Practical Advice

Tips to make your holiday great!

Where to meet your lessons

All lessons meet at our Samoëns 1600m meeting point unless other arrangements are agreed.  If you’re not sure about where your lessons meet, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Grand Massif lift passes

Every skier using the Grand Massif lift system must be carrying a valid lift pass.

For information about buying a lift pass to suit your level of ability, read our lift pass buying guide.  You can buy lift passes via the Grand Massif resort website, or simply from the ticket desks when you arrive in resort.

View Grand Massif lift pass prices here.

Weather & snow conditions

All lessons and guided outings will go ahead as scheduled in all weather conditions unless your instructor or guide deems conditions unsuitable or unsafe, in which case a reschedule or refund will be offered.

The decision to cancel a session is made at the discretion of the instructor or guide alone.  If you’re concerned about conditions, we do recommend you voice your concerns directly to your instructor or guide as he/she is best placed to have this discussion with you (the ski school schedules bookings on behalf of instructors or guides but it is the individual instructor or guide’s decision as to whether the session will take place as scheduled in light of conditions on the day).

If your instructor deems conditions are acceptable then the session will be maintained as scheduled.  Unpredictable and inclement weather is all part of the mountain experience and your instructors are there to help you learn to ski with control and confidence in all kinds of conditions.

Unless you are contacted by our office to say that your instructor or guide has decided to cancel or reschedule your booking, you can safely assume all lessons will be running as scheduled.

We recommend checking out the weather forecast and the Grand Massif’s webcams to ensure you’re appropriately equipped.


Insurance is not included in your lesson cost and it is each participant’s responsibility to take out their own insurance.

You can choose to purchase ski insurance with your lift pass when you buy it from the Grand Massif.  This insurance  is called “Forfait+” and costs just 3€/day/person.  It covers the costs of getting you off the mountain (including helicopter and ambulance fees) should an incident occur, along with the costs of unused lessons and lift passes.  This insurance will not cover your medical costs (you will need your own separate medical insurance for this).

ZigZag can re-sell “Leisure Sports insurance” offered by La Compagnie du Sport.  This private insurance covers rescue and repatriation should it be required, along with the costs of unused lessons and lift passes.  Like the Forfait+, this insurance will not cover medical costs (you will need your own separate medical insurance for this).  You can also take out “insurance against cancellation”, an option that will cover the cost of your lessons/guiding if you choose to cancel your reservation (or your entire holiday) of your own accord.

We highly recommend taking out insurance that will cover the cost of your lessons/guiding should you be unable to attend a scheduled session for any reason (injury, illness, holiday cancellation or other) as ZigZag will not be able to refund unattended lessons that are cancelled less than 28 days prior to your first lesson starting (please see our Terms and Conditions).

Advice for parents

– equip your child with properly fitted skis, boots, poles (beginners won’t need poles)
– dress your children as you’d dress yourself, no more or less
– while not compulsory, helmets are highly recommended
– sunscreen & UV screening lip salve is recommend to prevent young skin burning on sunny days
– every child must carry a ski pass appropriate for their level (please refer to our lift pass buying guide)
– pop a snack into your child’s pocket for a mid-lesson refuel
– putting your mobile number on a piece of paper in your child’s pocket is a good idea
please keep your mobile phone with you – and switched on – during your children’s lesson time
– please avoid following your child’s lessons; parents’ presence can be very disruptive (if you want to watch, try to do so discreetly from a distance)
– parents are asked to be back at the meeting point at 10 minutes before the end of a lesson for feedback (late collection of children from lessons will incur a fee)
– very windy conditions can lead to lift closures, so on windy days we recommend parents take care to avoid being stuck in other resorts and unable to collect children at the end of lessons
– trust the instructors’ experience and professionalism when it comes to group level changes, they have your child’s best interests at heart
– a pre-lesson toilet stop is vital

Remember, medals are just for fun

Skiing is holiday time and children progress fastest when they’re having fun.  Parents should try to avoid getting caught up in the medal system – it is a frame of reference put in place to encourage kids, not to stress them out.  At the end of the day, ski medals are just for fun!

We feel that kids have enough exams at school, so we don’t do a level test at the end of the week.  We think this wastes valuable lesson time.  Testing can become a stressful and negative experience for some kids, so we prefer to assess levels discreetly throughout the week.

It is important to note that one week of ski school does not equal one medal.  At lower levels, the ‘gap’ between each medal is small so often a week of skiing can mean a child progresses one or even two levels.  At higher levels, the technical step between medals gets larger, so a child should expect to spend several weeks refining their ability before attaining the next medal.  (If we could guarantee kids would attain a new medal after every week of skiing then they’d be progressing at an rate that meant they’d be racing in the World Cup after 12 weeks’ ski experience!).

At ZigZag, we’ve always insisted that every child be awarded a medal of achievement.  At the upper levels, children will achieve the same medal multiple times, so reassure your little ones that if they get the same medal multiple times it means they’re making great progress towards the next level.  For example, if you get Silver twice, the second time it is considered a “Silver+”.

If your child is awarded a medal other than the one you’d expected, make sure you discuss it with their instructor.  There is a system of logic behind medal allocation and your instructor will always have your child’s best interests at heart.  Once you’ve gone home its too late, so please make sure you raise any concerns during the week while you’re in resort.

Enroll conservatively to build confidence

When enrolling your child, estimate his/her ability conservatively.

Instructors quickly assess children’s real abilities during the first lesson and will rearrange groups accordingly to ensure groups are as harmonious as possible.

From a child’s perspective, being moved up a level is a huge confidence boost, while dropping down a level can be a real knock to confidence.  If in doubt, its better to enroll your child at the lower level and have them happily upgraded.

We will never hesitate to move a child up a level if he/she is skiing technically better than others in the group.

If you have questions or concerns about the group in which your child is enrolled, please speak to their instructor directly.  There is a system of logic behind group lesson harmonisation and your instructor will always have your child’s best interests at heart.

Please don’t wait until the end of the week to discuss concerns with your children’s lessons – we want you to leave happy and the earlier we know there’s an issue, the better chance we have of making things right!

Ski Hire – our recommendations

At ZigZag we recommend a range of ski hire providers, as we know every client’s needs are different.  Here are a few of our favourites:

Roland Gay Ski Service, Samoëns

Roland Gay Ski Service offers ZigZag clients a discount of 20% off all season long.  Ski Service has two shops : the main shop is in Samoëns’ square beside the church, the second shop is at Samoëns 1600m (on the upper plateau by the top of the old Vercland gondola).

The shop at Samoëns 1600m is handy as it means you can swap your gear anytime during the week without leaving the slopes.

Ski Service also offers lockers available for rent by their customers.  The lockers are under the Lou Caboëns restaurant at the top of the Grand Massif Express gondola.

100% Ski, Samoëns

A friendly new shop in Samoëns’ main pedestrian street, 100% Ski is just a few doors down from ZigZag’s own office.   The big upside is that all their gear is new, so you know you’re getting fresh, up-to-date equipment every time.

100% Ski also offers a home delivery service.  Book your equipment in advance and have it delivered and fitted at your chalet or apartment when you arrive.

ZigZag customers benefit from a range of discounts, so make sure you mention you’ve booked with us when you enquire.

Sport 2000 Passion Glisse, Samoëns

With two shops in Samoëns village and a third at Samoëns 1600m, Sport 2000 Passion Glisse is a family owned shop that renews their entire rental stock every season so you’re guaranteed up-to-date equipment.  With an emphasis on customer service, their friendly staff measure and fit every client individually, so you’re much more likely to have well-fitted boots the first time around.

Sport 2000 Passion Glisse are also Samoëns’ ski de fond experts, with a great range of well-kept, modern cross-country ski gear to suit all levels of expertise.

ZigZag clients benefit from -20% discount all season long and up to -30% during off-peak periods.

Xtrême Glisses, Samoëns

The most conveniently located ski hire shop in Samoëns for those in a hurry, Xtrême Glisses is extremely well placed, directly across from the Grand Massif Express gondola.

Specialists in excellent customer service, Xtrême Glisses offers quality rental equipment at competitive prices.  This year they’ve expanded their locker facilities so there’s more space for everyone to store gear overnight – super convenient for large family groups!  This great location also means swapping gear throughout the week is a breeze.

Remember to mention you’ve been sent by ZigZag for a discount in-store, or use the discount code FONDUE when booking via the Xtrême Glisses website for a further 5% discount.

SkiLoc JaÿSport, Samoëns

SkiLoc offers a professional and friendly service.

The shop at Samoëns 1600m is handy as it means you can swap your gear anytime during the week without leaving the slopes.

Remember to mention you’ve been sent by ZigZag for a discount!

Skimium, Morillon 1100m

Alongside a great collection of regularly updated equipment suitable for all ages and levels, Skimium Morillon 1100m specialises in off piste skis and safety equipment.  We highly recommend this shop for excellent customer service, competitive prices and the high quality brands carried.

Skimium Morillon will also deliver skis to your property if you’re staying anywhere in Morillon, Samoëns, Verchaix or La Rivière Enverse.  Get in touch with the owner Jérémie and he’ll do everything he can to ensure you’re kitted out comfortably.

Mention you’re skiing with ZigZag to benefit from a discount of -20% all season long.

Sport 2000 Lionel Sport, Sixt

Recommended by ZigZag’s own instructors, Lionel Sport is a little shop offering a great range of ski and snowboard equipment in Sixt village.  Lionel Sport is our top recommendation for all ski servicing – our instructors rate their ski repair and tuning service as the best in the area!  They also offer an excellent boot fitting service that our instructors use when their own boots are causing issues.

Mention you’re skiing with ZigZag for a discount on rentals and ski servicing.

Marcel Sports, Sixt

Located conveniently on Sixt’s brilliant beginner slope, Marcel Sports offers great rental equipment at incredibly competitive prices.

Mention you’re skiing with ZigZag for a discount on rental equipment.

Mobile Ski Delivery

These companies offer mobile ski hire delivery direct to your accommodation in Samoëns, Sixt, Morillon and Verchaix :

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