I've said it many times before, Dave and I decided that we needed to find a winter hobby so we could actually enjoy and look forward to the cold and snow rather than dread it. Downhill skiing was what we chose. Neither of us grew up skiing, we just went on the school ski trips to the small Nova Scotia hills. When we moved to Ontario, we bought our own gear and made it a priority. When E was old enough we put him in lessons - first at Centennial Park in Toronto and then later at Snow Valley in Barrie. This was the first year Q got to do lessons. We think skiing is a great family hobby and will hopefully lead to some ski holidays in years to come.
To begin we get organized for skiing months in advance - Snow Valley puts their season passes on sale in July and that's also when you sign up for lessons and/or the race team.
Depending on the weather, we do try to get out on the slopes a couple of times before lessons start in January, and then we are there every weekend in January and February.
We dress in layers and bring along some hand and foot warmers, although E and Q don't seem to get as cold as the adults.
We get ready the night before by packing the bags so we know everything is ready.
The kids have separate snowsuits for skiing so they are kept clean and dry apart from their school snow suits.
We have a Thule box for the top of the car, and we used to have ski racks. It is just so nice to get the skis and poles organized on top of the car. We also bring our bin full of helmets and other items. This helps us to know we haven't forgotten anything because we've taken everything from the ski storage area.
We get all dressed in our layers, including our snow pants, before we get into the car. Then don our jackets and helmets before going inside the lodge.
This year we finally got a good routine down for bringing all of our stuff from the car. Dave got these Thule ski bags. We carry those into the lodge and then change into our ski boots there.
I carry mine and E's stuff in one bag, and Dave carries his and Q's in another bag. E carries his own skis and poles. Q usually takes a couple of steps with his skis but then says they are too heavy, but they are small so not a big deal for one of us to carry them.
We pack a lunch rather than eat at the cafeteria.
We all wear helmets, neck warmers, and googles, and we have full face masks to use when necessary.
The ski hill parking lot and lodge can be stressful places and you often see parents yelling at their kids and each other, and we have definitely been participants in that as well, but I have found we have a bit more patience now, perhaps it is because E is getting older and more helpful and we are more organized, so that helps too.
We use the singles line for the chairlift it is busy and is usually a good call and sometimes if there is just two of us, we can still get on the same lift.
We meet up with a couple of other families so we can have lunch and ski together.
We stop at Tim Horton's on the way home for a box of Timbits and coffees. This is a key part of skiing ;)