By Rachel Walker
Before I had kids, this time of year centered around one question: which ski pass are you getting? These days, with two young boys (ages 4.5 and 2.5) the question is modified: which ski school program are you signing up for?
Its something all of my friends are asking, us Front Rangers with powder addictions and fledgling rippers. Some of us have ski houses in the high country (not me, sadly), others are intrepid day-trippers, and still others prefer to stay close to home. Fortunately, nearly all of the resorts in Colorado have multi-day ski school programs that offer consistency and financial discounts. Heres a round-up:
Some of the best values in ski country, A-Basin has multi-week lessons on Saturdays and Sundays that split the kids by age: Kids Club Arapahoe (kindergarten-fifth grade),Lil Kids Club (ages 3-5), andXtreme Teen (grades six through nine). Preschool classes are capped at four students per instructor and the other classes have maximum six students per instructor. Lil Kids Club and Kids Club classes are offered morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday; Sunday classes are morning only and end at 12:15. Xtreme Teen classes are all day.
Cost: $295 (Kids Club and Lil Kids Club) for four classes, $365 (Xtreme Teen) for four classes.
Info: Click here for more info.
Beat weekend traffic with Copper Mountains late-week Trail Blazers program, multi-week lessons on either Thursdays or Fridays. For kids ages 3-5, this program takes beginners through those able to ride blue trails. For weekend warriors, Copper offers Scooters (ages 4-12), Choppers (aspiring racers ages 8-18, and Woodward Copper Park Rats.
Costs: vary. Click here for detailed info.
Info: To register or for more info, click here.
Eldoras Eldorables has been teaching kids ages 4 to 6 for decades. These two-hour lessons are offered Tuesday through Friday with morning and afternoon options. Kids Trek is an all-day (9:30-2:30) Saturday or Sunday option for kids ages 4 to 12.
Cost: Eldorables five-week session, $349; Kids Trek six-week session: $489-$549 (does not include lunch or lift ticket).
Info: Click here or call 303-440-8700 for more info.
Loveland Explorers, a 6-week program offered in conjunction with the Loveland Ski Club exposes kids to top level coaches from the ski and ride school. Geared toward intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders, ages 7-14. Winter Wigglers is a multi-week, three-lesson program for potty-trained preschoolers that runs mid-week from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and includes a two-hour lesson, lunch, and an hour of indoor activities
Cost: $499 for six-week, full-day (9 a.m. 2 p.m.) session, includes lunch and unrestricted season pass; Winter Wigglers: $215 per session.
Info: Click here to register.
Monarchs Explorers program is for kids aged 7-15 and is available in full or half day options. With an emphasis on guided exploration of the mountain, explorers get to experience a variety of options, including freeriding, the terrain park, and all-mountain adventure.
Cost: Saturdays 9:45-2:30 (six days): $510.
Info: Click here for more details or to register.
Winter Parks Fish Programs offer something for everyone. The multi-week lessons come in three, five, and seven-week options and can accommodate kids ages 3 to 14. Theyre offered Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and kids get the same instructor each week and lunch, and the ability level ranges from beginner to expert.
Cost: Prices vary depending on the duration, starting at $259 for the three-week Minnow program and ranging to $679 for the Saturday, seven-week Piranhas.
Info: Click here to register or for more information.
Easy, right? Well, not really. In addition to all of these, which are within relatively easy driving distance to my Boulder home, Aspen, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Durango Mountain Resort, and others all offer their own appealing multi-week lesson packages. Thats the good news. The tough part is going to be picking a program because they all look great.