One of the biggest draws for us when considering the Aspen move was that Zelda was going to be able to grow up immersed in an outdoor lifestyle. We really wanted her to appreciate and enjoy time outside – in a way that you simply can’t get in a big city. At least not daily. We were so excited that basically as soon as we moved here, one of our first priorities was getting her out on the mountain and safely learning to ski.
We found out right away that taking lessons is the best way to learn all the technical stuff, and it obviously makes skiing much safer and enjoyable. This is absolutely my biggest tip for anyone that has asked me about Zelda (or me) learning to ski. Get into lessons ASAP, no matter your age – and find a stellar company to work with.
We have Zelda in ski school through Aspen Snowmass, so she goes every Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. At first, I thought that seemed like a ridiculous amount of time and that there was no way her little legs were going to last that long or that she’d have fun the whole time. I mean, six hours every weekend is a lot! But, the first day of lessons came and while Spiro and I unexpectedly bawled like babies (it felt like such a grown-up moment for Zelda) when we dropped her off, she was like peace out parents! I mean, that girl was ready to go. And she had the same amount of energy and excitement when we picked her up! We were shocked because although she had skied in Wisconsin before, we had no idea she’d take to it so quickly.
On top of her excitement, we have been completely blown away by the level of expertise of the people teaching ski lessons in Aspen and at Aspen Snowmass. I mean, they are people you want your kids spending time around because they’re so great at not only skiing but working with the kids in general and having a good time with them.
As for working out all the details, definitely book your ski lessons online BEFORE you arrive. They might be able to accommodate you without a prior reservation, but why jump through hoops if you don’t have to? Zelda takes a group lesson and loves being with the other kids. Aspen Snowmass has a few different locations depending what mountain you’re on, but everything is so easy to navigate, trust me.
For gear, your kid has to show up to ski lessons ready to go, so be prepared by either purchasing or renting. Personally, we decided not to buy boots or skis for Zelda because she’s growing so fast (I included some below though just in case you want to take a look). You can get your rentals from Aspen Snowmass but no need to book in advance. They always have plenty of gear and options available at all their locations, so no worries there.
To get you started, I’ve prepared a whole list of what your child will need for a WARM and COMFORTABLE day on the mountain. I stress those two words because if they aren’t warm and comfortable, you know what’s going to happen – there’s going to be tears and a whole lot of whining. We’ve had a couple situations where Spiro and I had to learn the hard way, so hopefully my recommendations can help you avoid this.
Here’s everything Zelda has loved and I would suggest to other parents looking for ski gear for their kids.