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From tears to triumph

Choosing the right children’s ski school is vital for family holidays, says Robert Pimm

Financial Times, February 19 2005

It’s Day One at the Lech ski school and I’ve never seen so many children crying. In the hubbub, mobile phones ring, helmets are tightened and farewells are made as parents prepare to off-load their offspring and start their own pilgrimage to the pistes.

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Getting ready for the day’s ski-ing – Photo Robert Pimm

The head of the children’s ski school, wearing a white cowboy hat, is besieged by adults demanding to know which class their children should ski in. Amid the tumult, a well-groomed Englishman is kneeling in the snow, holding his tiny son by both shoulders. “I don’t want to go to ski school,” the boy says. “I’m cold.” “You’ll enjoy it.” “No I won’t.” The man climbs to his feet and looks down. “I’m afraid, darling, you simply must.”

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Austrian idyll far from the well-worn pistes

Robert Pimm on the unspoilt charm of Lech

Financial Times, March 26 2004

There is something about a charabanc that yells “holiday!” And the views from the big yellow bus are breathtaking: as we climb through the cosy resort of Stuben, the hairpins and avalanche tunnels of the road to Lech come into view, burrowing up through ice-capped cliffs.

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Lech is seriously scenic – picture Robert Pimm

The gradient of the road and the number of skiers clambering aboard fuel the familiar mix of dread and anticipation that for me marks the start of every ski adventure. “Soon we’ll be skiing,” says Owen, aged 11. “I can’t wait.” It’s his fifth visit to Lech. “I’m glad we took the bus, not a taxi,” says Anna, nine, also on her fifth visit. “It’s a tradition.”

Tradition and return visits are what Lech is all about. An astonishing (more…)

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