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Kid skiing alone

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

At what age can my kids ski alone.

I have a daughter that is 8 and a good skier. She can ski the Midwest Blacks if she stays off the moguls.

My 5 year old is starting this winter and I know that when He hits the bunny hill with me, my daughter will not want to stay on that run.  She can handle the lifts by herself and I can have her ski the run that feeds into the bunny hill so I can kind of keep my eye on her.  I'm concerned that if something happens (she falls and gets hurt, gets run over, etc.)  that she is not old enough to know what to do.  This is a small Milwaukee area hill so you cannot really get lost and she stays on the groomed runs.

I do plan on getting her some private lessons as she enjoys them and it gets her on the harder runs.  I'm also trying to get my wife to learn this year, so she can ski the bunny hill with my son!

 

Lastly, One of our babysitters likes to snowboard on the beginner or intermediate groomed trails, so I can pay for her to ski and they can ski together.  That is my out when I can do it.

 

So, at what age can your kid ski alone?

 

(Look at the picture, I let her put on her own lift ticket.  She never made that mistake again!)

 

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post #2 of 6

Bottom line: When you say she can.

 

Does she know what to do if she gets hurt or something else goes wrong?

Does she know where to meet you?

Does she know where first aid is in case she can't find you in the meeting place?

Does she know to go to ski patrol or someone else in a uniform if there's a problem?

Does she know to stay out of the woods if she's alone?

Does she know the ski area well (I'm guessing this is sort of moot if the whole place is 4-600ft of vertical and 6 runs).

Does she have a cell phone or a radio to keep in touch?

 

Better would be to ski with friends.

Keep in mind that if she's an "advanced" skier, she'll probably end up in a small group lesson even if it is a group lesson.

My kids have skied alone at times for years now. But they know the resort (a big one) really well, they know a lot of the staff, they have cell phones (radios before they had cell phones), they know where to go if there's a problem, and they aren't shy. They also have the ski patrol phone number programmed into their phones and know when to use the number. Oh, and they know the names of every run on the hill so they can pinpoint their location to me and to ski patrol if they have to call.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I like the idea of knowing the hill like the back of their hand. Cell no but radio yes. 

Good comments. Thanks. 

post #4 of 6


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post

 

Does she know what to do if she gets hurt or something else goes wrong?

Does she know where to meet you?

Does she know where first aid is in case she can't find you in the meeting place?

Does she know to go to ski patrol or someone else in a uniform if there's a problem?

Does she know to stay out of the woods if she's alone?

Does she know the ski area well (I'm guessing this is sort of moot if the whole place is 4-600ft of vertical and 6 runs).

Does she have a cell phone or a radio to keep in touch?

 

Better would be to ski with friends.


Sinecure:  I wanted to go through and cherry pic points from your list- but they were all great.  ^^^What he said.

 

My kids are pretty good skiers.  Occasionally the little two get to ski around JH if they promise to stay together.   I may be a bad parent, but I was letting Blaze (now 13) hike the Headwall alone towards the end of last season.

 

I prefer they take runs with shop guys/lifties/friends.  I can't count the times things have deviated from the norm- for me.  It makes me nervous when just one is out- it doesn't happen often.  Liberty goes out alone, but we will limit her to a single lift- Thunder usually- and corduroy.

 

Have her ski with somebody.  Congrats on having her on skis. 

 

post #5 of 6

This answer will be different for every kid, really. Skiing a Midwest hill and skiing Jackson Hole are so different, as well ... My thoughts are that if she takes a few runs on the run that feeds into your location, it's probably ok, if you've had a good long honest discussion about the what-if's mentioned above. I found that if I went through something in detail like that (what if you get hurt, what if you get lost, what if you get lonely), sometimes the desired activity lost its lustre. But not always -- if she still really wants to do it, and you think she understands exactly what she's doing, I don't see why she shouldn't take a few runs alone. Not all day, not on the other side of the hill, and not without a cell or radio (ie, not without the ability to touch base with you easily) -- not at first anyway. I let my daughter go at 8, but she was with an older brother or her cousins. 

 

It's funny, I was trying to remember what we did in that situation, since my kids are 3 years apart, too. We did have them in lessons quite a bit at that age, but mainly I remembered that my daughter (who's younger) just caught on so quickly that they weren't too far apart in ability for very long. Depending on the dynamic between kids, that's a reason to keep her skiing with him -- the younger sibling often does work extra hard to keep up, and progresses at a much faster rate than the older did. 

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

That is a good point about skiing with her brother.  He is always trying to keep up with her and I think that if they two of them rode the bunny chair lift together while I follow behind, they would really like that.

I also have the advantage (if there is on) of skiing in the Midwest when 7 turns and you are at the bottom of the hill.  So you cannot really wonder off far.

 

I think that if I go over the questions above with the understanding that is the minimum that she needs to ski along (on the run that feeds the bunny hill) she will take the time this winter to "learn" the rules.  By then she will be a year older and maybe her brother will be up to her speed.  

 

I just don't want her to get bored with the sport because it is not challenging enough for her.

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