Why Ski School is Fun!

Most kids hate school, but there’s one they might just love. Snow School!

As a father, and very keen skier, our kids didn’t have much of a chance.  They were going to ski whether they liked it or not! And to their credit they did.

Aged 8 and 11 now, they can make their way down almost any slope, admittedly with differing levels of enthusiasm and skill. Hannah is still the queen of “power plows” and while she doesn’t admit to liking skiing, I think secretly she does. Adam being older, has decided that “skiing is his sport” (as a way to extricate himself from Saturday sports I think!) and would ski every day given the chance I suspect, but often with a slightly unorthodox style.

So last year we called his bluff, and said if skiing was “his sport” then he needed to treat it like any other sport. Do it regularly, and get trained. That meant a ski programme at Porters Ski Area (just over an hour from our home), comprising of a week in the school holidays, and then every Sunday for a half day for the rest of the season.  Committed we were!

We started the season with a warm up week at Cardrona. Always lots of fun and very cruisy, perfect for a family ski holiday. And then back home and into the business side of things; the ski week. Our mornings typically started at 6.45am, and after a quick breakfast we were on the road by 7.30am so that we could be at the ski area by 8.45. Just in time for “school”.  Boots on, drop off at the “classroom” and then into the café for me, where I developed a pretty nice routine. Two coffees, an hours work, and then out skiing around 11. Oh yes, often a little socialising as well  At 12 I’d pick Adam up, we’d have lunch together and then ski the afternoon.

Lessons; fun then? Well, sadly not at first to be honest. The instructor struggled with a variation in skills (and interest) in the group, and so Adam got left behind a little. But we were committed to this, so we discussed the issue with the ski school director who changed us (well, Adam) into another group. James, the Australian, was the new instructor and instantly the fun, and learning began.  So a key lesson here, if you’re not entirely happy with your instructor, don’t be afraid to say something.

The season trucked on and every Sunday Adam and I headed to the snow. I got my time in the cafe (with excellent coffee) and then a little ski time by myself. Adam got his lessons. And then we both skied the afternoons together; often until we were kicked off the mountain.  We rode the lifts together, we chatted, we occasionally hooked up with friends, and we skied a lot. Adam progressed to comfortably skiing Big Mama and Bluff Face at Porters, which if you know it, is the most advanced riding on the mountain. So for a (then) 10 year old, he did unbelievably well.

And so yes, ski school delivered loads of fun. Ultimately school itself was fun; learning to ski the park, off-piste, just developing better skills. But then we had our own fun time. Lift time and skiing together; sometimes just ripping down groomed runs, sometimes in steeper soft snow.

Doing things with your kids (or friends) is always the best time, and skiing offers that fun on many levels. The sport is fun, being in the mountains is fun. But hanging out with your friends or family, doing thing you all love is really fun.

If you’re skiing with kids, lessons will undoubtedly take their experience and enjoyment to a new level, and ultimately yours.

p.s. Works for Adults as well!