Today I’m sharing my first ever ‘guide to.’ After sharing some of my fun ski photos on Instagram I was inundated with questions on where to go to learn to ski in CT. Instead of answering every single request I figured I might as well just do a quick guide for the locals. Before I dive in to the specifics I want to share my story on how my family and I learned to ski. My husband learned to ski when he was just four years old. That sounded crazy to me when I heard about it but I guess that’s what you do when you’re the youngest of six kids (at the time) and have to tag along with the big boys. His family owned a chalet in Mt. Sunapee, New Hampshire and for years they skied every winter.
I learned to ski along with my boys when they were about 9, 10 and 11 years old and I was in my early thirties. I found it quite a challenge especially since my first ski resort visit was to Killington, VT! My fear of heights combined with sub zero degrees and high speeds made it incredibly difficult for me to get comfortable with the sport. But I didn’t give up! We enjoyed skiing with friends and family for several years until this happened.
Back in the summer of 2013 my husband suffered a leg injury that left him in a very serious situation. He has since recovered amazingly and is back to normal but that winter we decided to hang up the skis for a while. The kids still went on trips with friends but he nor I got on the slopes. Not to mention that by then our boys were in college and a big chunk of our finances was tied up with tuitions leaving little room for expensive and accident prone activities.Fast forward and we’re back on track. We’ve all been itching to get back on the skis and boards (two of my boys ditched the skis and decided to pick up snowboarding instead) and we’re incredibly excited to do so. My daughter is 10 years old and it was high time we introduced her to the slopes. This time we chose Mohawk Ski Mountain in West Cornwall, CT for Glor’s lessons. In my opinion it is hands down the best place for learning. The mountain is not huge at all and I feel like their ‘diamond’ trails are comparable to the round green trails at Killington! This is perfect for beginners young and old because it introduces you to the basics without the fear of intense heights or steep trails. As an adult it definitely makes a huge difference to learn at a mountain like Mohawk as opposed to learning in a big mountain with steeper grounds. My favorite trail is Deer Run which brings me through an easier path.map image via mohawk mtn
Here’s Glor in one of her earlier runs after her lessons.[fvplayer id=”1″]
Mohawk has a fantastic program for beginners. You can check out their website for all the info here. Also, if you have to rent equipment they have a pretty amazing set up. Everything is computerized with little wait and there are always lots of people ready to help you with fittings. Glor took two lessons and she’s literally doing diamond trails now!
The other Connecticut ski mountain that is just as fun and a great place for beginners is Ski Sundown in New Hartford, CT. We’ve visited this mountain over the years and we like it the most because of it’s proximity. It’s about a good 45 minute drive door to door for us and perfect for weekend trips. Here is Gloria with her oldest brother at the summit of ‘Gun Barrel’ trail, one of the toughest trails at Sundown. I personally don’t like it because I find it incredibly challenging but for those who want a little more excitement this will definitely do!I typically stick to Sunnyside for warming up and then spend the day at Tom’s Treat into PaPoose and Canyon Run. It gets easier as you go down which is why I do pretty well in this area. The boys love Sundown for the freestyle terrain as well. map image via ski sundownSki Sundown offers lessons as well as packages for all levels. You can find out more about it here. They’re not as organized as Mohawk but it serves the purpose. The lodge is definitely bigger and the food is most definitely 100% better than Mohawk’s. We always pack sandwiches and fruits and drinks but sometimes I like something other, at Sundown the kitchen is way better, especially their hot cocoa and giant pretzels!
I hope you find this ski guide useful if you’re a local and want to try skiing. I can honestly say that skiing is a lot like riding a bike, once you learn it you never forget. I must confess though, my fear of heights and high speeds has gotten worse over the years but I am proud to say that I plow right through it. I’m glad I learned to enjoy a winter sport that the whole family can do together. Also, because we look forward to skiing on weekends it totally makes our winters go by super quick! This is one sport I encourage all to learn. Although a little scary and can be downright dangerous, it’s also fun, exhilarating and full of excitement; and dare I say a great way to get a workout! Enjoy your weekend!
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