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Wolf Creek Ski Area

Family Ski Trip

 

Wolf Creek Ski Area, located near Pagosa Springs in Southwest Colorado, may not be the first ski resort that comes to mind when thinking about a family ski trip but it’s a great place for kids to learn. Kids learn some things faster than adults and are flexible both physically and mentally. Kids impose fewer limitations on themselves, generally believing they can do anything they see other kids doing. Unlike most adults, youngsters are accustomed to listening to teachers and learning new things. Furthermore, developing young brains actively build new connections or synapses. Research has shown that extremely rapid brain synapse growth makes kids especially proficient at learning certain skills like skiing.

Teaching young children to ski has many benefits. It fosters an appreciation of the outdoors, forges lasting friendships, teaches coordination and balance, and helps establish an appreciation for exercise and physical activity. Skiing bonds families together. It’s a sport everyone in the family can enjoy, regardless of age.

Wolf Pups
Wolf Creek offers a special ski program for kids: Wolf Pups. The Wolf Pup Program, designed for children ages 5 to 8, introduces youngsters to basic skiing skills. Parents can purchase half-day or full-day Wolf Pup instruction for their children. Classes run from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m.

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Full-day Wolf Pup tickets include lunch. Lunches are healthy and fun. Fruit, carrots and other healthy snacks are included in lunches. The Pups have their own chef who specializes in meals with kid-appeal. During the day, Pups are offered hot chocolate breaks.

No reservations are needed. The program has no limitations on class size; although, generally outside of holiday weekends, classes can be very small with only 8 to 12 students. On busier days there could be over 100 Wolf Pups on the slopes but there are always an appropriate set of watchful eyes on the kids.

Instructors posted at the base of the “magic carpet,” (a conveyor belt lift that makes it easy to get to the top of “Wolf Pup Hollow”) teach children how to use the lift and introduce them to skills they will need to ride other lifts later on.

Another instructor helps children off the magic carpet at the top of the hill. Yet another instructor organizes Pups into lines to begin teaching how to “pizza” or hold their skis in a wedge shape. Additional instructors are positioned along the gentle beginner’s slope to help those who need extra assistance and teach additional skills to those who are ready to learn more. Instructors are able to see which kids are more coordinated and the kids who need a little more help. The instructors try to make it fun.

How About Mom & Dad?
Parents can watch their children from the Wolf Pup Building but it’s not recommended. Kids act differently when they are on their own. They feel that children often listen to an instructor better than parents and instructors are familiar with the terrain and teaching techniques specific to a child’s age. They know what to expect and how to deal with the kids in a way that keeps skiing fun.

Many parents buy a full-day lift ticket for themselves and a half-day Wolf Pup ticket for their child. A half-day Wolf Pup ticket is good for the entire mountain all day. This allows parents to ski with other adults part of the day and with their child the rest of the day. The only restriction is that parents must accompany their kids on other lifts.”

Equipment
Parents can pay for rental equipment for their youngsters when they buy the Pup’s lift tickets. Rental equipment fittings are handled in the Wolf Pup Building. Parents should ensure their children are dressed appropriately for the weather and with sunglasses or goggles and a helmet.

Camp Robbers
Designed especially for locals, the annual Camp Robber Program expands the Wolf Pup program over four weekends which usually starts the first Saturday in January but doesn’t meet over the busy Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Camp Robbers are grouped according to ability. They ski with the same children and instructor each week. The program includes 4 hours of instruction each week, lift tickets, ski rental, lunch and snacks for one price.

Hot Shots
Parents can enroll kids aged 9 to 12 in the Hot Shot Ski program. Hot Shots and advanced Wolf Pups learn how to use the Nova Lift, a 2-person chair lift. Depending on ability, Hot Shots may venture anywhere on the mountain. Hot Shot instructors are trained especially to work with kids in this age group. Children are matched with other children by skill level.

It’s Never Too Late
Parents who don’t ski can also take lessons at Wolf Creek. In addition to private and group instruction, Wolf Creek also offers several special ski clinic days such as Ladies Ski and Board Days, Senior Ski and Snowboard Clinics and Telemark Clinics.

Your children may become proficient skiers faster; but, there’s no reason why you can’t join them on the slopes! Learn more about Wolf Creek Ski Area Ski Schools online at www.wolfcreekski.com or by calling (970)264-5639.