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Getting children up on skis ... Tahoe ski resorts with programs.

Getting children up on skis . . . Tahoe ski resorts with programs

Putting on skis, learning to snowplow, and riding a chair lift are basics of alpine skiing, but for a first-time skier, this can all seem like a great challenge.

To help young beginners meet the challenge, 16 ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area--twice as many as in our previous survey in 1977--have developed ski programs that cater to their needs. Trained instructors teach children basic skiing and ski safety and create an enjoyable atmosphere for learning.

Full-day programs

Nine resorts offer all-day programs, often with a double-session lesson, playtime, and snack or lunch. Price includes lift ticket, but rental equipment is extra except as noted.

It's a good idea to call ahead for reservations, especially if you're planning a trip during the holidays or a three-day weekend. If you don't have reservations, check at the resort's ski school desk to see if any room is left in the class you want.

Alpine Meadows Ski Area, (916) 583-4232. Children's Snow School for ages 3 to 6 includes ski lesson, equipment, indoor and outdoor playtime, lunch, and snacks for $35.

Children's Ski School, ages 7 to 12. Beginner class with lift ticket, all-day lesson, lunch break; $22.

Boreal Ski Area, (916) 426-3666. The Hobbit Ski Company, ages 3 to 12. Morning and afternoon lessons, equipment, indoor and outdoor playtimes, and lunch; $35. This six-level program awards children for their progress with badges taken from the characters in the Hobbit trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Echo Summit Ski Area, (916) 659-7154. Skiwee is a program developed by Ski Magazine for ages 5 to 12. All-day lesson, indoor and outdoor playtimes, lunch; $32. Participants get a standardized ski report card that can be used again as a progress chart at other resorts offering the program (including Northstar in the Lake Tahoe region).

Children's Ski School, ages 7 to 12. Double-session 4-hour lesson $21.

Kirkwood Ski Resort, (209) 258-6000. Children's Ski School has a beginner special including double-sesson lesson and equipment; $25. Group lessons for ages 4 to 12 at any level. All-day lessons include lunch; $25. Single-session 2-hour lessons cost $15.

Mt. Rose Ski Resort, (702) 849-0704. Rosebuds is for ages 3 to 7. The main goals are to teach children to ski and get on chair lifts unassisted. All-day lesson costs $35; half-day $20.

Northstar-at-Tahoe, (916) 562-1010. Skiwee and Peewee programs are offered here. The first (ages 5 to 12) includes 6-hour lesson and hot lunch; $40. The second (ages 3 to 6) offers 1 1/2-hour lesson, equipment, indoor and outdoor play, lunch, and snacks; $32, $29 for second child.

Ski Incline, (702) 832-1177. Learn-to-Ski program, ages 6 to 12. Four-hour lesson $20; 2 hours $14. Beginner special includes 4-hour lesson, rental, and lift ticket; $25; 2 hours $15; weekends (two days, 4 hours a day) $45.

Soda Springs, (916) 426-3666. Offers the Hobbit Ski Company program weekends only (see listing under Boreal Ski Area).

Squaw Valley USA, (916) 583-0119. Ten Little Indians Snow School (583-4743), ages 3 to 5. Lesson, equipment, indoor and outdoor play, and lunch $32; second child $26. Half-day lessons $22.

Junior Mountain Ski School for ages 6 to 12 has separate programs for children who have never skied and those who can turn on skis and get onto a chair lift. Classes run from 11 to 4, with a lunch break; $24 (hot lunch $6 extra). Lesson packages with ski rental are also available.

Short sessions

The following resorts don't have full programs for children, but offer beginner lessons for them--some with adults, others for children only.

Donner Ski Ranch, (916) 426-3635. Half-hour private lessons for ages 3 to 6; $10. Two-hour group lessons for ages 6 and up cost $7, $14 for 4 hours.

Heavenly Ski Resort, (916) 541-1330. Children's Ski School, ages 5 and up. Lift ticket, single-session 2-hour lessons (morning or afternoon), hot chocolate; $14, $20 for double session.

Homewood Ski Area, (916) 525-7256. One-hour group lessons for ages 4 to 6 cost $6. Two-hour group lessons for ages 7 and up are $13; all-day lessons $18.

Sierra Ski Ranch, (916) 659-7475. Children 5 and under can have a private 1 hour lesson for $26. Half-day group lessons for ages 5 and up are $14; all day $21.

Slide Mountain, (702) 849-0303. Group lessons for ages 6 and up. Classes usually run 2 hours, depending on ability and endurance of students; cost is $11.

Sugar Bowl, (916) 426-3651. On weekends, lessons for beginners any age cost $12 for 2 hours, $18 for all day. Weekdays (same rates), children must be 7 or older.

Tahoe Ski Bowl, (916) 525-5224. Preschool ski class, ages 4 to 6; 1- to 2-hour lesson $7. Ages 6 and up $14 half-days, $20 all day.

Photo: Learning to snowplow, youngster at Lake Tahoe's Northstar resort gets personal coaching from ski instructor while his classmates look on

Photo: Hot lunch break for student and instructor is part of most full-day children's ski programs
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1984
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