Kids

Kids on SkisWedge your kid’s feet into ski boots, lock them onto a pair of skis, and, sooner or sometime in the near future, a hoary joke will become a reality.

Here’s how it happened in the Gordon family: We were on a ski holiday, enjoying the snow-clad, soaring mountains at Colorado’s Steamboat Springs. A powerful, short storm swept across the area one day, dumping more than a foot of powdery snow. The next morning we were up early, hustling to catch the first lifts, dazzled by the thought of hitting snow that the plows were quickly packing down on all but the black and doubleblack pitches.

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One of the blessings today for new parents who ski is that almost all

resorts, from the small gems to the crown jewels, have excellent facilities to baby-sit infants as young as three months. Quite an improvement over what we encountered when we wanted to take our infant twins skiing in the late 1970s.

At that

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Once your children are old enough to be out of cribs, ski resorts generally offer excellent day-care facilities, including well-equipped indoor play areas with toys, games, slides, and swings, and staffs trained in working with children.

The more progressive

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Here are some of the games we played on the slopes with Hilary and Rebecca before they actually took lessons. Their first ski boots were their own little hiking boots, and their skis were cheap plastic tie-ons:

Pull and catch: We helped the children get to the top of a small, easy slope. While Gail stood at the stop and pointed first

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This age level is time for the real world and real skis and a real decision for the majority of young ones. A decision by parents to have their child
learn to ski, even at this age, must be based on an important fact: The child must actually want to learn. One thing all ski experts agree on is the need to be patient and not push a child

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By the time your children reach the age of seven, the quality of their instructors is far more important than the size of the learning area or the indoor facilities. Now the kids meet with the ski school instructors at a designated outside area - almost always separate from where adults taking lessons meet.

Groupings

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It’s less effective for a child to learn skiing by taking an occasional lesson on a busy weekend than by spending a week in a ski school. Even eager adults can pick up only a smidgen of skiing techniques in an hour-and-a - half lesson with a harried instructor trying to give 10, or even more, rank beginners an idea of the skills required to cruise

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Ski schools generally start lessons about an hour after the lifts begin running. Classes typically end an hour or so before the lifts grind to a halt. Take advantage of these two open hours to be with your ski-schooler.

Togetherness in the morning provides a wonderful opportunity to admire your

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I’ve never met an instructor who wasn’t eager to tell parents how, and what, their young skiers were learning; to describe what the school expected of the kids in the class; and to offer individual suggestions for helping their young ones when skiing with them on the mountain.

While

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Look at this way: Olympic skiers and world-class racers have to be among the finest skiers on any slopes, at any place, at any time. Do they need, in
effect, lessons? Well, they always work with a coach. Or, to put it another way, they never stop taking lessons.

To maintain, or improve, our own skills,

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However, the fact that they did spend time in various ski schools did not eliminate what I feel keenly is the responsibility of all parents of kids on the mountain - the teaching of manners and safety.

We tried to instill in our daughters such habits as never stopping where other skiers couldn’t easily see them; not skiing, or stopping, too close to others; never deliberately schussing down the trail

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Renting

Unless you have the good fortune to possess a fortune, there’s no need to spend a fortune on skis, boots, and bindings for those fast-growing children, especially for total beginners or those who may ski only a few days each winter. So, let’s first talk rentals.

The first skis

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Whatever you buy for a child today will be too small next year.

There are several ways to reduce the credit card cramps that come from buying everything new each season:

If your children will ski only a few days each winter, keep on renting.

However, if skiing is definitely a family preoccupation, consider seasonal rentals.

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Because of these concerns, helmet manufacturers are now designing thinner helmets that more closely approximate the size of the head.

My opinion: Buy them, especially if your child is an aggressive skier or a racer. But buy the newest, thin models.

No parent needs to be reminded that youngsters must be warmly bundled against cold, wind, and snow. On the other hand, kids don’t have to be so swaddled in piles of winter clothing that they can’t even waddle, much less ski or frolic, in the out-of-doors.

So the proper way to dress a child for skiing is to recognize both factors. Dress her just enough to keep her comfortable. Overdressing

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For very cold and windy days, everyone appreciates an inner polypro felt or down vest, or wool sweater, worn over the turtleneck.

The cold-weather diet that helps maintain an adult’s body temperature also works for children. The greatest problem, especially at the breakfast table, is to keep the youngsters from overstuffing themselves with sugary foods and drinks. Sugar provides a strong burst of energy that quickly dis
sipates. In other words, kids will be a bundle

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Apres-ski boots: These are an important adjunct on a ski trip. The best are those that slip on quickly and are both warm and tolerably lightweight. Laceup boots are a foolish no-no for the very young.

Lightweight parka: This can replace the regular ski jacket on a two - piece suit on warm days. It’s also a fine substitute for a raincoat when the snow falls in round

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Disabled Competitions

Ski competitions for both standing and sitting skiers are held throughout the country and in Europe. Both Aspen Highlands and Mount Hood Meadows ski resorts…

Mountain Manners

in Kids
However, the fact that they did spend time in various ski schools did not eliminate what I feel keenly is the responsibility of all parents of kids on the…

Nonskiing Necessities

in Kids
Apres-ski boots: These are an important adjunct on a ski trip. The best are those that slip on quickly and are both warm and tolerably lightweight. Laceup…

CROSS-COUNTRY

The ancient grandfather of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, is alive, healthy, and more popular than at any time in his 4,000-year history. True, no longer…

Whistler/Blackcomb - Part 1

Put two great ski mountains side by side, each with more than 5,000 feet of vertical - the most in North America - and you’ve got the first hint of what it’s…

Who Pays the Piper?

If a skier runs into serious difficulty skiing beyond an area’s boundaries, someone will be along to help him. In the United States, this task usually falls to…