Expat mum scales Alps with nine-year-old champion skier son

Tori Collins with Ossie at the summit of the Aiguille de la Grande Sassiee
Tori Collins with Ossie at the summit of the Aiguille de la Grande Sassiee

A young mum who uprooted to France to follow her dreams of becoming a ski instructor has conquered a mountain with her nine-year-old son.

Tori Collins, 27, went to The Buckingham School and grew up in the town, but four years ago she took the plunge to 
follow her dreams.

I’d say everyone should follow their dreams”

Tori Collins

She always wanted to be a ski instructor and now, 
living in Tignes with Ossie, she teaches all ages and abilities in the Alps.

And the mum-and-son duo conquered the 3,751m Aiguille de la Grande Sassièe in one day last week.

“I don’t know any other nine-year-olds who could have done that,” Tori said. “He is little, but I thought there’s no harm in giving it a go. We would just turn around and come back if he wanted to.

“He got to the top and was very happy. He only caused a fuss at the beginning when he was a bit tired.”

Tori, who is mountain-trained, did a recce with her friends first and knew Ossie was fit because he ‘practically ran up Mount Snowdon’ in May to raise money for Nepal earthquake victims.

Ossie is also following in his mum’s ski marks as the current U10s British Champion. He wants to be a world downhill champion one day.

Tori, whose mum Jo and dad John still live on the 
Badgers estate, wants to help ‘shake the stigma of being a single mum’.

Tori, who said she moved to France because there are ‘no mountains in Buckingham’, said: “If you put your head to it, you can do anything.

“I’d say everyone should follow their dreams and for me it was to be a ski instructor – dreams can come true.

“My son is amazing. He is polite, well-spoken and now he’s climbed a mountain.”