So, ski season is winding down and the kids have done so well! Brennan turned 4 this week and it opens up a whole new set of lessons he can enroll in! Most resorts keep the kids 3 and under in a daycare setting with a one hour lesson. Brennan did that at Deer Valley earlier in the season when he was a Fawn. Now, he is a Bambi! This is a big deal! A one hour lesson as a Fawn and in the daycare or a 2 1/2 hour lesson as a Bambi in Bambiland! He was excited and felt pretty big about the situation. We dropped Emily off at Park City for her Saturday Adventure in which she takes part in the Nastar course (video to follow) and Bren and I head over to Deer Valley. The beauty of Utah and Park City is that you can do that. There are three resorts in the area close by...The Canyons, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort.
We park in the child care drop off area (thank goodness) and head up to check Brennan in. If you can, fill out all your paperwork online to save yourself some time. I've been coming to Deer Valley for years and I'm all ready to head into the daycare. No!! They tell me, "He's in Bambiland." For the first time in 5 years, I have no child in daycare...they've moved up. A little choked up about that. We head upstairs to Bambiland. Bren is greeted with, "Do you want to try the climbing wall?" He's off and happy. I will get a phone call when he's heading up for a lesson. He will be paired with only one other child which is nice. At this age, it is nice to have a small class. I head out for some Mommy ski time (what!) and wait for the call.
He will be skiing on Wide West with Monte, so I catch up with them. It's always about Emily and her skiing, race course, friends... so Bren gets his turn at a "race course". He's with one other little guy and up they go. Deer Valley keeps their young kids to two per class which allows the instructor to really get a handle on their abilities. I follow along and catch them practicing their turns and going through their "race course." When we talk about Em and her Nastar course, Bren says he can do one as well. The kids stay on Wide West run until they are doing parellel turns which Bren is getting the hang of. I follow along a couple times and let him do his thing. It is 2 1/2 hours which is great. Sometimes an hour isn't long enough, so this gets him out and he can do some good skiing.
I run pick Emily up and Park City and run back to get Bren. Yes, lots of running is rough, but a good time had by all! Bren is smiles, we sign out and away we go!
I also want to talk a little about beginner slopes at the resorts for kids. I have not skiied all the slopes, so I'll do the best I can or at least include a trail map for you and my recommendation. Keep in mind, it's my opinion which you may differ in.
Alta: Park at the Albion Base (2nd entry) and explore all the lower runs. People oftentimes think Alta is only advanced terrain but there is really nice green runs to get the kids on and you can buy a beginner lift only pass.
Beaver Mountain: I'm including the link to the trail map. I've not skied her, so you can check it out and let me know!
Brian Head: I've not made it to Brian Head, so check out the map. I've been told there is awesome beginner terrain!
Brighton: The Majestic lift has great greens off of it. Lost Maid is a nice run. If your kids want a longer run, take the Snake Creek Express lift from mid-mountain to the very top and take Sunshine run all the way down. It is a green and will challenge the kids a little, but if they've skied a bit, a nice run for them. There is also the Explorer lift for the bunny hill.
The Canyons: We've not yet made it here. Trying to get here before the end of the season! Check out the trail map and you can zoom in on the runs to find ones to fit your kids.
Deer Valley: As I mentioned above, Wide West is the beginner hill and there are 2 lifts that access this area. It is great for beginners and it is a long enough run to get the kids really practicing their turns. When they are ready, head up Carpenter lift and it will bring you to a nice, longer green run called Success. Good challenge for the kids.
Park City: We have a lot of experience at PC this winter. First Time lift gets you to a very easy beginner run for the kids. When they are ready, you can head up Payday lift and it will bring you to Home Run run which is a nice green. Has some little challenging steep spots, so make sure the little guys are ready. If they are really ready, head to Bonanza lift when you hop off Payday lift and take it to the top of the mountain. The little guys can take Home Run run from the top of the mountain! Bren did it!! he made it to 9200'!
Powder Moutain: I've not been here to check out the beginner runs, but have a look at the trail map. It is interactive and zooms in. Nice green terrain for the kiddos!
Snowbasin: Emily did Snowbasin last year and took the Little Cat Express lift which gives you access to the beginner hill. There is also the Becker lift which gives you access to a longer green.
Snowbird: Has a really nice lift for the kids, Chickadee. Bren did this in a previous blog. A great way to get the little ones out. When you're ready, Baby Thunder is a nice area for the little ones to get more challenging terrain while staying on a green run.
Solitude: We haven't been to Solitude yet. Still on our list this year as time is winding down! The Moonbeam area at the base is great for beginners. Check out the trailmap.
Sundance: Has a great green run Emily tried out earlier in the season. Take Rays lift up 1/2 way and come down Stampede run. A nice, wide green run that is fairly long which gives the kids a good workout!
So, you're now ready with trailmaps in hand to select the resort and runs best for your family. And, in case you don't understand the color coding: Green runs (or green circles as Em says) are the easiest runs; Blue runs (blue squares) are intermediate runs and Black diamonds are the hardest runs.
Any input?..let me know about your experience!
Ski N' See still has great discounts on rentals. On the reservation page in the Promo code, enter in JODIDEMO25 and receive a 25% discount on any rental!