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Brrrrr....
Winter in the Valley!

The Best Kept Winter Sports Secret in the Northeast

For winter fun, do you think of glorious mountains covered with snow, brisk winter air, roaring fires in the lodge, spectacular scenery and friendly people?

In no time flat, you can be enjoying all that in the majestic Hudson Valley. By 9 pm on Friday night, you’ll be unpacking your bags or relaxing in the lodge, while others are still driving! Saturday morning you’ll be rested and ready to hit the trails – for skiing, snow boarding, cross-country or snow trail tramping.

The Hudson Valley is much closer than you think. Chances are you have driven right by it as you’ve headed up the Thruway, without knowing the winter treasures you were passing. So, next time plan on saving time and gas by choosing the Hudson Valley for all your winter fun!


tretching north from NYC lies the Hudson Valley, chock full of some of the best places to experience winter sports on the East Coast. Whether you're looking for the perfect place to cross-country ski or snow board or downhill ski, the Hudson Valley has exactly what you are looking for. From County and State park lands to mom & pop ski slopes to major ski resorts, it's all right here in the Valley.

Just have an afternoon and want to swoosh down the slopes? One hour north of the City in Orange County is Sterling Forest or family friendly Mount Peter. Want to spend the day following developed cross-country ski trails? Just one hour north of the City on the east side of the river in Putnam County is Fahnestock Park, or a little further in Dutchess County is James Baird State Park, or about an hour and a half up the west side of the river is the spectacular locations of Lake Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the Mohonk Preserve.

Want to spend the weekend really experiencing the thrill of downhill skiing? About two and a quarter hours north of the City in Greene County set amidst the splendor of the Catskill Mountains is a cluster of major ski resorts; Hunter Mountain, Belleayre Mountain and Ski Windham. Or across the river in Columbia County is Catamount in the Berkshire Mountains.

If your interests lie more along the lines of the newly revived sport of snow shoeing, the possibilities become nearly endless. All our State and County Parks are open for you. There are the many unique small trails like the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Highland, Ulster County, or any of the other hundreds of miles of developed trails in the Valley just waiting for you to tramp. And then there are the magnificent Catskills with all the interconnecting trails, overlooks and rugged terrain open for you to enjoy. Experience the Shawangunks, walk the new Croton Aqueduct Trail in Westchester County, weekend on the Long Path as it meanders through Orange, Ulster and Greene counties, or show shoe the Appalachian Trail thru Putnam and Dutchess counties; there's a lifetime of opportunities for you to enjoy.

The winter is a very special time in the Hudson Valley. Everyone has gone home, the hoards of tourists are tucked snugly in their houses and apartments. The entire valley has turned its attention to a different sort of visitor. Beds & Breakfasts have lit the fires, restaurants have switched their menus, Country Inns have groomed their private grounds and trails, everyone is ready and waiting for you. Everyone in the Valley is celebrating the change in seasons and invites you up to experience one of the best kept secrets on the Northeast.

Really want to know what the secret is? All you have to do is be willing to drive one third the distance, be ready for the best in winter sports, be set to find the friendliest people, the most luxurious accommodations and simply the most spectacular facilities and trails.

And don't forget the kids! Everywhere you will find special programs and activities tailored just for them!

So give yourself a break! Come to the Hudson Valley and enjoy the winter. You will never want to drive all day to get to the slopes again...

 
Regions Counties River Bank
Skiing
Upper Valley
Middle Valley
Lower Valley
Snowboards
Upper Valley
Middle Valley
Snow Mobiles
Upper Valley
Middle Valley
Lower Valley
Ice Skating
Upper Valley
Middle Valley
Lower Valley
Skiing
Albany
Greene
Ulster
Orange
Rockland
Rensselaer
Columbia
Dutchess
Putnam
Westchester
Snowboards
Albany
Greene
Ulster
Snowmobiles
Albany
Greene
Orange
Rensselaer
Columbia
Dutchess
Putnam
Westchester
Ice Skating
Albany
Greene
Ulster
Orange
Rockland
Rensselaer
Columbia
Dutchess
Putnam
Westchester
Skiing
West Bank
East Bank
Snowboards
West Bank
East Bank
Snowmobiles
West Bank
East Bank
Ice Skating
West Bank
East Bank
Details on the Hudson Valley's Major Ski Resorts

Belleayre Mountain lies in the heart of the Catskill Forest Preserve on "forever wild" land. The mountain and its 33 trails are expertly maintained by the New York State DEC.

When you arrive at Belleayre, you enter a world totally attuned to its natural surroundings. You ski on trails that descend through the silent, pristine woodlands of the Forest Preserve.

Belleayre Mountain's 1,404' vertical drop is naturally contoured to create "two connected mountains": upper and lower, each with their own lodge and lift facilities.

The upper mountain offers 20 trails for intermediate and more experienced skiers. Five double black diamond trails offer experts a challenge, and there are mogul fields for those who like to ski the bumps.

The lower mountain has 13 novice trails and boasts one of the northeast's largest Teaching-Learning Centers, where every beginner is offered a free untimed lesson. In addition to the snowboard obstacle park, snowboarders are welcome on every trail. In the woodlands at the base of Belleayre Mountain, four trails with 9+ km of terrain offer free cross-country skiing, from novice to expert (natural conditions, weather permitting).

Belleayre Mountain's personality offers a refreshing change from other ski areas. Whether you're getting on the chairlift or buying a bowl of chili in the lodge, the staff is friendly and helpful, the lodges inviting. As part of Belleayre Mountain's commitment to families, we offer special family packages which include free skiing, beginner lessons and hotel stays for children under 12 at participating establishments.

Belleayre Mountain
PO Box 313
Highmount, NY 12441
(800)942-6904
(518)254-5600

Snow Report

Catamount's Berkshire Region location, its variety of terrain covering 1,000 vertical feet, its snowmaking and its proximity in the Hudson Valley makes it an great mountain to ski and an easy one to get to. At Catamount's Ski School, whether you are new to the slopes or need a quick touch up, their PSIA and AASI trained instructors will take you to the next level.

And there's lots for your kids to do at Catamount. From SkiWee and MiniRider programs to the Children's Playroom, Catamount is ready to pamper your children and make their experience a spectacular one.

Catamount introduces the "best ride in the region," their Megaplex Terrain Park for snowboarders. Secluded from the rest of the mountain, it flows from the start with berms, rails, banks, jumps, spines, kickers, tabletops, and a huge 400 foot halfpipe. Ride the Megaplex over and over, you'll find something new and radical each time. With it's own surface lift plus lights for night time snowboarding, Catamount's Megaplex is the place to snowboard.

Catamount Ski Area
Route 23
Hillsdale, NY
(518)325-3200
(413)528-1262


Snow Report

  • 1,000' vertical drop
  • Complete rentals
  • Group rates
  • Lessons for all ages
  • Kids Programs
  • 7 lifts

Hunter is the closest big mountain skiing to New York City. There doesn't have to be snow where you are for Hunter to have snow on its trails. Located in the heart of the Catskills, the weather is different from the lower Valley and NYC, it's colder and snowier. Combined with that, Hunter has extensive snowmaking capabilities, allowing them to have groomed well covered trails all season. Chances are you'll get mid-winter conditions any day of the season.

Hunter continues to live up to the name - Snowmaking Capitol of the World. The snowmaking and grooming crews often work 24 hours a day!

Hunter has 3 expansive mountains of diverse terrain to ski and ride. Forget long lift lines. There are 14 lifts and 53 trails. You put it together and you'll definitely get it all at Hunter!

Kids love Hunter too. There's lots of activities and terrain that's fun for kids. Children, aged 12 and under, can ski or ride free midweek, non-holiday when accompanied by an adult purchasing a full price, all area ticket for that day. A second, 12 and under, skis or rides for half price. Bring your family and make it up to Hunter during the week - your kids will be glad you did.

Hunter Mountain
PO Box 295
Hunter, NY 12442
(800)775-4641
(518)263-4223

Snow Report
  • Vertical Drop - 1,600 ft
  • Summit Elevation - 3,200 ft
  • Area for Skiing - 230 Acres
  • Trails - 53
  • Lift Capacity - 16,900/hr
  • Lifts - 14
  • Quad Lifts - 3

Lots of places like to claim they're friendly, but Mt. Peter is known as "The Friendly One." The staff at Mt. Peter gets to know the season pass holders and their kids. At Mt. Peter you can hang out in their relaxed atmosphere and enjoy a meal from their cafeteria.

There is a beautiful new Rental Shop where you can rent skis, snowboards, boots, or poles at reasonable prices. The shop is stocked with hats, gloves, wax, and more- all the incidentals that you might have forgotten or you might need unexpectedly.

Every weekend, there is something happening at Mt. Peter! Enjoy your lunch, hot off the outdoor barbecue, at the slopeside picnic tables. Dance and party with our DJ every Sunday. Catch a special event, like the PIG ROAST, Scout Day, Spring Rally or the Firefighter's Family Day. Bring the kids for a full day of fun on and off the snow and you'll all go home with smiles!

Mount Peter is the perfect place for you and your family. There are trails for every level, so your seven year old can ski the easy stuff while you take the more challenging trails, and you'll still meet up at the bottom. It's easy to keep track of the kids and let them have independence at the same time.

Mt. Peter Ski Area
Rt.17A and Old Mt. Peter Rd.
Warwick,N.Y. 10990
(845)986-4940
(845)986-4992 Snow Conditions

Snow Report

Just 25 minutes from New York State Thruway exit 21, (2 1/4 hours from Metro New York), Ski Windham is at the tip of the Great Northern Catskills with a 1600' vertical drop with 33 trails ranging from the daunting to the downright easy.

It doesn't just have something for everyone, it has lots of things for everyone. From steep descents down the west side of the main mountain to the perfectly pitched cruisers to acres of natural terrain among the trees, there is plenty to satisfy whatever cravings you have. Add to that mix their endless snow parks and special contoured grooming, one full trail studded with intermediate-level moguls, bumps, spines and whales, and a separate experts-only mountain peak with its own exclusive lift, and you can see why they claim their mountain is "twice the fun.:

With their snow making system, you'll always be assured of the best possible conditions. You've got one hour to try it and if you're not happy with the snow for any reason, they give you a full value Snow Check valid for another day - NO questions asked.

Families will love the Children's Learning Center with its specially designed ski and snowboard programs. Small classes and kids-only terrain make learning to ski and ride downright fun. The trained staff will entertain the kids with theme days, puppet shows and games. And there's also enough time for just plain rolling around in the snow.

Ski Windham
PO Box 459
Windham, NY 12496
800)SKI-WINDHAM
For snow reports call (800)SAY-4SNO

Snow Report
  • Snowmaking - 97% of trails
  • Vertical Drop - 1,600'
  • Slopes & Trails - range from 300' - 12,500' long
  • Uphill Capacity - 11,800 per hour
  • Nighttime Skiing - in designated areas for all levels of experience
  • Snow Boards - allowed in most areas
  • Equipment Rental - full equipment rental available
  • Equipment Purchase - fully stocked ski shops
  • Lessons - group and private in all levels by Ski Instructors of America
  • Lodging - hotel & condo rentals on slopes, plus many hotels and B&B in surrounding town
  • Food - cafeteria, restaurants, cafe and lounges in lodge

For more than 40 years, Sterling Forest Ski Center has provided winter memories for families and friends as one of the closest ski centers in the Metropolitan New York region. Rediscover the fun at Sterling Forest with great conditions, friendly surroundings and easy access.

Our expert ski and ride instructors will have you on the slopes in no time! Group and private ski and snowboard lessons available or special "Learn to Ski/Ride" packages are available. Please call the Sterling Forest Ski School at 845-351-5727 with questions and reservations. See you on slopes!

Sterling Forest Ski Center operates daily both day and nights and for more than 40 years has been known as one of the most convenient ski areas for thousands of visitors from the five boroughs and surrounding suburbs. Just 35 miles from the George Washington Bridge, Sterling Forest Ski Center features 7 trails with 4 lifts and nearly 2 miles of terrain, combined with a full service base lodge, fully equipped rental shop, new retail shop and dedicated Ski School.

Bus transportation is now available daily from Manhattan via ShortLine bus transportation. The $50 package includes round trip bus transportation between Port Authority and Tuxedo, NY; shuttle service to and from ski center, and full day lift ticket to Sterling Forest Ski Center, Tuxedo, NY. For more information, call the Ski Center office or ShortLine bus at 1-800-631-8405.

Sterling Forest
581 Rte. 17A West
Tuxedo, NY 10987
845-351-2163

Snow Report
  • Open 9am-10pm
  • 4 double chairlifts
  • Base Elevation: 650'
  • Summit Elevation: 2,750'
A Few of the Best Cross Country Skiing Locations

Nestled in the Heart of the Hudson Highlands near Cold Spring is the mid-Hudson Valley's newest cross-country ski center - Fahnestock Winter Park. 15 kilometers of ski trails are machine groomed for classic and skate skiing. They meander through meadows and rolling terrain. Ski, snowshoe and inner tube rentals are available. Throughout the season ski clinics, nature programs, and special events are scheduled. Food, hot beverages, restrooms and changing facilities are conveniently located in a cozy warming lodge. There is plenty of parking for cars and buses.

Families find the Park particularly enjoyable because it offers lots of open and easy terrain for children and beginners. The small sledding hill nicely complements day long trips. For club ski trip, winterized log cabins are available for group use near the park.

Choose Your Own Pace

15km of machine groomed, tracked and mapped trails for a safe snowshoeing, classic or skate skiing experience.

Skiing for all ability levels through meadows and rolling forested terrain.

Wilderness trails are accessible from the park. Since they are not groomed or maintained, they are used by skiers or snowshoers interested in exploring the woods on their own.

Learning to cross country ski on groomed trails is easier and more enjoyable for the beginner. It is a safe way to develop skills that will help one become a confident skier in all types of settings.

To accomplish this goal, we have selected top quality ski and snowshoe equipment. We stock a variety of skis, boots, and poles to fit most everyone.

Our group lessons are geared for first time cross country skiers. Lessons cover basic motions of skiing on level terrain, up and down hills, stopping, falling and getting up. For those comfortable on skis, but who want to learn more, advanced lessons are available.

For more information, reservations, discount packages or to receive a brochure call
(845)265-3773 or (845)225-3998
Fahnestock Winter Park
12 Dennytown Road
Cold Spring, NY 10516

Some Other X-Country & Snow Shoeing Locations!

  • Catskill State Park - straddling Ulster and Greene counties, the possibilities are nearly endless for cross country skiing. All skiing in the park must be considered as accessible only to advanced skiers as it is all along the developed mountain trails. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:

    • North Lake Public Campground and surrounding area - located near Haines Falls, (518)357-2234 - the best skiing can be had on a complex of 19th century carriage roads that surrounded the famous old resort hotels. Some of these roads are suited for novice skiers. Extreme caution must be exercised as some of the trails approach the cliffs, especially south facing exposures as sun melt frequently refreezes into sheets of ice leading directly over the edge of the cliff. Spectacular views of the Hudson River Valley can be had from many points.
    • Overlook Mountain in Tannersville area - skiing in this area is best approached from the north via Tannersville. The trail is an old road connecting Tannersville with Meads and Woodstock and the road from this approach is less steep and could be considered an intermediate level trail. Once at the top, the road should be avoided by all except the most expert of skiers as it is continuously steep.
    • Slide Mountain - really only barely appropriate for skiing, the trails up to Slide Mountain are more appropriately described as an exercise in ski mountaineering, so your abilities and equipment must be up to this. Slide Mountain being the highest peak in the Catskills is in the heaviest snowfall region of the Catskills, making for an exceptionally long snow season.

  • Five Rivers Environmental Education Center - located south of Delmar on Route 443, cross country skiing for novice skiing, trail guide available at trailhead. Open daily from 9am to 4:30pm. Call (518)475-0291 for more information.

  • James Baird State Park Located 1 mile north of Route 55 on Taconic State Parkway, cross-country skiing is available on over 3 miles of scenic wooded trails, as well as on the 300 acre golf course. Winter hours for the clubhouse warming area are Friday-Sunday 9am-8pm. Port-a-Johns and trail maps are available 7 days a week. Learn to ski programs are a regular feature of winter programming, call (845)485-7358 for schedule and snow conditions.

  • Lake Minnewaska State Park - Located on Route 44/55, five miles west of the intersection of Route 299, near New Paltz. Managed by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Minnewaska comprises approximately 12,000 acres of wild and scenic landscape on the Shawangunk ridge. Primarily a day use area, an admission fee is charged. What you'll find here is the essence of what the Shawangunks have to offer. Clear streams and lakes, miles of carriageways and trails, all against a backdrop of beautiful vistas, including outstanding views of the neighboring Catskill Mountains. Cross-country skiing is permitted on all carriageways and trails, weather permitting. For more information or to receive a brochure contact: Minnewaska State Park Preserve, PO Box 893, New Paltz, NY 12561, (845)255-0752.

  • Mohonk Preserve - A not-for-profit nature preserve, dedicated to the protection of 6,300 acres of wilderness in the Northern Shawangunk Mountains. The largest, privately-funded preserve in New York State, the preserve is open to the public for a variety of recreational activities including hiking, skiing and as one of the premiere rock climbing spots on the east coast. The Mohonk Preserve has an ongoing series of scheduled activities, including cross-country skiing outings. For more information or to receive a brochure contact: Mohonk Preserve, Inc., 1000 Mountain Rest Road, Mohonk Lake, New Paltz, NY 12561, (845)255-0919.

  • Rensselaerville State Forest - located near the Village of Rensselaerville and also known as the Cheese Hill Area, this State Forest is known for its extensive pine forest glades where you can ski on open trailless ground, totaling about 4 miles.

  • Stissing Mountain Multiple Use Area - Hickory Hill Road - Pine Plains, Dutchess County - (845)831-3109 - located about 9 miles east of Rhinebeck at the northern end of Dutchess County, the terrain contains a number of small hills and is suitable for novice use.

Rate Your Skiing Ability

First Time Skier
Goal: Learn the basic skills like walking and gliding to develop wedge turns and stopping.

Apprehensive Novice
Skied once or twice before with limited success, some may even be able to turn slightly and stop. The ski lift and green circle trails cause anxiety for the apprehensive novice skier. Goal: Review basics and develop linked wedge turns on easiest terrain.

Comfortable Novice
You can turn both ways in a controlled wedge on easiest terrain. Goal: Learn to skid the tails of your skis parallel at the end of the turn.

Improving Novice
On green circle trails you skid the trails of your skis parallel. Occasionally you venture onto "Blue Square" trails. Goal: Start to bring your skis parallel earlier in the turn. Begin to explore easier blue square terrain.

Conservative Intermediate
You parallel your skis in the middle of your turn. You ski all green circle and easier blue square trails comfortably. You ski other more difficult blue square trails with some apprehension. Goal: Ski more varied terrain and snow conditions. Continue working to bring your skis parallel near the beginning of the turn.

True Blue Intermediate
You can ski most blue square trails by starting your turn with a slight stem and then bringing them parallel. Goal: Learn to make consistent smooth rounded turns occasionally using a pole plant to assist your rhythm.

Aggressive Intermediate
You can make rhythmic open stance parallel turns with pole plants. Usually you ski on blue square trails but sometimes make a humbling voyage onto easier black diamond terrain. Goal: Learn short, carved turns and gain confidence on blue square and easier black diamond runs.

Advanced
You are starting to carve your parallel turns with control and confidence on easier black diamond trails. Goal: Tame the bumps and variable snow conditions on more advanced black diamonds.

Expert
As a strong parallel skier, you enjoy the challenge of most terrain and conditions. Goal: Develop technique and your own style on the steeps, in bumps, and all snow surfaces.

Skiing & Snowboarding Tips

Get in shape
Don't try to ski yourself into shape. You'll enjoy skiing more if you're physically fit.

Obtain proper equipment
Be sure to have your ski or snowboard bindings adjusted correctly at a local ski shop. You can rent good ski or snowboarding equipment at resorts.

Take a lesson
Like anything, you'll improve the most when your receive some guidance. The best way to become a good skier or snowboarder is to take a lesson from a qualified instructor.

Drink plenty of water
Be careful not to become dehydrated.

Curb alcohol consumption
Skiing and snowboarding do not mix well with alcohol or drugs.

Dress in layers
Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. For example, dress in polypropylene underware (top and bottoms) which feels good next to the skin, dries quickly, absorbs sweat and keeps you warm. Wear a turtleneck, sweater and jacket.

Be prepared
Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Bring a headband or hat with you to the slopes, 60 percent of heat-loss is through the head. Wear gloves or mittens (mittens are usually better for those susceptible to cold hands).

Wear sun protection
The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think, even on cloudy days!

Always wear eye protection
Have sunglasses and goggles with you. Skiing and snowboarding are a lot more fun when you can see.

When buying skiwear, look for fabric that is water and wind-resistant
Look for wind flaps to shield zippers, snug cuffs at wrists and ankles, collars that can be snuggled up to the chin and drawstrings that can be adjusted for comfort and keep wind out. Be sure to buy quality clothing products.

Know your limits
Learn to ski and snowboard smoothly--and in control. Stop before you become fatigued and, most of all have fun!

Skiers & Snowboarders Checklist

Equipment
(We’re figuring you’ve got your board and boots – or your skis, poles, and boots)

  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Ski or Snowboard lock
  • Bag to carry clothing, boots, and extra equipment

Clothing
There are a lot of different ways to dress for winter sports. Some will keep you warmer than others. Click here for more information on dressing properly.

  • Long Underwear
  • Ski Pants or Bib Pant (NO JEANS!)
  • Outer Layer Jacket (Preferably waterproof/breathable shell)
  • Gloves or Mittens
  • Neck Gaiter
  • Turtleneck
  • Sweater or Fleece
  • Socks or Sock Liner (1 thin to medium weight pair should do)
  • Vest (for insulation)
  • Face Mask
  • Warm ups for after skiing or riding
  • Hat or Headband
It's Your Responsibility!

Your Responsibility Code


NSAA Safety
Initiative
Sourcebook
Skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed in many ways. At areas you may see people using alpine skis, snowboards, telemark skis, cross country skis, and other specialized equipment, such as that used by the disabled. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers and riders the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

  1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Know the code. It's your responsibility.

Ski Tips for Kids

Have your child memorize the “Your Responsibility Code.” It’s the seven rules of the slopes and many accidents can be avoided by adhering to the Code.

Ski helmets are a good idea. If your child wears a ski helmet, remember you may have to raise your voice more to get their attention because a helmet may impede their hearing. Make sure the helmet fits correctly. A ski helmet is not an item you buy for your child to grow into. Educate your child about the benefits and limitations of the helmet. Wearing a helmet doesn’t give permission to ski or snowboard faster or recklessly.

Dress in layers. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. For example, dress your kids in polypropylene underware (top and bottoms) which feels good next to the skin, dries quickly, absorbs sweat and keeps you warm. Your kids should also wear a turtleneck, sweater and waterproof jacket.

Be prepared. Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Kids should wear a hat or headband, 80 percent of heat-loss is through the head. Kids should also wear gloves or mittens (mittens are usually better for kids who are susceptible to cold hands).

Be sure they wear sun protection, even on cloudy days. The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think! A ski vacation with a sun burn is no fun!

Kids should have sunglasses and goggles with them. Skiing is a lot more fun when you can see. Always wear eye protection.

When buying skiwear, look for fabric that is water and wind-resistant. Look for wind flaps to shield zippers, snug cuffs at wrists and ankles, collars that can be snuggled up to the chin and deep pockets. Be sure to buy your children quality clothing products.

Be sure you child has the name and phone number of your hotel written down on a piece of paper and it's in a secure pocket. If you carry a cell phone, include this number too.

When you've decide what area to take your ski trip, call the ski resorts in the area and research how each area's children ski school programs are structured. Ask about the number of kids in the class? What if your child gets cold? What if your child wants to stop skiing after one hour? Does the ski school offer pagers?

Put your kids in ski school to get them on the right track. Children’s instructors know how to teach kids, it's their business. Then you'll enjoy skiing with your kids and they will be proud to show you their skiing abilities.

An observance from a long-time skier is that when his daughter skied with him, she regressed, as opposed to skiing with her peers in a lesson. "She wanted to ski in-between my legs and fell down more often. We had fun with her being silly, but a lesson allowed her to focus on her skiing and she really excelled."

Although it is very unlikely that your child would get separated from the instructor, be sure your child has a trail map and is able to remember the instructor's name.

Make sure your child knows when to stop skiing. For example, if the clothing layer next to their skin stays wet and they’re chilled, if they’re injured, have a problem with equipment or even if they’re simply worn out. Educate them that it’s alright to stop before the end of the day and breaks are fun.

Make a meeting place if you get separated, for example, at the bottom of chairlift #2. The walkie talkies now available are convenient and a big hit on the slopes.

Starting your kids early, opens a world of adventure, fun, laughter and beautiful scenery unsurpassed, from many other sports and interests. It's a tremendous feeling to learn that your kids' fondest childhood memories were of your family ski vacations and now skiing has become an important element in their lives. Your kids will be forever grateful to you when they become adults!

DID YOU KNOW:

Nationally, 43 percent of skiers and snowboarders are part of a family with children (living at home), according to the NSAA National Demographic Study.

In 2000, when parents were asked what their kids do on the slopes (kids would be 15 years and under), parents say that 66 percent of their children ski only, 30 percent snowboard only, 19 percent do both and 10 percent don’t do either (may be too young), according to the National Skier/Boarder Opinion Survey.

Of all the children on the slopes, 13 percent are under age 5 years, 41 percent are between the ages of 5 and 10 years and another 46 percent are between the ages of 11 and 15 years), according to the National Skier/Boarder Opinion Survey.

Prepared by the National Ski Areas Association

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