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bike geek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heading to Tahoe for a week off in Feb, and figure it's time to introduce my 4yr old son to the fun of the slopes. We'll be staying West Shore, nearest Homewood, Squaw, and Alpine. I'm wondering if anyone who has tried any of the "Snow Cubs" programs has an opinion on which is the best for a first-timer?

Thanks.
 

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It's always greener
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I was in the (now politically incorrect) Little Indians Ski School at Squaw Valley...and apparently loved it. That was, however, about 3 decades ago. I suspect you're looking for more recent beta...
 

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Ahhh, the west shore. Beautiful!

We introduced our kids to skiing at that age too, way back when. At four, their attention span is for naught. I think I just went to some pokey place like Soda Springs and had them ski between my legs for awhile. After 2 or 3 run's, they wanted to play in the snow or drink hot coco.

I'm not even sure any resort will put them in lessons at that age. But I think they will at age five. One of the best places for little kid lessons was Diamond Peak. They have a really gentle slope and slow lift for the kids. I think we put a blanket down and hung out while watching the lesson. Northstar also has an excellent kid program too, complete with a moving carpet to get the kids up their little slope.

You would think that Alpine or Squaw would have decent programs.

Have fun.

jps

tamjam said:
Heading to Tahoe for a week off in Feb, and figure it's time to introduce my 4yr old son to the fun of the slopes. We'll be staying West Shore, nearest Homewood, Squaw, and Alpine. I'm wondering if anyone who has tried any of the "Snow Cubs" programs has an opinion on which is the best for a first-timer?

Thanks.
 

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Fireball in the Night
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I have something similar to this site : http://www.snowbomb.com/ bookmarked. I'll continue to search for it. There are snowsports specific sites that will provide the info you're seeking. I acknowledge that there are posters on MTBR that you trust for the same info.
 

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Some years ago, Homewood had a really nice program for kids. Lessons and daycare was one package price. If your kid wanted to ski, they skiied and learned and had fun; if they wanted to go in and drink hot cocoa, then that was they got. I don't know the current state of that program.

Traffic on the west shore can be a bit of a problem. The 2 lane road into Tahoe city backs up quite a way towards Sunny Side from the traffic light. That can make getting to Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows a problem at certain times.
 

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Of the three you mentioned, Alpine is the best. They are much more family oriented than Squaw, with a more welcoming attitude.

Homewood is a fun area too, although the instruction doesn't appear to be as good as the other two. HW is generally less crowded than the other two, and cheaper, although not as challenging.

At age 4, ski instruction is glorified baby-sitting. Snow play, some sliding.

But it does let the parenst get in some slope time, a good thing, IMHO!!
 

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bike geek
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the_eleven said:
Of the three you mentioned, Alpine is the best. They are much more family oriented than Squaw, with a more welcoming attitude.

Homewood is a fun area too, although the instruction doesn't appear to be as good as the other two. HW is generally less crowded than the other two, and cheaper, although not as challenging.

At age 4, ski instruction is glorified baby-sitting. Snow play, some sliding.

But it does let the parenst get in some slope time, a good thing, IMHO!!
Thanks for the replies everyone. Good stuff. I think better info can be had posting "OT" here than searching for a ski-specific forum and posting as a n00b...I'll just get "STFA"...

Anyway, I hadn't looked at the Alpine program yet, I'll check it out, thanks Eleven. The Squaw program looks pretty good online, and I could spend my time close by skiing on KT. I have to think Homewood has a good program, since they're so family oriented, but their website doesn't really give a good description of it. But regardless, as was said, at this age it really is just glorified babysitting.

Brian
 

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Too Much Fun
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Same boat here...

I'm taking my 4yr old up for his first turns this season too. I'm not too familiar with the kiddie offerings at all the mountains, but I DO know that NorthStar has a GREAT kiddie program which includes a freebie 45min. session with an instructor to help both the parents and the kids get the hang of being out on the snow on skis.

I'm not a huge NorthStar fan unless there is mad snow, but for the younglings it seems like its the best of the lot of them.
 

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My 8yr old niece

tamjam said:
Heading to Tahoe for a week off in Feb, and figure it's time to introduce my 4yr old son to the fun of the slopes. We'll be staying West Shore, nearest Homewood, Squaw, and Alpine. I'm wondering if anyone who has tried any of the "Snow Cubs" programs has an opinion on which is the best for a first-timer?

Thanks.
really liked Mt. Rose. IMO Alpines dangerous for tots. Its like everyone thinks that everyone else is looking out for them..plan dangerous..
 

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Benchmarks

Last year, we put my then 5 year old in lessons for a week at Grand Targhee. They've got a slow ski area for kids, and put the kids in those bright traffic safety vests. And there are lots of cocoa breaks scheduled.

The previous year, (4 then) there were several half day lessons at Mammoth. Pretty much the same deal, and Mammoth even had a fenced off area on a very gentle slope, right next to the Canyon Lodge.

Both Targhee and Mammoth have these "Magic Carpets", a conveyor belt covered in fake turf.

You want your kid to be safe and have a good time. Both these programs do it in spades.

It was probably 12 years ago that my nephew was in the Homewood program, but at the time, I was impressed. It was like a daycare center, that happened to have snow outside the door.
 

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bike geek
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dvo said:
i can vouch for homewood as well. nice and quiet down there and i really like the vibe there.
Thanks again for the input y'all. Homewood would be ideal, since it's 5 minutes from the house we've rented. That'll be the first I check out once I get up there.
 

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Formerly dvo
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if you hit it at the right time the student/teacher ratio is really good, my kids got one on one instruction. plus it has some killer tree runs and a great hike in/hike out powder face for me while the kids are in school.
 

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4-year-olds can definitely learn to stop and turn, and start skiing with their parents. Two resorts I'm familiar with (Squaw and Alpine) start at age 4 for regular lessons, vs. more of a play day with a one-hour lesson included. Kids develop coordination and strength at different rates though, so it might take one child longer than another. Their attention span is short, so the lesson needs to be fun to hold their interest (and give them a good experience). Most instructors who teach kids have various games, etc. to make learning fun.

I agree about student-teacher ratio - best to go on non-holiday weekdays to beat crowds, & optimally when the weather's fairly warm so he's as comfortable as possible.

Wish I'd learned at that age!!!! :)
 
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