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Skiing with the Boys

Kano

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
This year, they're 5 and 7.

The Big Kid has been out once before this season, for a lesson. Litttle Dude, not yet. So Thursday evening, we picked them up right after school, and away we went. Little Dude was incredibly stoked. He's been looking forward to ski season for months, and here in Boise, it got a terribly late start!

We had a three grown up to two kid ratio, which turned out to be a really good thing. DH disappeared for a little while, he made his first run a "grown up run" while my daughter and I shepherded the two kids up the bunny hill chair for warm ups. They had specified two "coach" runs on the way up.

The Big Kid is FAST. Totally in control, making beautiful turns, but FAST. Stay with the group means nothing when the Little Dude is tooling along at Little Dude speed, remembering how he did things last season. When LD fell and his ski came off half way down the run, I went to tell 7. We stood around a bit, and I told him that we could continue to wait, or he and I could ride up together again, and do our second run without them. He chose to wait (it was to be his turn to ride with mom)

Second run, now we've got DH. LD wants to go the easy way, BK wants to go the not quite so easy way. DH and Mom went with BK. I went with LD. We're headed to the quad, on the way over to the "three person" chair, so we're going to need some good momentum at the bottom. His ski came off again, really close to the bottom, and yes, he fell.

DH didn't wait, yet again. BK is speedy on the flat, and I had to have him slow down a bit so that LD could catch up for the chair. Well, then we were going TOO slowly, doodling around or something, and missed the chair LD and mom went on.

LD, now in a more tentative mode, is going too slowly yet to even remotely keep up with BK. LD needs someone to follow to be happy when he's in this mode (methinks he didn't eat a good pre-ski meal on the way). He also needs someone skiing "clean up" to pick up his pieces and get him going again. (which saves the leader trekking up) BK wants to ski like he wants to ski.

a flash of brilliance since DH was missing, and BK couldn't have an adult: Okay, kiddo, here's the plan. See that clump of trees and the "up" next to them? You can go ahead to there, and wait for us to catch up, and then we'll pick a new spot. I want to be sure we can see where you are.

That kid skiied to there like a flash! I felt sad for him, having to wait for so blasted long for his brother, who will be more confident next time, I'm sure. When we got to BK, he and I set up a new point. During this part of the run, DH caught up, and took over BK. (Thank you dear, it's about time you changed the D)

LD's ski fell off yet again, twice that run. The first time, I said to him, you know what? I'm going to take your skis to the ski dudes and get those bindings checked. They're coming off way too easy! One of the times his bindings released, he was being a little silly on the run out to the lift line, and got a little criss-crossed, but it was still NOT a fall where he should have ejected.

Fortunately, DH stayed with the group from then on, and we had someone to ski with BK, so that BK could ski for real -- LD was losing confidence fast! It was sad to see this little guy who had been standing on top of his skis and in control early last season, doing that back seat in the pizza wedge thing so much of the evening.

(I hate back seat pizza wedge mode -- especially when I get myself stuck in it!)


So, testing indicated that the bindings were set WAY light on the heels, and I was amazed how much discussion it took to convince the guy to set them where they should have been in the first place! Things should be better tomorrow!
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Who's on first?

Okay, I got lost in the cast:
There's DH, you, and daughter, Big Kid and Little Dude: three grown ups and two kids. But later, you say . . .

We had a three grown up to two kid ratio . . . .
Second run, now we've got DH. LD wants to go the easy way, BK wants to go the not quite so easy way. DH and Mom (?) went with BK. I went with LD.

:confused: Isn't that three grown ups when you add "Mom"? Or is "daughter" also "Mom" and you are Grandmom? :noidea:
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
:confused: Isn't that three grown ups when you add "Mom"? Or is "daughter" also "Mom" and you are Grandmom? :noidea:
I think Mom = kids' mom, aka, Kano's grown daughter. The kids are Kano's grandkids.

But yes, by the time the skis came off the second time, I was thinking the DIN was not right. How frustrating for the little one!! Fingers (not skis) crossed for tomorrow. :smile:
 

Kano

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
yup, daughter and mom are one and the same -- my daughter, the boys' mom. Sorry I missed one when I realized I needed to get consistent!

Pequinita, that second pop out was when I started to get suspicious, but when it kept happening, and ESPECIALLY on the flats, well...

They're sleeping now, and I told him, when he arrived, that I'd taken the skis in yesterday and found out that yes, they really really needed fixing! He's excited about trying again in the morning, telling me we're going to Showcase a lot and was thrilled to put his own skis on top of the car all by himself, before bed...

I told them they could sleep a couple extra minutes if they do jobs like that tonight instead of waiting til morning. They liked that! They're also pretty good about carrying their own stuff from the car to the lodge, AND putting their own stuff on, since if they slow their grown ups down, they don't get to play as soon!

We'll have to talk about "do we want to go on the brand new four person chair lift before we go home" on the way up -- and we'll need the camera along for that!
 

Sami

Certified Ski Diva
#5
My four-year-old daughter's skis were also popping off too easily-- in the lift line, while skiing. My husband used a car key mid-slope (out of the way) to change the setting from about 0 to a 1. No more problems.
Sounds like you need to split up your kids. Each kid needs an assigned grownup-- send the bigger kid off with someone to do faster/harder skiing and dedicate some time to getting the smaller one back on his skills. Remind him to put his hands on his knees if he's leaning backward. My six year is much faster than his four year old sister, so we do a combination of skiing all together or splitting up-- one of us will take him off on blacks or harder blues while the other skis greens or easy blues with the little one. We meet often and switch adults so we can have some fun skiing fast with the bigger kid. But it's important to let them ski their ability levels-- bored kids will get cranky (or veer off in to the trees because he's bored and get yelled at by ski patrol-- that's my son), scared or tired, over-their-heads kids will give up and cry (or lie down on the mountain like a wet, heavy noodle- my daughter's strategy). Either way, it makes a fun day get miserable really fast.
But when it's great, it's amazing!
 

gardenmary

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
I skied out of my bindings on an intermediate run at Snowbasin that was kind of icy...after the third time I figured something must be up. Got safely to the base and took the skis into the shop, where the tech said "where'd you ski out of them?" "On Strawberry, Main Street run." "Well, your DIN is set to beginner level so that's your problem. You're not a beginner if you're skiing on Strawberry." He reset the DIN, I think it's about 5.5 or 6 now.

I was so concentrated on my technique that I never thought about the gear. Lesson learned!
 

Kano

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
I agree that having plenty of adults for the kids helps -- I like a three grown ups to two kids ratio, we have one grown up each kid and one to do clean up at the back of the line. (nice not to have to trek up hill to pick up kid/skis, etc.)

We took the kids up again yesterday, after getting the bindings fixed, and Rion (Little Dude) had a WOOHOO! day of fun and firsts. He's stubborn about doing all the "stay out of the back seat things" that we remind him of, possibly cuz we're reminding him, or possibly because he's having fun! He had a busy day planned for himself, starting with three bunny hill runs to "warm up." While on those three, he practiced getting off the chair with no grown up intervention, AND getting on without help too (firsts numbers one and two). That's the only one that's slow and low enough for him to do that yet, but that's okay.

Then, because big brother was going to have to get to class, we had a run down "Bowl" which is a big, wide, black run -- it was SCARY watching him fly down it! He was making big traversing turns, and if my skis were bouncing around like his were, I'd have been curled up in the fetal position after one of those flights, but he was flying across, coming to a near stop at the end of each traverse, and turning back for the next one like it was the best thing ever.

Grandpa had to fly too, to keep up with Xander(BK), and get him to class. Rion and I caught up with Grampa at the base of the quad, where we went up to do Rion's next pre-planned run. He started telling me Saturday evening that he was looking forward to skiing on Showcase, and he was telling me yesterday that he wanted to follow someone fast. And was disappointed that it was going to have to be Grandpa, cuz "he's not as fast as Xander!" Turned out that Grandpa is plenty fast...

Grandpa then suggested a run Rion hasn't been on before, and Rion's a little worried about things he hasn't done before, but it turned out just fine, aside from the sit down to slow himself fall at one point on the hill. Nerves about the next NEW thing to try were steadied when Grandpa reminded him that this run had gone really well, and we took some cat track and a couple of short new-to-Rion runs to the shiny new high speed quad that none of the family had been on yet on the back side of the mountain, with bringing him right back along the cat track on top in OUR minds. Rion had other plans: Let's go to NUGGET! He likes Nugget, he said. We did that once last season, and he remembered.

That done, he wanted to do it again, but we were going to have to get back to meet his brother, so he agreed to head back to the front side. Following Grandpa off the cat track for a bit landed him in a pickle: he got stuck in some branches. DH extricating him was the funniest thing I've watched in I don't know how long! Still, he was in good humor, and despite the final resolution being to pop the skis off and climb back to "civilization," he was cool. By then, though, DH had to scramble back to the meeting grounds to get Xander!

Rion and I got to a real run, at last, and skiied down a ways, where he stopped and said, I know where we are -- then he watched for traffic to clear, and merged in smooth as could be!

When we met Grandpa and Xander, there was discussion about what to do next, but it was decided that we were done, probably excellent timing, before anyone got cranky!

All in all, Rion's form was not really all that good yesterday, but it was fun to see him feeling confident and enjoying himself! Xander's looking pretty good on his skis, what little time we spent with him in the daylight -- but then, he's such a flash going by, it can be hard to tell! (Xander's LEAST favorite part of skiing? Waiting for people to catch up, and waiting in line!)

We talked about the "sitting on the tails" thing, and Rion said he NEEDS to do that, so he can go fast! We're still working on it, and his lessons start Wednesday, so he'll work on it more there too, with people who know what they're talking about, not grandparents who don't know anything!
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
Ah, yes, I remember those days! :bounce:
 

dawnRwright

Diva in Training
#9
skiing is really a great way for family bonding... just had my last year.. looking forward for a ski family bonding this year...
 

MaryLou

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
Definately need lessons to learn tricks to stay out of backseat. Saying it does nothing (btdt lol)...but instructors have games/drills that keep them out of backseat but kid doesn't realize it lol. Good to get from instructor what the drills are so you can use them after the lesson.

Just wait..need to be strong as your kids just get faster and faster. My 6yo is on his 5th season on skis, he keeps up with Mom and Dad and now flies down side of trails hitting jumps, snaking around stuff, following him I sometimes have my heart in my throat. But he also has amazing control and I have to remember he has the skills...but it's still hard.

Being a skiing family is fabulous!!
 

Kano

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
Poor Rion -- lesson scheduling snafu, so no lesson today! And worse, or better, or something, I had my snowboard along instead of my skis. I had planned on practicing while he was in class. SO, he and I spent a couple of hours on the magic carpet. I told him it was okay if he went down and up on his own, since I could see him, and he was being my cheerleader while I worked on basics like standing up!

At one point, he was heading up the carpet again, and hollering, "Gramma! You're DOING IT!" and shortly after that, he started hinting about going up the chair lift, because he can get on that one and off it without my help now....

We didn't do it. I would have had I been alone, but I really didn't want to get to a place where he could get out of sight, since I couldn't have kept up with him yet. His wistful gaze at the chairs was adorable though!

Our morning wasn't what we'd planned, but it WAS fun, and with light snow falling, our only real regret was the need to drive back down the hill so that he could go to school and I could get to work this afternoon!

On the agenda come morning? Straighten out that lesson scheduling mess! (and he wanted to go skiing again tomorrow evening. I haven't been able to get an answer/commitment from the other grown ups in that equation, so have no idea whether or not that's happening!)
 

Kano

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
We've been out a few more times and Rion has more new skills in his repertoire. He INSISTS on getting onto each and every chair himself, off too. (scared mom a bit the first time he hopped onto the quad -- landed with his butt barely on the seat! He didn't make that "mistake" again) And he thinks giving the lifties chocolate is a delightful privilege!

He took his mom on a run down "Bowl" -- one that he's gone flying back and forth on his way down in the past -- and they had a chat about skiing down the hill, taking a tighter line, to not hog the whole hill, leaving room for other people. The explanation was just the thing apparently, and he stopped the wild traversing stuff.

He loves his brother's favorite bump trail, which is really a crazy bumped out cat track-like area. DH named it "Bump Trail X" after the first time he went on it with big brother Xander last year. Grampa told Rion that no one was going to help him if he was going to have to climb to get to the trail, figuring that Rion was going to be staying on the flats.

That's not what happened. First try, Rion had to climb. Grampa and Xander didn't like the wait, but he was climbing, and they waited. (they said they wouldn't help, not that they wouldn't wait. Sticking together is an important rule) Later, he followed his brother better, and found a higher route to the bump trail.

Grampa found another cool run to take them on after lunch. He takes a line that goes up and over a good sized rise, and Xander zoomed right up and over. Rion got stuck half way up. His mom stayed with him, trying to convince him that going the way Gramma went was a really good idea. I waited a LONG time, just the other side of the rise, but then went to catch up with the rest of the family, waiting at the lift. Told them Rion was insistent that he could do what Grampa and Xander did, and that the boys' mom was probably cursing her father...

(She told us he was determined that he could go there, even though he slid half-way back down, and had to climb up twice to get over that crest. She said eventually he took the skis off and carried them. He did it ALL BY HIMSELF, with pride, not complaints.)

DH went hunting, and eventually, Rion and his mom came round the bend. We all went up, expecting Grampa to catch up by the time we were about halfway down. Xander wanted to show Rion and their mom "Bump Trail G," (for grampa) which is a wide open mogul field. The bumps were pretty good sized and fairly firm, with a nice coating of fresh on top, and Rion hit the first one, flipped onto his back and slid over two of them. A normal person would have run screaming back to flatter snow, but he just hopped back on top of his skis, and did what his brother said: go around 'em, Rion!


This timid, hesitant little boy blossoms on his skis. He'll try anything. He is very good at planning a run, even a series of them. "we'll go down this, and meet at the three person chair. Mom and Xander and I will ride together, Gramma and Grampa, you go on the next one. Tim and Alicia can be on the one right after that. When we get to the top of that, we'll go to War Eagle, and down to the new four-person chair." His ONLY complaint on Monday was that the rest of the family was done skiing before he was!

Their dad is taking them this weekend and the boys are VERY excited. He's been out with his older son only a couple of times in the last few years. Alex is in for one heckuva surprise, despite the information that my daughter has shared. This is not the Rion he's used to. (Xander's not going to surprise him -- he's come a long way too, but there's no surprise here)

Their mom and I are bundles of nerves! (I'll be keeping my eyes open looking for them when we're skiing this weekend -- just in case!)
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
We took the kids up again yesterday, after getting the bindings fixed, and Rion (Little Dude) had a WOOHOO! day of fun and firsts. He's stubborn about doing all the "stay out of the back seat things" that we remind him of, possibly cuz we're reminding him, or possibly because he's having fun!
I just reread this thread - I probably wouldn't have realized I was rereading it except that I noticed I made a comment, so I must have read it before! :embarrassed: - and noticed this remark. I checked Rion's age and realized that he probably isn't just being "stubborn" at all! At the age of five, his body hasn't caught up with his head size yet.

Until about eight the head is disproportionately large and this makes the "back seat driver" thing difficult to erase from a kid's repertoire. If you have him wrap his arm around his head (over the top), I'll bet he can't reach the opposite ear. (Have Xander try it too and see the difference, though it isn't until after eight that they really get more "adult" sized heads) Once he reaches eight, you may find his "stubborness" disappears and either you or an instructor will have much better luck getting him out of the back seat!
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Either way, enjoy the young days! They pass too quickly. My DS (now 15) outskis me everytime. Fortunately, he doesn't mind waiting for me and the family time is priceless. I make a point of enjoying every minute. Someday, I hope to ski with my grandkids!
 

Kano

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
Either way, enjoy the young days! They pass too quickly. My DS (now 15) outskis me everytime. Fortunately, he doesn't mind waiting for me and the family time is priceless. I make a point of enjoying every minute. Someday, I hope to ski with my grandkids!
Ain't it the truth! It's a fabulous family activity -- everyone gets so happy out there!
 

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