Get in on the snow action this winter. Here are five ways you and your family can enjoy the ski season.
1. Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Once a rugged, Western outpost popular with extreme skiers, the resort now offers plenty of beginner and family-friendly terrain. Expect new lifts and on-mountain dining experiences as well as lodging options that offer a range of packages full of pre- and post-ski amenities. Avid skiers and boarders can explore new territory with the Golden Ticket. Bring your season pass from any other resort for discounts.
Contact: 1-888-333-7766; jacksonhole.com; www.FourSeasons.com.
2. The Mountain Collective.
Why settle for spending all your time on one mountain when you can access 11 of the world’s top winter destinations with a value pass? Ski two days at Alta/Snowbird, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth Mountain, Ski Banff-Lake Louise/Sunshine, Stowe, Sun Valley, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Taos, Thredbo and Whistler Blackcomb, with discounts available for additional days. The pass is $399 for adults and $99 for children 12 and younger. Supplies are limited.
3. Vail, Colo.
The Sebastian is a Rocky Mountain winter wonderland. Its amenties-on-demand program delivers ski and snow essentials to your room along with an energy-boosting breakfast. Order an extra pair of toasty socks, hand warmers for the kids or another round of sunscreen. Guests can arrange to have a steaming bubble bath drawn prior to a return from the slopes.
Team up with the adventure concierge to plan a moonlight snowshoe adventure or ice skating.
Contact: snow.com; thesebastianvail.com
4. Keystone, Colo.
The ground game can be one of the most challenging aspects of skiing with youngsters. But Keystone is committed to making your mountain vacation memorable for the entire family.
It offers a recently renovated reception center, parking reserved for families as well as hundreds of red wagons throughout the property to ease the transport of little ones plus gear.
The Kidtopia program offers a range of activities for children including snow forts, arts and crafts, and music. Stay two nights in resort lodging and kids 12 and younger ski and ride free. Ask about private lessons for family groups.
5. Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe, Nev.
Families will certainly appreciate the more than $1 million worth of enhancements that were finished on the mountain in the off-season. Climb aboard the newly christened Wizard Chairlift for access to beginner-friendly terrain and the Enchanted Forest Family Zone. Also, Nevada’s Heavenly Mountain Resort will celebrate its 60th anniversary this season with special packages, free concerts and pop-up mobile DJs on snowcats.
TIPS FROM THE NATIONAL SKI PATROL
Since 1938, the 501(c)3 non-profit, National Ski Patrol (NSP), has dedicated itself to providing service and safety to the outdoor community. As the preeminent authority for serving the outdoor recreation industry, NSP provides the highest quality Outdoor Emergency Care education and credentialing care to safety services providers. Ski and Snowboard Patrollers keep both you, and the mountain safe. Next time you see them on the mountain or ride with them on a chair lift, stop and talk with them. They're friendly people willing to share their knowledge of the resort with you. They can even give you some tips on great gear and where might be a good place for you to ski and ride based on your ability level. Check out these Safety Tips written to give you some snowsmarts and in collaboration with the NSP Safety Team. For more information, please visit nsp.org.
Since 1938, the National Ski Patrol has been advocating safe practices on the slopes so that skiers and snowboarders like you, can enjoy the most out of the mountain terrain. So, to share the message of how to have fun, while staying safe, NSP developed the slogan "Be Snowsmart! Play It Safe!"
What does "Be Snowsmart! Play It Safe" mean? Well, while it can mean a multitude of things depending on what situation you're in and what terrain you're on, the basis of it can be summed up in 3 key points.
1) Prepare for conditions.
Knowing what type of terrain you and your equipment can handle is extremely important when playing it safe. To be Snowsmart, know your ability level and where that appropriate terrain is on the mountain.
2) Reduce your risk of injury.
To reduce the risk of injury, always wear a helmet. Helmets can reduce your risk of head injury by 35-50%. You can avoid risk of injury in other ways too, including tuning your equipment, skiing with a friend, being aware of other skiers and riders on the slope and being aware of your surroundings and on mountain signage.
3) Prevent emergency situations.
Situations on the mountain can quickly turn into emergencies without warning. Unexpected weather changes, backcountry and side country skiing areas, and getting down the mountain with an injury are just a few factors that may turn into emergencies if you are not prepared. Preparing for situations such as these can help tremendously and can be as simple as being aware of weather forecasts, carrying a reliable communication device while on the mountain, snowboarding with a friend, and knowing how to contact Ski Patrol.
These safety tips are just part of being snowsmart! Before you even head out the door you need to have a few things lined up, like what you are going to wear and knowing how to dress for conditions outside.
Having the right equipment is important too. Borrowing is not the best idea, but renting is a great way to try different gear and see what you like before spending money on purchasing your own skis, board, boots, poles, and helmet. The National Ski Patrol highly recommends wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding, but encourages those participating in the sports to realize that helmets do have limitations and are not a complete answer for slope safety. Check out this helmet fact sheet from the National Ski Areas Associationto get more information on the benefits of wearing a helmet.
In addition to the proper use of helmets, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has developed Your Responsiblity Code to help snow sports enthusiasts avoid injury and make their experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.
If you're adventuring in the backcountry you must be knowledgeable in avalanche safety and the equipment used to help keep you safe; NSP provides information and classes on backcountry avalanche safety.
Find out more from the National Ski Patrol.