I wish I skied. I don’t and as the years keep passing my willingness to hurtle down a mountain wane ever more. But I don’t want my scaredy-cat attitude to influence my kids. While competitive skiing isn’t an aspiration (at least not yet), I’d like my kids to feel comfortable gliding down the gorgeous mountains that provide the backdrop to Metro Vancouver.
On the first day of Winter, we hopped the shuttle from Parkgate Mall and traveled to the top of Mt Seymour. My husband grew up skiing, and since meeting me 2 decades ago, the poor guy’s skiing habit has been severely impacted. But since this mom doesn’t ski, it is up to dad to get the kids down the hill. We decided to get up the mountain well before the boys’ individual private ski lessons. Our thinking was if the boys had a few runs under their belts they may feel a bit more confident in their lessons. Our theory worked for one kid, not so much for the other (isn’t that how things always go with parenting?).
The morning hours were spent repeatedly going down green runs (Goldie Meadows and Flower Basin) & back up the magic carpet. Tip: the earlier you arrive the shorter the wait for the magic carpet. The afternoon was spent in lessons. Our boys are 6 & 8 years old and the recommendation was for them to have individual private lessons. While I thought their were very similar in ability, the ski-teaching experts were absolutely correct. My 8 year old was able to progress faster than the 6 year old. Nonetheless within 2 hours both kids had graduated from the bunny hill to confidently getting down blue runs.
The boys loved their instructors, our youngest worked with Michaela and our eldest was partnered with Mike. Highlights from their private ski lessons include:
- learning how to properly change direction and not use the edges of their skis
- using airplane arms to aid in direction change
- riding the chair lift for the first time
- advancing from the bunny hill to blue runs
- night skiing for the first time
- a massive increase in confidence & eagerness for skiing
Tips for a successful family ski day at Mt Seymour:
- if you don’t have winter tires (tires with the snowflake) you can’t drive up to Mt Seymour. There is a wonderfully convenient shuttle bus that picks up from Parkgate Mall. The cost is $6 per person each way.
- if you want to pack your own food, you are welcome to do so. The mountain has provided an eating space downstairs in the main lodge called Whiskey Jack.
- if you don’t feel like schlepping your own provisions, the Three Peaks Lodge has everything from delicious & filling chilli fries to soups, salads, sandwiches and more. There are hot drinks available too.
- as is always the case with any family destination, the earlier you arrive the smaller the crowds. The mountain opens at 9am and by 1pm the crowds noticeably swelled in size.
- register the kids for lessons. If mom & dad can ski, give yourself the freedom to explore all that Mt Seymour has to offer while getting the kids expert training. If the parents can’t ski (like me) enjoy the wonderfully convenient “Parent Viewing Hut” right at the top of Goldie Meadows. While there aren’t seats, there is a roof over your head and it offers a place to escape the cold & keep an eye on your kid.
Skiing has the reputation for being expensive. But with deals like Mt Seymour’s 3Ski Passes, participating in the sport becomes a lot more manageable. The 3Ski Passes start at $99 per person. If you are interested in night skiing you can get 3 evening lift tickets & equipment rentals that can be used after 6pm on any day for just $99 (savings of $104). If daytime skiing is more your pace, you can get the same package but the price jumps to $189 (a savings of $97).
When my kids woke up the next morning the first words out of their mouths were “good morning, Mom”, it was “can we go back to Mt Seymour today and do more skiing?” I think this momma better start saving up for ski gear & season’s passes. I think I best get over my fear of skiing too or I’m going to be left behind on future family ski days.