Friday, February 24, 2012
Laying First Tracks
Alyeska, a ski resort, about a 45 minute drive from Anchorage is home to some of the worlds best groomed alpine ski trails. While many adults like to go there to test their limits, it is a great place for the littlest of skiers. Rentals for toddlers are just $10 and the magic carpet, a glorified conveyor belt/ski lift is FREE. For the older kids they offer a wide range of lessons for different ability levels and host many clinics, camps and a racing program. The only beef I have with them is it is really difficult to reach the ski school by phone or email. They do have some info listed on their website, but it seems best to just go there and ask them questions in person.
Our Little Bear took his first runs on real skis at Alyeska this winter. It was a great success, if success is measured by the fact that he had fun, wanted to go down over and over and wants to do it again. His Bop (my husband) focused on it being fun, relaxed & they took warm up breaks for cocoa & cookies. There were some crazy over zelous parents there with toddlers screaming "No" as they went down and their parents giving them directions they couldn't yet understand. Having too high of expectations and not taking ample breaks is no way to instill a love for the sport. If he wasn't into it we were not going to push it. We were prepared to only last 15 minutes for the first time but were there for an hour and a half and just as long the subsequent times. He now knows the routine is pizza at Chair 5 after.
A safety tip - if parents wear their helmets kids will too. Start right away. Our little guy has seen us wear helmets while biking, skiing, and playing hockey from day one. He thinks they are just part of the equation and actually believes they are pretty awesome. He was as excited about getting a new helmet for Christmas as he was his hockey skates, maybe even more.
Now is the perfect time to get a little one started skiing. With the longer days and the temps so much warmer then they have been, you don't need to suffocate them with tons of gear just to stay warm.