The Washington State ski resorts all opened the week of Turkey Day. Well, partially opened. Mt. Baker is the only resort with all runs open. Stevens Pass currently has four lifts open and the family headed that way yesterday.
This was our first ski (day) trip with Will and absolutely requires more preparation time compared to pre-Will days. Besides all our gear:
- helmet and goggles
- ski jackets and pants
- change of clothes
- water bottles
- sandwiches for lunch
Now add Will’s gear:
- skies, poles and boots (thanks Todd and Suzanne)
- ski jacket
- ski bib
- extra ski clothes
- extra socks
- blanket (for sleeping in the car)
- breakfast food
- snack food and water
- extra clothes
- books and toys (for the car ride)
We had about 6 bags of stuff, the car was nearly full for a simple road trip. I couldn’t believe the mound of gear required. Good thing we didn’t bring the dog.
One good call, we carried him straight from sleeping in his bed to directly into the car seat. Wrapped in his blanket, he was toasty warm well before the car heated up as we headed to Steven’s Pass. Once arrived, we simply put on his hat, jacket and boots and carried him to the ski school. Changed into his ski gear after check in. Later in the day we picked up a brilliant tip, let him sleep the night before in his long johns so once on the slope just pull on the ski bib and heavy shirt.
I gotta give a shout out to the ski school staff. They were absolutely fantastic. So friendly and helpful. They really went out of their way to help make the day successful for Will and us.
Since Stevens hadn’t received any new snow in several days, only four lifts were open and it was Sunday after Turkey day, the crowds were non existent. We signed Will up for the all day 3-4 year old group lesson and there were only two other students with two instructors. Basically, a private, all day lesson. It’s mix of time on the snow, go play inside then back outside and repeat several times until lunch then 3pm.
The way the lesson works depends upon the individual student. Depending how he reacts to the lesson and environment (the cold) drives how much time he spends on the snow. We thought Will would likely go outside a few times but be done with skiing about lunch time and choose to spend more time inside watching videos and playing with toys. Wrong! The lesson went from 9-3 and he LOVED it. The ski school leader said he was the most enthusiastic 4 year old she had ever seen. (I think we’ll be returning very soon) He definitely spent more time, than we did, on the snow.
Here is a short video from his first session on the snow (about 10am)
Then compare to this video from the last session on the snow, about 2:30. No instructor required. Sadly, you can’t hear him but before he heads down the hill he counts down,
“4, 3, 2, 1 !”
Very lucky with the weather, no wind and warm sunshine. Minus some ice, a great first day of the new ski year.