I grew up visiting Les Gets for all of my family ski holidays – since the age of 4, we have spent at least one week a year, sometimes two, visiting the lovely snowy slopes of Les Gets.
I have so many great memories of fun in the snow with family and friends, I guess that is what has hooked me and dragged me back to the mountains where I now belong!
Looking back at family ski photos is quite horrifying – the early 90’s wasn’t the best time for fashion but the bowl cut hair do, bright onesies and 2m long skis are a fun reminder of how times change! Before electronic passes became the thing, you had to manually put your pass in the barrier. We used to have elastic pulleys in the shape of penguins to keep the lift pass secure – I’ll never forgot the endless times that it snapped back on my fingers – ouch! Express chair lifts did not exist… and the drag lifts seemed a lot more vicious back then
Although Les Gets has grown in size and population over the last few decades, it still holds a wonderful Alpine charm that has been lost in a lot of bigger resorts.
The same families own the same shops and restaurants, selling the same products and meals! There are still the same keyrings and rolls of horrid bubble gum for sale at the newsagents that we used to hassle our father to buy for us – it is quite nice to look around and recognise faces from years ago, knowing that this village isn’t just a seasonnaire hot spot.
I have memories of ski school – ESF to start with, always annoyed when my cousin or little sister managed to get their ‘Etoile’, or star award, before me! I remember following the long snake of other children, concentrating hard in case the one in front fell over and started a human pile up. When I was an older kid we started using LGS for smaller group lessons and I remember having such fun – Tim Scott and his team took learning to ski to another level for us.
All the little details of a family ski holiday are what bring the trip together – the games in the chair lift queues (trying to unclip people’s skis without them noticing), the endless snowball fights, the hot chocolate before lunch, death by cheese for lunch, following your friends or family through the trees and hitting all the small jumps at the side of the pistes. The adventures that are made every day bring the whole experience together perfectly.
Sharing your passion with your kids is such an important thing to do and I am so glad that my parents brought us out here to learn in such a great sport.
Some days we would be dragged to ski school in the rain, dressed in a bin bag, kicking and screaming because all we wanted to do was to have a hot chocolate with squirty cream and extra marshmallows – which would always make me feel as sick as a dog anyway.
Watching our young guests improve year after year, gain confidence and overtake their parents gives me such joy and nostalgia! To see that they love the mountains and have these great memories to share with their own kids in the future is a success in my eyes!
Written by Hilly Szwed – mountain lover, ski fanatic & co owner of Chalet Sandy & Taste the Alps. Hilly has been visiting Les Gets for over 20 years before moving there permanently. Currently bringing up daughter Amelie up to love the mountains.