Monday, January 30, 2012

Toddler Skiing for the First Time

One of the major highlights of our trip out to Utah last week was taking our 3 year old (almost 4), Caden skiing for the first time.  My husband, Casey and I love skiing and have high hopes of passing the ski gene onto our kids.  We decided to go skiing at Canyons in Park City because we had heard their instructors were top notch and it was a family friendly resort.

|Caden going up the "magic carpet" with his instructor|

|Caden visiting with his instructor about how to point his feet|

When I was checking out which resort we wanted to go to, my main goal was to make sure Caden had a good experience.  I didn't want him to be overextended, or pushed too hard.  I wanted to make sure we created a great experience for him so that he'd want to go skiing again soon.  When Canyons told me that they have a one-hour lesson with a private instructor for 3 year olds, I was sold.  An hour was a perfect amount of time to give him a taste.  The rest of the day, he hung out with ski bums in the childcare center.  And by hung out, I mean they took a lift up the mountain and went for a snow hike.  Those childcare workers were the best.  I picked Caden up a little early and they sent us with a snack so Caden wouldn't get hungry.

Here's a little clip of Caden's lesson. His instructor had no idea that I was watching them and listen to how much he is cheering for Caden. He was so energetic and lively- so he was the best too.


By the end of the day, Caden was ready to go skiing again.  He was obsessed with his goggles and really wanted to give them a little more love.  He was so, so tired and I told him we would go skiing another day.  I was able to talk to his instructor and get a few pointers for skiing at this age.

  • It's all about fun at this age.

  • Don't let your child lean back on you when you ski.

  • If they are going to ski in front of you, hold your poles parallel to the ground against their legs.  Apply pressure to their legs when you want them to steer.  Go right (apply pressure to left leg), etc. (see the video above to see how the instructor does this).

  • Don't be caught up on form, or stopping even.  It's all about FUN, FUN, FUN and getting them on the slopes at this age.

|Casey enjoying the mountain|

While Caden was doing his thing, Casey and I were given a tour of the resort by Joe Johnson.  Joe was just our type of guy-- laid back and ready to tear up the mountain. He's a great skier and tour guide as he spent most of the morning patiently waiting for me at the bottom of the ski hills. We had never been to Canyons before and had honestly written it off  because the resort on the "wrong" side of the mountain and doesn't typically get as much snow as some of the other resorts.  Plus, we assumed it's a lot more touristy and a little more spendy because of it's location in Park City.  When we went to the resort, we were amazed!  I was bummed that we hadn't ever given the resort a chance.  It's beautiful and has a lot to offer.  There are 182 trails in this resort, which is unreal!  (As a comparison, the other resorts we frequent have 60-120 runs).  We really wanted to explore the entire mountain, but quickly found that would be impossible to do in one day.  They also have a lift called the Orange Bubble that has heated seats and a wind blocker.  That lift was a definite favorite.  I was a little worried that the resort would be packed with Sundance going on during our visit, but it was perfect.  There were no lines at the lifts and skiing down the mountain was a dream- it was almost like I had the place to myself.  As far as the snow, they have several reservoirs at the resort that feed the snow making machines.  So even if they don't get as much actual snow as other resorts, they are awesome at making their own.  They also have top notch groomers-- which can make all the difference in the world!

|Burger at Red Tail Grill|

Another thing they have is great food.  They have all different types of restaurants on the mountain-- including a farm fresh and a kosher restaurant.  It's tradition for me to eat a big fat juicy burger when skiing and the Red Tail Grill didn't let me down.

I told you Caden loves those goggles.  So cute! And this was Caden within 2 minutes of driving away from the resort.

Tuckered out, I tell you!  We had an amazing experience skiing the Canyons and we're looking forward to doing it again soon!

|disclaimer: Canyons Resort treated my family to a day of skiing.  They didn't ask for anything in return, but since we had an awesome experience, I wanted to share it with you.  They have a great resort and a great team.  Thanks for the incredible memories!|

1 comment:

Hilary Fuller said...

Love the thought of kiddos learning to ski. I remember learning with Justin Burkey in Iowa, ha! And of course skiing with you in Colorado... you probably remember how bad of a skiier I was/ still am. Go Caden!

And I love the bangs!