There is is no doubt that as your teenagers grow older and more independent any precious moments you can steal with them are highly valuable. All the more important that these moments are fun, special and memorable and deepen the lifelong bond between parent and teen.
The Alps in winter are a fabulous snowy playground with a wide range of activities to enjoy to either compliment your ski trip or do as part of a winter activity holiday. Here are three suggestions of activities to do with your teenagers – guaranteed bonding moments and memories for life.
Ice climbing will get the adrenalin flowing and push the boundaries of all members of the family. It is guaranteed to offer a roller coaster of emotions: the satisfaction of a good ice axe placement, endorphins of physical exertion, fear of heights, power of self belief, aesthetic pleasure of the surroundings, awe of the fragility and temporary status of the ice. … the list goes on.
As mum is dangling by the tip of her ice axe and kicking her crampons in frantically finding stability, her teenage son is holding her rope tight and secure. It is moments like this that trust and love come to the forefront – the argument about getting out of bed this morning is long forgotton!
Take the last lift up at the end of the day and experience the calm of the ski pistes all to yourselves. The peace and calm is quickly contrasted by one of the most exhilarating descents of the pistes you are ever likely to experience.
Sitting in an individual segment of a sled, you are all joined together in a long snake like sled. Once you set off there is no going back. Each segment is joined with an articulating joint which allows the snake to turn and bend to make the most of turns during the descent behaving as one big sledge rather than several individual sledges. It is controlled by an instructor who will navigate the sled down the mountain giving you an adrenalin rush that will last for days.
Tip for wary parents – site at the front and let your teens go at the back where the hairpins are bigger and the tail of the snake whips around each one.
Sleep in an igloo
In Orcieres 1850, high up on the Rocherousse plateau at 2200m there is a professionally built igloo village built every year where you can experience a night under the winter stars Eskimo style.
A real adventure en famille with no WiFi, no TV and no phone signal – just an evening together where you can talk, laugh and snuggle together to keep warm. A rare opportunity for guaranteed 100% one-on-one attention.
Sally Guillaume is Director at Undiscovered Alps.