Signature 3 at Park City

Signature 3 at Park City

Mountain Mama

By Mountain Mama \ January 18 2011

I have lived in Utah for many years and am on my second year of doing the blog with the kids and I had no idea that Park City had so many ski programs!  It is unbelievable the program choices from local preschools to extensive training programs.  You need to go onto the website and check out all the programs since there are too many for me to get into.  If you want to learn to ski, are a great skier or want your kids to get great..there is a program for you.

I mentioned last week that Emily is in the Saturday Adventure program.  It is a ten week program on Saturdays from 9:15 a.m.-3 p.m. every day.  Not for the "wimpy" kid.  I followed her for a few runs and for lunch to see how the program is done.  She is in a group of five - two girls and three boys.  They ski for two hours, break for lunch for 45 minutes to an hour, and ski another three hours!  That's a lot of skiing for five-year-old legs, let alone my old legs.  Since Park City Mountain Resort offers programs for pre-school kids (yea!), these kids are really good!  They do a great job in putting the kids in the right group for the duration so they can all progress at the same level.  Now...if you have an unwilling child, don't do a long program.  They will not have fun, they will ruin the time for the others in the group, and may not be allowed to go at all.  Let's face it...we want to live our childhood through our kids.  "My kid is a great skier, he/she can do black diamonds and do jumps." OK, let's get real.  You want them to learn at these programs.  Don't lie about their ability.  It's better to make it fun and put them with others at their ability.  If you won't, the instructors will!

So, I catch up with Emily at lunch at the Snowed Innsnowed inn (dscn2515) It is a cute lodge with great food!  Imagine 120 kids ages 5-6 all eating together.  Chaos?  Not really!  I was so impressed!  The restaurant closes to the public from 11-12:30 on Saturday so they can accomodate the kids.  The instructor is in charge of his/her five kids.  They sit down and get a choice of what they want.  On this day, there were burgers, pizza, chicken strips and a cookie!  Several drinks are also available.  Now, we're not talking about cafeteria food, this was good!  The owners have everything ready so when the kids arrive, it is quick!  They place their orders and the staff is quick to get the food out.  Big portions for hungry skiers!  I had the burger and sat with Em's group.  A potty break and a cookie and it's back to ski.  Another note about Snowed Inn, they do sleigh rides and a dinner.  I'm going to have to come back for that!

em in line (dscn2524)Off we go! I hang behind and watch the kids.  The instructor doesn't need me distracting the kids.  A lot of the chair lifts at Park City are six-loading, so they all head up together.  Everyone heads all the way to the top on Bonanza lift.  There is a great green run called Home Run that takes you to the bottom.  It is long and gives the kids a chance to practice their turns.  If you say your child can ski, doing a wedge down the mountain is not skiing.  Lacey is making that a priority, teaching the kids to parallel ski and stop that way. em parallel (dscn2533)

I follow them down. She's got them jumping in the air as well.  I asked about that and she said it forces them to get out of a wedge since you can't jump from a wedge and land in a wedge.   See, that is why you do lesson!  I love what I see, so off I go to go check on Brennan.bren (dscn2540)bren in line (dscn2541)

Now,  I know that 10 weeks of lessons isn't for everyone and if you're visiting, doesn't happen.  So, Brennan is involved in the Signature 3 program.  It is an all day program for anyone.  You can sign up daily, or for how many days works for you.  It is for 3 1/2 to 5 year olds and it is brilliant!  As I mentioned, Park City has this lesson stuff down to a science!  Bren is signed up to go from 9:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.  You can also have a choice from 9 a.m. -3 p.m.  My advice, go online and get your reservation first!  Then you know you have a spot and can show up.  This is not a daycare.  This is a combo of skiing and play time.  It is structured to be fun for the kids and have them ski.  What I love about it, there are two assigned ski times.  At three years old, the kids don't have the attention span or the strength to go skiing for hours (most, anyway).  Bren is dropped off, and I get a "claim" ticket to pick him up.  They color code all his gear so nothing gets lost.  If you don't have ski equipment, you can rent right there.  We have our own little Rossi equipment ready to go, so I leave Bren.  If you remember my blogs last year, there was a lot of screaming and crying.  Bren didn't do daycare too well.  This year, "Bye Mommy!"  What? Even a little tear would be OK.

He heads in to play, do a snack and then out to ski.  His first lesson is from 11 a.m. -12:15 p.m..  The magic carpet is right outside the door.  At 12:15 p.m. he goes back in to lunch, play, potty...  Then back out at 2:30-3:45.  This is where I catch up.  I'm watching him and he's doing great!! He's up the magic carpet and down the hill on his own!  He can stop in a wedge and is doing so good.  If they do well here, the insructors will bring them to the lift.  Bren will be here next Saturday, so that may be his next step!  Again, make it fun!  I talked with Bren's instructor and he said he knows how to straighten his skis, stop and listen.  But...he wants to play in the snow, too.  So, let him.  He's three and you don't want it to seem like work.

Me and Em take a quick ride on the Alpine Coaster.  She didn't get to go last week, so only fair she goes.  I pick her up at 3 p.m. and Bren up at 4 p.m.  Big day for kids!  Since Bren will be back next week, we keep his check in tag and they'll be ready for him next week.  Kids will want to ski and enjoy the experience if you make it fun.  Looking forward to next week to see if he makes the lift!  I would highly recommend the 'Sig 3 class!'

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