The valleys and hills are covered in a thick blanket of snow, and the tree branches long since barren, reach up to the sky.  Wooden-clad houses pepper the hillsides and the village church steeples contrast against the sky.  Moreover, the sheer absence of colour creates an almost black-and-white image in my mind’s eye!  Puffs of white steam escape from everyone’s lips as they brave the cold to hit the slopes!  Finally, I look and -11 registers on the dashboard, leaving me to wonder, why on earth I ever decided to learn to ski in Germany?

Leave Frankfurt and in under 2 hours, you can reach the outskirts of the forest that once ignited the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm!  Although in fairness, during the winter months, it has more of a CS Lewis feel than the Brothers Grimm.  Venture yet further inwards and you’ll find yourself at the foot of the Feldberg where you are free to carve up the slopes and ski to your heart’s content.

So whilst we have also skied in the Winterberg I will focus here on the more popular and larger Feldberg in Black Forest.

Our Family Formula for Learning to Ski in Germany

Simply put, our family ski formula is as follows

Happiness = SKI in the morning + ADVENTURE in the afternoon

Particularly in the beginning of my kids learning to ski (they are 9 and 8) I felt a morning of ski lessons followed by something fun in the afternoon (invariably meant snowball fights) was the way to go!  And in our case, this worked perfectly!  By the second morning of ski lessons they were on the ‘green slope’ and by the fourth, they were on the blue!  Now, I must point out, that this was my kid’s learning curve and not mine!  My learning trajectory is far more flat and A LOT slower!  Oh, how I wish I could have learned as a child!

SKI in the morning, so, which SKI school?

Well, there is no shortage of SKI schools to choose from, but, we have been to the Black Forest three times and each time we have chosen Thoma.  Why?  Perhaps it’s because we are creatures of habit or perhaps it’s because each time they have provided an easy and great service!  And let’s just say for an ‘old dog’ trying to learn ‘new tricks’ those things are vital!

As I mentioned we’ve just been back for our third visit and I finally feel like skiing without fear and terror is actually on the cards!  And the idea of heading head first down a hill isn’t completely against every fibre in my being anymore.  The instructors are incredibly varied in their teaching approaches, which I find incredibly helpful because I learned something new with each one.  Meaning that sometimes I needed more instruction and other times I just needed to be taken further up the hill and told to just give it a go!  However, having said all that, one thing that never wavered was how kind and patient they all were!

Furthermore, the facilities and teaching style for the kids was great!  And truth be told,  I was a little jealous of the tiny escalator the kids had to take them back up the slope each time (the side stepping up the hill each time is a killer!). Step-by-step progression before they are finally taken up onto the slopes.  Lines of little ninja warrior skiers snaking their way through the slopes led by their competent instructors are quite something to watch!  And this left me more determined than ever to battle and master my plough, make it out of the nursery slope and finally learn to ski 😂

ADVENTURE in the afternoons

There is an absolute plethora of things to do in and around Feldberg in the Black Forest.  And thank goodness for that because I was nowhere near ready to ski all day and on our first two visits neither were my boys!  So, I decided to find other activities for the afternoons and get us home early in the evening ready to collapse straight into bed for a good night’s sleep!

The Lakes – Titisee and Schlusee

Perfect for a walk after a morning of skiing and a hearty lunch!  Depending on your energy levels Lake Schlusee has a 19km loop that you can do, obviously, with two young boys we chose to only walk a small section stopping intermittently for snowball fights!

Todtnau Tobbogan

For a slightly different take on seeing the mountain, try this rail-guided toboggan ride down!  Perfect for speed junkies and thrill seekers!

Treetop Walk, Bad Wildbad

A treetop walk with a slide!!  Forget boring observation decks with nothing but glorious views 😜. In the summer months, you can walk up and slide all the way down for an extra €2.  However, it’s worth mentioning the observation deck is 40m up so the slide is not for the faint-hearted. On clear days, you can see as far as the Kraichgau, the Stuttgart TV Tower and the Swabian Alb.

Good to know:

So, on that note, I wish you many hours of successful skiing but a stone’s throw from our Frankfurt doorstep!!!  Also, for more on what to do in winter in and around Frankfurt check out our list of things here