Got fun, laughter? Tahoe pond skim celebrates Spring skiing

squaw-pond-skim

Mark your calendar and head to Tahoe resorts for some fun and laughter with the annual pond skim. What is a pond skim? Contestants ski or snowboard into a frigid pond with the goal of skimming across to the other side. The pond skim event marks the end of the winter season and get folks excited for Spring’s blue-bird sunny ski/ride days.

Two of our favorites Tahoe resorts pond skim events:

    ✔ Saturday May 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM Squaw Valley USA pond skim aka 27TH ANNUAL CUSHING CROSSING:

    The 27th Annual Cushing Crossing is the best event of the spring season. The original pond skimming event that started a spring resort ritual. Every year we gather a celebrity judging panel and amazing emcee’s for this spectacle. Filled with big spills and laughable thrills this is one spring event that you don’t want to miss. Event kicks off at 1pm, awards at 3pm at the KT Base Bar.

    Event Details & Registration

    Registration: 9am at KT Base Bar (limited to 50 participants, $20/person, cash only).
    Participants must be 18+. Helmets and personal flotation device is mandatory.
    Awards: 3pm at KT Base Bar – Squaw

    ✔ Saturday April 15 Heavenly Ski Resort pond skimming

    Pond Skim
    12:00 – 1:00PM Registration
    1:00 – 3:00PM Pond Skimming

    pic from Tahoeskiworld

    Spring Loaded culminates with everyone’s favorite event – costumed skiers and riders attempting to skim across a pond judged on success, style and crowd reactions. Don’t be surprised if you see folks skiing and riding wearing swimsuits. – Heavenly.

Driving to Tahoe often and interested in ride sharing? Join Snow Pals to car pool/ride share to and from Tahoe; share expenses and meet new friends.

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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Favorite tropical retreat getaway

Baan-Aomjai-guesthouse-prachuap-thailand

What’s your favorite tropical beach town retreat getaway? Such as a writer’s retreat, relaxation / meditation, yoga retreat, cooking / culinary, cozy small beach town retreat getaway? With the snow season in it’s waning phase; as of March 2, we’re looking at about 45 more days until resorts start to close their doors in mid to late April. What’s our pick for a relaxing tropical getaway?

Here’s one of our favorite small beach town tropical retreat which checks off our list of requirements:

✔ Palm trees
✔ Scenic beaches and warm ocean water
✔ Tropical warm sunny weather in an exotic locale
✔ Quiet, relaxing setting
✔ Inexpensive lodging; a good value comparatively
✔ Cheap/inexpensive Thai food with availability of Western restaurant options
✔ Local small beach town charm
✔ Outdoors recreation: scuba, snorkeling, water snow sports, hiking, biking
✔ Night markets
✔ Farmer’s market
✔ Local music scene entertainment
✔ Inexpensive massages and spa treatments

For a $1000 monthly retreat budget; this vacation rental in Prachuap, South Eastern Coastal Thailand checked off all our requirements plus it’s comparatively inexpensive with prices starting at $18 USD per night so a months stay(31 nights) would cost $558 USD which leaves $442 for food, entertainment and massages, etc. In regards to the cost of food; a meal of grilled chicken/fish with sticky rice, made to order papaya salad and Thai iced tea cost only $3.50 USD.

If you want a non-touristy beach town, Prachuap is the place.

​​This vacation rental retreat aptly named Baan Aomjai is located in Prachuap Khiri Khan, a beach side town in Thailand accessible by inexpensive daily express bus ​​from Bangkok airport(BKK) to the scenic beach town, Prachuap. ​​

Baan Aomjai is available as a nightly rental or long term vacation rental; great for all travelers and writers and as a retreat getaway from the busy city life in Bangkok.​ ​They have studios, one and two bedrooms apartment available for rent. ​

​This air-conditioned apartment features free WiFi, a mini-fridge, towels, bed linen, terrace,​ ​free parking,​ ​washing machine​ ​and​ ​flat-screen TVs. Enjoy their ​​relaxing patio aka sala​ ​equipped with an​ ​opened kitchen and dining area.​ It is a very relaxing location surrounded by towering palm trees. There’s also a swimming pool​, gym ​and ​restaurant ​​​​within 5 mins walk of the guesthouse apartment and the scenic Ao Manao beach is within a 20 m​​inutes bike ride. If you’d like a change from the local Thai food, there are good Western food options such as pizza, pasta(Italian), German and French food available​ ​in town.

The owners are very helpful in getting you acquainted with Prachuap and​ ​can help​ ​you pick daily activities to enjoy your vacation or relax at scenic palm trees swaying beach near by and ​go for a swim, get a tan and ​kick your feet up and relax up under a palm tree reading your favorite book.

Highly recommended for those seeking an alternative vacation spot to noisy​ ​city life in​ ​Bangkok.​ Added perks include inexpensive Thai massages in town that starts at only 150 Baht(equal to less than $5 USD) and enjoy night markets for cheap tasty eats and a good place to buy souvenirs for friends and family.

This is a newly built(August 2016) vacation rental and the property is well maintained with daily maid service. Great vacation rental for couples, solo adventurers, business travelers, and families with or without kids.

Check out the rental calendar availability on their Airbnb page at https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14749791 or on booking.com.

baan-aomjai-vacation-rental-retreat-prachuap-thailand

For a travel guide to the city of Prachuap, read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prachuap_Khiri_Khan_Province.

For transportation options from Bangkok to Prachuap, Thailand, read http://www.prachuapkhirikhan.org/practical-prachuap/transportation-prachuap-khiri-khan/prachuap-bangkok/.

Check out airfare from San Francisco(SFO) to Bangkok(BKK), Thailand.

For a scenic aerial view of the beach town Prachuap, check out this Facebook video.

Here are the top 10 attractions and things to do if you’re planning a vacay getaway in Thailand and aiming to check off the tourist’s top ten to do list.

“Thailand, also known as the Land of Smiles, is a jewel of Southeast Asia. Developed enough to provide most comforts yet still wild enough to offer off-the-beaten path adventure, Thailand is a country ripe with opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. Whether you start with the scenically stunning world-class beaches in the south or the mountain villages in the north, Thailand will not disappoint.” – planetware.com

Btw, if you’ve seen the movie,’The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, while vacationing in Thailand, you might want to visit the famous FILM SET of Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi Lay, an enclave of paradise on the coastline of Koh Phi Phi Leh in Southern Coastal Thailand. Imagine a stunning beach cove, located 30 minutes away from a populated island. A cove whose crystal blue waters are almost glowing(swim, scuba, snorkel to your heart’s content), the sand silky soft under your feet, the surrounding cliff faces beautifully dominant in a protective hug and where the surrounding choppy waters protect the enclave from human invaders.

“You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone’s so friendly. It’s such simple stuff, but… If I could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, I think I’d restart it like this. For everyone.” – Alex Garland, ‘The Beach’.

*~*

What's your favorite tropical beach town retreat getaway?

Share yours. Share your favorite retreat getaway; have you experienced a stellar tropical getaway, such as a writer's retreat, relaxation / yoga retreat, cooking / culinary retreat, cozy small beach town retreat / getaway?
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    2017 Tahoe Resorts Live Cams and Snow Report

    tahoe resorts opening dates

    Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Opening Dates, Live Cams and Snow Report for the 2016 – 2017 Winter Season 

    Plan a Tahoe getaway(check out Tahoe vacation rentals) or those with a season pass, join a ski lease to max your ski/ride days. Get the latest Tahoe news and deals; subscribe to Snowpals’ newsletter and/or sign up for invites to participate in our social events.

    On the Beyond Tahoe Snow Destination To Do List: where can you ski/ride at midnight, soak in a hot mineral water pool, then follow that up with soju shots and BBQ eats? Dragon Valley, South Korea.

    2016-17 Lake Tahoe ski resorts projected opening dates and live resort webcams ..

    Heavenly projected opening Nov 23 Trail Map | Live Resort Cams

    Sierra at Tahoe Nov 23  Trail Map | Cam

    Kirkwood Nov 23 Trail Map | Cam

    Squaw Valley USA Nov 23 Trail Map | Cam

    Alpine Meadows Nov 23 Trail Map | Cam

    Northstar-at-Tahoe Nov 23  Trail Map | Cam

    Sugar Bowl Dec 10 Trail Map | Cam

    Boreal opening Nov 18; Hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm; night skiing from 3:30 pm to 9 pm. Trail Map | Cam

    Homewood Dec 9  Trail Map | Cam

    Diamond Peak DEC Trail Map | Cam

    Mt. Rose opening Nov 18 Trail Map | Cam

    Tahoe Donner  Dec 9 Trail Map

    Donner Ski Ranch early DEC Trail Map

    Bear Valley  Nov 25 Trail Map | Cam

    China Peak  early DEC Trail Map

    Dodge Ridge  Dec 9 Trail Map | Cam

    Soda Springs  DEC Trail Map

    Yosemite’s Badger Pass® Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

    Mt. Shasta Ski Resort  Dec 15 Trail Map | Cam | Extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

    Got fun and laughter? Enjoy some Spring fun and laughter at SQUAW VALLEY | PAIN MCSHLONKEY

    Mark your calendar for March 18, Squaw Valley celebrates the legendary (and hilarious) late Shane McConkey with the 7th annual Pain McShlonkey. Dress up in your most outrageous retro skiwear and get ready to enjoy a full day of laughs, camaraderie and memories. Festivities include the Extreme Small Mountain Invitational and a downhill race, where pros and amateurs battle it out on snowblades for the highly coveted Golden Saucer trophy plus G.N.A.R. points, a.k.a. ultimate bragging rights. Apres ski/ride, continue partying to 2am at the Shane McConkey Legacy Gala.

    Want to sleep and let a professional driver take you to Tahoe resorts? Book a discount SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski bus trip: one day and overnight bus trips. Enjoy a full day of skiing or riding; sleep on the way to Tahoe and watch movies on the return.

    For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

    Check to see when the next snow storm is in the forecast. Browse traffic and road webcams. Check Caltrans live feed.

    Tip: before you drive to Tahoe, Check Current California Highway Road Conditions & Traffic; Enter Highway Number(s)

    Check weather forecast:

    Cross Country Tahoe Ski Areas Opening Dates

    Granlibakken Resort  DEC Trail Map | Cam

    Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort  DEC Trail Map

    Spooner Lake Cross Country Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

    Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

    Southern California/Sierra

    Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort Nov 10, 2016 Trail Map | Cam

    *All opening dates posted above are based on snowfall and could change. Check with the resort before you go for the most updated information.

    Driving to Tahoe often and interested in ride sharing? Join Snow Pals to car pool/ride share to and from Tahoe; share expenses and meet new friends.

    Map of Lake Tahoe Area Ski Resorts

    map source: unofficialnetworks.com

    For a detailed listing of Tahoe ski resorts, check out our handy guide to all the Lake Tahoe area ski resorts! It’s the fastest way to scan lift ticket prices and compare the resorts to find the perfect one for you.

    Looking to join a Tahoe ski lease? Browse our listing, or list yours.

    Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

    Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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    *If you spot any error on this page or would like to make a suggestion, please email .  Advance thanks!

     

    Tahoe resorts extend ski season; ski until the fourth of July – see fireworks

    tahoe-resorts-closing-dates

    Tahoe ski resorts extended their closing dates as a result of record snow totals(54 feet of snow recorded for the season at Mt Rose as of March 2017). Enjoy Spring skiing and riding in shorts if you like.

    2017 Lake Tahoe ski resorts extended ski season / closing dates ..

    Heavenly will be opened until April 23 plus the weekend of April 28-30 Trail Map | Live Resort Cams

    Sierra at Tahoe will be opened until April 24. Sierra will honor guests with Customer Appreciation Day on Monday, April 24; skiers and riders of all ages can purchase a lift ticket for only $35 on April 24, 2017.  Trail Map | Cam

    Kirkwood April 16 Trail Map | Cam

    Squaw Valley USA opened until July 4; ski/ride then see the fireworks Trail Map | Cam

    Alpine Meadows July 4 Trail Map | Cam

    Northstar-at-Tahoe April 23  Trail Map | Cam

    Sugar Bowl April 23 Trail Map | Cam

    Mt. Rose May 29 Trail Map | Cam

    Bear Valley  will opened until April 23, 2017 Trail Map | Cam

    Want to sleep and let a professional driver take you to Tahoe resorts? Book a discount SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski bus trip: one day and overnight bus trips. Enjoy a full day of skiing or riding; sleep on the way to Tahoe and watch movies on the return.

    Plan a Tahoe getaway(check out Tahoe vacation rentals) or those with a season pass, join a ski lease to max your ski/ride days. Get the latest Tahoe news and deals; subscribe to Snowpals’ newsletter and/or sign up for invites to participate in our social events.

    For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

    Looking to cross country ski or back-country ski or ride? You can enjoy the snow at Mount Shasta until late summer. It’s the perfect place for cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, glissading, or for the ambitious few, to trek up one of the high ridges and then ski or snowboard down into one of Shasta’s vast bowls. Base elevation 8,000 feet, peak elevation 14,179 feet. Read more at SFgate.com

    Southern California/Sierra

    Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort  Opened until July 4, 2017 Trail Map | Cam

    Driving to Tahoe often and interested in ride sharing? Join Snow Pals to car pool/ride share to and from Tahoe; share expenses and meet new friends.

    Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

    Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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    One day and multi-day discount Tahoe ski bus trips

    bay-area-tahoe-ski-bus-promo-code-discount

    Bay Area Ski Bus to Tahoe Promo Discount Code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ is valid only for NEW Registrants.

     

    Get the following discounts:

    • $6 off per person on one day trips
    • $10 off per person on two day Bay Area Ski Bus Trips
    • $30 off per person on travel ski destinations trip packages

    Bay Area Ski Bus trips goes to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley USA, Homewood and Alpine Meadows. 1 day and 2 day hotel, house weekend trips and overnight ski bus trip packages. The Bay Area Ski Bus offers the most ski bus trips to Tahoe resorts; operating four days weekly with 11 SF Bay Area pick-up locations.

    Bay Area Ski Bus offers:

    • Adults Only Ski Bus Trips
    • Family Ski Bus Trips
    • Teens Exclusive Ski Bus Trips
    • Singles Ski Bus Trips(“Singles” Ski Trips give solo skiers & snowboarders a chance to meet other singles in a fun and engaging setting: meet that special person who shares your love for snow sports)

    These trips include:

    • round- trip transportation
    • a full day’s lift ticket
    • breakfast
    • free energy drink for the slopes
    • after- ski hot cocoa(wine/beer tastings on selected dates), snacks, and on-bus featured movie entertainment
    • optional: add ski/snowboard rental and/or lesson package

    Treat family, friends and/or yourself to a fun day at your favorite Tahoe ski resort. Gift certificates available for the holidays or that special occasion.

      If you already have a ski season pass or lift ticket, you can choose to purchase a ‘ ala carte ‘ round-trip bus ride only service/transportation for $93 with the ‘ 17snowpals ‘ promo code(regular price is $99).

    SAVE $30 ON SKI TRIP VACATIONS 

    Use discount code  ‘ 17snowpals ‘ at payment checkout* to get $30 off.

    Treat yourself, family and friends to a Ski & Snowboarding Destination Vacation

     Get $30 off ski / ride and stay vacation to ..

           Jan 2 – 8, 2017         Powder Hunt Ski Trip
           Jan 14 – 21, 2017      Banff and Kicking Horse, British Columbia Ski Trip
           Feb 9 – 20, 2017       Japan
                    

    Reserve your spot(s) with a deposit. Space is limited; register early as trips will fill up. A DEPOSIT secures your spot!

    Browse the Tahoe ski bus schedule, register and use our discount code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ to get your discount. Please note discounts only valid for NEW registrants.

    Here’s what a typical ski bus day trip with the Bay Area Ski Bus is like:

    Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

    Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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    Tahoe Learn to Ski and Snowboard Package Deals

    tahoe-lake-view

    Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard package deals and discounts for beginners to advanced

    Lake Tahoe ski resorts offer learn to ski and snowboard deals and discounts for skiers and snowboarders through out the ski season with a few Tahoe resorts offering deals good on weekends and holidays.

    Gather family and friends together to take advantage of these deals and introduce them to learn an enjoyable snow sports that will last a lifetime; plan a getaway; browse and book a Tahoe vacation rental.

    We know; skiing and snowboarding can be an expensive sport especially for beginners without any gear but that doesn’t have to be true if you take advantage of Tahoe ski resorts introductory and promo deals. Discount learn to ski and snowboard package deals include ski / snowboard lessons, beginner’s lift ticket, and equipment rentals.

    The Learn to Ski and Snowboard promos offer great value deals for children and adults who are first-time skiers to get started skiing and riding down powdery Tahoe scenic slopes without breaking the bank.

    The 2016-17 Ski Season started out with fresh snow on Nov 20, 2016 and more snow is in the forecast.

    For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

    Top four Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard deals:

    (1) Boreal’s TAKE 3, RIDE FREE
    Recognized as one of the country’s best beginner programs , this pre-paid package automatically enrolls you into the Take 3, Ride FREE program and includes (3) Single Day Half Day Lesson Packages and a FREE 2016-17 Season Pass on your fourth visit! What we like about Boreal Mountain resort is the fact that it is easy to get to with quick access off of Highway 80 on Donner Summit plus an added bonus of night skiing.

    (2) Homewood’s $59 adult ski and snowboard first-timer packages
    Homewood Mountain Resort offers the best learn to ski/snowboard deal in the Lake Tahoe region – for just $59. Sunday through Friday, non-holiday, first-timers will receive a half-day lesson along with all-day equipment rental (helmet not included in package but available at an additional cost) and beginner lift ticket – It’s everything you need to make your first turns on snow!

    Simply purchase your Learn to Ski or Learn to Ride package online, at least 2 days in advance of your desired lesson date to receive the special $59 price all season long.

    Those interested in making a real commitment to learning to ski or snowboard can score the ultimate deal – Homewood’s Learn to Ski/Ride 3-pack comes out to just $59/day and includes three full days of lift tickets, rentals and lessons, as well as the Learn to Ski/Ride guarantee – you’ll be skiing/snowboarding down one of our signature upper mountain beginner runs by your third day, or your fourth day is free. What we also like at Homewood is their incredible lake views; skiing and riding down Homewood slopes gives you a breathe-taking view of the lake. Very beautifully scenic for a first timer. Romantic setting no less. 😉

    (3) Learn how to ski or snowboard for just $99 at Alpine Meadows Monday-Friday for ages 13+

    First time lesson package includes everything you need

    + Beginner lift ticket
    + Equipment rental (skis, boots, poles -or- snowboard, boots)
    + 2.25 hr beginner lesson

    The advantage of learning to ski or snowboard on non-holiday weekdays is you’ll get more personal attention and the fact of having the whole mountain to yourself – less people on the slopes.

    (4) Donner Ski Ranch offers perhaps the best deal all-around; even on weekends and holidays, the price is the same: adults, youths, and seniors can sign up for the learn to ski or snowboard deal package for $99 while child(ages 7-12) package is $79. Why pay the high price of big moutain resorts when you only need a bunny hill to learn on?

    Designed for first-time skiers and beginners, our Learn to Turn package includes a restricted lift ticket, granting access to beginner terrain on the front of the mountain via the skiing moving carpet and chairlifts #4 and #6, ski or snowboard equipment rental package, and a 1.5 hour group lesson.

    LESSON TIMES

    9 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm

    Lift tickets and rentals valid for full-day skiing and riding.
    Anyone who purchases a Learn to Turn package may use the moving carpet to practice on one’s own prior to his/her lesson.
    Visit the ticket window to secure your space. Lessons will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

    Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

    Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

    Other deals? Check out our list of Tahoe ski resorts offering learn to ski and snowboard deals and promotions for beginners to advance; page down for intermediate to advanced/expert level deals and discounts on ski and ride lessons:

    North Lake Tahoe Resorts

    • Boreal Mountain Resort: Good for the entire ski season – Boreal Mountain Resort continues to offer one of the best deal for learn to ski / snowboard beginner programs which includes lesson, lift ticket and rentals for those who would like to get the most bang for their buck: this $199 pre-paid package(which breaks down to less than $67 per learn to ski day) automatically enrolls you into the Take 3, Ride FREE program which includes (3) Single-Day, Half-Day Lesson Packages and a FREE 2015-16 Unlimited Season Pass(a $299 value) on your fourth visit. No blackout dates! Buy online now to get this deal. Ages 4+, must enroll in program online to receive benefit. Additional benefits of skiing and riding at Boreal is that it is easy to get to, right next to Highway 80 with night skiing.

     

    • Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley: Learn to ski and snowboard for just $59 at Alpine Meadows Monday-Friday for ages 13 and up from January 4 to 29, 2016. The first time lesson package includes everything you need to make the most of your learning experience.The package includes a beginner lift ticket, equipment rental (skis, boots, poles -or- snowboard, boots), a two-and-a-half-hour long lesson, and priority lift access. The morning session is from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The afternoon lesson is from 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.

    • Diamond Peak: Diamond Peak Ski Resort is offering special Learn to Ski and Snowboard packages January 11- 15. The Ski and Snowboard School (ages 7 and up) will have Learn to Ski and Burton Learn to Ride packages for just $39. The package includes a beginner lift ticket, rental equipment and 1 hour 45 min lesson beginning at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Diamond Peak Child Ski Center will also offer a 2 hour $39 Learn to Ski package for ages 4-7 at 10 a.m. No advance reservations needed. Arrive at least an hour before the lesson start time. For more information, call (775) 832-1177.

     

    • Homewood Mountain Resort: Homewood offers ski and snowboard packages tailored for those who have never skied or snowboarded before. Homewood has stunning views of Lake Tahoe and offers adult Learn to Ski/Ride packages inclusive of a lift ticket, rentals and half-day lesson for $52. Purchase online at least two days before hitting the slopes to receive this rate. This package is a $40 savings, available Sunday through Friday, non-holidays.

     

    • Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area: Learn cross country skiing deal; take in some of the most picturesque views Lake Tahoe has to offer while investing in a lesson and get started on the right track at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area . Learn the basics of safely gliding, turning, and stopping in a supportive group atmosphere. Lesson packages include a group lesson, ski rental, and trail pass. Adult full day packages start at just $50.

     

    • Tahoe Donner Downhill and Cross Country During January 4-8 and 11-15 Tahoe Donner Downhill ski area will offer Learn to Ski or Snowboard packages for just $39. These packages are only for first timers, which include an all-day lift ticket, rental equipment, and a 1.75-hour group lesson for ages 7 and up.At 10 a.m. on January 8, the team at Downhill will participate with other resorts across the country in an effort to break a group world record for teaching the largest learn to ski and snowboard lessons ever. 50 skiers and 50 snowboarders will be available to participate with advance registration required (first come, first served). $10 to register.Tahoe Donner Cross Country will be offering two-for-one private lessons and private lesson packages any midweek day from January 4-15.
    • Sugar Bowl Resort
      Eager skiers and riders of all ages are invited to Learn to Ski and Snowboard at Sugar Bowl. The Guests Learn to Ski and Ride program is designed to entice new participants to the sport. For $99 ($109 on holiday weekends), guests will receive a 2-hour lesson, all day rentals, a lift ticket valid on beginner lifts.

     

    South Lake Tahoe Resorts

    • Sierra at Tahoe: Affordable Ski and Snowboard Lessons in South Lake Tahoe
      2.5-hour First-timer Lesson Package for $49. Deal good all season long, seven days a week, online pre-paid required. At just $49, this is one of the best deals for learn to ski or snowboard package in South Lake Tahoe! This package includes: Lift ticket (limited access to the conveyor lift(s) on Easy Street and Easy Rider Express), Rental equipment (includes skis and ski boots or snowboard and snowboard boots), and a 2.5-hour first-timer lesson. Lessons meet at 9:45 a.m. or 12:45 p.m. (depart 15 minutes later), and check-in is required an hour prior to lesson start time.

     

    • Kirkwood: Deal good all season long, seven days a week, online $60 beginner to advanced level lesson only pre-paid required. Adult Half Day 1st Time Ski / Snowboard Lesson. Certified and friendly instructors will guide you through your first day of snowboarding. Your session will cover how to use your equipment, getting on and off the lift without falling, executing different turn shapes, controlling speed and stopping where and when you want.

    Discounted ski bus trips: If you’re looking for a discounted ski bus from the SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts, check out the discounted one day and overnight ski bus trips with pick-ups around the Bay Area. Sleep on the bus, have a fun day of skiing and snowboarding and watch movies on the return bus ride.

    Get half off SnowBomb’s Platinum Pass for $99 (reg. $200) when you use ‘snowpals’ promo discount code at checkout. Check out the Platinum Pass aka Tahoe Card which includes four free lift tickets at four Tahoe resorts, free ski and snowboard rentals and tune-ups, and a two-night Reno hotel stay. The pass also allows you to buy discounted Lake Tahoe area ski resorts lift tickets. For $99, you get over $500 in value. The pass is valid through April 2016.

    For our latest scoop on Tahoe discounts and deals on lift tickets and vacation packages, get our newsletter.

    Intermediate and Advanced Level Ski and Snowboard Lesson Discounts and Deals

    • Homewood Mountain: Free Intermediate/Advanced Lessons
      Free lessons are offered Sunday through Friday afternoons, on non-holiday dates throughout the season. Limited to the first 10 people. Skiers must be able to ski parallel; snowboarders must be able to dynamically link turns on Homewood’s blue terrain in order to be eligible to participate. A lift ticket or season pass is required. Buy discounted lift tickets online.

    Arriving for your lesson: Free Intermediate/Advanced lessons depart at 1:30 p.m. from the top of Old Homewood Express and are first come, first served. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to lesson start time. Limited to the first 10 people. First come, first serve.Free lessons are not available during Peak Days* or Holidays**.

    * Peak dates include all Saturdays plus Dec. 20 – Dec. 25, 2015; Jan. 1, 2016; Jan. 18, 2016; Feb. 16 – 19 & 21, 2016.
    ** Holiday dates include Dec. 26 – Dec. 31, 2015; Jan. 16 & 17, 2016; Feb. 6, 2016; Feb. 13 – 15, 2016; Feb. 20, 2016

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    Comparison of best multi-resort ski season passes for 2016-17

    alternative-to-airbnb-vrbo

    For the 2016-17 winter season, what’s the best multi-mountain/resort ski season pass?

    We’ve crunched the numbers and compared the best multi-mountain/resort passes; the following is a summary guide. Remember that the more days you ski or ride, the more value you get from your pass. Also, keep in mind the best time to purchase a pass is in the spring, typically around early April. Many resorts offer a discount bonus and a spring ski / ride FREE the remainder of the current ski season when you buy your pass early.

    Epic Pass

    One of the most popular ski passes, the Epic Pass gives you unlimited access to twelve resorts, including Australia’s Perisher.
    Adult Pass: $849 (Pays for itself in 6 days)
    Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin
    International Resorts: Verbier (Switzerland), Perisher (Australia)

    The Mountain Collective

    The Mountain Collective pass offers two days at each of its 14 resorts for a total 28 days of skiing/riding. Home resorts are SunValley, Stowe Mountain Resort, Taos, and Thredbo.
    Adult Price: $419 (Pays for itself in 5 days based on on individual resort pricing)
    Resorts: Alta/Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Ski Banff/Lake Louise/Sunshine, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Stowe Mountain Resort, Sun Valley, Taos, Thredbo, Whistler Blackcomb
    International Resorts: Valle Nevado (Chile), Hakuba Valley (Japan), Chamonix (France)

    M.A.X. Pass

    The M.A.X Pass gives you access for five days at each of its 39 participating resorts. There are no blackout dates and many options on both the east and west coast.
    Adult Price: $699 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
    Resorts: Big Sky, Boreal Mountain Resort, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Lee Canyon, Mt. Bachelor, Steamboat, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Winter Park, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Killington, Loon Mountain, Pico Mountain, Snowshoe, Stratton, Sugarloaf, Sunday River
    International Resorts: Cypress Mountain (Canada), Blue Mountain (Canada), Tremblant (Canada)

    Tahoe Super Pass Gold

    This pass includes unlimited access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, four days at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl, unlimited 50% discounts on lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts, and a worry-free guarantee that will credit users up to four days towards a 2016/17 pass if they don’t ski at least five times this year.
    Adult Price: $899 (Pays for itself in 9 days)
    Resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-At-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl
    International Resorts: Two days at Zermatt (Switzerland)

    Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus

    Get access to multiple resorts in Colorado as well as resorts in places like New Zealand, you’ll be able to enjoy the snow year-round. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus offers many benefits from free “friends and family” tickets to discounts on rental equipment and tuning.
    Adult Price: $629 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
    Resorts: Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora Alpine Pass, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Alyeska Resort
    International Resorts: Tomamu (Japan), Alts Bandai (Japan), Nekoma (Japan), Cardrona (New Zealand), Mt. Ruapehu (New Zealand)

    Cali4nia Pass

    Access Southern California’s mountains every day with this pass. It offers unlimited skiing, five “bring-a-friend” tickets, and up to 20% off lodging at Mammoth Lodging Collection properties.
    Adult Price: $849 (Pays for itself in 11 days)
    Resorts: Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

    *Listed pricing is current as of November 1, 2016. Click on the name of the pass for the most up to date pricing details.

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    Epic Pass gives more bang for the buck

    So you still haven’t bought your ski season pass yet and can’t quite decide on what’s the best pass to buy for a multi-resort pass packed with value to price ratio? ..

    epic-pass

    Here are some important factors and questions to determine which pass will give you the best value for the price aka “best bang for the buck”:

    • how many days do you plan to ski/ride this season?
    • how many resorts/mountains would you like to have access to?
    • is it required that you have no blackout days meaning holidays must be
    • included(note that holidays tend to be crowded slope-side, services sub-par/long wait times, and high traffic getting to and from the resort)?
    • would you like to have access to resorts across multiple States in the US plus international ski resorts access?
    • how many days would you need to use the pass for it to pay for itself?

    Once you’ve had a chance to answer the questions above, you’ll be in a better position to decide which ski/ride season pass is the best value for you. Naturally, if you grew up skiing or riding at a particular resort, you’ll likely have a loyal tendency to favorite that resort but let’s say we set that aside and let’s just talk shop in terms of determining the best value season pass.

    Ok, so we’ve crunched the numbers for you and ran a comparison of all the available 2016-17 multiple mountain ski season passes, our findings point to the Epic Pass as a great value for a multi-mountain pass and here’s why:

    “Ski as much as you want, whenever you want.” – Vail Resorts..

    Unlimited access to:

    • Vail
    • Beaver Creek
    • Breckenridge
    • Keystone
    • Park City
    • Heavenly
    • Northstar
    • Kirkwood
    • Wilmot
    • Afton Alps
    • Mt. Brighton
    • Perisher (2017 access)
    • Arapahoe Basin

    International Access:

    What drew us in to the Epic Pass is the bonus inclusion of 5 lift tickets to Whistler Blackcomb which is rated #1 for the 2016-17 winter season by Ski Magazine, named “Top Overall Ski Resort”. Not sure about you, but Whistler Blackcomb is on our MUST DO LIST for it’s vast terrain and super fun apres ski and nightlife.   😉  – Read more about Whistler Blackcomb’s terrain and nightlife .

    In addition, the Epic Pass includes access to 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland! Access now includes four of Europe’s most iconic destinations. France’s largest ski areas, Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere offer a unique playground to skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, accessing five glaciers, 391 ski lifts and over 800 miles of marked runs for all ability levels within a 30-mile radius. The three areas combine high-altitude skiing guaranteeing quality snow from November to May with stunning view of Mont Blanc and a 360-degree panorama of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.

    South of the Alps, nestled amongst some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world such as Brenta Dolomites and Adamello (11,666 feet), is some of the best skiing in Italy. Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta is home to 150 lifts and 236 miles of ski slopes that that make up acclaimed resorts such as Madonna di Campiglio and Pinzolo in Val Rendena; Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio and Tonale in Val di Sole; Ponte di Legno, Andalo-Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgaria-Lavarone. The winter offering is enriched by the high-quality cuisine and the exclusive “Italian style.”

    Verbier, part of the 4 Vallees ski area, is the largest resort in the Swiss Alps, is acknowledged as one of the premier “off piste” resorts in the world, and is home to a number of professional freeride competitions. Above and beyond this reputation, Verbier is well-known internationally for its electrifying, cosmopolitan nightlife, and the resort is proud of its legendary après-ski and its lively clubs. While skiers and snowboarders from all over the world rave about this off-piste paradise and fun evenings, families also appreciate the resort’s social atmosphere and family-friendly offerings.

    For decades, the mountain range between Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which is home to Arlberg, has been a highly sought-after metropolis for international ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Arlberg is widely considered the cradle of modern skiing and in December 2016, thanks to the opening of four new chair lifts, it will be Austria’s largest linked ski area. Also the birthplace of champions, athletes from Ski Club Arlberg have garnered an incredible 83 medals at various Olympic Games and World Championships.

    “For value, for ease of use, for access to world-class destinations, for constant improvements in the guest experience, and now for being the only pass to offer significant access to Europe, the Epic Pass is in a class by itself,” Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

    Epic Pass access to the European ski areas is described below:

    Resort Country Access Notes
    Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere France Six (6) days of free skiing with two (2) days of skiing at each resort area
    • Includes:

    Les 3 Vallees (Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Brides les Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Bellevelle, Val Thorens and Orelle), Paradiski (Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne), and Tignes-Val D’Isere

    • 2016/2017 Epic pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card and a valid photo ID to the lift cashier in each resort to redeem their lift access
    Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta Italy Three (3) days of free skiing
    • Includes:

    Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio, Ponte di Legno – Tonale, Andalo – Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgarida – Lavarone

    • Epic Pass holders must email at least one week prior to arrival and specify the Dolomiti ski area where they will pick up their pass and show a valid Epic Pass
    • Details can be found below
    4 Vallees Switzerland Five (5) consecutive days of free skiing
    • Includes:

    Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon

    • To redeem lift access, 2016/2017 Epic Pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card, as well as a valid photo ID, to the resort’s Ticket Office
    • Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
    Arlberg Austria Three (3) consecutive days of free skiing
    • Includes:

    Lech, Zurs, Stuben, St. Christoph and St. Anton

    • Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
    • Epic Pass holders must book their lodging directly with the property and the property will deliver the passes to the guest upon confirmation of their Epic Pass

     

    ski-magazine-best-resort-award    Plus, 5 total holiday-restricted days at:
    Whistler Blackcomb – Rated #1 for the 2016-17 winter season by Ski Magazine, named “Top Overall Ski Resort” – If Whistler Blackcomb is on your to do list, you’ll be glad when you’ve experienced it; however be forewarned, once you go, you won’t be able to wait to get back there again. Rated best ski/ride resort for ..

    • Overall Resort
    • Terrain Variety
    • Off-Hill Activities/Nightlife

    Restrictions:
    Whistler Blackcomb restricted 11/25/16–11/26/16, 12/26/16–12/31/16, 1/14/17, 2/18/17–2/19/17.

    Additional Tickets:
    6 Ski-With-A-Friend tickets

    Visit Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for more info.

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    Good value alternative to VRBO and Airbnb

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    Lake Tahoe Area Niche Rental Market: Snowpals’ Vacation Rentals and Ski Lease Listing is a Good Value Alternative to Expensive Listing Fees of VRBO, Airbnb, Vacation Home Rentals, Flipkey and Homeaway

    Looking for a good value alternative to listing your vacation rental or ski lease on HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey or Airbnb?

    Not getting noticed because your listing is on sites next to 100,000 other properties? What does it matter if nobody can find you?

    Snowpals’ listing is affordable, user friendly, and niche market targeted to Lake Tahoe Area Vacation Rentals and Ski Leases. We’ve been helping vacation rental owners increase their booking referrals since 1999.

    Founded in 1999, growing strong for 17 years, we’ve been connecting San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors to the Tahoe area together for outdoor activities and snow sports. Snowpals average 2,000 visitors daily with over 7,000+ members list as of Jan 2016 and 10,000+ audience reach for social media and newsletter members list. Increase your vacation rental bookings return on investment by advertising on Snowpals.

    How much does it cost to list on Snowpals?

    We have a simple listing fee of $35 for the entire ski season for ski lease advertising, and until August 1 for vacation rental advertising.

    In comparison, let’s break down the advertising listing fees for Airbnb and VRBO:

    AirBnB listing fees: Takes 3% of the overall rental price (plus added fees) as their charge. This includes credit card processing fees also. (note: guests are apparently charged 6-12% of the booking as a fee to them, so keep this in mind when pricing your home compared to your competition).

    VRBO listing fees: They have the option of no listing fee and 10% fee per booking. This includes the credit card processing fees also. You can also choose to pay a yearly fee starting at $349 for the year. It says there’s a 0% fee, but it’s a bit misleading since you still have to pay for credit card processing. So in reality it’s a 10% fee with no yearly fee or a 3% with $349/yr. (or more depending on plan).

    Snowpals is a good value alternative to listing on Airbnb and VRBO for the Lake Tahoe area; list your vacation rental or ski lease to get booking referrals. To get an idea of what people are listing; browse vacation rentals and ski leases.

    Feedback from people who have listed with Snowpals:

    “Tim and the Snow Pals’ team have made filling our ski lease drop dead simple. One post and we fill our lease right up.” – Micaiah F. of Meyers Ski Lease 12/5/2016

    “We have successfully used Snowpals to fill a few vacancies in our house over the years (pre-season and mid-season). We received multiple responses in a short amount of time, and nobody flaked (unlike experience with other sources). Snowpals is definitely worth the minimal advertising investment.” – Jen W. of Carnelian Bay Ski Lease 11/30/2016

    “Snowpals was a great site. I received 3 different enquirers and had my vacation rental condo booked for ski lease within a month of posting. I am pleased with the professional renter we were connected with and look forward to using Snowpals again next year.” – Kathleen M. of Northstar Condo Vacation Rental 11/25/2016

    “Thanks to Snowpals we went from 5 members and an expensive, empty house to a dynamic group of 11 consisting of regular and weekdays only members in about a month’s time. A $35 listing fee saved the original members over $1200 each, and we all made new friends!” – Kate S. of South Lake Tahoe Ski Lease with Hot Tub 11/24/2016

    “Snowpals was a great resource which helped us to find additional members for our ski lease. We now have a fun winter to look forward to with a great group of skiers from San Francisco. Snowpals’ website was easy to use, and ad placement just took a few minutes and we got tons of responses. I would definitely use Snowpals again.” – Alexis R. of Tahoe Donner Ski Lease 11/21/2016

    “I was astounded by how much high quality interest I got through Snowpals – I could have easily filled my lease twice over.  Tim at Snowpals was very responsive; great experience overall, would use it again and would be happy to recommend to others.” – Anne R. of Tahoe City Ski Lease Memberships 10/27/2016

    “Snowpals saved our winter this year! We wanted to organize a ski lease but had friends who were unsure if they could commit. We listed our lease on snowpals in mid September and were able to fill it by the end of September. And the people we met are amazing! I would highly recommend using snowpals for anyone trying to organize a ski lease.” – Agatha B. of Heavenly Ski-in/out Ski Lease 9/28/2016

    “Snowpals is just what you need if you are trying to fill your ski lease with quality members.  I posted an ad on Snowpals, and within 9 days I had received a dozen inquiries.  We were able to close out our roster quickly and conveniently.  I will use the site again for certain.” – Alex P. of Alpine Meadows Year Round Family Ski Lease 9/17/2016

    “Thanks for running Snowpals’ website. Met some of my best friends on here when I found my first ski lease. This year we advertised on Snowpals and filled our ski lease memberships quickly.” – Justin H. of Alpine Meadows Ski Lease 9/20/2016

    “Snowpals helped us find amazing families and fill our lease more quickly this year than we ever have in the past!  I highly recommend snowpals for anyone who is looking to fill a few spots in their ski house!” – John H. of Tahoe Donner Family Ski Lease 9/12/2016

    “Thanks for listing my ski lease quickly – in the last 10 days I got a lot of people who where interested, so now I finalized and we’re full 🙂 !  Thanks again for your help and for SnowPals, it’s great to get this done so quickly!” – Jan V., Tahoe Donner Luxury Cabin

    “We found 4 great folks via Snowpals to fill up our ski lease. Totally worth the $35 ad listing fee. Thanks!” Mike M., Carnelian Bay Ski Cabin

    “Last year we advertised on both Snowpals and Craigslist.  The Craigslist responders were to a person looking for the cheapest bed possible, with one scammer who wanted to come look at the house when we weren’t there, and tried to get all sorts of information from me. The Snowpals responders (last year and this year), were professional, business owners, professors, and high tech people. We will certainly be back next year!”- JoAnn M, ski lease organizer, Alpine Meadows Ski Lease

    “I’m very happy with the quality of people referrals your site attracts. Keep up the good work!” – Sandy W., owner of Truckee Rental House

    “It was awesome posting on Snowpals! Within 36 hours, I received a bunch of responses in my inbox, and our listing closed fairly quickly. All the emails were super nice and friendly, and many responses were from people already familiar with the Tahoe area and experienced in previous ski leases, which was a huge plus!” – Cindy L., Tahoe City Ski Lease

    “Snowpals is a far better resource than Craigslist or the local papers. For several years running I’ve managed to find excellent full season renters in a very short time and with minimal hassle. Thanks Snowpals!” — Chris K., Markleeville homeowner

    “We got about twice as many queries from Snowpals as from Craigslist. The queries seemed from ‘more normal’ people, and it was nice to not have to hit renew every few days.” – Trent G., Donner Lake Ski Lease

    “Advertising my ski lease on snowpals was quick, easy and highly effective! In no time, I had responses from really nice, high-caliber potential ski cabin members. I filled my spots in no time with people I really like, who are a great fit for the cabin.” Heather D., Alpine Meadows Ski Lease

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    Survival Guide & Tips: Skiing with Kids

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    By Joe Woo, Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. 

    Skiing with kids. It seems like a simple thing. But let me tell you. If you haven’t done it before and aren’t prepared for it, it can ruin a great time on the slopes. However, with the right preparation, it can be more fun skiing with them than skiing without them. For those of you toying with the idea of finally bringing the kids up or maybe you’re considering bringing up a nephew or niece…read this. What I’ll do first is share some of my kid skiing experience and what we do to make it lots of fun.

    For me, skiing pre-kids was easy. I never thought about anyone else. I never considered having to ski with anyone. If anyone I was skiing with slowed me down or was having a bad time, I could separate from them and meet up with them later. That was no big deal. When you add kids to the mix, things really change. The main thing is that you can’t just dump the kids and continue skiing when they’re cramping your style. When you’re on the mountain with your kids, you’re stuck with them for better or for worse. What is a parent to do?

    Over the last two seasons I’ve come up with a pretty good system for skiing with kids. My wife and I came up with it using trial and error to finally dial in something that works for our family. It was a lot of effort using trial and error and lots of frustration but it was worth it. Why go through all the effort? Why not just dump the kids in ski school for the day so that I could ski without them?

    Cost is an obvious issue, but more importantly skiing with my kids is fun. It is more fun than skiing without them because when they’re having fun, there is nothing better than skiing together, laughing together and watching them learn, grow and overcome all the little challenges of skiing. The look on their face when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could is priceless and worth more than anything in the world. When it is good, skiing with them is better than any skiing I could do on my own.

    So, what’s the issue? Those fun times were rare and didn’t happen often. When they did happen, they were priceless, however it seemed like the bad times outweighed the good times. Finding a way to make those fun times happen more was something I had to do.

    So, how do you do that? What I discovered through two years of trial and error is CCSF. What does this mean? Confidence, Comfort, and Sated (not hungry) equals Fun. If you can get the Confidence, Comfort and Sate (not hungry) issues right that will equal Fun for your family. Lets look closer at each element.

    Confidence

    Confidence is a very important thing for anyone. It is especially important for kids to have when skiing. I’ll go so far as to say that confidence is so important that I believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing. Without confidence, the kids will never want to ski, will dread skiing and will make your time on the mountain miserable. You should do everything in your power to build your kids confidence in skiing.

    How do you do that? For us we decided to always try and put our kids in skiing situations that we knew they could be successful. We never made them do anything we knew they would fail at. They quickly built confidence the second day they ever skied. The thing that built confidence the most was succeeding in tasks when they were scared of doing something even though I knew they could do it. These were the cases where I pushed them hard because I knew they could do it, but they needed to realize they could do it and when they did it you could see the confidence grow.

    For example, my 5 year old son refused to ski without being between my legs and me holding him down the bunny slope. I knew he would crash at first if he tried skiing by himself as this was his first time on skis. After about 5 runs between my legs I started to stop actively holding him and he would ski holding me. Then after a few runs of doing that we would stop halfway down the hill, put his skis in pizza and let him go so that he was standing still on the hill in pizza. Then I would go about 10 feet in front of him and tell him to slide to me. At first it was a struggle because he didn’t want me to let go of him. He would cry when I would let go. I just wanted him to slide to me in pizza. He didn’t have to stop. I would catch him. But he was scared to do it, but I knew he could do it and he finally did through the cries and tears. Once he realized he had actually done it, he did it again.

    At first it was 10 feet, then 20 feet and I would stop him. If he veered off course I would slide over to catch him. Then I told him to stop by himself and he just did it. He was amazed that he could stop by himself and the rest is history. He skied the rest of the day by himself without ever turning. Just pizza strait down the hill with his arms held in front of him like he was ready to do some serious karate chops. His way to balance I guess. The next day he was turning back and fourth and excited about skiing.

    My daughter was the same progression at the same time. Soon they got bored of the slope and asked to do another lift. We moved onto another beginner lift with slightly steeper terrain and a longer run. That was last year at Diamond Peak. They gained so much confidence at Diamond Peak, Mt. Rose and Squaw Valley. I continued to teach them parallel skiing and my daughter is no longer in pizza. My son is in an advanced pizza today, but is almost ready for parallel skiing.

    Today my younger son is six and my daughter is eight and both are happily skiing black diamonds off Red Dog, KT-22, Headwall and other lifts at Squaw Valley. My older son is actually skiing (as opposed to just surviving down) West Face, Tower 16 and the various terrains off Silverado chair! It is amazing what a little confidence can do. My kids are testament to that without ever having professional ski lessons. Whatever you do, make sure the kids gain lots of confidence. I truly believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing.

    Comfort

    Now your kids are confident skiers. Is that it? Not really. No matter how confident they are, if they are not comfortable, they will complain and ruin your day. Kids are not mature enough to overcome the little issues so they don’t ruin the big things like a fun day of skiing. Our kids are pretty tough and the last thing we do is baby them, but every kid has a limit to what comfort they’re willing to give up on to have fun on the slopes.

    It is important that you take the time to learn what your kids comfort limits are and make sure those needs are satisfied. My kids don’t complain that much about their comfort. I think it is because I’ve invested in making sure they stay warm and dry no matter the conditions. They have top of the line ski pants, jackets, gloves, base and mid layers. They have great helmets and goggles. Goggles were an issue and I finally got them decent stuff that doesn’t fog and they can clean easily. Another important piece of equipment was the neck gator. It seals out the cold air getting in from the neck. The kids rarely complain about being cold or wet and it is one less issue we have to worry about.

    Sate

    Kids don’t do well when they’re hungry. Instead you sould make it a priority to make sure they’re sated and not hungry. This one is really simple. Kids start getting moody and melting down when they get hungry. It is amazing. They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Feed your kids periodically and your chances are better at having a great day. We discovered that if we have a big breakfast, lunch around 12:30 or 1, 2:30 heavy snack and small snacks on the lifts in between, we avoid the hunger meltdown altogether. Now I always have a large Hershey bar in my pocket and on every other lift ride, I’ll give each kid one piece to eat. This system has worked great this season.

    Skiing with your kids can be fun and very rewarding. Just remember that kids have unique needs that you have to consider. The best way I know is to remember CCSF. Confidence, Comfort and Sated equals Fun. Try is next time you’re out with the kids. Good luck!

    =====

    More skiing with kids tips for parents..

    From Jeremy Feinberg, a Ski Instructor at Kirkwood for 6 years plus, a certified PSIA Level 2 instructor, training for Level 3; he teaches skill levels that range from first timers to expert; he coaches a Progression team that skis 99% of the legal terrain at Kirkwood.

    As someone who makes their living teaching children how to ski I can say that there are some good things in this survival guide; a comfortable and well fed child is one who is set up for success, and depending on the child, confidence can be a limiting factor, however in the 1+ page of text there was very little emphasis on skill development and no mention at all of the physical and cognitive limitations that change as a child grows.

    That being said, a few things to keep in mind include: 

    It’s hard to learn new skills when people are on terrain that is at the edge of their comfort level, dial it back, gain ownership over the movements and then take it to the steeper snow.

    Confidence can be a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing… your child needs to ski in control and not be a menace or hazard.

    Leash and harness systems enable parents to get younger kids on the snow but can reinforce bad habits, however the harnesses themselves can be useful for picking up kids from the snow and helping them on to the lift.

    The Edgy Wedgie can be a useful teaching tool, try it for a run or two, take if off and see if the child can stop without it… use it for a few runs, not a few days or seasons.  

    If its your child’s first time skiing, start on a small hill below the lift, 30-50 feet long and almost flat with a flat runout at the bottom, or a gradual uphill if you can find it, learn to stop there, then head to the chair.

    Some children perform at a higher level with their parents around, some excel within their peer group under the tutelage of an experienced coach, it helps to know which group your child falls into

    The pace of skill development as detailed in the Survival Guide sounds about right, just keep in mind that today I had a 6 year old girl first time skier (along with a five year old girl with separation anxiety issues whose mother checked her out after lunch) who was able to stop within the first hour, we were on the chairlift before lunch and making turns.  By the time her parents picked her up (1/2 hour early) she had taken several runs through the trees. Tomorrow after a brief warm up she will be ready for the lower intermediate lift.  Her older brother who was on a snowboard was unwilling to follow us through the woods.    Her parents were impressed by her success and gave me a generous tip.

    If you want to get your child out of the wedge and making turns that have a least some parallel at the end of each turn, and you want that to happen quickly, ski school is the place for your child, especially on the weekdays when group sizes are small and only experienced and highly certified instructors are getting any work.  

    Please don’t be that person who has their child skiing advanced terrain in a power wedge, if you are going to ski with your child and teach them how to ski, make the day about them, you need to be there to support them and help them along the way.  

    Recognize the limitations of your own teaching abilities and don’t let your child (or yourself) get stuck in the skill rut; if you have any questions about how this can manifest one can use the intermediate rut as an example: go to most ski resorts and watch the way people on the intermediate runs ski, particularly how they initiate their turns.  What you will see in most cases are varying degrees of stem (wedge or pizza) to start the turn.  People make this movement because they are not comfortable performing a movement that ski instructors call crossover.

    Crossover is the movement that separates advanced skiers from people that ski advanced terrain, it is defined my crossing your center of mass over your skis, down the hill into the new turn (basically throwing one’s body down the hill, swooping your skis underneath the body to catch the center of mass)  

    Crossover one example of a movement that can define a skill rut, it’s difficult to teach and limits a person’s ability to explore and enjoy the mountain.

    **On a related note** Teaching the spouse or significant other how to ski is tough, I call it the relationship tester, put that person in a group or private lesson, meet up for lunch and ski together in the afternoon, at their pace, where the instructor said would be a good place to ski.  Your romantic relationship is one of equals, the student/teacher relationship is not, things can get ugly quick.

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