing a ski resort for an intermediate group.
1- Nursery Slopes
Learning to ski is a very daunting prospect for anyone-clipping on a pair of skis or a board to your feet and then pointing them down a mountain covered in snow has to be one of the most testing moments a student can experience. One way to make this experience less scary and daunting is to choose a ski resort that has a good selection of nursery slopes where students can gradually build up their confidence and master their technique before taking on more advanced runs. One resort that offers great progression for intermediate groups is Sugarloaf in the US where a quarter of the slopes are dedicated purely for beginners with all skiers given the chance to start at the summit of the mountain and ski to the bottom. Progressing up the mountain is made all the more easier due to the clever lift design and layout of the ski area with all the slopes being funnelled directly back to the base lodge giving a central point for groups of all abilities to meet up at each day.
2- Ski Area
For the more advanced skiers in your party the size of the ski area will be an increasingly important factor to consider as intermediate groups need a variety of terrain to keep them entertained on the slopes. With some students perfectly happy on the nursery slopes learning the basics of skiing, the more advanced in your party will need slopes that will test their technique and challenge them to keep improving. Two particular resorts that offer this seamless level of progression are Grandvalira in Andorra and Alpe d’Huez in France. Both offering over 200km of piste and home to some of the best nursery slopes in Europe, Grandvalira and Alpe d’Huez are ideally suited to strong intermediates who want the feeling of going somewhere each day, well beyond the central and often crowded runs just above the resort.
One of France’s best resorts, Alpe d’Huez offers intermediate skiers fantastic varied terrain to enjoy but also a progression of more difficult slopes on which students can really test themselves and develop as skiers. Similar to Alpe d’Huez, Chateau d’Oex in Switzerland is the perfect base for an intermediate group looking to explore a mixed and varied terrain with a number of ski areas included under the Gstaad Mountain Rides Pass meaning students will never become bored skiing the same areas day in day out.
3- Ski School
Another factor that will have a bearing on the success of your school ski trip is the Ski School in resort as they will play an important role in developing confidence acting as guides and role-models for your group. The ski school will possess specialist and expert knowledge of the ski resort and will know exactly what areas will be particularly suited to the different levels of ability within your group. Ski Adaptable ensure that on your first day of skiing the ski schools we use conduct a ski ability test so your group can be split into different groups based on ability. From here students will be informed of where they will be skiing each day ensuring all groups have a fun and enjoyable experience on the slopes and are not thrown in the deep end.
Patience, humour, organisation and a good grasp of English are the basic requirements we insist upon from a ski school and one resort we recommend that has great reviews from Ski Club Great Britain for their ski school is Passo Tonale in Italy. Perfect for mixed ability groups, Passo Tonale offers superb progression and students can advance from one of the best nursery areas in Italy with the local and friendly ski school to some of the most exhilarating black runs in the region. Made up of three main ski areas students can progress from the beginner areas of Passo Tonale to the lofty heights of the Presena Glacier which will challenge the most advanced skiers in your party.
Intermediate skiers make up a large proportion of ski groups so choosing a ski resort that offers the perfect blend of beginner areas and challenging runs is not an easy task. However not to worry Ski Adaptable are here to help which is why we have summarised our top picks for mixed ability groups-