Lessons at Snowbasin...does Mom need to ski as fast?

By Mountain Mama Jan 3, 2013
Snowbasin is such a great "secret". Not really anymore. It is only 35 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City-all fast driving and some of the best skiing in Utah. The kids did a lesson, Mom and Dad skied, and I've been informed..."I'm too slow" to get any good video.

Snowbasin is such a nice, easy drive from Salt Lake City, but for some reason, I don't get up there enough!  I love this quote from their website:

"With 3,000 skiable acres and 3,000 vertical feet, Snowbasin is best known for wide-open bowls, gladed runs, manicured groomers, powder stashes days after a storm, and rarely a lift line. " 

It is so true!  The terrain is beautiful, some of the best groomed slopes I've skied in a long time and the runs are really long!  There is nothing worse than standing in a lift line for 20 minutes and then having a 10 minute run.  Not at Snowbasin...you get on the Needles Gondola and take an 8 minute ride to the top and can ski blue/green runs to the bottom and it can take you 25 minutes (OK, maybe you speedsters can go faster).

It was during a storm we decided to head up...so maybe took us a little longer, but once we arrived, WOW, 20" of fresh pow...most of any other resort on this particular day!  My kids love the pow, so everyone is excited.  With kids, easy is the key!!  There is a drop off area right next to the resort...pull up, unload kids, gear.... and get a cute trolley! I did a story on this last year.  They have these fabulous 2 wheel push carts that you put all your gear in and wheel to the front.  Hello....why doesn't everybody have these?  I've included a pic.

The kids have a lesson and for the first time, are together, just the 2 of them and Laurie.  The Childrens Center has childcare and lessons for every kind of level/age.  They also have a deal that if you do 5 lessons, you get a free season pass!  Yea...free!  Anyway, Laurie greets us and is lovely.  Emily's face lights up as her instructer is a girl!  If your child prefers one over the other, let the ski school know.  They will accomodate you if they can.  All kids are different, but you want them to have a great day.  Brennan does well with whoever, but I always tell them "tough love" works best with him.  Laurie also does something I've never seen..she puts a trail map in both their pockets!  Now, I like that! I guess it makes sense since they are old enough to start learning trails and how to get down should they get lost.  Check...loving this.

Laurie takes a quick run on the beginner lift to see their ability and up the gondola they go.  My husband and I head up the gondola and take a run as well.  I call Laurie to catch her on the trail.  I'm going to explain the video you see...I got a new camera for Christmas, a Contour Roam.  When researching cameras, my husband felt this may be a better fit since I am "technically challenged" (come on , I still have a flip phone). It mounts on my helmet and with a slide of a lever, it's on.  Easy.  Since fumbling around with a still camera in my pocket, switching from stills to video....this is so much better.  One problem...the kids are too fast!  What!  Here they come...I'm getting the video, turn around....they're gone.  My husband has advice for me...ski faster.  Hello....I'm doing my best, I can't catch them.  So, in "enjoying" the video I've shot, Emily is in all pink, so she is easy to spot. 

Laurie is doing a few things in the video that are new to me.  She is behind the kids...  Normally an instructer is in front and the kids follow.  I asked her about that and she said she can watch what they're doing and correct any bad habits.  She said if they are learning, she's in front but since my kids listen when she says "stop" it is easy enough to stay behind.  She informs me they are good little skiers and she's had fun.  Yea!  Another thing you'll notice at the end of the video (if you make it that long without stopping for Dramamine) is she balls up some snow at the end for Bren.  The reason....she wants him to hold it in his hands out front to pull his weight forward!  Clever!  Kids tend to lean back when skiing which is a bad habit and form.  Since Em uses poles, she is having her "hold the lunch tray" which pulls her hands out front as well. She also told me they offer family lessons...hmmm, never heard of that before, could be fun.

A 2 hour lesson and kids are hungry.  Laurie told us we could meet wherever, so we decide on the top of the gondola at Needles Lodge.  You'd be hard pressed to get a better view anywhere!!  The food is good, the atmosphere is awesome and the bathrooms...check them out.  I'm not kidding...nicest!  I know, sounds funny but you'll know what I mean if you visit.

We eat and take a few more runs with the kids, again...far away video from me.....you laugh, wait till your kids are faster :)  Another problem we now have...we wake up every morning of our break and Emily says "Can we go to Snowbasin today?"  Yipes, we'll be back..reasons:

1. Great  views

2.  Wide runs for good turns for the kids

3. Long runs

4. Lot of terrain

5. Ease of access and drop off/parking

6. Low key feel


Couple upcoming items:  Emily taking a few runs with ski teams (gulp), I'm doing a Women on Wednesday class at Deer Valley (gulp gulp) and we'll be doing a bit of snowshoeing.  Emily is in need of a new helmet so if you need any items, we always use  Ski' N See and there are deals!