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Tips for adults skiing with little kids

water.rat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
In case someone didn't already mention... our handiest ski accessory when the kids were young was a storage tub of extra everything: coats, pants, socks, mitts, googles, etc. Both for days when someone got soaked, or lost a mitt, but also when someone wasn't paying attention at mom's drill sargent like pre-departure check list (how do you end up at the hill without socks! for crying out loud??) The tub was stocked with either last year's gear that could do in a pinch or obtained second hand at nominal cost. Saved both my kids or their friends from a miserable day on more than one occasion.
For our young daredevils whose preferred method was parallel skis straight down the fall line, a day on a harness following in tracks worked. Bribery in the form of rewards for demonstrating turns also helped.
For more timid children, we put them in lessons to get them parallel asap. My ski instructor friend was adamant that it is much easier to teach youngsters good habits out of the gate than it is to train bad habits out of them later. She cringed anytime she saw a tyke following someone down a black diamond in a hard snowplow, sitting in the back seat.
My final advice is: enjoy the young years. As a friend once quipped: You spend years teaching your kids to ski... going slow... cleaning up yard sales. Finally, one day, they ski as good as you! The next day, they ski better and you never see them again (except at lunch). So have fun, take lots of pictures, and make good memories.
 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
My ski instructor friend was adamant that it is much easier to teach youngsters good habits out of the gate than it is to train bad habits out of them later. She cringed anytime she saw a tyke following someone down a black diamond in a hard snowplow, sitting in the back seat.

Trying to convince my kids that lessons are an investment I am making in their future knees is just such a hill to climb.
 

water.rat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I find it useful to have at least 2 adults per child. We ski with my niece (2 1/2) and nephew (4 1/2) almost every weekend. It's my nephew's 3rd season and niece's first. My nephew loves skiing with my husband and me. He always wants one of us to be the "leader" and we are willing to take him to new trails. The other one will follow him to help pick him up after any falls. We even took him to a terrain park to help him with balance (just don't tell his mom and dad)! Only do this if you're within an hour of when the lifts open, because most of the teenage snowboarders will still be asleep and they can't run over small children. We've found that this has helped him a lot in rougher terrain.. ungroomed, slushy, skied off, gouged out, etc.

We also find that bribing works well too... french fries for french fries. :eyebrows: And there is always a giant snack bag (packed by grandma and grandpa) filled with junk food, so that skiing will always be a good experience!
2 adults is best for sure... but there can be multiple children between the 2 adults. Another mom and I used to take turns being the "engine" and the "caboose" with our younger kids in a train following the engine down the hill. The caboose's job was to clean up yard sales. The engine stopped at every major turn or rise to make sure the whole gang was still together. Someone else mentioned having that rule and it is a great safety net.
 

water.rat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Trying to convince my kids that lessons are an investment I am making in their future knees is just such a hill to climb.
Not sure how old your kids are. Maybe old enough to watch a fun skiing video together and then watch some footage of themselves. My guess is a child who is old enough would see the difference right away.
 

Sheena

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Trying to convince my kids that lessons are an investment I am making in their future knees is just such a hill to climb.
Is there a multi-week ski program where you ski? My kids are enrolled in a program where they meet with the same coach and team every saturday. They love it, have learned to be BEAUTIFUL technical skiers, and look forward to going every week (well most of the time, aside form a few grumpy mornings)
 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
Is there a multi-week ski program where you ski? My kids are enrolled in a program where they meet with the same coach and team every saturday. They love it, have learned to be BEAUTIFUL technical skiers, and look forward to going every week (well most of the time, aside form a few grumpy mornings)
There is not… at our local hill we have to do private lessons if we are not never evers. That being said, their ski buddy is a more advanced skier who definitely wedges down a black diamond, so all three need work on their parallel skills, and we can get the three together into a two hour group lesson that should fit the bill. When they’ve all been through the lesson together (12,10,9), they will all give each other the business … ;)
 

teleskichica

Certified Ski Diva
@water.rat that is an excellent suggestion! And as they grow older that spare equipment can be shared with friends that might want to try out skiing.

I was usually alone with the kids and it can be tricky keeping track of kids especially when they have different skill levels or seek different terrain. Daughter was always seeking "powduh" and son wanted green groomers. We had a voice call/sound that we made up to call to each other that was more defined than "Mom" and useful for identifying each other in non-emergent situations on the slopes, in the lodge, bathroom, parking lot, etc. My daughter still uses it when we go grocery shopping and lose each other in the aisles.

Give each kid a whistle attached to their ski coat. If they fall into danger, they can whistle to let you (or others) know there is real concern.

Teach kids how to cross their poles to use as a platform to lift out of deep snow if they fall down. This one is hard because being stuck in deep snow is so so frustrating they will want to give up but it is really important. My kids both say they were furious at me the first time I didn't just pick them up out of the snow and only talked them through it but forever grateful because they know how to help themselves recover instead of panicking or sinking deeper.

I also let them choose what we were going to have for sack lunch and a favorite food treat for the ride home.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
My final advice is: enjoy the young years. As a friend once quipped: You spend years teaching your kids to ski... going slow... cleaning up yard sales. Finally, one day, they ski as good as you! The next day, they ski better and you never see them again (except at lunch). So have fun, take lots of pictures, and make good memories.
+1. So true!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Trying to convince my kids that lessons are an investment I am making in their future knees is just such a hill to climb.
I required my daughter and any kids who were part of our holiday weekend trips to do at least a group lesson during the first skiing of the season. Usually that was at our home hill. Same requirement at the start of a spring break trip to Alta. Didn't matter if the kid was an advanced beginner or advanced. If they preferred full-day ski school, that was fine.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I had the advantage of starting my daughter at a small hill. She was 4 and I was an intermediate. Helped a lot that she learned how to load the chairlift during her first ski school day as a never-ever. Took me the rest of the season to get comfortable with the process for getting her and myself loaded onto the beginner chair. We only skied about 10 days that season.

By the time she was a tween, she was a solid intermediate. It was nice to have a home hill that was small enough to allow her and a friend to ski without an adult. Not having any tree terrain or deep powder meant much less to worry about. Also there is only one base lodge so meeting up at pre-specified times was pretty simple. That was long enough ago that few tweens had a smart phone. I had her use a demand flip-phone for texting specifically for ski trips for a few years.
 

alr

Certified Ski Diva
When the kids are a little older, say 6 and up, have a backup plan for a time and place to meet if you get separated. Heard a story of a father who put $5 in his young son's pocket, with the instruction to go to the nearest place for hot chocolate if necessary. One time the father missed the son as they came down a run for some reason. After waiting a bit at the bottom of the run, went in to find the boy happily working on his second cup.

Before we decided it was worth adding a cell phone to our family plan for our daughter, I went ahead and got one that could be turned on for a few days. Then if we were on a ski trip, she could have a phone. Also the reason I started texting. Works much better than voice mail on a ski hill.
I’m on the verge of passing along my Apple Watch with cellular to my 9yo just in case rather than doing a phone so I can track him and text/talk. Just need to get myself a new one for this to happen…
 

floatingyardsale

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Trying to convince my kids that lessons are an investment I am making in their future knees is just such a hill to climb.

I'm there with my 5yo, who has decent turns in a very slight wedge unless she is tired or ornery. She's quite strong for her size and more than happy to wedge down the fall line when it's too much mental effort to turn, and she informed me today that "the point of skiing is to go fast, so why turn?":decision:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
:bump:

There is a new product that can make it easier for kids who are walking in their ski boots from the parking lot or around a large base area to carry their skis and poles. There is a version for snowboards too.

The company is called Pure Mountain Fun. The Ski Pack was inspired by an idea by a couple 10-year-olds. The founder had a booth at Snowbound Expo in Boston last November. I got an adult version but haven't really used it yet. It feels good on my back with skis and poles in it.


@liquidfeet found a video about The Ski Pack by SkiMoms. They were at Snowbound too. There is a discount code SKIMOMS2022 that could be good for a 20% discount.

 

xxs_skier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
:bump:

There is a new product that can make it easier for kids who are walking in their ski boots from the parking lot or around a large base area to carry their skis and poles. There is a version for snowboards too.

The company is called Pure Mountain Fun. The Ski Pack was inspired by an idea by a couple 10-year-olds. The founder had a booth at Snowbound Expo in Boston last November. I got an adult version but haven't really used it yet. It feels good on my back with skis and poles in it.


@liquidfeet found a video about The Ski Pack by SkiMoms. They were at Snowbound too. There is a discount code SKIMOMS2022 that could be good for a 20% discount.

Oooh...this looks so cool! Thanks for sharing.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Oooh...this looks so cool! Thanks for sharing.
I used the adult size Ski Pack at Taos last week. It was very useful. One day I stuffed it into an outside jacket pocket. Most days I was leaving other stuff in a free cubby close to the main base so I just left the Ski Pack there.

Even though I'm petite and their are plenty of tweens who are taller than I am, it was good to have the adult version so that there was plenty of space for my adult bindings.

The walk from the parking lot or the slopeside lodging I stayed at for part of the week only takes about 5 minutes at most. However, any walk carrying skis at 9000 ft is an effort for someone who flies from the flatlands. For the days I booted up in the locker room, I used the Ski Pack to make the walk to the racks before I carried by boot backpack.
 

xxs_skier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I used the adult size Ski Pack at Taos last week. It was very useful. One day I stuffed it into an outside jacket pocket. Most days I was leaving other stuff in a free cubby close to the main base so I just left the Ski Pack there.

Even though I'm petite and their are plenty of tweens who are taller than I am, it was good to have the adult version so that there was plenty of space for my adult bindings.

The walk from the parking lot or the slopeside lodging I stayed at for part of the week only takes about 5 minutes at most. However, any walk carrying skis at 9000 ft is an effort for someone who flies from the flatlands. For the days I booted up in the locker room, I used the Ski Pack to make the walk to the racks before I carried by boot backpack.
Can you only fit one pair of skis in the pack? I'm sure my daughter will carry the pack, my son is hit or miss depending on his mood It's a miracle we even get on the hill sometimes.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Can you only fit one pair of skis in the pack? I'm sure my daughter will carry the pack, my son is hit or miss depending on his mood It's a miracle we even get on the hill sometimes.
The Ski Pack is designed as a backpack for one pair of skis. Possible to put in poles as well, although not necessary.

For a 6yo, I used to given them the choice of carrying their boots or a bunch of poles. I would carry more than one pair of skis. We always booted up at the lodge at our home hill.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@marzNC, you started this thread 10 years ago about your friend’s young kids! How are they doing these days? Still skiing?
The older brother, AY (A6 in Post #5), is a ski nut, as is his mother. He's 16 this winter. She started to learn to ski when the kids did ski school at Massanutten when they were ages 4 and 6. She started doing a spring trip to Alta Lodge . . . without children . . . a few years ago. Her non-skiing husband cooks a lot more than my non-skiing husband. :smile:

AY was skiing black terrain at Alta by age 10 with ski instructors, or me and Bill. AY was skiing double-black hike-to terrain at age 14 at Taos. He was in a Private Ski Week with my ski buddies who are willing to hike the Ridge during a morning lesson. Like my daughter (started at age 4), he learned more than enough at Massanutten in northern VA over holiday weekends from instructors to ski blues at Alta during his first spring break trip as a tween.

As for AY's younger sister, she can ski whatever blues or easy black terrain that she wants to. However, she's much more into advanced horseback riding than moving beyond being an intermediate on skis. She's a social skier happy to cruise groomers but hasn't been lobbying for ski trips in general.

In April 2022 AY enjoyed a spring break trip with me and Bill to SLC. We stayed in a house in the city and mostly skied Alta, but also checked out Powder Mountain. He's joining us to ski Bridger in March 2023, and finishing up that trip with a few days skiing around SLC. He flies on his own as needed. The bonus is that my NC friend who is a father of two adult daughters is also a part of this "crew" so the two of them will fly back to RDU together, as they did last year.

In recent years, another friend's daughter has been doing holiday weekend ski trips to Massanutten. Like AY, she's a natural skier. She started as a tween and is 13 now. She's mostly been skiing with me and C-DC, who is also a timeshare owner at Massanutten. Her mother skied in the midwest as a kid before moving to NC, but hasn't been on the slopes for a while due to bad knees.

Last MLK weekend, my daughter (working at first job after college) was able to join us at Massanutten for a couple days. She hadn't been skiing at our home hill after elementary school. She gets an April 2023 ski trip to Alta this season.
 

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