My favorite moment on the slopes in 2017 came on a pristinely temperate Sunday afternoon in April at Jay Peak. Only two months prior, my six-year-old son began his three-week stint taking invaluable weekly lessons at Blue Hills Ski Area by popping into his skis and promptly navigating himself backwards into a small ravine, spread out on the cold ground.
Clearly, there was a lot of work to do.
Fast-forward to the tail end of April break, and there he was with me, pushing his way through the springtime corn and slush with ease, a challenging workout his brother had already bailed on for the day one run earlier, and one that marked the end of the ski season with certain pride and appreciation for his development.
If you’re in a similar boat looking ahead to 2018, the three-week Snow Puppies program ($119 plus rentals) in Canton is a tremendous — and busy — way to get kids ages 4-6 an introduction to life on skis or a board. Many dates are already sold out, but some weekday options still remain. Visit bluehillsboston.com/lessons for more information.
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Thus, as we swing the calendar from 2017 to 2018, some focuses for this year’s season have shifted. In lieu of securing lessons and rentals, the boys have already leased for the season and we’re looking at the next challenges, not “french fry” or “pizza.” That means more blues and bumps than greens and groomers this coming season, likely with a lesson or two mixed in.
We’ll definitely be purchasing Ski New Hampshire’s 4th and 5th Grade Snowsports Passport for my 10-year-old this upcoming season, a $30 digital packet of one-time use vouchers good as 34 ski areas and resorts across the state. Ski Vermont has its own similar program with its 5th Grade Passport, good for up to 88 days at resorts across the state all for a $10 processing fee.
We’ll certainly be taking advantage of some of the special programs available across the state in January, national Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (more on that next week), for my four-year-old daughter who will be making her first turns following the turn of the year.
There’s also anticipation on my sons’ part, not only waiting for the first snow storm to cancel school this season, but also the ability to hunker down and await word the previous evening so that we might attack a powder day as early as possible.
Yeah, it was a good year, but 2018 is already shaping up to be better.
Now, please snow.