by Lisa Blake
Colorado mother of two and family skiing guru, The Brave Ski Mom (a.k.a. Kristen Lummis) has the scoop on raising rippers. She put her boys on skis when they were three years old. Through consistent family ski days, lessons and a team racing program, the skiing seed sprouted into a full-grown love of sliding on snow. Now, as adults ages 20 and 23, her sons show her the way down the mountain.
Inspire and encourage your kids with the following Brave Ski Mom tips.
How do you keep it positive?
Brave Ski Mom: Parents need to put aside their own desires. It’s hard for parents who love skiing to dial it back—they’ve been waiting since their kids were babies and now they’re three and they want to ski as a family. But at this stage, it’s not about cementing the skills so much as cementing the love of the sport. You want skiing to be fun. Don’t push them too hard. Let them stop and dig tunnels on the side of a run if that’s what they want to do.
What’s the best part of skiing as a family?
BSM: I think, for a kid, it’s having your parents’ undivided attention. That chair lift time is amazing; you’re bonding, everyone is laughing, talking about where they want to go next. As a parent, you’re engaged and present, not on your phone.
Tips for engaging the youngest skiers?
BSM: Try to see things through your kid’s eyes. Remember what it’s like to be a kid. Let them be the trail boss for the day. Follow them for the day. What you want at the end of the day is not an Olympic racer, but someone who is passionate about the sport for the rest of their life. My ski instructor friend says never speak to your kids in terms of “working” on skills. Rather, say “let’s have fun with this.”
Crucial kiddo gear?
BSM: Never discount the power of disposable hand warmers. You can put them in coats, mittens, anywhere. Neck gaiters are sometimes overlooked for kids. Just one pair of socks will do, thin ones made for skiing. And actual insulated ski pants and ski jackets. Not regular department store gear, but real ski gear.
How about snacks?
BSM: Load up on nuts, raisins, dried fruit, cheese, even a hardboiled egg and breakfast burritos. Especially when it’s really cold; you need re-ups on energy throughout the day. M&Ms are a nice treat. We try and carry soft, collapsible Platypus water bladders. You can fill them up in the lodge and they’re easy to pack.
Any Copper Mountain-specific tips?
BSM: Look for the picnic table by the Sierra chair lift, it’s a great break spot on the mountain. The naturally divided terrain at Copper is a real godsend. As parents, it’s a relief to know there won’t be too many skiers flying by on the green runs trying to access blue and black runs.