-- Be Safe --
Selecting a Location...
It is very important to find
an appropriate location when you are skiing with children. You must
be careful not to intimidate the little ones but at the same time
challenge the more experienced. A few tips for selecting the
You should always start
small at a fun and exciting trail that is fairly close to home.
Seek a location that
have some ready made diversions. Keep the kids amused with
things to jump over or bridges to under. Choose an area that
offers diverse terrain for instance flat and easy trails as well
as more difficult trails with lots of elevation changes. Keep
the group’s energy level in mind when selecting your trails.
Ask for advise from other skiers and salespeople at your local
ski shop.They are very knowledgeable about great places to ski.
Contact the local
chamber of commerce, visitor’s centers, or tourism offices for
maps and brochures that feature area trails and tours.
Establish a schedule
for stopping along the way for short breaks so that the kids know
that a break is coming and they will spend less time asking for
stops. Depending on the age of the skiers you can go every 20
minutes or at predetermined landmarks (the first stream crossing,
when you get to the lake, at the top of the hill, etc.)
Your rest stop is the time to make sure everyone is comfortable and
their needs are met. Make sure everyone has a drink of water and
replenishes sunscreen if needed. This is the time to add or remove
clothing based on the temperatures and comfort level of the skier.
When you do stop, take inventory of how everyone is feeling. Feet
OK? Need more sunscreen? At the final stop you should
celebrate your accomplishments. Pull out a special treat, and talk
about your journey to this point. Don’t forget to take some
Make XC skiing fun for the
Remember that it may be
extremely rewarding for you to enjoy nature but the little ones may
need some motivation to keep them interested. Here are some ideas
for trail games.
Follow the leader: Give each
kid an opportunity to take the lead, break trail, set the pace,
schedule breaks and water stops.
Nature watch: Encourage everyone to look for animal tracks and
birds, meal remnants, creeks, hills and so on.
Give the kids a list of items to find along the way. Examples
icicles, animal tracks, change in elevation, tree trunk, another
skiier, trial marker etc…
Start a story and have it continue by passing it from
skier to skier who embellishes the plot.
Have each person predict how many trail markers you will see, or
how many other skiers you will pass along the trail, etc.
Country Skier's Code of Ethics...
At ski resorts
you are introduced to a variety of people who have different ski
levels, and types of equipment. It is important to remember
that you must always be responsible, aware of your surroundings, use
common sense, and show courtesy to others in order to enjoy the
slopes. There are guidelines to follow to
keep you and others safe on the slopes and reduce the risk of
getting injured skiing.
Always check posted trail
conditions and obey all signs and posted warnings.
Always buy a
trail pass when skiing at a commercial center.
stopping, step off the trail quickly to leave room for other
skiers to pass. Don't block
intersections and avoid stopping in the middle of hills. Do not
stop where you not visible to others.
Always maintain control of your
speed and direction. Ski in such a manner that you can stop or
avoid other skiers or hazards.
double-tracked trails ski single-file and to the right except
Ski within your abilities and
When a skier
behind calls out "track," move to the right to give them room to
Don't walk in the set tracks or
on the groomed trail because footprints decrease grip and
glide. Keep to the side of the
classically groomed trails will similarly disrupt the grip and
glide of classic skiers.
Ski in the
specified direction on one-way trails.
off other skiers when entering trails or overtaking.
Stick to the
trails and respect private property.
skiers have right-of-way on hills.
your dog on the trails.
In Case of
a pair of crossed skis in an "X" position close to the injured
Do not attempt to move the
Be sure that they are kept
Look around for trail markers,
or landmarks that can be used to determine your location.
the aid of a fellow skier.
Know The Symbols...
You’ve arrived. You’re geared up and
have a lift ticket. Now what? Go get a trail map at the base lodge
or lift-ticket window. Take a few minutes to check it out. The lifts
and the trails are marked on the map. The colored symbols next to
the trails are the keys to enjoying your first few days on the
slopes. Their shape and color indicate the difficulty of the trail.
Here’s what they mean: Green Circle:
Easier, Beginner; Blue Square or sometimes a Blue Circle: More Difficult,
Intermediate; Black Diamond: Most Difficult, Expert;
In some cases you will see a Safety symbol, which is a yellow
triangle with an exclamation point (!) which means use extra caution. You’ll find
them posted on signs on the mountain.
trail symbols are used at every resort in the country, but as Albert
Einstein must have said, “It’s all relative.” A Green Circle trail
at one resort, might be as tough as a Blue Square at another. Not a big deal. The trail ratings are consistent
within each resort. So all the “Greens” at a ski area will be about
the same difficulty, as will the “Blues” and the “Blacks.”
Realize that difficulty
ratings are based on good snow conditions so icy conditions could
make the trails much more treacherous.
For the most part, easy trails should normally be
trails that are mainly flat with the possibility of
a few small hills. More difficult trails could have
very large hills with gradual turns or steep fast
hills. Most difficult trails tend to have very steep
hills or fast hills with tighter turns.
These ratings are very important with cross country
ski trails because most groomed trails are one-way
so if you start skiing down and it is beyond
your skiing ability, you can't just turn around.
Also, note that the color codes used for these
symbols does not always correspond with the color
coding for navigating the trail system. For
instance, a green trail may not be the easy trail.