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7 Springs, PA: best intro runs for beginner child?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

We'll be going to 7 Springs, Pennsylvania this season with the children. We've never been there. I have one child in particular who is still very cautious. He is understandably worried about going up a chairlift when he can't see from the bottom that there is an easy way down.

 

Looking at the 7 Springs trail map at http://www.7springs.com/webimages/trailMap_larger.jpg, for example, lift #1 (Avalanche) on the far left goes above a black slope but has a green run coming off to the left side. My kid may look at that from the bottom and be very reluctant to go up. I am therefore wondering where to start him off when we first get there -- if he freaks out early in the trip it tends to make him even more cautious. 

 

Looking further at the map it looks like lift #3 (Cortina) may be our best bet - it goes over a blue but perhaps the green to the right is obvious enough from the bottom. Can somebody familiar with the area confirm that or provide other suggestions? He'll probably start with the "magic carpet" lift to warm up in any case.

 

We'll be there for 5 days and he is eager to get better and to try blues, so I'm hoping that by the end of this trip we can get over this hump.

 

Thanks for any info!

post #2 of 15

If you ride the Cortina Lift, there is an easy green run , Fawn Lane. that is accessible from the lift. Regarding the subject of the visability from the bottom of the Cortina Lift, unfortunately not much if any of the trail can be seen. However, if you take the Polar Bear Express you will see much of the Fawn Lane trail from the lift which should raise your son's comfort level. Off the Polar Bear you go left and you have a well groomed green run to the top of Fawn Lane.

 

Good Luck.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you! Much obliged.

 

I will be interested to see how the adjacent black and green runs on the far right (Yodeler and Lost Girl) work in practice - it would be great to be using the same lift to access terrain at our relative levels.

 

post #4 of 15

Yeah, take Polar Bear Express up, not Cortina. Polar Bear Express will let you get to both Alpine Pass and Fawn Lane. The lift line is longer but it moves fast and the lift itself takes about 1/3 the time.

 

All that said, I'd avoid those two green trails if I were you. They're right in the middle of the resort, served by a high-speed 6, and narrow... end result is that they end up being crowded and cramped, which can intimidate beginning skiiers.

 

The green run off Avalanche is decent. It's also narrow and can be crowded, but you get a little more speed than Fawn Lane.

 

My advice would be (as you mentioned) to head over to the Gunnar lift (which is another high-speed 6) and spend time on Lost Girl. It's easily the best green in the resort, and it'll give you the ability to hit Gunnar, Yodeler, and Giant Steps. If there's fresh, you can also ski the Gunnar chair line and the trees next to Yodeler.

 

One thing to remember: That side of the hill doesn't have lights so the lift closes at 4:30. 

post #5 of 15


I'd agree with kauffee and get off of the frontside as soon as possible as that's where the crowds are.  Maybe a few runs on the beginner magic carpet at the base and then right up the polar bear express and over to the backside of the mountain where Lost Girl is.  It's a nice gentle winding green that won't have near as many people as the frontside greens.  It's also served by a high speed six pack lift which will allow for a quick trip back up the mountain.

 

Mike

 

P.S. I'm up there most weekends and am happy to show you around if I'm there when you come up for your first day.  I also have a six year old beginner if your young ones would like some local company.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post

 

 

My advice would be (as you mentioned) to head over to the Gunnar lift (which is another high-speed 6) and spend time on Lost Girl. It's easily the best green in the resort, and it'll give you the ability to hit Gunnar, Yodeler, and Giant Steps. If there's fresh, you can also ski the Gunnar chair line and the trees next to Yodeler.

 

One thing to remember: That side of the hill doesn't have lights so the lift closes at 4:30. 

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post

Yeah, take Polar Bear Express up, not Cortina. Polar Bear Express will let you get to both Alpine Pass and Fawn Lane. The lift line is longer but it moves fast and the lift itself takes about 1/3 the time.

 

All that said, I'd avoid those two green trails if I were you. They're right in the middle of the resort, served by a high-speed 6, and narrow... end result is that they end up being crowded and cramped, which can intimidate beginning skiiers.



Yeah, I'll admit it's been a while since I've skied 7 springs, but I remember skiing there with my wife who was a beginner at the time.  She *hated* the Fawn Lane trail because it's quite narrow, with switchbacks, and was always super crowded.

post #7 of 15

I think the trick would be picking the day and time when the resort is not busy. I remember skiing greens on a holiday weekend at 7S with my brother in law on his 2nd day on skis. It was like learning to ride a bike on the side of an interstate. If you can manage it pick a weekday and be there for the first lift. The trails are freshly groomed, uncrowded and hopefully not bullet proof. 

post #8 of 15

wow....in the (sic) irreplaceable words of yogi berra, this is deja vu all over again. my son is competitive bump skier at 14 yrs old.

the first year or  two were wonderful.... until he became 5 or  6 . at that point everything became a problem. i wanted to quit every time we drove to the mountain.

there's always some reason to be afraid.

 

hang in there, be patient. be supportive and make sure that your son feels that you are his protection; no matter what the circumstance, he's safe....

 

it doesn't matter if you're in 7 springs or snowbird. stay the course and if he's interested, no matter what his skill set is; it will pay dividends.

if he loves to ski,as he gets older he'll realize, you helped him find his way.

 

good luck.........  and may god grant you patience....

 

post #9 of 15

Ya the whole Polar Express area is to be avoided all together.  Besides the Gunnar chair/Lost Girl combo another possibility is the Avalanche lift and the green Village Trail or Boomerang trail.  One of the biggest problems with Springs is how crowded the Polar Express area gets at peak times.  And that is where all the beginners are dumped into to get to the easiest trails.

post #10 of 15
Seven Springs has an excellent Tiny Tots and Junior Ski program, my daughter is a graduate of both. Why don't you put the kids in a 1/2 day morning session and let the pros deal with the kids while you and the wifey go skiing. After lunch when the kids are aclimated to the area you can take over and have fun with the kids, letting them show you where they skied while in class.

As mentioned the weekends are not the best time for beginners at the Springs. It gets really crowded and the grooming on the beginner trails get scraped off fast.. Getting beginners over to the Gunnar 6 Pack can be a challenge as you have to either skate and push or ski down other trails to get there.

Good Luck!

Rick G
post #11 of 15

best beginner trails at Seven springs are 15 miles north at Hidden Valley. 7s is a scary place to ski on the weekends or nights.

 

post #12 of 15

Josh, HV is nowhere near 15 miles away.  Much closer.

 

 

HV is the place to go for beginners, but if that isn't an option, get the kid on the backside and ski Lost Boy and Lost Girl.  If the kid is really scared and you can get him to the top, and it's running, the South Wind access chair/trail network is never crowded and very unintimidating.  Also very boring if the kid isn't freaking out.  Boomerang and Village trail can be good too, but are only accessed by a triple with no bar, if that is an issue. 

 

The ski school suggestion was a good one.  Depending on age the tiny tots or Jr. Ski programs can take the hassle out of it for you.  Make sure you tip the instructor, because it just may be me. ;)

post #13 of 15

Good info from all  and to summarize Use Polar Bear Express to get up the hill and check out Fawn, maybe ski it once if you have too. Next take the Polar Bear and go backside for Alpine Pass, Lost Boy and Lost Girl but if a safety bar on the lift is an issue then you must stick to the high speed sixes, Polar Bear and Gunnar Lifts and that mean you can ski Fawn and Phillips frontside and Lost Girl backside. Alpine Pass to Deer Pass will also get you back to the Polar Bear lift but you must keep to skier's right about 3/4 of the way down to get to the Polar Bear. If you miss and go skier's left then you will end up at the Blitzen Lift, a triple without a safety bar. If a safety bar is not an issue then that opens all the greens. The Avalanche Lift will give the beginners Boomerang and Village Trails and give you Avalanche, steepest groomer on the front and Goosebumps, dedicate bump run.

 

Weekend frontside can be crazy, midweek will seem empty.

 

Tiny Tots and Junior Ski School are great options and will probably be best for all if you can over come separation anxiety.

 

post #14 of 15

I can also highly recommend the Tiny Tots program at 7-Springs!  My son has been going there 3-4 times a season for the past 3 years (he's 6 1/2 now) and has never had a bad experience.  I believe that it's much easier to let "the professionals" get them started on skis and not try to teach them myself.  The fact that there are other kids learning with them is a huge plus, and it's much easier for them (and me) to not get frustrated during a ski day.  They also provide fun time off of the hill at lunchtime and after the afternoon lesson.

 

He's now been to ski school about 10 times total and I skied with him on my own for the first time last week.  Full on blizzard conditions with blowing snow and cold (< 10 degree wind chill) and he's yelling "come on Dad" as we head off for the first run.  Made all of the $$$ spent on Tiny Tots ($100+ per day) all worth it!  Second run he's cruising down an intermediate trail with no issues and I'm nervous trying to keep up with him as he goes straight down the steepest pitch!  He only lasted one more run because of the cold but I think I now have a ski partner for the rest of my life!

 

Next task is to get the 4 year old started!

 

Mike

post #15 of 15
Glad to hear they are still doing good things at Tiny Tots. It is already 20 years since my daughter started when she was 3. And yes, I now have a ski partner for life. Though sadly we haven't skied together in a couple of years as she is starting off on her own life. We wil ski again and again and....

Happy Holidays to all

Rick G
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