Bren does his first BIG chairlift Park City...and talking equipment!
If you've read my previous blogs, Emily has entered into the Saturday Adventure program at Park City Mountain Resort. And, Brennan has done 2 weeks in the Signature 3 program. I'm going to give a quick update and give BIG kudos to the ski school.
Now, this past Saturday was a little crazy. A cold front was passing through (=wind and snow), Sundance was in town, there were races going on and Shaun White had just been practicing his 1/2 pipe. A day in the life of Park City. When checking Emily in to her class, she gets a new tag on her helmet. GREAT idea!! It has her personal info on it and a number for people to call should she get separated from her group. Hello, brilliance!! A feeling of comfort for a parent when your child is in a class all day. Maybe schools and all other sporting events should come up with this system :) I caught up with Em throughout the day...as I was ready to call it a day due to the weather. Not this group, maybe a few more warming breaks, but they stayed lower on the mountain and practiced parallel turns, balancing on one leg and really learning how to turn without using a wedge. If you want your children to learn to ski properly, put them in lessons and in the right level. If they can ski a blue run only using an edgie wedgie, this is not skiing. Put them back on a green run and let them learn to parallel turn and stop. That is skiing.
So, I toughed it out and explored some new terrain on my own. Then, the snow started. Awesome!! The snow was fresh and I got a chance to do a little skiing myself.
Now for Brennan. He's in the Signature 3 program which takes the kids out for two- 75 minute lessons. A word to the visitor....during Sundance, Sundancers tend not to be big skiers. This equals...good skiing for locals and visitors who can find lodging. Lighter crowds. Also, less kids in the Sig 3 program. I go to check on Bren to see if he's on the magic carpet. NO...he's on the lift! Big boy hits the First Time lift!! I can hardly contain myself. I race to the line to get up to the top as fast as I can to see if I can catch him. I see him coming down....doing great!! As a parent, you'll know this feeling...your heart wants to jump out of your chest with excitement, you can hardly breath with pride. Especially if this is your "baby". I wait at the top and hear he comes up the lift!!! I'm running like a crazy Mom ... "Brenny, Brenny....you're awesome" He has big smiles underneath the 17 layers of clothes. Since it is Sundance, he is also having a private lesson with Adam. Adam is awesome and said at first Bren said he was tired, but he kept him going and encouraging him to move on and making goals. I've said it before, a good instructor is so important. Not that they aren't all good, but as with everything, it is about chemistry with your child. Adam was so good with Brennan. Kind of tough love, but so encouraging. Bren tends to get lazy...as all 3 year olds will. Make it fun, and make a game of it. The end result is the video.....it tells the story of this proud Mom! Thanks Adam!!! Can't wait until next time.
I also want to talk about equipment and clothing for the kids. First, all kids need helmets. NO EXCEPTIONS!! If you don't have one, you can rent one when you rent your skis. With renting locally, I would do season rentals. There are great deals out there in the fall. You get all your equipment for the season, if the kids feet grow, just trade out your gear. Go to Ski n' See in the valley or in Park City and you can check out their daily rentals as well. Enter in the promo code PREMIER and get an extra 25% off your rental through January. Make sure the boots are the right fit for the kids. The rental folks will help you find out if you have the right fit. Also, no poles needed if they are beginners. Emily keeps asking to use poles. In talking with her instructor, she said they are just a crutch when the kids are learning. They tend to lean on them, drop them from the lift and not use them properly. Always ask the instructors advice to see if your child is ready for poles.
Sometimes, like Saturday, it is really cold. Your kids can wear a gator around their necks and can pull them up over their faces. For Emily, she was still cold. So, we bought her a Balaclava (picture of her below). Awesome!! Fits nice under the helmet and goes all the way over their face. We gave it a run on Saturday and Em said she stayed nice and warm!
Layers are best. Make sure you have a waterproof jacket. No, you don't need a $200 jacket for your kid. (I don't even have one). Either look for closeout sales at the end of the season or shop around. The one upgrade we made this year was in pants. Make sure if your kids are skiing a lot to get them good pants. We went with the Target brand pants the last few years. For $17, no biggie to buy new ones every year. They are fine if you're only out a few times a year. But, with all the skiing this year, we upgraded to better waterproof pants. Worth the investment. Not going to name brands, but lets just say, as with jackets, you don't need the most expensive pants to keep the kids dry and warm. Bibs vs pants. When they are little, I prefer bibs. Keeps the snow off their back if they fall.
Layers of long underwear, turtlenecks, sweatshirts...are good. Designer wear needed? Not in my opinion. Use what you have in the drawers and closets as long as you do a layer or 2. If you put your Target stuff under your good pants, you're fine.
Socks...Euros. I bought them last year at Ski n' See and love them. These are the brand. You want a sock that stays up and is warm. Don't go cheap on socks. If they fall down, are too thick, too cold...bad. Also, cotton socks are not good.
Mittens vs gloves. Mittens. Keeps them warmer. The best mittens I have found have an elastic band and stretches over their jackets. I still don't like the mittens with the zippers on the sides. They seem to always fall off. Again, a personal choice. Just get a good pair, Target not such a good choice.
So....clothing you may want to spend a little more on: Pants, jackets, mittens, hats, socks and gloves. Under stuff, at this age, I find anything works if the outerwear is waterproof. If you have tips/opinions, let me know. Warm kids are happy kids!