I’m interrupting the vacation recap posts to bring you my “Skiing with Your Family Q&A” post 🙂 .
Over the last week, I’ve recapped PART ONE and PART TWO of our trip to Telluride. While we were on vacation, I asked you guys on Stories if you had any questions and today, I’m sharing many of those along with my answers. Before we start, a few things…
2: I did a post last year you might find handy called What to pack when you’re skiing! that you might want to read too.
3: As much as we love travel at Mix and Match Travel Agency, we are not currently planning domestic ski vacations. I’m sorry about that, but for right now, that’s not something we’re offering. That means, that as much as I would love to give you all the information and details about anything and everything skiing/snowboarding vacation-wise, that’s not in my wheelhouse. I wish I had more info about pricing different destinations and things like that, but unless I’m working on my own ski vacation, I’m not researching/pricing/looking into them and so I don’t have all of the details.
4: Andrew is way more knowledgeable than I am in this department! Where I have only gone a few years in a row, he goes 5 or 6 times a year to snowboard, so I rely heavily on his opinion as he has traveled to many more places than me to actually get up on a mountain and snowboard/ski.
5: Since Andrew and Smith snowboard many times a year (Smith typically goes with Andrew three times), they buy Epic Passes each year. This is a lift pass that grants you access to many different destinations. So, while we pay for daily lift tickets for the girls in our family (they’re included with ski school), we don’t have to pay for theirs because they already have an Epic Pass.
Alright, your questions, my answers…
…about skiing and snowboarding with my family this year. I tried to grab a wide variety of them from our little Q&A.
For the most part, YES! When we leave for the day, they’re all dressed to ski. They’re wearing their gear, they have their boots on and buckled, they have their goggles in place, helmets snapped…they’re dressed. Smith only has a board to carry and the little girls only have skis (they’re not quite old enough for poles yet), but K has the most to carry with skis and poles. Andrew and I helped Madeley with her skis a bit or Kensington…Ashby, of course, wanted to do it herself 😉 . When it’s the six of us together on the mountain, we have two shifts. We’ll either ski from 9 until noonish (my preferred amount of time) or Andrew likes to do it until 3:30ish, so he’ll (and whichever kids want to accompany him) do it that amount of time.
There are other questions down here to capture most of this question, but I wanted to address the “how crowded was it” part. We loved Telluride because it didn’t feel crowded. Some places (Breckenridge!!) are in my opinion, suuuuper crowded, but Telluride didn’t feel crowded at all.
We didn’t! I’ve heard of families doing this, but we haven’t tried it before. If your kiddo is not ready to ski/too young, most mountains have a really nice nursery where you can also pay to send them while you’re skiing. Again, we haven’t done it (our kids have always been old enough or we’ve just made it work), but my friends who have done it swear by it.
Smith, Kensington and I all first tried snowboarding at the same time. When we went to Aspen three seasons ago, we all thought we wanted to do that because that’s what Andrew does. Smith took to it right away, Kensington and I did not. After that, we both switched to skiing and it came much easier to us. Smith was just about to turn 8 the first time he went snowboarding and immediately loved it.
We have talked about this a lot over the last few weeks! Okay, we really think they both have their pluses and minuses (for us!). Park City: Easy to drive to from Salt Lake City’s airport (like less than an hour). We’ve been there twice and both times, it was just so easy. Their town is amazing! If you’re looking for a mix of original shops and chain stores (like Athleta or Lululemon), they have a mix. The town (and surrounding area) is just geographically larger, therefore you have more choices when it comes to hotels, places to eat, things to do. We now think that if you have a car service, you really don’t need to rent a car in Park City because once you get to the town, everything is right there or you could Uber. The mountain is great, but it did seem more crowded than when we went to Telluride. Speaking of which, Telluride: We flew from DFW into Montrose, CO and then rented a car to drive the hour and a half into Telluride. The drive was GORGEOUS, but I can only imagine that the trip would have taken much longer had we not had perfect weather both coming and going. The town itself is super cute and charming set in the most beautiful location we’ve ever seen, but it is smaller and more out by itself, so you are limited more than Park City when it comes to accommodations and places to eat. I loved how easy the gondola was in the city to access to take you up to the mountain and how it didn’t seem crowded. I thought their ski school area was fantastic! It was so organized, easy to maneuver and well thought out.
Eeeks! As an adult, I tried both and one definitely clicked better than the other. I’ve heard many people say that snowboarding is harder to learn, easier to master and that skiing is easier to learn, harder to master. Basically, I’m not good at either, so which ever one appeals to you the most, give that a try 🙂 .
We bought our plane tickets and booked our accommodations for Telluride in April…I didn’t know that I was going to have a hysterectomy until this fall. The timing was not great. Between Christmas and our trip, this surgery really could not have been at a worse time…but it was what the doctor recommended and at the end of the day, I’m so happy I have it behind me now!!!!!
Everyone started skiing at 9:00 each day. Everyone did it until 3:30ish except one day, Kensington stopped at 1:00 and hung out with me instead. Smith, Kensington and Madeley all did this for three days, but sweet Ashby did it for four! She really wanted to get back out there by herself one day, so we let her.
They stay with the sweetest family!!
We do! Ski school and private lessons book up pretty quickly, so we always get those scheduled around mid-November. On this trip, we did add an extra day of ski school for Ashby because she wanted to go and they had availability, but yes, that’s pre-planned, paid for and booked.
My doctor didn’t give me clearance after my surgery since it had been less than a month.
DFW has a flight that goes directly into Montrose and then we drove the 1.5 hours into Telluride.
It’s a lot of work, right?! We eat early!! That’s our key!! We ate dinner between 5:00 and 6:00 every single night and then went back to crash after.
Andrew should probably answer this one, but I would say for me, it’s making sure we pick the best place for us for where we are at this time in our lives. Some people have said we would love Jackson Hole, but then others have told me that it’s for more for advanced skiers, so that’s not us right now. We always make sure there is more to do than just skiing (like skating, tubing, sleigh rides, etc) in case for some reason, skiing is a bust.
Andrew Shull is soooooooo good about making sure they only do it when it’s fun. He says on repeat, that right now, while they’re kids, if they don’t want to do it, we aren’t going to make them because if you make them, they’ll hate it. If it’s cold, he stops for cocoa, if they want to build a snowman instead of go down, they do. He is so good about making the whole experience fun and guess what? We now have kiddos that love it! I would say that learning anything new is often hard and frustrating. I’m a newbie skier and it’s HARD for me sometimes. There are times when I hate it! I always tell myself though that I’ll never like it unless I learn how to do it and I’ll never learn how to do it if I don’t try. I think ski school is amazing for kids because they really do focus on the FUN first and foremost. My kids have never complained one time about going to ski school. In fact, all year long, they look forward to it. I think when trying new things, there’s always the possibility it won’t work out…but you don’t know until you try.
That depends on the city but here are some things: tubing, ice skating, sledding, sleigh rides, and carriage rides.
At this point, Smith and Kensington fly down on their own without any problems, but Andrew is always with them. I’m no help. I need someone to help me down the mountain! Andrew did one afternoon with all three big kids and they all just stayed together.
Can I be cheesy and say “play games”? We brought cards and dominoes and some of my favorite memories are doing those things together at night. I love all of that time together!!
We save and hand it down! Their base layers are all black, so that’s easy to pass down and then we buy a lot of black, red, orange and blue that can work for all of them. We did buy Ashby some pink but the only person she’s passing down to is Madeley, so that worked too. We pass down their Sorrels, their helmets, their goggles…all of it!
Because we go quite a bit, and we have four kids to pass things down to, we own most of our stuff. This year, the only thing we needed to rent were the little girls’ boots and skis. You can rent many things like skis/snowboard, boots and helmets. You do need to come with your own goggles, base layers and then ski pants and a jacket too. You can borrow those, I’m sure there are websites where you can rent them or you can buy them too.
Smith was days away from turning 8, Kensington was 9, Ashby was 6 and Madeley was 4 the first time each of them skied or snowboarded.
I wish I would have learned at five! It’s hard learning as an adult because you’re higher off the ground and have a fear of falling 😉 . I think five is great! From what I’ve learned, they just want your kiddo to be independently potty trained before going to ski school.
I wish I had an exact number that I could apply across the board and others, please feel free to chime in, but just like any other trip, you can spend as much or as little as you like. Here are some ways to save money: drive to your destination, stay further outside of town, stay somewhere where you can make all of your meals instead of having to go out, borrow as much equipment and gear as you can, don’t go around holidays or holiday weekends, if you have a friend with an Epic Pass, ask if you can borrow some of their buddy passes for your trip…all of these things will help you keep the cost down.
We bought our plane tickets and booked our place in April for our December/January trip.
I would say base layers (tops and bottoms, depending on the weather you might need to double up), mittens (they’re warmer than gloves), goggles, helmet, neck warmer, jacket, pants, really warm socks, boots, skis/snowboard. Did I miss anything?
Andrew is super outnumbered because he has to help me too! Ha! We just all go slowly down together or he takes the bigger kids up to do more challenging runs. This year, Ashby and Kensington were both able to do blues with him (Madeley hung out with me after ski school and, we played in the snow together). Smith can do pretty much anything, but has fun doing the blues/greens with his sisters too. We just kind of make it work. His goal is for us all to be able to do everything. I envision the five of them doing blacks…and then waving at me as I do my green by myself 😉 .
Not this year, but we have had that happen! A few years ago, we went to Colorado in the summer and Kensington got it and then two years ago, Andrew took Smith and he got it too. I would definitely say for the most part, no, but we have had it happen twice. In both instances, it passed after a day.
During the year, we keep all of our gear in big storage containers in the garage (up on high shelves out of the way). When we get home, we make sure everything gets cleaned and dried and then we put it all in these big containers. Everything! From the actual equipment to even our gloves, face masks, goggles and base layers…it all goes in there that way we always know where everything is. This also makes packing super simple the following year.
Whoa! I hope this helps! We always look forward to these trips so much. There is just something about getting away from the hustle and bustle and getting out in the fresh air that makes our family happy on a mountain trip. We’re already looking forward to the next time we get to do it!!
Now, I know that so many of you have a TON of experience in this department, so please, please, please chime in with your best tips for taking your family skiing!!