1st day on the slopes
As we speak, it is dumping in Utah! With over 70" of snow so far this season, we're doing pretty good heading into Thanksgiving weekend. I've been waiting for the right day to head out for the 1st day with the kids. I mean, good fresh snow, not too cold and waiting for everyone to be ready. So, when I said we were going on Sunday, they were like adults on a powder day. Lots of running around the house, squeeling, giggling, jumping and excitement. See, skiing excitement isn't just for you powder hounds...I've got powder pups!
1. Make sure you pack the night before: mittens (or glubs as Brennan calls them), goggles ("gobbles"), helmets, ski pants, thermals, ski socks, boots, jackets, gaiters.
2. Just plan on skiing a 1/2 day so you can see if you have any equipment snafus. I did, Emily's socks slouched down in her boots, Bren had holes in his "glubs", Bren's helmet didn't fit properly. OK, so it is just a "trial" run, so you can fix it next time.
3. Get some good snacks. My suggestions:
a. nuts or trail mix
b. kids Cliff bars
c. healthy fruit chews
d. a little chocolate bar for a burst of energy
e. cheese sticks
4. Establish a routine on ski days. I give the kids a healthy breakfast and pack a cooler to head up the mountain with some fruit, a sandwich and plenty of water. I put the kids ski/snowboard boots on at home. We put on our pants/thermals at home and put the rest in the back of the car. We also have a "ski" song we play as we approach the mountain. The kids sing, giggle and get fired up. When we get home, everyone unpacks the car. One tip, the bags you can buy for $1 or 2 at REI, are the best! They store wet stuff when you are done. So when we return to the car, all mittens, gaiters anything wet goes in there to keep from rolling around the car.
Our first day was at Brighton. It was only 1 of 2 resorts open so was busy, but coming off of 25" fresh pow, it was expected. Emily got brand new Rossi race skis this year. They are longer and faster and she is so excited. Bren is still on his Burton snowboard and hoping to squeeze a few months out of this one, maybe Santa will come through. Always head to the beginner lifts first. The kids need their "ski legs" and so do you. I need to remember how to get everyone on/off the lift. Remember, you can always ask the lift guys to slow the lift down as you approach. Brighton put in new gates. No longer do you get the tickets with the wires on your coat, you get a card to put in your pocket and you "buzz" through the gates. Make sure it is in a top pocket in the kids coat..secured! The gate opens automatically and you're on your way. First few turns, Bren hit the ground trying to remember how to turn on his board. Also, unlike adults, kids grow through the summer, they are taller and their center of balance is off a little. Take your time...let them fall, get up, get balance and fall again. We had a rough go, but got down. Second run..piece of cake. That's all it took.
1st day, tired early. You'll hear: "I'm hungry, my legs hurt, I'm cold". OK, stop. I had their usual snacks in their jacket pockets and always put hand warmers zipped into the pants pockets. You take care of the hungry and cold part right away.
Only a few runs in, they were done. Me "let's take another run", them "no, I want to go home". Day...done.
Mission accomplished, we worked out the bugs, figured out which gear we need to take care of and they had a great time. The key on day 1, when they are done, so are you.
Next...Em starting ski team, Bren meeting with his instructor. Coming up...sorting out which skis are right for the kids.