Private lessons opening weekend?

Bindi

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May 18, 2014
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Hi!

I am taking our kids to the snow for the first time this opening weekend at Thedbo. The kids are 4 years old and 6 months... we are all novices. My husband and I have been to the snow a few times but have never moved off the baby slopes - which is fine with us :). I am wanting us to get beginner lessons as a family - I am guessing that won't be possible with the stock standard group lessons? My husband and I are going to have to juggle the baby between us and my son has never even seen snow so I think it will be slow going. Whole point of the trip is family time so want to spend as much time as we can together.

How do I go about finding someone who can do cost effective private lessons for our family for the 7th and 8th June? We just need enough to not fall over too fast - we have no ambition past the baby slope :) We don't know enough to teach our 4 year old anything - I have no idea how to teach a 4 year old :))

Thanks in advance!!
 

cold wombat

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I'd strongly advise putting the 4yr old into the toddler program. They know what they're doing and you'll be doing the best by your kid. Perisher ski school have a fantastic reputation with children. It's a mix between day care and skiing lessons at a level the kids can cope with and enjoy. They don't take the kids out if they're not ready, and bring them back in if it's not working. That is very important in making sure they have a positive experience. The last thing you want to do is give your child a negative first experience.

The sort of lesson that will work for a 4yr old isn't anything that will help you. What works for you and your husband isn't anything like what will work for your child. And if you can at all put the baby in day care for a few hours your lesson will be all the better for it.

BTW, welcome to the forum.
 
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telecrag

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If there is any skiing on opening weekend, the ski school will accommodate anything you want I would think. Childcare should be open, but not sure that the kids school will be. CW's points are all good, you will have a great weekend, opening is fun, snow or no! I go every year.
 

currawong

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everything CW said

but really, it would be better to wait for a bit more snow. opening weekend does not mean that there is reliable snow. you don't need much to learn on, but opening weekend can be pretty sad snow-wise. Even if they have enough to open a run, it can be thin, narrow and very firm. At Thredbo I think that is especially true - Friday Flat is very low altitude.

Best not to commit until you can see what conditions will look like, or book for a bit later in the season.

If you want cost effective, have you considered starting the kids with cross country. no lift tickets and the skis and boots are lighter and less cumbersome. easier to get up from falls too. if its about kids having fun, getting their balance and leaning to do a snowplough, that could be a good option. Perisher would be a better bet than Thredbo methinks for learning xc
 

LMB

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Agree with CW, Telecrag and Currawong,

If you are going FOR the snow and for lessons either don't go opening weekend or at least check the snow a day or two out before committing.

Having said that Opening Weekend is a blast, snow or not.
I'll be in town again. From Perth (yes, it's that good).
 
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cold wombat

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Bugger, did I say Perisher? Same same for Thredbo. Ouch. But at that stage of the season Perished is usually in better shape as curra mentioned.

Also maybe consider just having a "snow play" weekend for the benefit of the 4yr old if the snow cover isn't up to it.
 

cold wombat

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There's been a few great threads over the years about introducing kids to the snow that are well worth a read. Will look for them later.
 

Bindi

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May 18, 2014
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Thanks so much guys for the advice!!! The 4 year old gets really bad separation anxiety when in new situations, so I don't think lessons by himself will work. In the past I have seen parents teaching their kids the basics out on Friday Flats and they looked like they were having a great time - so wish I knew enough to be able to teach him!

With timing we actually have to go to Canberra for my husbands work that week, we are from QLD so thought we would take the opportunity to show the kids snow - even though it wont be the best part of the season. To be honest my son is more excited about the idea of building a snowman than trying to ski. There should be enough snow to build a snowman shouldn't there??

Cross country is a great idea! It will save on the cost of lift tickets, especially when I don't think that we will be using any lift other than the Friday Flats one (shame there isn't just a Friday Flats beginners lift ticket). Um I have never been cross country skiing before - is it hard? Could we perhaps get just 1 day lift pass and spend the second day doing cross country - do we really need different skis or can the same set suffice??

On the Perisher vs Thredbo aspect, I had thought thredbo as apparently there is a kids play area/toboggan area opening up this year (I hope for opening weekend). But is Perisher better for learning? I have never been there. Do they have a toboggan area?

I love the Selwyn snow fields how they have the beginners area + toboggan lift + snow tube - but I really wanted to stay on the actual snow and they don't have accommodation there.

Thanks again for all the advice everyone. And if anyone knows a ski instructor who can help us out that weekend just let me know :)))
 

LMB

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Perisher is higher than Thredbo so more chance of snow at that time of year.
Perisher also has always done 'snow play' better than Thredbo. The new toboggan area at Thredbo will be a move in the right direction. But the location is in the village if I recall correctly....not usually snow covered...I assume they'll hit it with a snow gun.

Don't write either off.
But check snow reports closer.
Could be good. Could be zero snow.
 

Legs Akimbo

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Cross country in Thredbo will not work very well. The only snow you will be able to use (if it exists) will be at the top of a chair that will mean carrying gear up and sorting it at the top. Wind, ice and potential misery. The top of Thredbo in dodgy weather is no place for children on their first experience. If there is snow, Perisher X-C loops are a short walk from the carpark.

But if no one has done X-C it will be a frustrating and disappointing experience.

For kids, instructors in a dedicated kids' class are the ONLY way to go. The staff are used to separation anxiety and generally tell parents to go miles away and not come back until the lesson is over so the professionals can do what they do exceptionally well.
 
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cold wombat

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For kids, instructors in a dedicated kids' class are the ONLY way to go. The staff are used to separation anxiety and generally tell parents to go miles away and not come back until the lesson is over so the professionals can do what they do exceptionally well.

This times eleventy bazillion. The resorts understand how important this is to the family market. They lose this battle, and they've potentially lost a family for many years. They go all out to make it happen.

Anyway, if the snow is not up to scratch, go for a snow play weekend. Young kids love it.

Golden rules:

Keep them warm and dry (especially feet and hands- spare dry mitts come in very handy).

Keep them well fed and full of hot chocolates.

Wrap up at the first grizzle. Too much of a good thing can quickly turn sour, but anyone with kids already knows that one. Better to lose a few hours of snow time than lose a lifetime because of a bad end to a good start.
 

LMB

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For kids, instructors in a dedicated kids' class are the ONLY way to go. The staff are used to separation anxiety and generally tell parents to go miles away and not come back until the lesson is over so the professionals can do what they do exceptionally well.
As a swim instructor (in my early years) I always said the same - go far far away so you don't trigger the sookies.
However as a parent of a kid that made everyone we left him with wish they'd never got that gig that day....I can say the 'drop and run far far away' method works for the majority. Give it a go. But if it doesn't work for your family then you work something out that does.
Like a private lesson, split 50/50 for Mum and Dad and snow play/hot chocolate for the little ones and non learning parent.
 

dawooduck

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Sounds like what you are after is a two days of some snow fun at Thredbo (or Perisher)to be enjoyed as a family group so given your stated criteria here are my suggestions.

For this you will need snow and an instructor. The chance of skiable snow is currently running at about 5% for opening weekend and experienced instructors will be looking for work.

My advice would be too.

Call the Thredbo Ski School (or Perisher) and enquire. I suggest you enquire about booking a private instructor for 3 hours a day from 9:30am to 12:30am. An experienced instructor can easily handle your family requirements and whilst more expensive you will have the ability to keep your group together and tailor you day around having fun as a family and learning some basic ski technique. View the private instructor as your “guide for the day” and collaborate on how the day should run. 3 hours in the morning when everyone is fresh will be about the right amount of time and you can then have a nice lunch and after lunch continue having some fun on the beginner hill and\or having a nice afternoon nap or exploring the village.

Happy skiing
Happy life
Take a rain coat

Whilst the scenarios stated by others are indeed quite accurate, they are more applicable to when the ski fields are fully operational and all services are available.
 

Ozgirl

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Hi,

I have worked in the kids ski school at a couple of resorts here and overseas.

All the programs are the same. As someone else said the resorts know to keep families happy because they know they have got them for life. So don't let anyone try and convince you of one resort over another (except for the snow conditions Perisher will most likly have more snow that Thredbo - but last year opening weekend even Perisher didn't have the chair running on friday flat only magic carpets.)

the great thing about Thredbo is there is more to do off ski's if the snow is not great.

Something that I didn't realise Thredbo had until my sister had a child was an introductory private lesson for young ones. Maybe that is the idea - details here, http://www.thredbo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Childrens-Programs-Information-Sheet.pdf it says that it is for 3 and under maybe give the ski school a call and discuss.

You can be nearby (i have video of my sister standing at the bottom of Friday Flat and my nephew skiing up to her and stopping perfectly). I was amazed that he had learn to stop and turn in just an hour!

Looking at the forecast I think you will struggle to have any decent adult skiing at thredbo. But keep your options open and the family private is a great idea too. But I think you may struggle learning anything yourselfs (as the parents) because you probably wont go up the chair as a group.
 

Nidecker

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Hmmm so having an 11 year old who started skiing at 4yrs, I think I would take dawooducks advice.
Some ski parents are happy to drop there kids into daycare while they ski, and then there are others who take their kids skiing with them and modify their activity based on the kids ability.
There is no right or wrong, but I have to say I really enjoyed the days I spent with my daughter while she was learning. She still did lessons, but not the day care type activities.
 
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