It’s never too late in life to learn to ski or snowboard, and there’s no better way to learn than with a loved one.
Last season, mother-son duo Cindy and Levi Dilg of Spokane were looking for a winter time activity to keep them moving and having fun outside once they put their mountain bikes away for the season. They decided the time was right for them to learn to ski and snowboard, and Cindy signed them up for the EZ 1-2-3 lesson program at 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort, in Chewelah, Wash., as a Christmas present.
Cindy, age 38, chose to learn to snowboard, while her then 12-year-old son Levi picked skiing. “I wanted to snowboard because the ski boots were really uncomfortable,” admits Cindy.
Levi, on the other hand, chose skiing because he thought it looked easier. He figured out skiing and picked it up really quick, says Cindy. “By the third lesson, the light switched on and he was going down the blue trails. Now he wants to learn to snowboard, too.”
The EZ 1-2-3 package, available at all four Ski the NW Rockies association resorts (49, Silver, Mt. Spokane, and Lookout), is a great deal for all ages who have never skied or snowboarded before and want to learn and have fun doing it. This comprehensive package includes three days of rentals, lift tickets, and professional lessons.
“I really liked the package deal. You not only get the lessons, but you get rental gear and can ease into the sport without having to jump in and buy all the stuff right away,” explains Cindy.
Cindy and Levi each faced their own challenges during the first few lessons, but the payoff, getting to ski and snowboard together all winter, was huge.
“I was pretty nervous the first day,” admits Levi. “I saw a couple of videos of people on skis falling, and it looked like it hurt.” Cindy struggled at first to build the confidence to go faster and trust herself to go straight down the mountain instead of just back and forth.
“Each day in the class as we advanced the instructor would give you more pointers and tips to get better,” explains Cindy. The skills she learned made her more confident that she could stop safely, which allowed her to go faster down the mountain.
By that third lesson, says Cindy, they had both learned so much and Levi was skiing the cat tracks and going down steeper slopes with his cousin. They continued to ski and ride all winter long, and each time Levi got faster. “Before the end of the season we even went down a black diamond trail,” says Cindy.
Learning at the same time turned out to be ideal for the two of them. Cindy says it was great to spend that time together that they don’t always get with their busy lives. The rides up to and back home from the mountain together gave them a chance to chat, and then they could ski and snowboard together after the lessons.
But because they each chose different sports, it also allowed Levi to learn on his own with the instructor and other students and not have his mom hovering over him, explains Cindy.
And, she adds, it was great to watch Levi progress. “At first he was slower than me, and then he got more confident and was faster than me.”
Once their three lessons were over, Cindy and Levi kept going up to ski and snowboard at 49 Degrees North and other mountains, including Lookout and Mt. Spokane.
After learning to ski last season, Levi plans to follow his mom’s lead and learn to snowboard this winter. Cindy says they can’t wait for the snow to fly and to spend another winter up on the mountain enjoying nature together.