With winter firmly settled over New England, many of my "down-country" pals (those not living in the mountains, within a few minutes drive of a substantial ski hill), that know of my time ski bummin' in Killington, have inquired about what they need to do and where they can go to get their young ones up on stick.
Number One question I get...When are they old enough to try skiing? Well, I must admit, I am probably not the right person to answer this question. First, I am not a trained ski instructor. Ski school and individual instructor opinions vary -- 2, 3, 4, 5 years old. Second, we spent a good long time living in the Adirondacks, and in the small town we called home, EVERY kid started around age two, so that's just what we did.
Don't get me wrong, when dealing with a two-year-old and skiing, one must set their expectations LOW. The primary goal should be to get them out, enjoying the winter wonderland and sliding around a bit (even if it's in your backyard). At the first whimper, take them inside for a hot cocoa (with plenty of mini-marshmallows) and a big cookie. Primary goal for these first ski days - FUN! You want them to want more!
The best advice I can offer is to follow your instincts. Ask yourself... Do they love winter? Are they relatively unfazed by the cold? Do they love sledding & snowball fights? Are they athletically inclined? You know your kid best.
So, after several lengthy (and enjoyable, I always like talking about skiing) phone conversations with said Mom friends about what their kids needed in the way of gear, I thought I'd posted the links to my good friend, the Outdoor Mom's, informative blog posts on gearing up the kids for some skiing fun.
Outdoor Mom: Getting Geared Up: Clothing: "The Challenge: keep the kids warm and dry so they can focus on fun in the snow. Throw in a seemingly irresistible urge to tear off the mitte..."
Outdoor Mom: Getting Geared Up: Skis and Ski Boots: "Knowing that ski season was soon upon us, I took the kids one rainy afternoon to see Erin Shedd at the Bretton Woods rental shop. Erin has ..."
|Outdoor Mom's 3-year old gets fitted for ski boots, while little bro' gets cute for the camera.|
|Pretty in pink and ready to make some tracks!|
FYI - Both our boys (5.5 & 3.5 years old) are now in weekly ski lessons at Blue Hills in Canton. It's conveniently located in the Boston metro area, the instructors are very capable, and the prices are reasonable. My boys will also get ski school whenever we get up to Killington, VT or Bretton Woods, NH (this coming weekend!).
Our goal for the '10-'11 season? To get their skiing to the point that they can ski blue trails with Mom & Dad for a few hours next season.