It’s been over a decade since I hit the slopes, but this year felt like it was time! We live just 15 minutes from Mt. Brighton, and the 3 bugger kids are all at good ages to start skiing. I wished we’d started the boys earlier but the cost + babies always kept us from going. I signed the kids up for ski school (well, Porter wants to learn snowboarding) and we watched some YouTube videos to ease some anxiety Hudson had about it (literally, when I told him we were going he said “I am NOT! What, do you think I want to ski down a hill and crash into a tree and DIE?!” Not dramatic at all, really.). We were all excited for this new adventure! I had visions of us packing up and heading to the slopes on random evenings that we are bored. We will spend our summers horseback riding and atv’ing, and winters skiing! Yes!
Porter wakes up and had thrown up. I think it was a fluke or something he ate but still, by morning his stomach still hurt. He stayed home, even though he was the most excited to go, and the one I figured would be most into it.
Let me tell you, the process of renting skis for 2 kids and all that jazz is such a pain! Not anyone’s fault, just a lot of steps and helping the kids and keeping track of helmets and mittens and boots. Gah! I’m hoping that if this becomes something we do semi-regularly, we will invest in our own equipment and that’ll make things easier. It took us almost an hour from getting there (early!) to checking in at ski school to getting skis and boots and helmets. Whew! I was exhausted by the time I got them outside haha!
The ski school
was great, though I felt there were a lot of kids for the classes. The instructors were amazing- super encouraging, gave me detailed progress reports afterwards and I could tell they really got to know my kids in the class. As I suspected, their outlook at the end of class was totally opposite. Amelia was begging to ride the chairlifts and ready to conquer Black Diamonds, and Hudson was discouraged and determined to hate it. I adored one of his instructors who gave him a super sweet pep talk and really encouraged him. We had lunch and decided to give it another try on the easy slopes.
Amelia, during her class, had been on this itty bitty hill. We decided to move to the slightly larger bunny slope that Hudson’s class had been on. Amelia hopped right on the magic carpet and was raring to go. This girl has no fear. She flew right down and was not interested in attempting to slow down. (Gotta work on that!!). I decided to rent skis for the afternoon so I didn’t have to keep running up the hill to help them up or to talk them (errr Hudson) through navigating down the little slope. I have to say, I was SO nervous! #1 it’s been a decade or more. #2 I’m so out of shape #3 I’m old. I was happy to find out it’s slightly like riding a bike… kind of. I remembered things pretty quickly and felt at ease after a time or two down the hill.
While Amelia went down the hill the first time, Hudson had to use the bathroom and went by himself because I couldn’t leave Amelia. At that point I had decided to go get skis, thinking I could do that in like 5 minutes. Ha! Well by the time Amelia and I got back out to the hill we couldn’t find Hudson. We weren’t sure if he was still in the bathroom or had gotten scared looking for us or was sitting somewhere waiting for us. I took Amelia down the hill once and then when we didn’t see Hudson around, we went up to the ski school to look for him. This kid…. I love him. A lady walked out with him and said “I have to praise him to you… he couldn’t find you so he knew to look for his instructor and to come in here and ask and sit and wait until you were found”. Good job kiddo!! He was calm and wasn’t worried (which is surprising for him haha!). We were reunited and he told me “I told that lady she looks kind of like our aunt in Georgia, Aunt Linda.” Always so observant.
After a couple times down the hill Hudson caught on! He was so stinking proud of himself and declared he LOVES skiing (and on the way home said “I’m kind of like an expert skier now!” Haha). We spent from 1-4 skiing together on the “bunny hills” with the magic carpet. I am itching to go on bigger hills but I wanted to be able to go down myself to see how hard it would be for them to navigate and I couldn’t leave them alone. Soooo maybe next time! I am excited to take them back, to get Porter on a snowboard and to hopefully have a new activity to do in the winter besides sitting in front of the tv. 3 more years and Lulu will be Amelia’s age and we can plan a ski weekend up north at one of the resorts!
So, my (novice) review so far of Mt. Brighton:
-Group ski lessons were too large of numbers
-Ski instructors were very encouraging, helpful, motivating and loving toward the kids
-In hindsight, I’d probably splurge for private lessons for them. I may, once they get a little more confident on skis, have them do a private lesson to learn more skills than I know LOL)
-Christmas break is busy (I’m assuming it was busy… because it FELT CROWDED!)
-Ski shop was helpful… I had an old pair of skis that were my mom’s and I asked them to check them out for me and let me know if they were usable etc. The gentleman there was friendly, helpful and honest about what I should do with them.
-Food in the grill was decent but kind of pricey ($7.50 for a burger, $4 for fries, $4.50 for slice of pizza It was served in a cafeteria type line to get food and check out at cash registers)
-Everyone was super helpful and friendly- they have really good staff there!
-We only explored the 2 hills with the magic carpet so I can’t comment on any of the ACTUAL ski hills HAHA!
-Ski rental employees were super helpful and friendly as well. (This was probably the most hassle with the 2 kids…. going through to get them fitted for everything etc. We’re going to look into Junior Has A Fit program with Boyne Country Sports to avoid rentals in the future)
All in all… we had a great time and can’t wait to go back again!