The drive up to Baldy Mountain Resort is lovely. We’ve driven up a few times in the last few weeks and other than some teeth rattling bumps the road is usually cleared and maintained. Winter tires are a must of course but even our van can make it up with no problems. On our first day of skiing we attempted to arrive early and snag a parking spot near the lodge. However, getting a family of five out the door for a ski day is no easy feat and the parking lot was already quite full when we arrived. At least we weren’t in the overflow parking; I consider that a success! Once we arrived the first hurdle was getting everyone geared-up. Cold mountain air sure motivates kids to dress quickly but inevitably there’s a prickly tag, or bunched up socks, and then high-pitched screams of “i don’t like it!!!”. In these moments I’m not sure if I should laugh or breath deep, I usually end up somewhere in between with an exasperated chuckle. The walk from our vehicle to the magic carpet (bunny hill) was by far the more difficult part of our first day of skiing. Our youngest decided that he couldn’t walk in his ski boots and proceeded to repeatedly throw himself on the ground in a fit of tears. He eventually made it to the magic carpet only to balk at the idea of skiing. Without much ceremony we quickly clipped all our kids into their skis and placed them on the conveyor belt.
The magic carpet was a perfect way to ease into downhill skiing. My children have never downhill skied before but there have been cross-country skiing since they could walk. Some of the skills they’ve learned over the years definitely made the transition to easier. They already knew how to stand on skis, brake and get up hills. One big difference, however, is that s-curves are not used when descending hills on cross-country skis. The hills are usually small and there are tracks that guide you on the way down. After about a half-dozen practice runs down the small hill we took the Sugarlump lift to the top. I quickly learned to notify the chairlift attendants that my kids needed help with getting on the lift and they were great about slowing it down and giving me an extra hand. We never had to wait long to get (max. 5 minutes) which is really great when skiing with kids. Getting off the lift was another matter. Even after five runs we still would end up in a jumble of arms, legs and skis. There must be some helpful tips and tricks I’m missing out on. If you know what they are please feel free to share.
To my happy surprise we skied the entire day. My daughter took to downhill skiing with such passion she declared it her new favourite sport. My eldest resisted s-curves the entire day and crashed a lot and our youngest moved past his ski boot trauma and couldn’t get enough time on the hill. I’m really grateful our first day went well and excited to see how the next few months unfold.