Being keen skiers ourselves we could not wait to get the Wee Man on skies. But our over arching aim was once again to inspire a passion for the outdoors.
As with everything we don't know much about, we consulted the fantastic blogs and information that the web holds for advice on where to start. In August we decided to buy him some plastic skis for the house and garden. They come with plastic poles which also doubled as walking poles for when we ventured into the mountains. It wasn't long before he was walking comfortably on skis and starting to get excited for when the snow comes!
We read lots of advice on teaching kids to ski and it varied considerably. The plan was to visit Aviemore and the Cairngorms at New Year with the possibility of starting the Wee Mans adventures on snow and skis.
The weather as always was not being the nicest and the wind was still quite high. We decided to book a lesson on New Years Day on the dry slope at Glenmore. This way we were guaranteed some skiing for the Wee Man.
It was really useful for him and us as we picked the instructors brains and he was willing for us to take advantage of his vast experience! His plastic skis had certainly helped as he wandered out onto the carpet. He was given 70cm skis and we had a good discussion with the instructor about what size skis would be good of we were to buy him some. He agreed that 80cm would give him at least 2 seasons on snow.
The tip for the harness was to use it to steer if needed but I was soon realised the strap on my harness was too short! The wedgie was helping him get into the snow plough position already.
The Wee Man was very excited about the skis and the shop allowed us to keep the skis and boots for the afternoon for a nominal fee. So it was up to the Cairngorm once the wind had dropped in the afternoon.
We used the bottom part of the piste so didn't have to pay anything. It was easy walking back up and around and the wee man was loving his new adventures on the white stuff.
Seeing how comfortable he was on the skis and snow we decided to book a holiday to the Alps for February half term. With this in mind we needed to do a bit more work!
When we arrived home after a lovely break in the Cairngorms we decided to plan a trip to Glenshee. The aim was to see how we coped with button lifts and chair lifts. More for our confidence and his familiarity. There was a window in the weather so we decided to go for it!
Before going we decided to invest in skis and boots. We found ex rental boots on ebay for £12.49. For this price it was worth seeing what they would be like! He has since skied a week in the alps with them with no issues! His skis were £79.99 and when we considered ski hire for the remainder of the season we decided it would be worth the investment. His ski suit and helmet were already purchased. He already had lots of thermals so he was more than ready to tackle the slopes.
The button lift on the beginner slop was not the easiest to start on but we got there! Placing my skis between his worked fine and he was able to stand comfortably as we were dragged up the piste. We then decided to tackle the chair lift. It was much easier than I thought lifting him on and teaching him to sit safe and relaxed! It was all very exciting!
We were all much more comfortable with the harness and the Wee Man was becoming more and more competent on his skis by every run! His little legs were holding up well and you soon come to realise how much they can do! This is key as it was important for us to keep the fun!
Another thing you soon realise with the harness is how good it is for towing little legs around when they get tired!
We had a great time with lots of quality moments to take away! The time on the snow was invaluable and the excitement was soon growing rapidly for the Alps.
The car was soon packed and we were off to the Alps with all the excitement that goes with it! We arrived at our cabin on the campsite (Les Marmottes) we normally stay on and it was magical from the first minute! The Wee Man had coped well with the 24 hour journey and had lots of energy to play in the snow as we arrived!
Our aim was to ski as much as possible without taking the fun out of the slopes for the Wee Man and also have a few mini adventures on the way! The week did not disappoint!
The first day we skied alot more than we thought the Wee Man would want to and he was soon feeling very secure on his skis! We ensured that we had lots of breaks and snow ball fights along the way!
As the week progressed we skied walked and even found igloos to play in!
We skied blues and greens and it soon became time to teach the snow plough!
We skied lots of different pistes for our own sanity not always sticking to green beginner slopes! The Wee Man was progressing really well!
There were lots of beginner areas which helped keep the fun in the skiing for the little man with lots to play with and aim for!
We decided before we arrived to get a lesson for the wee man as we are no experts! This was taken at the right time as it was time for the Wee Man to start to learn to turn! The instructor was excellent from ESI (Easy2Ride) and the Wee Man thoroughly enjoyed the lesson!
It was soon the last day and we had had an awesome week. The skiing was just a small part of the trip and we are sure that in years to come we will continue to enjoy quality family time on the slopes!
However we can rest in the knowledge that the Wee Man was starting to have the same passion for the outdoors and the white stuff as us!