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Family of 5 absolute beginners

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Andy Parker, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Andy Parker

    Andy Parker First Runs

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    Heading to Wanaka and Queenstown for 10 days in July. Mum, Dad and boys age 7, 14 and 15. Where do we start? Looking at taking ski lessons but not sure if beter to buy a package which includes lessons, gear hire and x days on the snow or buy the QT multiple day pass and pay for lessons, gear seperately? Any suggestions on where to start. We have never been on ski's but are fit from bike riding, running (marathon).
     
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  2. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Depends where you start.

    Wanaka - If all beginners go to Cardrona, as it's perfect for getting started.

    Queenstown - Cornet Peak is probably the easiest from an access perspective. Better to keep it easy for the first timers. The less hassle the more enjoyable.

    Buy a package. That's what they're made for.
     
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  3. melty68

    melty68 One of Us

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    If you have never been on skiis before...its not as easy at it looks. Unless your about 10 years old.
     
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  4. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL
    Ain’t that the truth for most physical pursuits.

    Definitely get lessons.
    Whether as part of a package or separately, they’ll make the difference in enjoyment for you.
     
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  5. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    This. But don't give up. For the first few days you'll be wondering what the hell you've got yourself in for, and you'll be feeling out of control and falling all over the place in awfully ungraceful ways, but keep going. After two days, your kids will be skiing in ways that will truly frighten you. After about four days with lessons, it will start to click and you'll be on a roll. You'll all be having a ball.
     
  6. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    And be prepared to take time off- don't expect to ski all day, every day. That's fine once you know how and your "ski muscles" are in form, but it's bloody taxing on your body, even if you're fit.

    I find lessons in the morning are best (although they're the most popular & crowded), because you can then spend a bit of time after the lesson practising what you learned. Some prefer to swap that around- personal preference. Be prepared to take part or all of the day off so your body can recover; probably even a day or two in the middle. Shitty weather days are good for taking off as recovery days*.


    * Shitty weather days can also be the best, but wait till you can ski comfortably before worrying about that!
     
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  7. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    • make it as easy as possible to get to the slopes in the morning, eg distance and difficulty of roads
    • aim to take lessons every day, except maybe the last one
    • take a break, or stop early or take a day off (despite what I said about lessons) if anyone is tired. skiing is supposed to be fun, not an ordeal (unless you are austrian). you want everyone to love it, not be put off by being cold/tired/sore. the risk of injuries goes up when people are tired, aka the "one more run" phenomenon
     
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  8. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I learnt to ski when I was 30. I got the bug bad, and 20+ years later at 50+ I have it worse than ever.

    My skiing has been continuously improving though my fitness sucks.

    Relax about crashing out, get lessons and good gear (bad gear sucks) and pace yourself and you’ll have an AWESOME time.

    The more time on the snow the better.

    Skiing as a family is amazing - one of the highlights of my life is when my boys (now 12 and 17) left me behind them as they powered down the runs - wonderful to see the growth from snow-ploughing age 3.

    Enjoy!
     
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  9. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    +1,000
     
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  10. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Make sure everyone is warm and dry, especially the little guy. Have 2 pairs of gloves/mittens for him (one for am, one for pm), and possibly everyone else, especially if it's snowing. If you're cold and wet, you'll hate it. Warm and dry - chances are you'll love it. And as the others have said, if you're tired, take time out. You're more likely to have a bad fall or strain muscles if you push your body too far.
     
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  11. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Amen to that - don’t forget hand warmers - cheap at about $3 - $5 but worthwhile.

     
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  12. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you’re renting stuff make sure it all fits and if it’s not comfortable then go back and sort it out - don’t suffer through!
     
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  13. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Can make the difference between a great family day skiing and a failed miserable day.
     
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  14. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Same with cold feet
     
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  15. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ignore many of the posts here. You will have a great time as long as you dont set expectations too high and you continue to make small incremental improvements.

    Be aware that your kids will be doing triple backflips by day 3 and you will still be working out how to do your boots up LOL.

    Boots are probably most important - too loose and you cant control the skis properly and too tight and you will be in pain and your feet will get cold because you restrict circulation.

    Not sure what your budget is like, but have a think about buying jackets, pants, gloves online

    A bit more expensive than renting but they are then free on your second trip, and probably much better quality
     
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  16. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    while we are mentioning expense....
    In the unlikely event that one person in the group just isn't getting it, consider a private lesson for that person. Expensive but can make a big difference as to whether you will continue to ski together as a family. I don't know anything about NZ ski schools but I would hope that they would be helpful if you ask for a patient instructor who can help build confidence
     
  17. soda

    soda Addicted

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    Any chance of sneaking a day in oz prior? I reckon you'd maximise your EnZed trip if you all had a soft intro here, and that would be my suggestion.
     
  18. Andy Parker

    Andy Parker First Runs

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    Thanks so much for all the feedback and suggestions. Lots of things I hadn't considered. Will try and get everyone kitted out before we go and will just hire boots and skis. Extra gloves as suggested.
    Being newcomers should we get regular lift passes or I did see some fields advertise passes for beginner slopes.
    Thought something like this https://www.theremarkables.co.nz/packages/#category&Family_Learner_Experience might be a good start?
     
  19. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Family learner experience could be good.
    That pass package is all day private lesson - you might find that a BIG day.

    Passes that only give you access to the beginner slope can be great unless you have a quick learner. However what’s the worst that can happen? You have to spring for another pass for the afternoon to go higher.
     
  20. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    For clothing, make sure it's a minimum of 10,000 mm waterproof, 10k breathable. Now, waterproofing does deteriorate with use, so if it's second hand gear you can buy waterproofing stuff (spray-on or wash-in) at decent outdoors stores or ski shops. Never dry-clean ski gear. Never wash in ordinary detergent - you need special stuff.

    BTW, most hire clothing is 10k/10k.
     
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  21. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    And now is the time to start working on your fitness.

    It will make the second and third day of your holiday so much less painful LOL
     
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  22. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    This
    1000 times this!

    Especially for the parental units. Kids seem to just roll with it. It also reduces injury rates.
     
  23. soza

    soza One of Us

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    We had friends come out to Queenstown last school holidays. First time mum (ski) and daughter (snowboard) They picked up a great learn to ski deal with NZski that could be interchanged between Coronet, Remarks and Hutt. Think it was the `intro to snow` deal. Something ridiculous like $120 a day for lift, gear and all day lesson. The beauty was for an extra $100 after 4 days they could upgrade to a season pass and this enticed them back at the end of the season for a long weekend at Mt Hutt.
    They preferred Coronet to start but after 3 or 4 days they were all over the mountain and enjoyed a couple of days at Remarks.

    https://www.coronetpeak.co.nz/packages/#category&Intro_to_Snow
     
  24. 2ESki

    2ESki Addicted

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    Aldi ski sale to kit everyone out, other then their gloves which I find are not that good.
     
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  25. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you’re planning on driving up and down the hill each day Coronet is the easiest to get to, but the beginners area there is a cold, sunless little south facing shelf (though not as bad a Treble Cone’s) that can get seriously congested. Remarkables is a stiffer test driving-wise but you’re rewarded with one of the best learners areas in the country, a nice wide sunny slope that’s right by the base building.
     
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  26. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    What you describe sounds nothing like coronet peak beginner area
     
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  27. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like they are fit
    but there may be muscles groups that they're not used to.
     
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  28. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The beginners area at Remarks though is a bigger more forgiving space than the one at Coronet. I think it’s the most underrated starters slope in NZ.
    And I’ll take Alta Blue and Alta Green at Remarks over the Big Easy at Coronet any day of the week.
     
  29. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah glorified car park with a magic carpet

    I think both resorts are good for beginners
    Maybe for the first time you ever put skis on remarks a bit easier but you quickly progress to actual runs

    The lodges at both resorts are far better than when I first went, good for kids
     
  30. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Personally id be going to the Remarkables to learn. They have three, Huge covered carpets and a learner only chairlift which has beginner and a decent blue run off it. Its north facing, so nice and warm, bus service from town. Plus the hire+pass+lesson packages are pretty reasonable.
     
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  31. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    What do you mean by covered carpets?

    Is that new?
     
  32. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Yes. there is a double magic carpet from the new base to where the old base was, it has a huge glass cover over the top of it. Up from that there is another 160m covered magic carpet which extends about half way up alta green, to the area where you back back from shadow via the cat walk or the bottome of Alta blue.
     
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  33. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Yep, years ago (before new base buildings were built at both) I would have said go to Coronet to learners, but not now. Much better setup for beginners at Remarks these days.
     
  34. BMWRX

    BMWRX Hard Yards

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    Agreed. I started skiing at age forty. After watching kids with single digits in their years, I realised that I should have started many, many years ago.

    This year will be my third year around the QT area (first year CP and Rem, then Cardies and TC second year), and have only just started to get some fluidity on my carving. Also, the first year with my own boots, so that will make a huge difference I think.
     
  35. Peanut

    Peanut Addicted

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    This year will be our third year to NZ. I planned and booked everything myself, which made me a bit nervous as I had never been to NZ before. Hubby had deliberately removed himself from the planning process (he reckoned it was too much info to take in), so he was rather impressed at how well researched I was when he actually started asking questions.

    Our regular accommodation is at Sherwood (in a room with cooking facilities), which is halfway between downtown QT and Frankton. There’s plenty of places to stay along Frankton Road if you want to stay in the QT area without being in the main town area. Frankton Road gets very busy though, so that is also something to consider. We always rely on public transport because hubby refuses to drive up the mountain and cracks the sads at me when I say I’m happy to do it. The public buses are very affordable and run something like every 10-15 min. We just wander down to the nearby bus stop whenever we want to go somewhere on our off-snow days, and 5 min later we are at our destination.

    We have only skiied at Remarks so far. For our first year, I booked a package that included lift passes and equipment hire. There were two options for where to collect the hire equipment from - either on mountain or the shop across from where you need to pick your lift passes up from on Duke St. Collecting gear on the mountain has the advantage of not having to lug it around off the mountain if you plan on skiing at the same place all trip. We ended up collecting our gear in town because the lines on mountain are huge, which makes getting to lessons on time rather challenging. If you are planning on pre-booking transport up the mountain, you’ll need to collect your lift passes the day before you first go up, as they scan the card to verify you.

    My boys are 10 and 8, and really enjoy the Kea Club lessons. The full day option includes lessons and lunch, and there is the option to bundle it with ski hire as well. In saying that, I’ve seen older teenagers in adult group lessons, so that is also an option. You can also choose to do half day group lessons for both Kea Club and adult lessons, although I don’t think you can book the half day options online. My boys like going to Kea Club, although the younger one has autism, so we are also able to shift him into private lessons with an adaptive instructor if the group lessons aren’t working for him.

    Our usual trip length is 8 days, and we spend a total of 4 days on the snow. We spend our first full day going grocery shopping, picking up lift passes and hire equipment (although we all have our own gear now), and playing tourist. We then spend 2 days on the snow, have a break day, another 2 days on snow, then a final tourist day before leaving. In the past I’ve done an all day group lesson on the first day, then spend the rest of the time practicing and doing my own thing. However, I’m thinking of doing a 2 or 3 hour private on the first day this year instead of the group lesson.

    If you’re looking for something fun for the kids to do off the snow, I can highly recommend the aqatic centre at Frankton. They have a hot pool (for adults only), two hydroslides (costs extra for a pass, but well worth it), a decent sized play pool, and a lazy river area. We typically spend around 3 hours at a time there.
     
    #35 Peanut, Apr 19, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  36. Andy Parker

    Andy Parker First Runs

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    Are the smaller fields worth a look in? We are spending a couple of nights around Lake Tekapo and just noticed a number of smaller fields in the area such as Porters and Mt Dobson. Wondering if they are a good alternative to get started with smaller crowds before we tackle Cardrona and The Remarkables.
     
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  37. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    When my kids were small (5 & 8) we spent 10 days skiing the smaller hills around Tekapo. It was perfect for them. While not beginners, they weren’t that experienced either, the youngest was still snowploughing. I booked them a group lesson one day, Mt Dobson I think, and they were the only ones in the lesson.
     
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  38. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    Round Hill and Dobson are great family fields for learning at. Cheap(er) and uncrowded. Ohau down the road is more fun but a bit more advanced but still doable if you're starting out (the road is harder going).
     
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  39. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    Highly recommend Roundhill, Dobson or Ohau. Staying at Lake Ohau is a great option to staying at Tekapo, if you are happy just skiing Ohau. Kids lessons are really cheap at all of those options. From memory kids lessons at Ohau are about $40 NZD and if they do a follow up lesson in the arvo it will be $20 NZD. As Chicski has mentioned, chances are they will get one on one tuition because no one else will be in the group.
     
  40. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Roundhill I would almost recommend on the scenery alone, but it is also a good beginner and family area, and an easy drive by NZ standards. A lot of ski areas in NZ, the beginner area is a small ledge halfway up a rather jagged mountainside. But Roundhill is, well, a hill!

    Dobson I wouldn't really recommend for your situation to be honest. It's a little out of the way and a bit weird and a bit of a shambles - of course, a lot of people love those places in NZ.

    Ohau I haven't been, to but reports are good.
     
  41. Andy Parker

    Andy Parker First Runs

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    Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
    I have just returned from 10 days in NZ which involved 5 days of skiing spread across 3 fields, Roundhill 1 day, Cardrona 2 days and The Remarkables 2 days. We ended up taking a morning lesson at Roundhill just to get us started. Big thing we learnt here was the best way forward was to enroll our 7 year old into a full day program as he/us were frustrated as we couldn't teach him as we didn't know what we were doing ourselves. This day was hard work as we were all first timers but the group of 8 we were with had all been before so they were leaving us behind.
    Cardrona was fantastic. Group lessons morning and afternoon day 1 for us and our teenagers. 7 year old we enrolled in full day program both days. This was worth the money. Can drop him off early (8:30) and they did everything including gear fitting lunch etc. Very well organised resort and our favourite this trip. Instructors were so good. Day 2 was a morning lesson for us and afternoon to ourselves.
    The Remarkables were not as organised with the kids program but still pretty good. Had to get gear for the 7 year old ourselves and couldn't drop him off until 10:00 and it was a bit of a shambles as we were there on their 2 busiest days so far this season as they received 15cm of snow and they were at capacity. Carparks closed early but luckily we arrived early so managed a park in carpark 1 day 1 and carpark 2 on the second day. We didn't do any more lessons ourselves as we were confident on the green runs and enjoying ourselves too much. If I was there a couple of more days would have done more lessons for ourselves as they are invaluable. The 7 year old was progressing really well. He was riding confidently down Sugar Bowl with his group by the end of it.
    We are all hooked and are planning our next trip already.
    Sorry for the long post.
    Thanks
    Andrew
     
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  42. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Welcome to your new addiction and sinking every spare cent into ski trips! LOL
    We got another one! :emoji_snowflake:
     
  43. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Golden brown, finer temptress...
    .
    .
    .
    Never a frown with Golden brown.

    You're hooked brother, prepare to spend a lot of money on this addiction.
     
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  44. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  45. silva

    silva One of Us

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    Glad you enjoyed your trip and that you all had a positive first skiing experience. Now you can start planning your next snow adventure.
     
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  46. Peanut

    Peanut Addicted

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    Sounds like you were at Remarks at about the same time as us. We were up there Thursday and Friday when the snow wasn’t very good, took Saturday off, then went up on Sunday and Monday. We got into carpark 1 on Sunday, although we had to put chains on to get there, and got directed into carpark 4 on Monday as they weren’t letting 2WD vehicles go any higher. There was a massive improvement in the snow cover between Friday and Sunday.

    Our 10 year old did a couple of Kea Club lessons, and it’s very much a case of just rocking up a bit before 10am to drop them off. The 8 year old did a 3 hour private adaptive lesson each morning we were up there. We had originally booked lessons for the first three days, but he asked if he could do a lesson on our fourth day as well. I’m so glad we did the extra day, as he was pretty ‘off’ on the third day and had lots of meltdowns, hence not much skiing got done. His instructor was an absolute saint though, and really encouraged him to do as much as he was able to. She finally got him on the Alta chair fairly early in the lesson on Monday.

    Our instructor told us she plans to be back next year, so I’m planning on booking both of my boys into private lessons with her next year. The 8 year old has just about caught up to where the 10 year old is at skill-wise, so having them in the same lesson should work next year.
     
  47. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Really good to hear of a positive adaptive private :thumbs:

    My eldest and third were kinda borderline in needing a bit of extra attention, standard private’s with a cracking instructor who has now become a very good friend was all they needed to progress like magic.

    But my thoughts have often been with kids who are further along the spectrum or need help in other ways. They deserve a fabulous experience too.
     
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  48. Peanut

    Peanut Addicted

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    The Remarkables has a fabulous adaptive coordinator. I email her each year before we go over to discuss our needs and get lessons in place. Mstr 8 has done snowboarding lessons for the last 2 years, and swapped to skiing this year. We’ve always had positive experiences with the adaptive instructors. It was obvious that the instructor he had this year had experience working with kids on the spectrum. She knew when and how to push, and when to give him some space. I tagged along on the lessons as Mstr 8 can be a bit freaked out by new people/experiences.

    Yes, doing private lessons is an expensive way of getting Mstr 8 on the snow, but there’s no way a group lesson was going to work for him. He has gone from being a complete beginner to comfortably skiing green runs in a snowplough in 4 days on the snow. He’s so excited that he can go up the mountain with the family now.
     
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  49. Andy Parker

    Andy Parker First Runs

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    That's right, Sunday and Monday. We hired an AWD Highlander so were lucky to get all the way up on the Sunday without needing chains. Bit dicey on the last ramp to carpark 1 but no dramas. We stayed until after 4 and the bus lines were crazy and the carpark had cleared out. The last hour between 3-4pm was great as the crowds had thinned out and could jump straight on a chair without queuing.