words by Monique Beeley
As a local Utah ski mom, I have been anxiously awaiting my daughter’s fifth grade year because this is THE year we get to travel around the state doing some product testing of The Greatest Snow on Earth at each of Utah’s 15 mountain resorts.
North to South, Utah is blessed with iconic scenery, epic adventure locales and top-notch mountain resorts…and being able to visit them all, in one season, with your child for less than $700 is an experience of a lifetime. The combo making this epic experience possible is Ski Utah’s 5th Grade Passport and the Yeti Pass.
Let’s look at the numbers:
Yeti Pass = $649 ($43 per day)
5th and 6th Grade Passport = $49 (3 days at each resort = 45 days of skiing and just over $1 per day)
Days Skiing Together = 15 total days = $46.50 per day
Can I bring a friend?
Being an only child the first question my daughter asks when I’m planning an adventure is... “Mom, who is coming with us?” and as all parents know, sometimes bringing a friend is not always easy or even doable…with so many different ski pass options, the cost of a single-day ticket and the juggling of weekend time with everyone's extracurricular activities.
With a little pre-season prep, I made sure to encourage the parents of my daughter’s fifth grade friends to invest the $49 for the passport, so they could join us as we skied around the state.
Where do you have a pass?
With the abundance of pass options comes the challenge of being able to “meet up” for a ski day with your friends and extended family. Part of my pre-season planning process has been to plan time to meet up with friends and family throughout Utah that we usually aren’t able to ski with.
Everything is better outside
The mountains are calling, and we must go…go to the great outdoors. To the fresh air, warm sunshine and the cool mountain vibes. After a long week of screen-time, school-time and work-time, we all need some outdoor-time. Studies show there are many benefits to our health and wellbeing when we spend time outdoors; including decreased anxiety, elevated mood, increased energy, boosts in your immune system, lower blood pressure and heart rate. The benefits are so well documented doctors are even giving “nature prescriptions” to some patients.
Make a staycation…a “ski-cation”
Ok, let’s be real…raising kids is not easy or inexpensive, making the much-desired family ski vacation elusive to some. This is why we are “keeping it local” this year. Thanks to the Ski Utah Passport and Yeti Pass duo, we were able to sneak away for a couple of “ski-cations” this year. There are a few amazingly affordable options for overnights in Logan to ski both Cherry Peak and Beaver Mountain or head south to hit Eagle Point and Brian Head where many affordable overnights can be found in Beaver or Cedar City. Even the ski-in/ski-out options at in both of these zones are significantly lower than their northern Utah counterparts.
Get out of your comfort zone
Skiing at your home resort every weekend definitely has its perks. It’s familiar and comfortable, you know the best powder stashes and your kids have that go-to favorite ski run. Going to a new and different resort can feel a bit daunting, but on the other side of that is the exhilaration and sights of exploring a new place with your favorite ski buddy.
Memories that last a lifetime
Having experiences with our kids and making memories with them is a quintessential part of parenthood. The pure joy we feel when we see our kids having fun warms our hearts and reinforces the family bond. Our time with our kids goes by so very quickly, we really only have about 18 winters before they technically become an adult and move on to the next phase of their life. And then during the teenage years, their schedules become busier and time with friends usually ranks higher than family time.
And last, but certainly not least: FUN…
Because kids (of all ages) just want to have FUN. And sliding down a snow-covered mountain is fun! Really, really fun. I often have to remind my daughter (and myself) of this when we are getting ready, gathering our gear and heading out early on a Saturday morning. The moment we get to the top of the first chairlift, and our skis begin sliding on Th Greatest Snow on Earth, all we feel is joy and the work it took to get us here pays off 10-fold.