Getting children up on skis … Tahoe ski resorts with programs Essay

Getting children up on skis . . . Tahoe ski resorts with programs Putting on skis, learning to snowplow, and riding a chair lift arebasics of alpine skiing, but for a first-time skier, this can all seemlike a great challenge. To help young beginners meet the challenge, 16 ski resorts in theLake Tahoe area–twice as many as in our previous survey in 1977–havedeveloped ski programs that cater to their needs. Trained instructorsteach children basic skiing and ski safety and create an enjoyableatmosphere for learning. Full-day programs Nine resorts offer all-day programs, often with a double-sessionlesson, playtime, and snack or lunch.

Price includes lift ticket, butrental equipment is extra except as noted. It’s a good idea to call ahead for reservations, especially ifyou’re planning a trip during the holidays or a three-day weekend.If you don’t have reservations, check at the resort’s skischool desk to see if any room is left in the class you want. Alpine Meadows Ski Area, (916) 583-4232. Children’s SnowSchool for ages 3 to 6 includes ski lesson, equipment, indoor andoutdoor playtime, lunch, and snacks for $35.

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Children’s Ski School, ages 7 to 12. Beginner class with liftticket, all-day lesson, lunch break; $22. Boreal Ski Area, (916) 426-3666.

The Hobbit Ski Company, ages 3 to12. Morning and afternoon lessons, equipment, indoor and outdoorplaytimes, and lunch; $35. This six-level program awards children fortheir progress with badges taken from the characters in the Hobbittrilogy by J.

R.R. Tolkien.

Echo Summit Ski Area, (916) 659-7154. Skiwee is a programdeveloped by Ski Magazine for ages 5 to 12. All-day lesson, indoor andoutdoor playtimes, lunch; $32.

Participants get a standardized skireport card that can be used again as a progress chart at other resortsoffering the program (including Northstar in the Lake Tahoe region). Children’s Ski School, ages 7 to 12. Double-session 4-hourlesson $21. Kirkwood Ski Resort, (209) 258-6000. Children’s Ski Schoolhas a beginner special including double-sesson lesson and equipment;$25. Group lessons for ages 4 to 12 at any level.

All-day lessonsinclude lunch; $25. Single-session 2-hour lessons cost $15. Mt. Rose Ski Resort, (702) 849-0704.

Rosebuds is for ages 3 to 7.The main goals are to teach children to ski and get on chair liftsunassisted. All-day lesson costs $35; half-day $20. Northstar-at-Tahoe, (916) 562-1010. Skiwee and Peewee programs areoffered here.

The first (ages 5 to 12) includes 6-hour lesson and hotlunch; $40. The second (ages 3 to 6) offers 1 1/2-hour lesson,equipment, indoor and outdoor play, lunch, and snacks; $32, $29 forsecond child. Ski Incline, (702) 832-1177. Learn-to-Ski program, ages 6 to 12.

Four-hour lesson $20; 2 hours $14. Beginner special includes 4-hourlesson, rental, and lift ticket; $25; 2 hours $15; weekends (two days, 4hours a day) $45. Soda Springs, (916) 426-3666. Offers the Hobbit Ski Companyprogram weekends only (see listing under Boreal Ski Area). Squaw Valley USA, (916) 583-0119. Ten Little Indians Snow School(583-4743), ages 3 to 5. Lesson, equipment, indoor and outdoor play,and lunch $32; second child $26.

Half-day lessons $22. Junior Mountain Ski School for ages 6 to 12 has separate programsfor children who have never skied and those who can turn on skis and getonto a chair lift. Classes run from 11 to 4, with a lunch break; $24(hot lunch $6 extra). Lesson packages with ski rental are alsoavailable.

Short sessions The following resorts don’t have full programs for children,but offer beginner lessons for them–some with adults, others forchildren only. Donner Ski Ranch, (916) 426-3635. Half-hour private lessons forages 3 to 6; $10. Two-hour group lessons for ages 6 and up cost $7, $14for 4 hours. Heavenly Ski Resort, (916) 541-1330. Children’s Ski School,ages 5 and up. Lift ticket, single-session 2-hour lessons (morning orafternoon), hot chocolate; $14, $20 for double session.

Homewood Ski Area, (916) 525-7256. One-hour group lessons for ages4 to 6 cost $6. Two-hour group lessons for ages 7 and up are $13;all-day lessons $18. Sierra Ski Ranch, (916) 659-7475. Children 5 and under can have aprivate 1 hour lesson for $26. Half-day group lessons for ages 5 and upare $14; all day $21. Slide Mountain, (702) 849-0303.

Group lessons for ages 6 and up.Classes usually run 2 hours, depending on ability and endurance ofstudents; cost is $11. Sugar Bowl, (916) 426-3651. On weekends, lessons for beginners anyage cost $12 for 2 hours, $18 for all day. Weekdays (same rates),children must be 7 or older.

Tahoe Ski Bowl, (916) 525-5224. Preschool ski class, ages 4 to 6;1- to 2-hour lesson $7. Ages 6 and up $14 half-days, $20 all day. Photo: Learning to snowplow, youngster at Lake Tahoe’sNorthstar resort gets personal coaching from ski instructor while hisclassmates look on Photo: Hot lunch break for student and instructor is part of mostfull-day children’s ski programs

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