About Us

familyMark and Kate first discovered the South Alps some 25 years ago through kayaking. For a number of years the trips out to the region just involved paddling; however once we bought a house in L’Argentiere we were able to enjoy the area throughout the year. We moved out to the Ecrins in time for the millenium and our children have been educated and grown up here

Mark is a part-time lawyer in the City of London. He has been commuting back and forth to London on a regular basis. He travels via Turin and can get from his office back to France in five and a half hours! It is quicker than when we used to go to the Lake District for weekends.

Mark spends his free time kayaking, skiing, sailing, mountain biking and kitesurfing

Kate has spent much of the last eleven years supervising building sites! Kate loves old buildings which require renovation and there are lots of them out here! In her spare time Kate enjoys skiing powder in the winter and sailing in the summer. And walking with the dogs.

Tom, is now a kayak instructor and raft guide as well as a kite instructor in the summer. In the winter he is a ski and snowboard instructor although he spends most of his time training and competing in snowboard cross for the British team. Somewhere amongst this he continues his studies through the Open University.

William, is in the French snowboard cross team. His summer cross training involves lots of cycling, road and mountain biking as well as kiting and sailing on the lake.

Charlotte is in the youth snowboard cross group for France, therefore often  away at school and on training camps. She still gets time to ski the dogs down the hill from time to time. In the summer she sails a lot, although no longer competitively, and has recently acquired a musto skiff to test her reactions on the water!

If you want updates on any of this do look at www.bankesfamily.com

In addition to three children we also have three dogs, border collies! During the winter they get exercised by following one of us skiing back down form the resort; during the summer following the bikes on the many mountain bike trails and chasing up and down the beach whilst we are kite surfing.