Last day of November, so I guess that mean’s ski season is just around the corner. I grew up skiing a few days a year (usually on one outing to the Poconos or the Berkshires or occasionally Vermont). Now that our family lives so much closer to ski resorts, I have been taking my children much more often, and at least one of them is starting to get the hang of it.
Now, for some thoughts about skiing:
1. WEAR A HELMET. When I was growing up, virtually no one wore helmets when they went skiing (except for that weird kid with the over-protective mother who made him). Now, it’s almost standard. What scientists know now about the potential for serious brain injury in skiing collisions (and other collisions as well), means that wearing a helmet, and insisting that your children wear one too, is crucial.
2. WATCH OUT FOR TREES. And telephone pole lines, and fences, and other skiers. Also animals. But for real, one of my earliest skiing memories is being in the Poconos, slipping on a patch of ice, and colliding head-first with a tree. 15 stitches later, I was more or less fine, and so was the tree. People who ski at higher speeds, though, can end up dead from a collision with a tree (remember Michael Kennedy? check out his Wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_LeMoyne_Kennedy). So avoid the trees.
3. ALSO AVOID HYPOTHERMIA AND WIND BURN. There are lots of ways to protect yourself from both hypothermia and wind burn, so wear all the protective equipment, protect exposed skin, and try to take normal amounts of breaks as needed.
Finally, a note and endorsement of our favorite local ski place (note: also the only ski place that we’ve tried) (but it’s still our favorite): Wachusett Mountain (https://www.wachusett.com/). They have all day ski school for children (half-days also available), and private lessons, and group lessons, and instructors with lots and lots of patience. Try it for yourselves and see!