Monday, January 4, 2010

Skiing With The Fam.

We spent the last several days in the Poconos skiing Shawnee Mountain. I’m sure most seasoned skier are not too impressed, thinking something like, “big woop, Cath,” but let me tell you it was a very doable mountain for beginning skiers, which my husband, daughter and son are. I’ve been wanting to write a story about skiing at a big, challenging, mega ski resort out west and how it caters to beginning skiers as well as intermediate/advanced, but that hasn’t materialized, so I did what most do when introducing their family to skiing–start small, low and slow–small mountain, low elevation (not steep), and go slow.

Shawnee is small, contained and easy to navigate. All ten lifts have beginner runs down. We didn’t try their ski school but it looked well organized, especially the Ski Wee program that is ranked nationally. The lessons I saw in progress while on the mountain looked skill building and uncrowned even though it was vacation week. The lodge is nothing fancy, central fireplace, Formica picnic bench tables, and typical fast food. We liked our onion

rings enough to fight over them, however. Always “watching” the ski funds, we brought our lunch the second and third day and I would recommend families do the same, perhaps augmenting their “basket” with some fried fair from the snack bar.

One very important tip: Get there early. The lifts open at 8am and at that time there are no lines to purchase tickets, rent equipment or get on lifts. You can get yourself situated with a locker (Although many people just left stuff on tables and shelves.) and there is plenty of room to put on those gosh darn Frankenstein boots! After 11am the lines looked insufferable.

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