7 Tips Toward Making Skiing & Snowboarding Your Family's Favorite New Activity
By Julia K. Johnson
There are so many reasons for families to hit the slopes! There's the thrill and exhilaration for all ages, it offers great skill development, a variety of health and fitness benefits, and it's a sport that families make memories from throughout their lives. Skiing opens up many opportunities for travel, while offering fun close to home as well. At Gore Mountain, we see generations of skiers and riders unite, sharing spectacular memories and amazing adventures.
If you are curious to learn more, take a quick read of some expert advice from Gail Setlock, Gore Mountain's Snow Sports Director. Gail has 32 years of teaching experience and is an expert in her field. There is a learning curve, but all skiers and riders agree that the reward is well worth the small effort.
To make the transition from slow to pro, start with these tips:
1. Parents, take a lesson- Unfortunately, we see many frustrated adults when friends or spouses try to teach their family members how to ski. Gore's certified instructors are trained to show you the proper ways to ski or ride, and you will learn quickly, safely, and while having a great time. Please do not attempt to learn from a friend or family member!
(Gore Mountain has expansive easier-rated terrain. Our beginner areas are separate from other guests, making for a comfortable and gradual learning experience. First-timers ages 13+ can try our Parallel from the Start or Learn to Snowboard packages featuring lift ticket, lesson, and rental for just $79. Make it a three-day package and graduate with a savings card for $169.)
2. Test your child's gear- Have children get acclimated to their clothing, helmet, and boots at home. Let them know that they will be wearing this when they go skiing. If you have equipment at home, have them go out into the backyard with their skis or board on to get used to it. At least when they arrive in a new location surrounded by new people, they will have some level of familiarity with their clothing and gear.
3. Put your kids in a lesson- After one of Gore's Mountain Adventure lessons, kids have gained an experience in which they made new friends, engaged with an instructor, and learned new skills. With children, learning is done through play- They don't always realize it, but they are actually learning. Important items we reinforce are how to turn, stop, and stay in control. We prioritize on-hill etiquette so they always have a good time and most importantly, stay safe.
Gore's popular Mountain Adventure program teaches kids ages 4-12 daily. Reservations are encouraged.
4. Gore is ideal for families- Setlock commented, "I think a lot of it has to do with the people here- the employees and the type of visitors who choose Gore. It has a family-friendly atmosphere and a vast variety of terrain to accommodate everybody. One thing I love about Gore is that every trail has a unique personality. When you look around you see mountains- you don't see condos, buildings, and stores. You see the Adirondacks and every view from Gore is beautiful."
5. Plan a trip- Gore Mountain was selected by SKI Magazine readers as a Top 10 Mountain in the East for value, scenery, lifts, terrain variety, and another key advantage for families- accessibility. Gore is located just 25 scenic minutes from I-87, so it's an easy drive, even on winter roads.
6. Layer up- Layers are the key to enjoying a winter day outside. Start with non-cotton thermals as your base, a middle layer for insulating, and an outer shell for repelling wind and weather. Quality weather-resistant gloves and hand warmers are your best friends! Invest in a good pair of skiing/snowboarding socks and your wrinkle-free feet will thank you. Once you're outside you'll be active, which also helps to keep you warm. Helmets are always a smart idea. If you don't have your own helmet yet, you can rent them at Gore, and the shop includes one with every equipment package.
7. Have fun with us! Laugh at yourself as you are learning, and be proud of you and your family's improvements. Soon you and your kids will be riding the lift together, taking photos, and sharing in some of your favorite family memories.
Helpful Note: Gore also has adaptive programs and equipment (including two new bi-skis!) for skiers and riders with special needs. Please call ahead to make arrangements for your family.