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Utah-How many days of ski school

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone: we are planning a week long trip to Park City, Utah (thanks to those that helped me zero in on some good places in another thread!) the 1st week of February. I have three 11 year old boys who have never been skiing before (although they love ice-skating, sledding, and snowboarding on their sleds during the winter). My husband and I have some skiing experience in Wisconsin, but in our much younger days. If all goes well this winter, I will have had the boys at a local hill for a few lessons prior to going to PC. However, my experiences with skiing out here (Chicago/Souther Wisconsin area) is that many times it is icey and the weather does not cooperate. So, let's assume that the boys have little to no experience upon getting to PC.

I know that we will all (including mom and dad) sign up for lessons for the first day. My question is, for the boys in particular:

1)how many days of lessons do you recommend (I know that could be different per individual boy)

and/or

2)if they need more than 1, should the days be in a row...or should we break them up?

I should add that they are not at all reluctant to go to classes/lessons on their own. In fact, they tend to gravitate towards activities like that.

Thanks in advance,

kelly
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly01 View Post
I have three 11 year old boys
Everything else aside, you have my respect.
post #3 of 19
If they get no lessons before going on trip, I would give them at least a few days in a row so that they can get the basics. Then you could all ski together some with maybe some half day lessons interspersed to get some fine tuning. I think it's the rare 11 year old who won't love skiing.
post #4 of 19
Are there no ski school weeks at PC? We used to put the kids into ski schools for our entire holiday, and we'd get to ski with them a bit at the end of each day. It worked very well -- they'd get quality instruction, have fun, and we'd get some free time.
post #5 of 19
I don't know PC exact lesson structure, but here is my thoughts.

At least 1 day all day out here on the first day, whether or not they skied in WI before. If you get them out in WI before and get them turning to control speed and not just using a braking wedge thing will get better much faster out here. learning to ski in WI will make them better skiers

After the first day it would be ok to take them out of the lesson, but don't push them down anything that is encouraging braking movements. One run down a blue too steep for them can ruin many days of good instructing. Under terrain them to the max until they learn parallel turns. With good lessons parallel turns should come with in 2-3 days if the instructor has good experience with kids. once they achieve parallel turns the skiing world is theirs.

There is possibility that with a 'bad' instructor that wedging could be in grained for years. You do not want this to happen, it wedging is not skiing and the point should be made that it is for balance and nothing else all of speed control comes from turns.
post #6 of 19
drop them off at Snowbird and Bushwackerin will get them up to speed ASAP
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Are there no ski school weeks at PC? We used to put the kids into ski schools for our entire holiday, and we'd get to ski with them a bit at the end of each day. It worked very well -- they'd get quality instruction, have fun, and we'd get some free time.

They do have multiday Signature - 5 classes, age 6-14, the 3 or 4 day one is exactly what I would pick were I in her situation for 18 hrs (or 24 hrs total). Let the class level be matched to disparate abilities if there are any.

Adults are out of luck, tho.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

Thanks for the quick replies! In my head, I was leaning towards enrolling them on day 1 and 2, but I wasn't sure if that would be too much right away (for example, if they would need a break after day 1?). I think if we take a day off from skiing we will do it after they have had 2 days in a row, at least.

We will enroll them for sure for the 1st two days, and most likely a 3rd or 4th depending on how things are going. Very helpful to know going into the vacation, as I will make the reservations (for the 1st 2 days at least) ahead of time. Also, lessons are $$$, so I need to account for the possibility of 3-4 days in the budget!

Thanks again, really love the info I get on this forum,

kelly
post #9 of 19
I have 3 boys in my family, although they are not the same ages. One of the things that you may want to do after the first day of lessons is to split them up for lesson days. That way you and your husband can ski with only one or two of the boys at a time. It is much easier to keep track of them that way. You can then reserve the all family skiing for later in the week when everyone is performing better.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonissimo View Post
drop them off at Snowbird and Bushwackerin will get them up to speed ASAP
Umm, I don't think that is going to work anymore...
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly01 View Post
Thanks for the quick replies! In my head, I was leaning towards enrolling them on day 1 and 2, but I wasn't sure if that would be too much right away (for example, if they would need a break after day 1?). I think if we take a day off from skiing we will do it after they have had 2 days in a row, at least.
Don't worry kelly, it's not as if they are being lectured at and there will be an exam after. Multi-day group lesson leaders are chosen to make sure that the kids have fun.

Think of it as a snowy playground. I'm sure the kids do!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

good idea and thanks!

Great idea, pwdrhnd! I hadn't thought of splitting up their ski-school days (after they have had initial lessons, of course). Thanks again to all who responded in this thread.

kelly
post #13 of 19
Park City area lessons tend to be VERY expensive. This is especially true when going the "private" route. OTOH, group lessons can be more like babysitting than instruction. You may want to see if you can get all 3 kids into one "private" lesson. You know. 3 for the price of 1. You might be able to do 3 one-half day lessons (9-1pm) for about $1000. This will only work, if the kids are at about the same level.
post #14 of 19
The mistake most people make is that they think, "OK, I'll take a lesson the first day (kind of like castor oil), then we can ski as a family." Many times those subsequent days are counterproductive and not much fun. You don't know the mountain and likely will lose time looking at maps and trying to figure out the best runs for the skiers' abilities. The kids may feel pressure to perform that they are not ready for. Their new skills are not secure yet. They may well revert to defensive, survival skiing on unfamiliar trails with the parents watching. Every day they are in lessons with a good instructor will make them more confident and comfortable on skis. Each day they take a lesson after they have learned the basics, they will probably be taken to a new area of the mountain, appropriate for them, and get to explore while they are learning. If they are having fun and getting positive experiences in ski school, why rush them to leave? There is no reason to splurge on private lessons for them. They will likely have more fun learning and exploring with their peers. Give them as many days in lessons as they want if they are enjoying them.
post #15 of 19
kelly, I work at PCMR as a ski instructor and (obviously biased) think it's a great mountain to learn on - but don't forget you also have Deer Valley and The Canyons in easy reach, too.

PCMR's kids' programme is called Signature 5; the premise is that no class has more than five students in it. Classes run from as close to 9am as we can get them out to 3pm-ish and include lift pass and lunch at one of the mountain restaurants (beginners to level 2, probably at the Legacy Lodge at the base). It's a good programme but you pay for it - last season $200 per day per child.

On the other hand, some other ski schools will have 12 or more kids in a class. It's a value thing, I guess.

Much depends on what you can afford, of course. But in a week's holiday if they are effectively beginners you could do worse than three or four days; ideally three in a row. If you have a fourth, do the first three, have a day skiing with the kids so they can show you what they're up to and then one more day in school - and on the last day ski with them again and enjoy the improvement.

Private lessons will not work out cheaper in full day terms - six hours will cost about (guess) $650 and you will have to pay on top for lunch and lift pass. See the website for details, I'm not up to speed yet for this season.

I'm also saying this on the assumption that PCMR ski school got enough of its H2B requirements to continue that programme - I know they got in early (I have a visa, as do several of my friends) but I also know they didn't get as many as they wanted. Several places seem to have missed out almost entirely.

Whatever you do, have fun! Utah's a great place to ski.
post #16 of 19
And while the kids are in their lessons, may I suggest you do the same? And for many of the same reasons. You'll get a guided tour of the mountain as you learn to ski with more ease and confidence. You'll likely be able to ski with the same instructor (if you liked him/her: your choice) and have some continuity. Some of the other folks you took a lesson with the day before will likely be there also. Nice way to make new friends. In a few days, you'll know your way around and can ski with the kids with comfort and confidence. Wait until they show you what they've learned and where they'll want to take you! Have fun!
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

thanks again...

Again, many thanks for everyone's helpful insights. My husband and I will definately take lessons as well, and all the posts have given us some different approaches as to how to hande the lessons. I guess much of the final decisions will have to take place once we are actually on vacation, but it helps to go into the situation with some experienced advice.

In looking more closely at all the resorts and what they have to offer, we are thinking of staying and skiing at Solitude instead of the Park City area. The lessons are way more affordable (we really like that there are some 1/2 day options for the kids...depending on the kid and/or their progression...they could take some form of lessons every day w/out us going bankrupt). In addition, at first glance, the size of Solitude looks perfect for us, and it has proximity to other places (Park City included) if we really feel the need to go somewhere else. Doesn't seem to have the variety of nightlife that group of adults might want, but Club Solitude looks like the exact type of "nightlife" the kids would want.

Thanks again to everyone for their input.

kelly
post #18 of 19
Solitude has totally different vibe than Park City. I mean totally different. Small, but very pretty village. Not a whole lot of action going on. As long as your family is pretty self sufficient on making fun for yourselves, would be great. Brighton is just down the road which the kids would love. Lots of rolling terrain. Just understand that shopping and restaurants are very limited. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just know that it's a different experience than Park City, Vail, Aspen, Whistler kinds of resorts.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

got it!

Thanks Maui Steve, and, yes, we are really self sufficient when it come to making our own fun. That is was attracted me to Solitude. Truthfully, I think that we will be exhausted after skiing. Most likely hitting the hot tub/pools will be about all the excitement we will muster in the evening. My kids would be thrilled with the "club solitude" pools, video games and foosball. Plus, I also love that Brighton seems to be just down the road, so we have that as a really easy option if we need it. I saw that the restaurant options are really limited, but we are planning to get groceries on the way to have some of the meals in the condo. Also, as long as the weather (and roads) cooperate, we will probably visit Park City at some point during the trip.

Thanks for the heads up!
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