Last weekend Kris and I took the boys skiing, they hadn't been in a year and it would be their first time at a "real ski area" with lifts. Before, they'd been using T-bars and a rope tow on easy slopes. We went to the Wilder Kaiser "SkiWelt" which is an enormous resort. My friend Danno provided tips on where to go with kids, centering around the Scheffau parking and the Brandstadl lift number 64. This was great advice, and despite a rough start and cold, cloudy weather, the day was a success.
But yesterday the boys and I went back. Danno and his family went too. The weather was sunny and warm, which was a great bonus. After skiing a couple of runs, we met up and all "the boys" headed off for new terrain. This was great because I wasn't keen on heading over to new ground alone with the kids. We were lead skillfully and patiently over to the terrain around lifts 91 and 96, dealing with a few steeper, icy slopes. Then a long southern slope, already getting wet and heavy in the sun to take lift 97 back up and over to the base of lift 64 for lunch. The girls had a great morning too, with astounding successes for a "first time" situation. We saw that Elijah just had "no fear" and loved the steeper lines. Rowan also did great, but was more cautious, it seemed like he fought the mountain a little bit which is tiring! Still, they were amazing.
After lunch we went out as a team again and went down along lift 71 which had some challenging "red" terrain that had many mogul humps. Danno gave Rowan an excellent lesson through this area, and his son led Elijah through perfectly. After this the boys were pretty tired, and so we followed another red run back to the restaurant where they played for a long while. We decided to ski down to the car by the easiest way. This would be a long descent of 900 meters vertical (about 3000 feet). Additional hazards are that it has icy patches and was very crowded at the end of the day with descending skiers. They did just amazing going down narrow, icy runs. I found it was important to stay in front of them and force them to turn, otherwise they'd just go straight until they crash (usually laughing, but not always). Often we had to turn in rapid succession, and I was continually impressed to look back and see them behind me, gamely turning along my line. Elijah always wanted to go faster, and as soon as he heard about the concept of a black run, he lobbied heavily to get on it. Not so fast!
Big thanks to Danno for the help! We had a great day and really got our money's worth.
* * *
Rowan came by while I was writing this and reminded me of a fun game we played in the cable car on the way up. It all started when we thought about what would happen if we knocked down the powerline near the cable car. In Rowan's words:
"First we knocked the electricity off and how are we going to watch tv and to do homework? And how can we see anything? It might be so dark!! We knocked the power off at the ski lift then how are we going to eat food? Somebody will have to throw some snow and grass up into our cable car. And how are we going to brush teeth? Our teeth will be all stinky and there'll be bugs on our teeth and the girls won't want to kiss us because it'll really stink. And how are we going to make doo-doo? And shi-shi? We'll break the door of our cable car open to make doo-doo and shi-shi."