Articles Related To: Ski School
Whether your kids are just starting to ski, have had lessons or not. . . parents always have to ask the question, "am I doing the right thing?" I had a chat with Dain Craig from Brighton to sort it all out.
One year ago, ABC 4 Anchor Kim Fischer was uprooted from Texas when she got a job here in Utah. Never skied a day in her life and she met me. Eight months later she is still dating me but figured out if this is going to last she would have to learn how to keep up with the Powder Posse on and off the slopes. So we set her up with some lessons at Park City Mountain Resort and Snowbasin.
There are so many choices of ski resorts in Utah. That is what is so special! From the Park City resorts to Ogden Canyon to southern Utah. But, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful is Sundance. There is a reason Robert Redford picked this location. I have to admit, I've not skiied here a lot. I'm also a big hiker and one of the greatest Utah hikes is Mt Timpanogas. It is the face you see at Sundance when you are skiing. Now sure, there are bigger resorts, but if you're looking for a relaxed day of skiing, great food and stunning views...head here.
It is now the end of April and winter is in full swing. Snowbird has had over 30" in 2 days. Yep, spring in the Rockies.
We, however, have finished our season and what a great season it was. Emily exceeded all my exceeded all my expections. I thought maybe by the end of the season, she'd be able to ski green runs...but she was doing the blues and very well I may add!
I can't believe it is the end of March already and we are nearing the end of the season. Although...Mother Nature has other plans as a BIG storm is blowing in tonight. You always can tell the strength of the storm by the intensity of the wind. With temps in the upper 60's in Salt Lake, you know the cold front coming is going to be good. So, if you think it's time to hang up your skis...WRONG, we're just getting started. Check out the National Weather Service...good if you're not ready for winter to be done.
So, we had 5 consecutive Sunday lessons at Brighton and it was awesome! The terrain was so good for Emily to really get her confidence up. She was in and out of the trees (I can't even do that), and felt very comfortable. She grew from green runs to easy blues by the end. I've talked about the advantage of weekly lessons....same instructor, same students...they know the routine.
The Park City StartNow program provides Utah locals the chance to learn to ski or snowboard for only $25.
After 6 Friday afternoon lessons at Deer Valley, we have arrived at the Ski Extravaganza. It is the last day of lessons and the kids put on a little show for the parents to show them what they have learned during their time. It is a beautiful day at Deer Valley and I've decided to take Brennan out to the moving carpet to see if he'll do a little skiing as well. After lugging all our equipment in and getting Emily sorted out, me and Bren head out. First off....way overdressed. Ok, up the hill we go anyway to get to the beginner area. I've done everything right...had snacks, water, change pants...what could really go wrong. Yep...you guessed it....he doesn't want to go! We go up once and he lays down on the ground and won't move. He's sweating because I've overdressed him and he's done before we started. Again, a lesson I've taught throughout my blog to everyone but myself, DON'T try to teach your 2 year old to ski. Get an instructor. At this age, if they don't want to do it...game over! So, we decide to lounge in the sun and wait for Emily's show to begin.
Let's talk Brighton. A very well oiled machine with lessons as you've seen in previous blogs I've done. First off, you can register online. The great thing is...you do it before hand. You will pay for the lessons and then get your waiver in the mail to sign and mail back. This is great so you don't have to worry about paperwork and chaos on the first day. If you need equipment....no worries. Go an hour early to get and pay for your rentals. If you want to rent for the entire 5 weeks, you'll get a discount. You'll pay and get outfitted the first day. You'll return at the end of the lesson, but every other week; you just need to go pick up your rentals. You've already gone through the rental/pay line, so get your gear and go. No need to stand in the pay line. Nice when you have wiggly kiddos anxious to hit the slopes.
Living in the Salt Lake Valley, you get spoiled by a short drive up to the Cottonwood Canyons. So, when I decided to go to Snowbasin, I packed up the car with snacks, extra clothes and water like we were driving to St George. In just over an hour with mostly freeway driving, we were there. If you've never driven it, a beautiful drive with wonderful views through Mountain Green. No lines, blue skies and easy parking. I just have to say that with 2 kids and 3 sets of ski gear, it is a JOB to get us all to the door. Snowbasin has a GREAT solution. Little equipment trolleys. Now why doesn't everyone have these? You pull up to the curb and unload all your gear into the trolley and away you go. Saved my back and arms!!
I've been waiting and the wait is over. Emily is doing the greens!! My goal by the end of the season was for her to do some green runs with me and we're already there!! It was such a proud moment!! We went up to Brighton because we decided to give Brennan another go at the skiing thing. As in previous blogs, I mentioned we bonded with Gina as an instructor. I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a good instructor and sticking with him/her. Get a lesson, get their name and stick with the same person if possible. Especially when they are young. Brennan doesn't trust very many, so important for him. I also thought the green runs are so nice at Brighton. If you find runs you are comfortable with and know well, that is the best place to go when taking the little guys on your own.
Brennan has not been a daycare child. We've been fortunate that one parent has stayed home. For those that have boys...don't know if yours are like mine... but there is a little separation anxiety. A GREAT place to take them is to Deer Valley. Brennan has been there a few times and all experiences have been very positive. The good thing is that the child care and the ski lessons are in the same place. Once you register your child-have emergency contacts in mind and any allergies. What made me very comfortable is the security. You get an "invisible" stamp on your hand. In order to move into the child care area, your hand will be scanned and there is a person that must "buzz" you in through the door. As a parent, this makes you feel very secure.
After a successful lesson with Emily at Brighton, we decided to give it a try with Brennan. Since we had success with Gina, I requested her to teach Brennan. With the little guys, it's all about FUN. Let's make it FUN. Emily was easy, bonded with Gina and took off. Could Brennan do that? NOOO! Gina greeted him and was happy and friendly; Brennan turns his head and wouldn't look. Ok, now what...we've driven all the way here, I am a DEDICATED Mom and don't even have my skis. It is an ugly inversion in the Salt Lake Valley and we can breath easy up in the mountains. (That whole inversion thing is for another blog.) Brennan gets a little stuffed horse to bond with..it's working! We head outside and grab the skis to walk to the lift. Of course, I carry him since he won't look at Gina. How many of you have one like this? :)
2 good things: he has his boots on and is standing in the snow. No to the skis yet. You have to ask yourself if they will do better with or without you. We try with at first since he likes Mom around. Not working...so I get out of sight. Still not working. Gina is VERY patient and now at least he's talking to her, but laying in the snow. I head back and decide it's time for ultimatums. He likes to be outside, doesn't want to go home. I give him a choice...put skis on and go up lift like a big boy or go home. Well, no choice there...on go the skis and mission accomplished.
The snow has arrived and with nearly 40" of new snow...time to get out. Ok, I'm thinking if Emily gets a lesson, I can take some runs on my new demo skis..yes, I love the powder! What can I say, I'm a Meteorologist and know how to pick my days :)
I've talked with many of the resorts as to the best approach to getting Emily started and on her way to the best experience. All agree, lets start with a private lesson. Brighton has been talked about as having a great ski school for the little ones. The WONDERFUL thing about Brighton, is they WILL take Brennan at 2 years old! I am VERY excited for that one, but that will be another blog. As long as it is a private lesson, they will take a 2 year old out and encourage the parent to attend to learn how to teach the little guy.
There are 2 options for lessons, a private one on one with an instructor or a group lesson. I'm excited for the group lesson because it is a weekly lesson you can sign up for in which the child will have the same group and instructor every week. Like being in school, they learn to trust the instructor and get to know the kids in the class. I think it makes for a bonding experience and at times, a good competitive day for them.
The registration deadline for the Deseret News/KSL News Radio Ski School is fast approaching. Entries must be submitted and received no later than Wednesday, Nov. 18. For those interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity, here’s the skinny: