This was the first winter skiing for my sons, ages 4 and 7 (well.. the older one skied *once* when he was in kindergarten). We took a leap of faith and got them season passes to the local ski area (in part because it *was* pretty darned cheap). There's also a good "gear and grow" program at one of the local ski shops for kids' gear.
I took them up for the first time in November when the ski area first opened. There was only 1 (green) run open at that time... The night before, we put on all the gear on a blanket on the living room floor, and I showed them how to position their legs to snowplow, how if the ski was up on edge, it would dig into the snow and slow them down or stop them. That day, we rode up, and I snowplowed down with Z (the 4 yr old) between my legs. There was some frustration from T, the 7 yr old, but within 30 yards, he had it (I was teaching him from the memory of what I learned in my first ski lesson at the same age). We skied a few more hours that way, with Z between my legs and T gaining confidence.
Z took a little longer to learn (and some work on the Magic Carpet lift), but within a a couple of trips up, he had it. My husband and I also have a 2 year old (3 in April!), so we have alternated taking them up (and we've also gone solo or had grandma care to go kidless together). I think they've been around 10 times this year, and they LOVE it. Their turns and stops are great, and they have more and more confidence.
Yesterday, we did a warm-up on a green run, and then we did all blue runs. Dh took them today, and apparently, they did the rest of the blue runs at our ski area (and were able to ride the remaining 2 lifts, because there are some easy blue routes there and back). They are on their way home and want to tell me all about it!
I'm just super thrilled and super impressed at how far they've come in one winter of skiing (especially my 4 yr old). They have worked hard (and Z always falls asleep on the way home, because he's always zonked). I'm looking forward to next year, too. I'd like T to get a formal lesson and start learning to ski parallel, and I will be spending some Magic Carpet time with L, who will be 3 by then.
BLC 21 Powerful Prism Panthers team!
Run a beautiful race.
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. " --Steve Prefontaine
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