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Ski trip with an 11-year old to Dodge Ridge

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello,

We are planning to take our son, who has never skied, to Dodge Ridge during 2/14-21. We haven't ever been there, so we don't know how to start going about it.
- I've seen that there is a ski school for kids. Should I book directly with them or are there packages through some other means?
- What kinds of accommodations are there in the area?
Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lameri View Post
 

Hello,

We are planning to take our son, who has never skied, to Dodge Ridge during 2/14-21. We haven't ever been there, so we don't know how to start going about it.
- I've seen that there is a ski school for kids. Should I book directly with them or are there packages through some other means?
- What kinds of accommodations are there in the area?
Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!


Welcome to EpicSki!  Have you skied before yourselves?  If you are asking if it's possible to book lessons with someone who is not associated with the ski area, that's not how it works in the U.S.  How old is your son?  <8, tween, teen?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response, Massanutten.

I have skied before, but in other places. My son is 11. My question is more: can I get the same lesson for a lesser price if I book in different places?

Also, I would like to know more about how things work in Dodge Ridge.

post #4 of 9

Take a look at their web site if you haven't already done so:

http://www.dodgeridge.com/

Appears there are lots f options for kids lessons.

Been awhile since I've been there but don't remember any nearby accommodations.  So close to greater LA area.  Actually more of a "visit for the day"  type of ski area.  I bet your son will love it.  I remember my son did may years ago.  Just be sure to check snow conditions prior to heading up.  And marznc is correct -  need to book lessons (and every thing else ski related) with the ski area itself.

post #5 of 9

I’ve skied Dodge Ridge before with my younger son, but have no experience with the ski school.  It is a very nice, low key family owned (for generations) resort.  The ski area has no pond on the property, so there is no snow making.  Fortunately, it doesn’t need it in most years.  This year?  We’ll see if we get snow in February. 

The good:

  • Usually not crowded...just park in front of the resort. 
  • One of the better food service operations I found in a smaller resort.  The food was actually tasty and reasonably priced.
  • The mountain is mostly intermediate/advanced and very easy to get around.  There is one bowl and some tree skiing.  There is decent acreage for newer skiers.
  • Very friendly people, including the ranger who I met and the staff.  It definitely has local community feel. 
  • I’m told it has a good kids program.
  • There is a good ski/rental shop on site.
  • Most of the buildings are relatively new.  I think there was fire not long ago, so everything rebuilt is obviously modern.
  • This is a close ski area to many in the Bay area.

The bad:

  • No snow making, which hurts in lean years. The last three years have been drier than usual in  Northern California.
  • The lifts are older and remind me of what I rode in the 1960’s.

 

This is a smaller area, so the best way to book lessons is through the resort.

 

We haven't skied there in a few years due to getting the EPIC pass, but I wouldn't hesitate to go up again midweek so long as there is snow.  Unlike many of my friends, I enjoy the atmosphere of a smaller area from time to time.  Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley are good examples.

 

Here is a view from the base area showing a small portion of the ski area:

 


Edited by quant2325 - 1/18/15 at 10:07pm
post #6 of 9
Check first if they have snow.
post #7 of 9
Badger Pass, Dodge Ridge and Donner Ski Ranch have temporarily closed. See firsttracksonline.com/2015/01/21/snow-drought-forces-california-ski-areas-to-close/ for more details. Dodge also had a short season last year. I've had some great powder days there, usually as a day trip from San Jose. They are only 30 miles above Sonora so you could stay there or a little further up hill is Twain Harte and Mi-Wuk Village. There is not a lot a lodging nearby although there is at least one place to stay at Pinecrest Lake and a lot of cabins in area. But Dodge will have to re-open first.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you quant2325 for the details about Dodge Ridge, and everyone else who responded to my post. It's starting to rain by the end of the week in the Bay Area, so I am hopeful that it will snow up there :-) 

post #9 of 9
I don't want to rain on your hopes, but storm hitting the Sierra tomorrow is predicted to be too warm to snow at the base of Dodge. You may want to look into Kirkwood as their base is almost as high as top of Dodge. They have a small village with lodging and an excellent beginner area (on the far right side if looking at map) that is out of most of the skier traffic. They do get very busy on weekends when snow is good and will probably cost more.

On a somewhat related note, Homewood also closed temporarily on Monday 2/2 after only running two surface lifts for a while where there were able to maintain snow coverage. It's a very bad year for snow especially at lower to mid elevations.
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