This is an extremely accurate drawing of how I spent my winter, courtesy of my final group of students. In fact, all the colors of everybody’s ski boots, snow pants, helmet and jacket are perfect!
I taught quite a few returning students this winter; I really enjoyed seeing my students again! They’re all bigger, stronger, and smarter. I’m absurdly proud of their progress as skiers and as ‘people in training’. I love seeing their little minds at work. At the same time, I’m torn to see them grow up and realize that the ‘gold’ for the Gold Mine isn’t actually gold and comes from my pocket.
I normally teach kids, mostly girls, from about age 5 until 13. I almost exclusively teach half-day private lessons, which gives the kids a chance to rest before meeting me again the next morning. I’m delighted to report that there is a lot of good parenting out there that makes my job MUCH easier. I love that my students are polite, clean up their area after their snacks, and alternate well in the lift line. Thanks Moms and Dads!
My typical winter’s work day begins at 9am when I meet my students at their home, hotel, or at the base of the Centennial chairlift. During the first run, we warm up and familiarize ourselves with the conditions. Next, we play some games (disguised drills) and work on some skiing drills (drills I haven’t figured out how to disguise). There is normally a ‘recess run’ through Jack Rabbit Alley (where my students unknowingly work on balance and agility, practicing their latest skills). Next, we take a potty break disguised as a hot chocolate break. We then repeat the same process and usually hit a race course on the way to meet their parents at lunchtime.
A lot of parents ask me to join them and their children for lunch — which I really enjoy (and not just for the excellent free food). Over the past two years, I have met lots of great people. I enjoy catching up with them while they’re on vacation, learning about their lives, and finding out what their kids are up to outside of skiing.
My evening looks a lot like my students’ evening. I tend to eat dinner and immediately register that I’m exhausted. I try to stay up until 9pm to preserve my self respect, but admittedly I fail occasionally. It’s pretty much bathing, dinner and bed for me in the evenings.
All in all, it was a great season at The Beav!
Oh, and something needs to be said about Jack Rabbit Alley. Children love this run. I enjoy it quite a bit if there is decent snow coverage. Children who can ski blues can handle this run which goes through the trees, over stumps and large bumps and under obstacles. But, it’s hard to ski Jack Rabbit Alley if you are a grown-up! Children weave throughout the woods on their tiny skis, making terrain features that are simply navigational hazards to grown-up skis. But, with good snow it’s a blast to zigzag through the forest, under teepees, over small jumps and through a natural halfpipe!
So, if you find yourself at Beaver Creek and want to know what your kids will find fun, here is a list of kids’ favorite places:
-Jack Rabbit Alley.
-The Gold Mine (hint to parents: bring your own ‘gold’).
-Any path through the trees.
-The Spruce Saddle for a hot chocolate break with LOTS of whipped cream (whipped cream is out on the bar).
And here are a few fun places that most parents don’t know about
-The Poma lift above the Ritz Carlton where kids can ride the lift on their own (they don’t leave the ground).
-The ‘secret’ fort at skier’s right and about 50 feet below the first intersection of Gold Dust and Cinch. The entrance is marked with a carved beaver.
-Buffalo Bumps (in the Haymeadow, just above and to the east of the Hyatt).