I thought I had it bad with three!
Originally Posted by Groucho Marx
I love my cigar too, but I take it out once in a while!
i can feel the pain. i went through the same experience years ago. my kids, now 11 and 12, started to ski when they were about 4. i carried all the equipment like a mad man and got exhausted by 10:30am. by the time my kids were about 5/6 years old they were able to carry their skiis, but i felt like they were wasting energy that they really didn't need to. so over the years my buddy and i (we take weeekend ski trips together) developed a system that works for us.
1- investment (bought 1 duffle bag about 50X15X18 with wheels; bought 1 backpack about 20X10X8 with wheels; bought 1 burton snowboard bag about 60X8X14 with wheels)
2- system (a~the duffle bag has two compartments top and bottom. i can pack all 4 helmets and 4 pairs of boots in it; b~the backpack carries 4 pairs of gloves, 4 pairs of neck warmers, 4 goggles and some other extra items; c~the burton snowboard bag can fit 4 pairs of skis and 4 pairs of poles)
3- transport (we normally don't get to the mountain by until around 10am, so the parking lot is a bit way fro the base lodge. i normally head directly to the drop-off area. drop off my kids and wife, all three bags. all the bags have wheels so each one drags one of the bags to the base lodge. by the time i park the car, walk to the lodge, get the tickets, my wife and kids are all booted up and ready. i put the lift tickets on my kids and they run out side to play. all the bags are put away in the lodge.)
4 - minor evolution (over time, we started to feel that the burton bag was not needed anymore. my kids were big enough to drag the bag and also carry their boards (now they snowboard) so the burton bags is no more)
5 - after skiing (each bag is opened up each night to dry things for the next day and the next trip)
this system worked for us for years. nowadays, everyone in my family knows the system and the drills. i don't have to say a word. they all do their things.
hope this helps....
Best fringe benifit to working as a patrol or instructor other than free skiing Most places I've worked have a tuning bench too
-Yup, make them carry their own stuff. Make them responsible to have the stuff ready and in order as well.
Or they'll expect you to do it always, and I mean always, even when they'll be of an age to date boys/girls.
-When going for a ski holiday...rent a place (flat, hotel, whatever) which offer ski-in/ski-out possibilities, it'll cost a little bit more but it will save your sanity.
We wear our helmets right from the condo.
Genious! Helmets take up a TON of space in the pack though they weigh nothing.
I am not a fan of walking in boots from the car. Too much wear on the boots and opportunity for a wipeout.
My 6 YO carries or wears her own gear the vast majority of the time. Wears the helmet and boots and always carries her pole and almost always carries her skis. I will sometimes carry her skis for her and if we are booting up in the lodge then her boots are in the boot bag with my boots on my back.
The worst thing is to forget anything and have to head back. I was hauling an extra pair of skis a few weeks ago, and this threw me off my rhythm enough to make me forget to pack our poles. Only cost me 10-15 minutes, but getting to the resort at 8am instead of 7:45 makes a huge difference on the weekend. If I'm in the habit of putting my helmet on my head when we're leaving, I don't have to haul it in a bag AND I'm very unlikely to forget it. I don't find it so embarrassing to have my helmet on off the hill that I'm willing to deal with carrying it separately.
I'm sure my daughter could deal with carrying her own skis from the car, but she lags far enough behind me as it is. I'm willing to deal with her skis and a bag to keep us moving a bit faster. With more kids, I could see it being a necessity to have them carry their own stuff.
We have a 2 and 4 yr old and found that putting the gear on a cheap plastic sled with a shoulder strap, decreased the frustration as we brought the kids to the slops. I can fit 4 pais of skis + backpacks. After skiing, my 2yrs old would frequently "drop" in the parking lot and now I can just put her in and pull. We found the kids were using a lot of energy just getting to the slopes. We plan to have them carry thier stuff as they get older.
I pack all of our (myself and my 5 yr. old) ski stuff in a two pair ski bag the night before we head to the hill. That way everything is in one place and we won't forget anything. The only thing that won't fit easily are my boots so they go in the foot well on the passengers side of the car so they are warmed by the heater as we drive up. Everything else skis, poles, helmets, extra clothes, etc. etc. fits in the ski bag. When we arrive I only have to grab my boots and the ski bag and we are all set to walk up to the lodge.
Plastic sled. Yes, I remember I used to do that too. When my older one was still young (about 4 or 5), I used to ski on snow blades to keep pace. I brought a sled that was big enough for my skis and hers. Worked well to work our way over to the learning center.
Now, can someone explain to me how bags with rollers work in snow?
I have 2 boys 7 & 10. At the beginning of the season I set up a bag for everyoe including the 7 year old and my wife. Everyone, including the 7 y/o, is responsible for carrying their own bag, which includes boots, helmet, gloves, extra layers, etc.
The 10 year old carries the bag, skis and poles. The only thing that I carry for the 7 year old are his skis, no poles yet. It seems to work for us and this way I don't look like Chevy Chase from one of the Vacation movies going through the parking lot.
Plus the 7 year old likes having his own bag. I think it makes him feel like one of the big kids.
Be very careful about too much weight and children walking down steep hills.
My daughter, 6 years old at the time, volunteered to carry too much when leaving the lodge. About 100 feet from the lodge we had to walk down a steep section of asphalt. My daughter was in front of the family of five. Lots of people around. Without warning my 6 year old daughters little legs started moving faster and faster. She was like a runaway freight train without enough breaking power. Everyone realized that her little legs would not be able to keep up with the ever increasing speed. She fell face forward with arms out and the bag she was carrying in the front flipped forward and she landed on the soft bag that had a lot of cloths on top. Everyone in the parking lot that saw this broke out laughing including my daughter.
My poiint is be careful about the weight of the geer and steep hills with the little ones.
One more suggestion is whenever possible avoid the lodge. Get dressed and geer up in the parking lot next to a chari lift. If you can find a chair lift near a parking lot, take advantage of it. Buy your ticket wherever and go park near the bottome of a chairlift. Belleayre's Tomahawk chair lift and parking lot are a perfect example. I see families park and pull out the lawn chairs to put their boots on right there in the parking lot. Geer up and walk 50 feet to the chair lift which happens to also have ticket booth near by. No gear to haul because your wearing it.
Boy wouldn't that be fantastic fantasy. Then again we could also just leave our gear in the instructor/patrol equipment room all season long too. Every place around here the closest spot for a non employee to park is about a quarter mile from the nearest lift, lodge, ticket booth, etc. If you're not there by 8:30 am (as often is the case when traveling three plus hours with little kids to get there) you will be in satellite lots that require a shuttle bus or three quarter mile plus walk. In spite if this I agree that gearing up at the car is the best alternative, but maybe a small backpack with spare gloves, socks and a bag lunch for each to carry and leave in a rented locker is the way to go.
If anyone is looking for a good backpack to carry your equipment so you can keep your hands free to help the kids, I found the Global Degree ski backpack at my local Marshall's and TJ Maxx. Retail price was $199, but the prices I saw were on clearance for $29 and $39, respectively. These backpacks will carry all of your extra stuff (extra layers, food, camera, phone, goggles, etc.), boots, skis and helmet and even has a place for a hydration pack. Seems to be very well made and has waterproof zips, back padding, sternum strap and hip strap.