Family Christmas Traditions....our Christmas Eve at Alta and Snowbird

By Mountain Mama Dec 29, 2010
Family Christmas Traditions....our Christmas Eve at Alta and Snowbird

Since Emily was just a baby, we have been skiing at Alta on Christmas Eve.  We started with her in the daycare, my husband and I skiing and dinner at Albion Grill.  Then we head to Snowbird to see Santa come down the tram.

This year was no different, but this time both kids could take ski lessons.  Ski School at Alta is set up with group and private lessons.  Since Brennan is still 3, he goes into a private one hour lesson with Ryan.  We check in to the ski school right next to the ticket window.  The kids get their tickets for the school and Em gets her lift pass and we head downstairs.  So, when you arrive in the meeting area to check the kids in, you already have the tickets taken care of.  It is a big area where the kids meet all the other kids and their teachers.  Imagine all the 4-9 year olds all talking and giggling at once!  Since Brennan is in a private lesson, he just meets his instructor right outside on the snow. 

Now, as I've said before...the stars have to align for this age to cooperate.  I'm in luck!!!  Bren is excited, Ryan is cool and things are great.  There are morning and afternoon group lessons and Bren is set up at noon...right in between the two groups when classes break for lunch.  Great!!  Ryan heads over to the beginner hill on the magic carpet.  Basically, it is an escalator in the snow to get the kids up the hill.  They don't load a lift, no tow rope...just stand on the carpet and up the hill they go.  Definitely a safe way to get up the hill.  Ryan has a hula-hoop with him.  Hmmm...I'm curious about this.  Emily and I observe this since Em has her lesson at 1 p.m.  Ryan either puts the hula-hoop around Bren to slow him or pushes against his feet to slow him or make him lean forward. 


As I've mentioned before, each resort has their own way of teaching and the more tricks you can learn, the better.  This is Brens first time on the carpet this year.  He takes a minute to get the hang of it...a little help from Ryan making up fun stories to keep him away from the edge and away they go.  Instructors are key in the kids success.  If you get a great instuctor, get their name and you can request them again.  It is good for the child to bond with them and get that security of trust.  If you can get the same instructor time and again, I'd recommend it.  They already know the child's ability and can build from that.

Bren and Ryan (dscn2403)Bren carpet (dscn2408)Bren get on carpet (dscn2410)

After seeing Bren go down a few times...I get a "good job" from Ryan, so Em and I quickly take a run up Sunnyside lift before her lesson.  Now, if you've not been to Alta... what are you waiting for?  The scenery is stunning, the trees were coated with snow from the massive storm that just rolled through and skies are so blue.  A perfect day!  We do a quick green run down...Em is also doing well, so off to meet her instructor.

Susie is ready with a second instuctor in tow.  There are 4 kids in the class.  Emily is in the half day adventure.  Emily listens well and likes the idea of a class and instructor she can follow.  So, they head off and WHAT...I get to take a run or two by myself :)  Oh, yes, I did pick up Brennan and put him in the daycare for the rest of the day.  After his skiing, he was ready to go play with some cars and trucks. Ryan said he did great.  They learned about "dinosaur hands".  (Ryan made this up, but it helped pull Bren forward when getting off the carpet).  Whatever it takes, you need to speak to their level.  But, he did well and for a 3 year old, Ryan said he was quite good and strong.  Yea!! We're on our way.

Em better scenery (dscn2415)















I take a few runs to the top of Supreme and run into Santa!! Yes, I've been very good this year :)  I catch Em on the way down and check out her skiing.  I love to observe.  Susie gives a few safety instructions on the top.  After all, on a busy day, the kids have to learn how to look uphill before cutting across the hill and stopping in control.  Skiing isn't only about going fast, it's about skiing in control.  I feel this is the one thing that the kids learn so well in their classes.  They then follow Susie down practicing turns.  Stomping along and getting the feel of their downhill ski.  All things I couldn't teach.

with santa (dscn2436)

em class (dscn2424)

I pick Em up after her lesson in the ski school area.  She's so happy eating an ice cream and has her report card.  She's a level 3+!  I chat with Susie about all this and what to work on.  Always follow-up with the instructor.  They are more than happy to go over the progress of your child and to give you things to work on.

We meet-up with Daddy and on we go to Snowbird.  On Christmas Eve, there is a torchlight parade, fireworks and Santa comes down the tram.  After a mob of kids run after Santa, we wait our turn and greet Santa.  Now, time to head home.

Another great Christmas Eve and Santa hasn't even arrived.  Cookies and milk for Santa, carrots and water for the reindeer.  Lights out for the kids!


snowbird santa (dscn2448)