Ironically, the skiing is finally fantastic when most families decide to stow the ski gear and haul out the bikes and baseballs.
March is the best month for family skiing. Let me count the ways:
1. Longer, brighter, sunnier days on the slopes beat the flat light of December.
2. Trail counts are up with a season’s stockpile of snow.
3. Temperatures are far more enjoyable than frigid January.
4. You can wear sunscreen instead of facemasks.
5. No more pockets full of hand warmers and pricey hot cocoa breaks required for the kids.
6. Sunglasses take the place of face hiding goggles.
7. Burgers served out on the deck taste better than those in the cafeteria of crowded base lodges.
8. Silly events like dummy downhills and pond skimming are kid pleasers. There’s nothing more fun than watching clowns and cardboard contraptions crash, like "Funniest Home Videos" on snow.
9. You can shed your restrictive winter survival suit for silly spring clothing. Retro outfits and Hawaiian shirts add color and character to your ski day.
10. There will be plenty of time for baseball practice, bicycling and lawn chores later…
A few words of spring ski caution: Be sure to slather the kids with sunscreen. Warn them about the ever-changing consistency of spring snow – how in one run you can go from frozen concrete to creamed corn to glue that throws you forward while your skis stick still.
Also be sure to dry ski boots (and clothing) at the day’s end. Spring temperatures, slushy snow and sweat make for soggy, smelly boots if not tended to with a boot dryer. Little kids sweat too- trust me on this one.
This message is brought to you by an admittedly overzealous ski mom.
For more of Heather’s family ski tips and trips, go to www.familyskitrips.com
Photos by Greg Burke.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.