Have a Gold Medal First Day of Ski School

Dec. 12, 2014

How to prepare for ski school
We at Vail Ski School KNOW, that first day of vacation can be a challenge. We very much appreciate that you could be toting less gear and taking your family to some nice beach, where your “après” drink could have a cute little umbrella standing in it. But NO! You are one of us! You are a skiing family!

You love the glittering powder snow we are famous for here at Vail. You don’t love sand in your shoes. You love the fresh crisp air, and dread hot, humid sticky days. You love seeing your kids thrill in their favorite lifetime sport rather than playing video games while taking refuge in an air conditioned hotel room. And a hot toddy after a great day of skiing on a bluebird winter day can be a real reward! You are a champion skiing family!

We also know that the first day of launching your family into ski school can bring some stress. So here is a thought and some tips that might help your vacation get off to its best start:

Start slowly:
If you can afford it in your schedule, let your first day in Vail be an easy acclimation/orientation day. If you are coming from a different time zone, had significant travel involved in reaching us, or come from a lower altitude, you and your family could really use a slower pace on that first day. Slow and steady wins this race.

Catch up:
As tempting as it is to run to the chair lift as soon as humanly possible, it may pay off to sleep in a bit, give your body a chance to acclimate to our thinner air, and catch up on some needed rest. Maybe you start your lesson mid- day or even tomorrow depending on your arrival time and how tired or energized you all are feeling.

When you first arrive at altitude you don’t want to eat too heavily, but a nice breakfast and plenty of water will help replenish you.

Come visit Ski and Snowboard School and orient your little skiers:
Come midmorning and visit us at ski school to get the lay of the land. Come pick up your passes, get fitted for and pick up any gear you may need from our in-house rental shop. We have a retail store in the building as well if you need anything else. We would love to meet you and your children, and answer any last minute questions any of you have about the day.

Take a few easy runs AT LAST!:
Now that you’re feeling tip top and oriented, it could be a perfect time to get your gear together and take a few easy runs. This gives you all a dry run to make sure you packed everything you need for skiing and gives you some unhurried time to sample our gorgeous snow and explore our amazing trails! A partial day of skiing on that first day gives you a good warm up, a chance to get your feet under you and have your first fun adventures!

Any shoppers in the group? Take a stroll through town, stretch your legs and explore the village. Aside from unbelievably great skiing, we’re actually known for our wonderful villages and your whole family will enjoy exploring a bit!

Prep for tomorrow:
With some great family moments already behind you, lay out your clothes and gear for tomorrow, making the morning easy again. Plan to get to bed at a decent hour (Mountain Time) so you’ll all be ready for a full day!

Celebrate with a happy, rested and eager family:
After a nice dinner, sit back and enjoy your family, excited for tomorrow, and ready to attack the day as you wish! You are providing an amazing, and memorable gift for your family in the form of this vacation! You deserve a gold medal ! …and maybe a nice little hot toddy.


Vail blog Janet LawrenceAuthor: Janet Lawrence, of the Vail Ski and Snowboard School. Janet grew up skiing in Upstate New York and came to Vail in 1997. She has been working in the Vail Ski and Snowboard School since, first as an instructor then a Trainer and a  Supervisor in the Golden Peak Children’s School. In the off- season she sails and bikes and works with children at an outdoor day camp.