By Mountain Mama \ December 15 2010
The snow has arrived in full force and we're looking at a pretty great start to the season and hopefully a good snow year thanks to La Nina. That is a discussion for another blog.
So, we've rented the skis and we're ready to head out. Now, I'm not as mobile as my other fellow bloggers. With my equipment, Emily's, Brennan's and 2 kids in tow....it takes us awhile. The key is to pick a day when everyone is rested and happy....otherwise, you'll be very crabby by the end of the day :)
I thought I'd take Emily first alone. Just to get her "ski legs". What's that? Well, for those of you who have skied before, it is the first day of the season to take it easy and sort of "remember" how to ski. After our very successful season last year with Emily, I thought, no biggie...she's ready to go straight up the lift. NOOOO! Last run of last year was down the tram at Snowbird. For those that haven't skiied much, it is a challenging run for us adults let alone the kids.
Anyway, we head to Brighton for the first run of the season. The great thing about Brighton is the ease of everything. With kids, you need close parking, good moods, plenty of snacks, not too cold. We were able to park in the front row and go straight up the elevator to the slopes with no lift lines. It was a Monday, so everyone was at work or school. Yes, I did plan that on purpose. Emily skis free with me. I'm going to do a blog about skiing free with kids. Just a quick mention:
Alta: everyone skis free after 3 pm on Sunnyside lift
Brighton: 2 kids under 7 ski free with a paying adult
Brian Head: kids 5 and under ski free with paying adult
Eagle Point: kids under 6 ski free with paying adult
Park City: kids under 6 ski free with paying adult
Powder Mountain: kids under 6 ski free with paying adult
Snowbird: kids under 6 ski free on chairs with paying adult
Snowbasin: kids under 6 ski free with paying adult
Solitude: kids under 6 ski free with paying adult
Sundance: kids under 6 ski free with paying adult
How fabulous is this??? I'll do another blog for deals under 12...stay tuned. Needless to say, it doesn't get better than this while teaching kids to ski. If they won't go, you haven't paid for it.
Keep in mind, 2 weeks ago, we were swimming in the ocean in Hawaii.
We take Majestic Lift up and Emily says "this is hard, too steep, I'm scared". What? You skiied all blues last year and were a champ, now you're scared? Well, keep in mind, she's 5 and needs her memory refreshed. So, after one run of snowplowing or "pizza pie" in kids speak, she is fine. The moral of the story is....take them on the bunny hill if need be to refresh their memory and make it a pleasurable experience. My initial thought was "how am I going to do this blog if Emily won't ski". By the third run, she was ready for the trees, bumps and I even heard a little hoot coming down. Crisis averted.
Brennan says "You know, I need to learn how to ski, too". Sorry! So, back to Brighton we go. This time, we meet up with Martha. Emily took lessons from Martha last year. The patience of these instructers is so amazing. Brighton has an amazing Snowsports school. They do a great job with the little guys and are very organized. From daily lessons to consecutive weekly lessons, it is top notch. Very low key, which is what kids need. Don't get them all worked up and anxious, it's not worth it.
After carrying all 3 pairs of skis up the hill, again finding close parking...we're ready. Brighton has a little beginner lift and Bren is ready. Me, I want to cry. This is the little boy who last year laid in the snow, laid back on the instructer and really wasnt' into it. This time, he's big and ready. Emily and I take the little lift up behind Martha and Bren to check it out. I'll let the video tell the story!
He wants to jump. He says "Let's go on the other side where the jump is." OK, let's slow it down.
Note the tips on his skis. I also loved the way Martha was teaching him. Look closely at the way she has her skis in between his with the tips holding him back. Now, we can't all ski backwards, but the goal is to make the kids lean forward, not back. They do make harnesses to put on kids when they are in front of you. I've heard mixed reviews on those since you are pulling them back when in reality, they need to lean forward. Let me know your thoughts.
End result...Brennan had smiles from ear to ear, Emily and I did a few other runs and I think we're warmed up for the big season ahead.
More deals, weather info and tips in weeks to follow!
Also, check out Ski n' See for good deals and rental deals. (check out my last blog for rental deals and promo codes)
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