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Help with skiing with a Toddler

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

My wife & I are devoted skiers, ski at the same level (8-9) and love to ski together, but unfortunately work has me living in Chicago.  This summer we adopted the greatest child from Ethiopia who will be 2 in November (2010).  This winter we're going to get him on those toddler skis in the park so he'll be ready for some real lessons next year but this year is a problem for traveling to the mountains.  My question to you parents who have done this before, how do you ski with a child who is not ready to ski yet?  Daycare on the mountain?  Which mountains out west have the best daycare and still not break the bank?  We're both looking forward to next year but we're perplexed about this year.  Anyone have some suggestions?  By the way, leaving him with the grandparents, aunt or uncle is not an option. 

 

Moderator note: moved in 2016 to Family Skiing (under Mountain/Resort)

post #2 of 30

I think you have it, daycare at the resort. the larger areas around Tahoe for example will have it, I believe. a front sling style carrier could be fun for a couple runs if the hill is mellow. I think if the weather is nice, you can hire a baby sitter to hang out with the toddler at the base of the mountain. some couples take turns skiing and sitting, not as good for skiing a lot.

post #3 of 30

Forget about the toddler skis.  Total waste of money.  Instead, just put him on real gear (doesn't matter if the smallest boot size is too big).  The way you start is (after you let him walk around on skis a bit--and inside is great for this) you hike about 10 feet up a very gentle hill and let him straight-line to mother.  Do this a bunch, and increase the distance as he gets comfortable (and has taken a few crashes & is comfortable with that too).  Once he's good straight-lining and is comfortable balancing on skis at speed, you can move to skiing him in the harness off the chairlift.  Somewhere between 3 and 4, he'll develop enough leg strength to start to wedge, at which point you take him off the harness and let him start skiing on his own.  When using the harness, try to keep it slack so you aren't pulling him in the back seat. 

 

Meanwhile (and for the foreseable future) its daycare on the hill.  Look for one with a toddler program that will get him on the snow for at least part of the day.

post #4 of 30

Skiing with a kid is fun, skiing with a tiny kid is mostly a frustrating selfless sacrifice for uncertain future rewards.  I put my younger daughter on skis soon after she turned 2, but I did that because I was hanging out with her at the base anyway, I had a ski pass, and she already had all the gear from her older sister.  I took her up and we spent a couple of hours shuffling on the snow.  Honestly, I would not recommend doing it unless you are on the mountain often and have time to kill.  In your situation, you have to either look into a daycare, or take turns skiing.  Most likely it will end being a combination of two.  I don't know your living situation, but if you have a nanny and can afford to bring her on a trip, it should be well worth it (we never had a nanny, so I cannot speak about the particulars).  Final advice: make sure to spend some time with the kid just playing in the snow and make her/him feel happy, you want her to like the sport and look forward to the next year's trip.   (FWIIW, my 4.5 year old girl is a little dynamo on skis who bombs down the blues and is going to be in the Squaw Mighty Mites program this year, but I don't think that putting her on skis at 2 has much to do with it, it is more about her older sister being a good role model).   

 

P.S. Not a lot of ski schools take 3 year olds (and for a good reason), so check before booking the next year's trip.  

 

P.P.S. As much as I respect davluri , I would not do the front carrier under any circumstances- even if you are an awesome skier, there are plenty of idiots around who don't look in front of them, and don't know how to stop.  Unfortunately, the mellower the slope is, the more of those specimens tend to populate it.   And skiing with a load upfront sucks anyway, your balance is all wrong, etc. 

post #5 of 30

Try the resorts in Canadia. We found them to be much less expensive for day care due to the lower concentration of lawyer. At least that held true 13 yrs ago. 

post #6 of 30

First off, if you're looking for a western US ski hill with a great daycare and kid's program, Brundage Mtn in McCall, Idaho is very hard to beat.  We started our daughter on the snow 2 winters ago at Brundage at age 3.  We rented gear for her for the season at a local ski shop ($50 for the season -- bring the gear back at end of season) and then spent a couple hrs of the first day with her on the bunny hill.  Was a bit frustrating (for her and us), went to the ski school, asked around, and found the instructor that came highly recommended for little kids.  Forked over enough cash for an hour private lesson (they won't take kids less than 4 in group lessons) and by the end of the hr she's skiing solo down the bunny hill w/o crashing AND LOVING IT.  Spent another hr letting her show us her tricks, and she's had enough for the day.  Remainder of the season, we'd make a point of skiing a couple hrs on the bunny hill with her (and at age 3, that's about all they have energy and attention span for) and then she's looking forward to the remainder of the day at the ski hill daycare with the kids.  Got her a second private lesson near the end of the season, and before spring hit, she made a couple trips up the "big mountain" with us.

 

Last year (age 4, same Mtn) she's old enough for what Brundage calls their "Bear School".  Combination of daycare and ski school.  Check the kids in at 9, they'll play around for a while, hit the slopes with an instructor/babysitter from 9:30 - 11:00, back for lunch, slopes again from 1:00 - 2:30, and then hang out and play til Mom and Dad show up.  Instructors/babysitters divide the kids into like skill groups, and everyone pretty much has a ball.  We've managed our winter work schedules such that most of our ski days are mid-week, so when our daughter goes to Bear School, more often than not, she was one-on-one with the instructor, so it turns out to be equivalent to a 3-hr private lesson...  Her skills and confidence level on the slopes far exceed anything I had in mind at this age, and she loves it.  Best day of family skiing we had last year was at the end of the season after a spring storm.  16+ inches of fresh stuff, and we did a couple runs with her on a black diamond tree run.  Nothing but laughter and fun for all of us. 

 

KEY in this entire process though, is to NOT keep them on the slopes too much in any given day such that they get worn out or lose interest.  If/when you start seeing the signs of tiredness showing up, don't con yourself into the "let's just sneak in one more run..." scenario.  It will backfire badly, and you'll end the day on a bad note.  Don't ask me how I know...

 

Can't say enough about Brundage Mtn -- Great family ski area.  All of us are excited for this season to start.  good luck!  

post #7 of 30

+1 on the Canada recommendation.  Daycare does tend to be cheaper there and that's based on recent experience as well.

 

In the US, prices seem to vary more widely.  For me, daycare prices became a larger motivator on where to ski than lift ticket prices.  Most locations are convenient to the slopes and/or parking.  Both are important - check a map and plan how you're going to do the drop off and pick up.  One year we got lucky with an amazing late season deal at the Westin in Whistler.  Daycare was inside the same building, so we didn't even need to dress my son in outdoor clothes to bring him from our room to his daycare.  Assuming good weather, most places will include outside play time in the snow.  At Jackson, they took my daughter up the gondola - she was very excited.  I didn't believe her at first when she told me (what can you believe from a 2 yr old?).  The next day she was begging for her first day on skis at Targhee.

 

Half day programs are usually not worth it - they are often not close to half the price of the full day.

 

It does add a huge cost to a ski trip, but it wasn't really a choice for me.  Either I had to pay or I wasn't going to be skiing very much.

 

And when you plan to try skiing with the kid, do so on a day that you don't really want to ski by yourself.  It will be frustrating and it will be more work than you expect.

post #8 of 30

Some experience here. Not so much resort advice but as a snow loving father/grandpa. # 1 rule - First times out, fun in the snow. Sled. Toy skis. Snowman. Hot soup winter picnic. Keep it short, fun and comfortable for them.  And they are not all alike. Son never got cold and never wanted to come in. First in a pack, then a short time in a sled when he got too heavy. Did a 5k XC race on his own at four when it was 10 degrees and blowing. Daughter got cold easier so we did shorter outings. First a back pack and then a sled. My son's daughter, 18 mos. loves cold and snow. Rolls in it, eats it and whines when her dad goes out to ski and she isn't going. (They live by the lifts but spend most days together in the back country). We'll see about how the 12 mo. old grand son takes to cold this winter and I'll let him lead me. Probably too late for a front pack for you and I wouldn't feel safe with a back pack in bounds,  too many yahoos as previously stated. It's hard, but leave your ego in the lodge. Remember your raising them, not racing them. Enjoy the kids more than your own skiing is rule #2.  It'll come back to you. 

 

post #9 of 30

My advice?  Go mellow this year.  There are plenty of places that will take a toilet-trained 3 year old all day (Squaw, Northstar, Sugar Bowl), but not much for 2 year olds.  Best bet is to get a transferrable parent pass and switch off.  Play in the snow, etc.  When my kids were 2, we hired a sitter and skied.  From what I hear about adopted kids, there's a lot more separation anxiety; so, I wouldn't push it.  Look forward to next year when all you need to worry about is getting to ski school on time and convincing the kid to stay there without melting down for a few days.

post #10 of 30

+1 on mellowing it at this age. Nothing good will come out of it, not enough physical strength. Get the day care with some snow fun. Our youngest started last year when she was 3 and we just bought her smallest K2 Luv Bugs 76cm with roxy 1 - 2.5din bindings. No harness, just gliding down the slope with me backwards in front of her or by the side giving her to hold the ski pole.

Our major resorts in Oregon (both Mt Hood and Mt Bachelor) have both day cares for toddlers with 1-2h out on the snow if weather is nice. Full day runs ~$90, we have 10% off as a passholders. Friends of mine who went to Utah and Alberta, CA were very impressed by the family-friendly resorts there as well

 

Vlad

post #11 of 30

We did daycare at The Canyons with an extra option...an instructor would take the kids on the snow (if ready) and have them play around with skis on near the magic carpet lift for an hour each day.  One day, 4 weeks before his 3rd birthday, our youngest son said he sat on the"bench" instead of going on the magic carpet.  My wife was upset since we were paying extra for the magic carpet experience.  The next day we found out the "bench" was his first chairlift!  OK, he had edgy-wedgies on his skis and didn't have the strength to get forward, but he was making turns before his 3rd birthday. 

 

Definitely do daycare, and see if they have an option to play or even ski on the snow.  If they take kids outside, be sure to speak to the daycare manager about what clothing and accessories your child will wear.  They tend to forget to dress the kids the way you would prefer unless you are very clear ahead of time.

 

One great place to find babysitters is at the ski school desk.  There are a number of nice people we met at each resort we visited working day jobs who were looking to make extra money babysitting in the evenings.

post #12 of 30

I started my little one at age 4.  We used the daycare/ski school at Taos and Winter Park.  I was pretty un-impressed with Taos despite the great reviews I'd heard.  But to their credit they offered me a free day after that horror show.  He loved Winter Park and has been back a few times since.  They didn't even seem mad when within the first 30 mins of his first lesson there he pulled the fire alarm!  That's my boy LOL 

Also, for peace of mind nearly all of the resorts have their daycares state acredited so you don't have to worry about that kind of stuff.

For me anyway that ski leash was a miserible failure.  All we got out of it was straightlining downhill, tangled straps, tears, and ending in an "I want to go home"  which is of course worst case scenario.  From then on I stopped using the leash and I still got an equal amount of tears.  But this time it was "I don't wanna go home" tears!  and "one more run" till my legs were about to fall off.  LOL

post #13 of 30

As most said - each kid is different. See what take and act accordingly.

 

 

      

post #14 of 30

Be sure to spend sufficient time playing in the snow with them before skiing and after.  Age two seems a bit young to actually try skiing, but next fall if you come across some used boots and 80 cm skis get them and let te kid put them on and stomp around your yard in them some before even taking them to a ski area They can do this in the grass, no snow required.   If they learn to walk around in boots, then clicking in to skis and taking them off, then walking around in boots and skis, then learn/practice how to get up they will do much better in their first real ski lessons. 

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

Wow, great advise from everyone.  I want to thank all the Dads, Moms & Grandparents that took the time to share their good and bad experience.  I also want to thank anyone else who jumps in behind this with additional advice or areas that have great daycare. 

post #16 of 30

Bob, there has been a lot of great advice given, now you just have to choose which to follow! You can also try to mix it up a little: Daycare 1 day, then all of you go for a half day, then maybe 1/2 day of daycare & then shop with you or Mom while the other is out skiing. You get the picture. What worked for me was just skiing with the kids between my legs at that age, as I never used the harness or sling.

 

One of the things I found interesting in Europe was that they made it a family affair going to the ski area, sort of like we do at our beaches. Of course it would have to be a nice day, but they'd bring toys and chairs and set up a littel play area. Then grandparents, parents, etc would take turns watching the little ones as the others go skiing. They don't seem to have to count their vertical as much as we do.

 

 Its nice that we can all ski together as a family. We started them @ 3 and by 5 they could go down blues and only needed help getting onto the chairs as the seats were to high for them.

 

Keep your enthusiasm as we as a family all really look forward to skiing together.

post #17 of 30

I was crazy enough to contemplate putting my 2 year old on skis a few times this winter and found this thread from many moons ago. Very sound advice so I thought I'd bump up this thread in case any one else out there was thinking the same thing as me. I will just be getting him out in the snow to play around this year. I'll wait until next year when he's bigger and better able to follow directions.

post #18 of 30

Thanks for the bump. I have a *very* active 18 month old who I was hoping to get out with this year. I hear some folks talk about "getting them used to walking with skis on" - what are you using for that? Things like this? $40 isn't too much money, but I could still see it being a waste. Thoughts?

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cozteplitz View Post
 

Thanks for the bump. I have a *very* active 18 month old who I was hoping to get out with this year. I hear some folks talk about "getting them used to walking with skis on" - what are you using for that? Things like this? $40 isn't too much money, but I could still see it being a waste. Thoughts?


What I've heard more often is to get them used to walking in ski boots for <3 year olds.

 

Paging @crgildart , father of two long past the toddler stage.

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


What I've heard more often is to get them used to walking in ski boots for <3 year olds.

Paging @crgildart
 , father of two long past the toddler stage.


I wouldn't put much expectation in a kid under 3. Get them into boots and let them play in snow. I took my three year old on magic carpet run and just held her as we went down the hill. She liked that. I found that 4 is the magic age where they can start to progress a little and pick up the concept and have the strength to turn the skis. One thing I did which most instructors and lesson programs don't do is I make sure they learn to ski parallel from day one. My kids do not ever learn the pizza. That makes it harder at the beginning when they are younger but in the end when they are 4 or 5 skiing blue and black diamond runs comfortably it's well worth it.

Biggest advice is do not set expectations. Under 5 kids might make one run and are done for the day. Who knows. Take lots of hot chocolate breaks. If they aren't into it take them tubing and end on an easy tubing run. Make it fun. Also avoid crowds at all costs. This helps me let them go parallel with no worries. On a Tuesday morning we are one of very few and if they lose control they are typically only person on run. It amazes me that parents take kids out to teach them on busy holiday weekends.

Btw I have an 8, 5 and 4 year old daughters that I ski with often. The 4 year old didn't do much last year when she was 3. I let her walk in boots and skis. That was pretty much it. This year she will probably really take off.

The other thing is don't just engage them to learn skiing. I take my girls on bike rides and hikes often. My 4 year old can ride 7 plus miles on bike path no training wheels. Be involved and active with them year round it will pay off.
post #21 of 30

To teach them to ski parallel when they are really young, squat down low and ski backwards in front of them. Put out your hands, palms open, against their knees.  Let gravity pull them down the hill, with you guiding them and controlling the speed, with your open hands against their knees.  Do straight runs this way.

 

Eventually ski backwards away from them a little and let them catch up, bumping their knees into your open palms (giggle!).  Ski backwards left and let them catch up bumping knees into your hands.  Ski backwards right and let them catch up.   Left, right, repeat.  Increase the distance.  They will be turning on their own in no time, following you down the hill leftie-rightie.  

 

Until they sit down in the snow and take off both boots just because they can, and because they're done.  Time for hot chocolate!

 

Follow up with skiing backwards, holding out your pole horizontally in front.  They can hold onto it at first, then you ski away and have them catch up to grab the pole.  Morph this into you skiing beside them, holding the pole out to the side and them holding onto it, letting go, then holding on again.  Eventually you can get them to ski beside you.  I've seen a dad carry a hockey stick which he held lightly against his child's tummy while skiing beside him.  

post #22 of 30
@LiquidFeet great post that's exactly what I did ski backsards to teach kids. Occasionally if runs were empty I let them go alone with older sibling. Keep in mind magic carpet not much of a pitch at all on slope and on a Wednesday morning lol.

That hockey stick idea is a good one. I might have to try that this season.
post #23 of 30

There's a video of a dad with his very young kid using a hockey stick, YouTube probably.  They even take small jumps.  Fantastic, really.

Can't remember about the kid's turning ability.

post #24 of 30

Good technique suggestion LiquidFeet.

 

I started my son skiing at 3. He had the strength and coordination to handle real ski gear, appropriately sized for him. Our first season was going to our local 400 ft hill, me in street clothes, him in ski/snow gear. I would push/walk him up the hill a little. I would run backwards and tell him to catch me. He was like a dog going for a ball. I never let him build much speed at first and when he caught me I would drop to my knees and pick him up with a big hug and a howl. He loved it and it was a game to him. A ski area was a "new" place to go and have fun. Teaching him to ski was a byproduct of having fun in the snow together. The sessions were short and we did all kinds of things to get him used to moving with boots/skis on.

 

By then end of the first year he loved being on skis outside and I felt it was time to go to a bigger area and I would get on skis. Well, that didn't go as planned as he fell asleep riding up the first chairlift and I had to ski down carrying him sound asleep. I also signed him up for a private lesson, luckily after lunch. When it came time for a lesson he saw some kids in daycare getting a ride on a Teddy Bear sled and that is all he wanted to do. The lesson was canceled and I learned one. Learning to ski is not on a child's radar till they are 4-6, or have older siblings to challenge them and goad them into keeping up. Having fun in the snow is always on a child's radar (if dressed warmly) and doing that has to be at their level, not yours. Every child is different, so you just have to give it a try and see what happens and adjust.

 

I went with another family another time early on. They had a daughter the same age as my son. My son was comfortable already, but their daughter was not. We "traded" kids for an hour and that worked for her daughter who was more inclined to follow my lead and play the catch me game. She didn't like the feel of sliding at first, but got used to it pretty quickly and got comfortable and wanted to join my son and her mother messing around on the hill. 

post #25 of 30
I've had only a one hour ski lesson in my life - so my ski technique must be terrible (I can ski down most hills though). I 'taught' my son at a young three. Just got him doing a wedge. He's never had a lesson either and we only ski 10 days a year approx but he can ski black runs at Alta and Whistler. And he looks pretty good doing it too.
I would suggest getting the kids on skis and spend time on the bunny hill with them. You'll be surprised how fast they pick things up.
post #26 of 30

I am going out west with my family this year and will be taking a 2 and 3 year old. I have mentally written off the 2 of the 3 days I will be up there and am dedicated to spending as much time on the snow as possible with the kids (with or without skis). With help from my sister, I wanted to spend time making snow angels, snowman, and getting lots of hot chocolate. For the older one, I figured that I could take her on the lift and essentially carry her down. If she is feeling adventurous, I was going to get here a leash and have her stand up by herself as we go down a really mellow slope. Sound about right for 2/3 year old?

post #27 of 30
I'm one of the few believers in leashes here, but leashes are not appropriate on many slopes due to traffic. You gotta figure, the slope that is right for her ability will be full of people with that same lack of ability. Now you're going to string a rope across it. So, if you can find an empty slope, fine. But you might want to learn to ski backwards. Leaning over with her between your knees is hard on your back, doesn't train her to balance on her own, and risks the much heavier you falling right onto a tiny person. Without knowing your destination, it's hard to say whether there is an appropriate area. Most ski schools will have programs that have a lot of indoor activities mixed with a bit of skiing. Because at 2 or 3 they can't do a lot of skiing. It's actually dressing and undressing and peeing and whining and hot chocolate.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by IllinoisSkier View Post
 

I am going out west with my family this year and will be taking a 2 and 3 year old. I have mentally written off the 2 of the 3 days I will be up there and am dedicated to spending as much time on the snow as possible with the kids (with or without skis). With help from my sister, I wanted to spend time making snow angels, snowman, and getting lots of hot chocolate. For the older one, I figured that I could take her on the lift and essentially carry her down. If she is feeling adventurous, I was going to get here a leash and have her stand up by herself as we go down a really mellow slope. Sound about right for 2/3 year old?


What Sibhusky says.  Don't do it!  Do not carry her down (what if someone cuts in front of you and you fall on top of her?).  Do not put a 3 year old on a green slope, on a leash, for her first run ever.  What if she gets terrified? What if some joker runs into her or into the leash?  What if she falls over and over and gets tangled up in that leash and cries?  Her first experience to be guaranteed fun.

 

Take her to the bunny slope, ditch your poles, and ski backwards in front of her.  Lean way down and put your open palms gently on her knees.  Her skis should be parallel.  Ski backwards and let gravity pull her down.  She will be looking into your face; this creates security.  (If she's on a leash, she's not seeing you and she might get frightened; you never know.)  When you're skiing in front of her, she knows you are taking care of her.  She'll learn she just needs to stand there and fun happens as you take her down.  You can go straight, or make turns.  She probably won't notice the difference.

 

If there's a magic carpet, you can teach her to get on and off it, and to ride it up with you right behind.  That's a big deal, fun fun fun, and an honestly big accomplishment.  Fun!

 

Take her down that bunny slope again and again.  Slide backwards away from her a little as she gets used to this and let her catch up with you.  She can bump her knees into your open palms.  Fun!!!   Bump!!! Increase the distance.  Don't tell her how to get the skis to work to get over to where you are; let her figure it out.  Her goal is to catch up with you.  She'll want to do that.  Bump into daddy!  She may last 45 minutes, if you are lucky.  


There's no reason to take her up higher.  The beginner terrain offers a lot for a 3 year old.  Snow angles for the 2 year old sounds great, too.

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 


What Sibhusky says.  Don't do it!  Do not carry her down (what if someone cuts in front of you and you fall on top of her?).  Do not put a 3 year old on a green slope, on a leash, for her first run ever.  What if she gets terrified? What if some joker runs into her or into the leash?  What if she falls over and over and gets tangled up in that leash and cries?  Her first experience to be guaranteed fun.

 

Take her to the bunny slope, ditch your poles, and ski backwards in front of her.  Lean way down and put your open palms gently on her knees.  Her skis should be parallel.  Ski backwards and let gravity pull her down.  She will be looking into your face; this creates security.  (If she's on a leash, she's not seeing you and she might get frightened; you never know.)  When you're skiing in front of her, she knows you are taking care of her.  She'll learn she just needs to stand there and fun happens as you take her down.  You can go straight, or make turns.  She probably won't notice the difference.

 

If there's a magic carpet, you can teach her to get on and off it, and to ride it up with you right behind.  That's a big deal, fun fun fun, and an honestly big accomplishment.  Fun!

 

Take her down that bunny slope again and again.  Slide backwards away from her a little as she gets used to this and let her catch up with you.  She can bump her knees into your open palms.  Fun!!!   Bump!!! Increase the distance.  Don't tell her how to get the skis to work to get over to where you are; let her figure it out.  Her goal is to catch up with you.  She'll want to do that.  Bump into daddy!  She may last 45 minutes, if you are lucky.  


There's no reason to take her up higher.  The beginner terrain offers a lot for a 3 year old.  Snow angles for the 2 year old sounds great, too.

 

Sounds like a plan. It looks like there are no magic carpets at Alta, but there are two small bunny hills close to the lodge (one tow and one lift). Then there is very easy green terrain that is accessed from two other lifts (albion/sunnyside). Probably, will stay on the bunny trail unless she is sending it like only a three year old can.

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by IllinoisSkier View Post
 

I am going out west with my family this year and will be taking a 2 and 3 year old. I have mentally written off the 2 of the 3 days I will be up there and am dedicated to spending as much time on the snow as possible with the kids (with or without skis). With help from my sister, I wanted to spend time making snow angels, snowman, and getting lots of hot chocolate. For the older one, I figured that I could take her on the lift and essentially carry her down. If she is feeling adventurous, I was going to get here a leash and have her stand up by herself as we go down a really mellow slope. Sound about right for 2/3 year old?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IllinoisSkier View Post
 
Sounds like a plan. It looks like there are no magic carpets at Alta, but there are two small bunny hills close to the lodge (one tow and one lift). Then there is very easy green terrain that is accessed from two other lifts (albion/sunnyside). Probably, will stay on the bunny trail unless she is sending it like only a three year old can.
 
Welcome to EpicSki!  I took my daughter to Alta for her first trip out west when she was 7.  She had started at age 4 (in the southeast) so was quite ready for Alta greens.  Was on easy blues by the end of the week.  It's a great place for kids to learn.

 

The Albion lift only runs if the Sunnyside lift is not running.  It would be a long ride for a little one who is already excited at the idea of skiing down the mountain from the top of the lift.

 

As I remember, Alta had a short magic carpet set up with a bit of a shaped run right next to the ski school building.  I think that was new in 2015-16 so not on the trail map.  Not sure what the policy is for parents using it for kids not in ski school.  The handle rope tow that goes up to the Snow Pine lodge can be used by families with little kids.  For future reference, the slope below the Alta Lodge is a bit steeper.  That's also serviced by a handle rope tow as of last season.

 

If you are thinking of the lift to the Rustler Lodge, that's not a slope for little kids who don't know how to ski.  It can be a challenge for cautious adult beginners.  Although could be fun to ride up the lift, and then get picked up at the lodge entrance on the road.

 

Alta Lodge handle tow

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Family Skiing Discussions › Help with skiing with a Toddler