News Headlines     |     


Saturday April 14, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

45-year old Ross Young & his 12-year old son Fynn are in Les2Alpes to sample the other's skiing style. What could possibly go wrong?

Thie idea was a simple one as I posted in my first blog.

The only trouble was the weather interveened - big time.

And then...

But the off-piste was only the first half of the mission.

I'll be honest about the second half: much as I liked the idea of getting into ski parks in my mid-forties, I was worried I might be about to become skiing's equivalent of the sad old git dad-dancing in a nightclub full of kids half his age.

I never fancied jumps and stunts when I was younger - my curiosity only got pricked when Fynn started trying baby kickers a few years ago.

What had I let myself in for?

Things got off to a slow start: on our first circuit, our instructor Alex, after wowing us with some massive air and nonchalant tricks, watched us strut our stuff on the beginner jumps.

Fynn made it look easy.

I didn't.

Alex's verdict?

I was too tense (like I needed telling) - and far too cautious to 'pop' properly into my jumps.

When I didn't do much better second time around, I began to worry I'd bitten off more than I could chew.  

But on our third circuit of the park, I resolved to forget my fear and go for it.

This was what I was here for, after all.

I attacked the baby kicker with far more speed and finally relaxed enough to nail my 'pop' as I crested it.

The difference it made was incredible.  

It wasn't a particularly elegant jump, but it was way longer and higher than my others and I landed it perfectly.

The feeling was amazing.

'Yes, Dad!', yelled Fynn.

'That's more like it,' said Alex.  

With my confidence lifted, I started to really enjoy myself.

Under Alex's watchful eye, Fynn and I graduated on to bigger jumps and started putting our 'pops' into practice on boxes and picnic tables.

I found myself feeling surprisingly comfortable - and having a ridiculous amount of fun.

Fynn was loving it too.  

The lesson's finale had both of us in a spin, though.

We'd spent the previous few days looking down on a giant kicker from the Toura chairlift, admiring anyone with the cojones to take it on.

The take-off ramp was about as tall as me, and vastly more intimidating.

The steep pitch on the landing side didn't look welcoming either.  

When Alexis announced that we were going to jump it as the climax to our session, my stomach tied itself in knots.

It felt ridiculous: had someone suggested even an hour earlier that I'd be taking it on, I'd have laughed them out of the resort. 

But suddenly there Fynn and I were above the jump, watching Alexis demonstrate the correct approach speed before catching a ridiculous amount of air.

Fynn and I exchanged nervous looks and told each other we could do it.  

Fynn went first.

He didn't hold back on his approach, picking up plenty of speed before hitting the kicker and taking off.

It felt like he was in the air for an age - certainly long enough for me to feel a weird mix of fear and pride - before he touched down perfectly. 

I was so pumped up about Fynn's jump my own fear vanished.

I took a couple of deep breaths, vowed to enjoy the experience come what may... and attacked the approach to the jump.

It felt like I was travelling far too fast, but I wasn't: I was carrying just enough speed to land my jump properly.

How did it feel?

As good - and as much of a buzz - as anything I've experienced on skis.

I raced over to where Fynn was waiting to exchange high fives and told Alex he was a genius..  

When I look back at the clip of my jump, it doesn't look particularly big.

But trust me, it felt huge.

It was hugely satisfying - and it made me want to go back and do it again and again... and again.

At the grand old age of 45, I'm a convert to the joys of the ski park.

As Arnie said, I'll be back.  

Fynn and I have had a fantastic week in Les 2 Alpes.

We've both broadened our horizons - and doing so together, as equals, has been very special.

We've only been back home a few hours and we're already talking about hitting the park and the off-piste together again next season. I can't wait.   


A week's stay, at Hotel Ibiza, costs from £293 pp (two sharing) on a half-board basis. Private transfers, from Grenoble Airport, cost from £167 pp (return) with MV Transport, Ski France's own company. 
A six-day lift pass, in Les Deux Alpes, costs €250 / £218 per adult (age 13+) and €200 / £174 per child (age 5-12). Ski hire can be arranged through Hotel Ibiza, prices on request.
Return flights, with easyJet (London to Grenoble) cost from £75 pp.
Ski France (0203 475 4756,

Ross and Fynn booked the par lesson via hotel Ibiza with ESI . It was 150 Euro for three hours (they charge 50 Euro per hour for 1 or 2 people) and well worth it.

BONSAI SKI SCHOOL Hotel Le Sherpa 80, Av. de LA Muzelle +33 633318527

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

Related Articles

KITTING OUT THE KIDS (Monday October 21, 2019)
NORTHERN EXPOSURE (Tuesday October 1, 2019)
OUR TIPS FOR FAMILY SKIING (Monday April 1, 2019)
IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR (Saturday March 9, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners