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Mommy & Me Ski Class at Echo Mountain (Win it!)

There are Mommy & Me sign language, yoga and swim classes but why should it stop there?

At Echo Mountain it keeps going—straight down the mountain in their Parent and Me private ski lessons for 3-year-old skiers and his/her parent. The concept is brilliant and simple: Take a one-hour lesson with your child to prepare them for group instruction by age 4.

I learned to ski at a one-lift hill in Canada and there is a special place in my heart for small resorts. In addition to proximity to Denver (just 35 miles away outside of Evergreen), Echo Mountains is also about affordability and offers great ski school packages, terrain parks, and night skiing until 9 p.m. five nights a week.

Oh, and the free parking in the small lot and lack of stairs in the lodge were awesome, too.

If you’ve ever walked a mile in your ski boots or attempted to traverse down slippery steps, you know what I’m talking about.

Mommy & Me Class

This wasn’t my son Bode’s first time on skis and I’d like to say he shined but he didn’t. In fact, having his mom there gave him full license to whine.

The person who shined was his instructor, Leah. Undeterred, she diffused my frustration as she taught him new skills in a fun way. She started with the very basics like the parts of the ski (tip, tail and edges). We then moved onto learning how to side-step, get up after a fall “roll to your skis and hug your knees,” and how to ski making “pizzas” and “French fries.”

Best of all, she showed me how to teach him and gave me a thorough tip sheet for next time around. Though it wasn’t his best day on the mountain, I left equipped to not just give him a fish but to teach him how to catch his own.

In skier-speak, that means how to kick butt on the slopes.

Tip: Don’t wear your skis for the Mommy and Me class like I did. The magic carpet area is small enough you can navigate a lot easier without them. Plus, you’ll lose face with your child if you topple over without your poles. 🙂

Mommy & Me Class: $65 for the first parent & child (includes a daily learning center lift ticket); $29 per additional parent or child (includes a daily learning center lift ticket); $20 for ski or snowboard rentals per person (includes a helmet).

Ski School

While Bode and I were in the Mommy and Me class, I enrolled 6-year-old Hadley in a group lesson. She was fortunate to be the only one at her level so she lucked out with a private session.

There are two beginner areas: The magic carpet and Frog Legs. The rest of the 85-acre resort consists of three lifts and twelve trails that include terrain parks, intermediate or advanced terrain.

I will forever remember Echo Mountain as Hadley’s coming-of-age party. She has been skiing for a couple of years but under her instructor Hailey’s guidance, she conquered challenging intermediate runs for the first time. She was linking her turns, learning how to parallel ski and, according to her new BFF Hailey, she was fearless.

Trust an unintimidating, family-friendly mountain like Echo to conquer intimidations.

Tip: Be sure to go to Echo Mountain’s Web site and fill out your paperwork prior to expedite the ski school check-in process.

Mini Mountaineers is Echo’s best program for the littlest snowboarders (age 5)! For three weeks students will have the same instructor with a limit of thee students per class. Cost: $165 for a three-week session, includes a FREE 5 & under lift ticket.

Echo Mountain Bar & Café

I was pleasantly surprises at the food selection in Echo Mountain’s cozy café that included resort anomalies such as chicken twists (chicken fries), mac ‘n cheese wedges and Santa Fe chicken (egg) rolls. The prices are reasonable (around $5 per item) and hot chocolate ($2) is a must-have as well. If you’re a lodge mom and not a skier, you will appreciate the free Wi-Fi.

Tip: If the café is busy, get a flatbread sandwich, soup, nachos or a burrito instead of deep-fried items. During our visit, there were only two guys working, one fryer and a 45-minute wait.

Lift ticket prices: Adult (13 and over): $49; Youth (6-12 ) $33; Children 5 and under are FREE with a paying adult.

CONTEST: Mile High Mamas is giving away a Mommy & Me ski class for you and your preschooler! Please go here to enter. Contest deadline is February 1, 2011. Must be used within the 2011 Winter season.
Note: Be sure to go here to also enter to win 2 nights of lodging at the Grand Lodge Hotel and 2 days of lift tickets for Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Also enter our Ski, Swim & Stay package with 2 nights lodging, eight lift tickets (four for each day) and four passes for the Glenwood Hot Springs.

Disclosure: Mile High Mamas is deeply committed to providing you with honest and accurate reviews even though some services may have been discounted or comped. Our reviews are only what we would tell our best friends and we welcome any dissenting feedback.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.