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Ski school: half or full days?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi there. Taking our 7 & 9 year olds to Stowe for their first ever ski trip.
Looking for advice as to the duration of ski school.
Will full day lessons tire them out too much?
Grateful for any advice.
Thanks
CW
post #2 of 15
How long are you staying ?

2 hour lessons give them stuff to work on and bring good results especially when done as a series over a few days. Some resorts have a EZski 1,2,3 that is very inexpensive and provides a two hour lesson,gear and lift ticket for three days.

I would give them morning instruction and allow time the second half of the day to use what they learn and time to ski as a family which the kids
love. This allows for free time for you to head for more challenging terrain and then you can mellow out in the afternoon hanging with the kids.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks GarryZ.
We're in Stowe for 6 days.
I'll check them out for EZski123.
CW
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
How long are you staying ?

2 hour lessons give them stuff to work on and bring good results especially when done as a series over a few days. Some resorts have a EZski 1,2,3 that is very inexpensive and provides a two hour lesson,gear and lift ticket for three days.

I would give them morning instruction and allow time the second half of the day to use what they learn and time to ski as a family which the kids
love. This allows for free time for you to head for more challenging terrain and then you can mellow out in the afternoon hanging with the kids.
I totally agree.

I must to say "ski as a family" give memorable moments for all family and tends to keep the family skiing for long time together. Also, they will, on the next 2 or 3 season, push you "for more challenging terrain"

Regards,
Eduardo
post #5 of 15
I would go for 1/2 day lessons. That way they still have 1/2 a day to ski.
post #6 of 15
I think your best move is to go full day. Ski a run with them at the end of the day after you pick them up. Then keep them to yourself on Day 6.
post #7 of 15
I tend to agree with epic (though I'm half a continent away). The morning part of a childrens' full day tends to be organizational (making they're in the right group) with a small amount of teaching, followed by lunch, followed by the real meat of the lesson.
post #8 of 15
I'm with epic and icanseeformiles(andmiles) on the full day. I usually teach adult beginners rather than kids, but in both cases, a 1/2 day is barely enough, at the beginner level. A full day lesson gives them a chance to make significant progress before going out on their own with you.

I'd rather you do a 2 or 3 days of full-day lessons for them, and then have a "day off from school" for family ski togetherness. I think they'll enjoy it more and be better able to ski with you.

I wouldn't worry about a full-day tiring them out. Most kids' instructors will mix together lesson time, break time, game time, etc. For example, at Breck mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon we'll bring the kids into the Yurt to warm up, take a break, then go back out. I'm sure Stowe does similar things to keep the kids involved but not overwhelmed.
post #9 of 15
Ask them and let them do what they want to do.

We had our 5yo at Sugarloaf for three days last year. He did 1/2-day the first day and skied with us in the afternoon. The next two days, we gave him the option of continuing the kids group in the afternoon or skiing with us. He choose staying in the kid's group.

Most places require reservations for 1/2 and full day kid's programs but they usually never sell out their capacity in the afternoon. You might call and ask if you can make a morning reservation and then upgrade to full-day if the kids decide they want to stay.
post #10 of 15
A father's opinion...

First of all, a normal 7 or 9 yo is plenty old to go full day. But, whichever makes sense depends on the program.

If they have a progressive 5-day program like Smuggs, then go full day all week. You get a lot more mileage that way. Camps don't typically run until lift closing so you still should have a chance to ski with them for at least one run.

BTW, just curious, since you are going to be next door anyway, why not do Smuggs with your kids?
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input guys.

Both kids are mad keen to learn to ski and are really looking forward to it. My 7 year old's ski suit arrived yesterday and she tried it on... she was like a dog with two tails and had to try on her big brother's skis as well. They're really only toys, but at least she'll get used to not crossing them when she's turning round.
He's trying to play it cool - as any almost 9 year old big brother should. He has had two ski lessons (yes, two!) so considers himself quite the expert. But he hasn't got his new ski suit yet, we'll wait and see if that changes things :-)

As for why not Smuggs - I suppose ignorance, and value. I have heard that Smuggs is good for kids, but us europeans tend to buy vacations as packages. That way you get better rates for flights and accomodation and when you're coming as far as we are, every little helps. Smuggs just didn't appear in the package options and I didn't know how close it is. Having got accomodation in Stowe, we just assumed we should ski there using the free trolley to the mountain. Then we could leave the car with the non-skiing members of the party to visit Ben & Jerry etc.

They tell me that you can ski over into Smuggs from Stowe, but there's no arrangement with the tickets. Doesn't that make it very expensive/impractical to ski both resorts?
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardweg View Post
Thanks for the input guys.
As for why not Smuggs - I suppose ignorance, and value. I have heard that Smuggs is good for kids, but us europeans tend to buy vacations as packages.
It's a misconception. Smuggs is not only for kids. But that is a different topic for another day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardweg View Post
That way you get better rates for flights and accomodation and when you're coming as far as we are, every little helps. Smuggs just didn't appear in the package options and I didn't know how close it is. Having got accomodation in Stowe, we just assumed we should ski there using the free trolley to the mountain. Then we could leave the car with the non-skiing members of the party to visit Ben & Jerry etc.
Oh, I understand about the package thing now. As for the non-skiing members, I recommend Burlington for a full day visit. Ben & Jerry can be done in less than two hours (including driving from Stowe) and IMHO that "destination" is way overrated (even though my kids want to go whenever we're on that side of the mountains).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardweg View Post
They tell me that you can ski over into Smuggs from Stowe, but there's no arrangement with the tickets. Doesn't that make it very expensive/impractical to ski both resorts?
Make sure you check with the locals before you attempt that. There used to be a passage (named Snuffy's) open to all skiers and hikers. Then it was closed to the public and the local authorities placed strict ordinance on restricting anyone using it (along with heavy fines). Lately I have heard implications that they have loosened up the rules again. Because I don't have a permanent home there, I really don't know the whole story. With all that said, if you have a chance to do it, it's some of the most beautiful scenes you can find anywhere. The other choice (beside driving over) is to go over the just as scenic road (over the notch) on foot (via snowshoes etc.). I heard it's about a 2-3 hour walk. That could be a thing (complete with a full workout) to do for the non-skiers as well.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
chanwmr,

You obviously don't know my wife ;-)
2-3 hrs on snowshoes... outside!...... in the cold!... walking!
Oh yes - and my sister-in-law is pregnant. But thanks for the idea anyway :-)

As for Burlington - I think they will do that. Especially if there is retail therapy on offer. Thanks for the tip.

As far as Ben & Jerry's is concerned - did I mention my sister-in-law is pregnant... The coffee shops and spas of Stowe will probably keep them occupied for most of the rest of the week.

For the other five members of the group - the two dads will hopefully try out all the snow Stowe has to offer before joining the kids after ski school each day to ooh and aah at their exploits.

For clarity, I didn't mean to imply that Smuggs was ONLY good for kids, just that it was PARTICULARLY good for kids. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Thanks for the info - everything is very useful.

I hope you are getting lots of skiing in this winter - my only experience of upstate NY is Lake Placid - unfortunately it was in August and, as I wasn't in the US Ski team I couldn't get a go on the aerials ramp.

Regards,

CW
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardweg View Post
For clarity, I didn't mean to imply that Smuggs was ONLY good for kids, just that it was PARTICULARLY good for kids. Sorry if I offended anyone.
No worry. I just pointed it out just in case. Give it a try one of these days (best before the kids get to be teenagers but still good nonetheless), you'll be surprised how much skiing it has to offer to anyone at any level with any interest.

Have a great time at Stowe! I have to make it over there one of these years.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
I think your best move is to go full day. Ski a run with them at the end of the day after you pick them up. Then keep them to yourself on Day 6.
This is the ticket. Check out the pricing...there is not much difference between half day and full day. With the younger kids, its not really a full day of skiing. Our instructors have always managed our youngest daughter nicely. The kids get grouped by levels which includes ski ability, stamina, and attitude.

You can always mix in some family ski days in between the lesson days. It works out best for quality time and price wise.
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