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Mountain Mama

Jodi Saeland

Jodi Saeland is a part-time KSL Meteorologist and full-time Mom of an eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. Follow Jodi as she explores the trials and triumps of skiing with your kids. Gain practical real-world advice on how to pack, dress, communicate and ski with your kids on Utah's famous slopes. How to be a skier while having an avid, excited budding snowboarder! With her experience as a meteorologist, Jodi shares a bit of knowledge about Utah’s weather forecasts and The Greatest Snow on Earth®

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Posts by Mountain Mama

If you build it...they will come (the storms that is!)

by Mountain Mama

Living in Utah and skiing in Utah...well, we get pretty spoiled. In fact, we get a bit snobby. If there isn't at least 6" of new snow every few days or a week, we feel cheated. When in fact, other parts of the country would be very excited to see even 1/2 the snow we get.
Besides the point, it has been an El Nino year and maybe not quite the winter we'd like to see....until now! During an El Nino year, there is warming of the waters off the coast of South America, trade winds weaken and the warm water pools in the western Pacific. Ok, so..what's my point? We oftentimes will see a ridge or high pressure over the west and storms go around the high. High is associated with sinking air=no storminess. El Nino also will shift the jet streams. This is important because the jet stream acts as a steering wheel for storms. You want that wheel over you, not around you. During an El Nino, we get a split jet. The storms normally go over southern California (like we're seeing the last few days with floods and if you are one that watched the Golden Globes :)) and scrape by southern Utah. Brian Head resort in southern Utah does well. The storms also go through Canada and drop into the Dakotas. (Remember the big Christmas mess?)

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Weekly lessons at Deer Valley for a Bambi

by Mountain Mama

After only 3 lessons this season, Emily is doing GREAT at her skiing. As I've said before...enthusiam is key! We've had 2 private lesson, one afternoon lesson and now we've started consecutive weekly lessons at Deer Valley. As we all know, Deer Valley caters to your every need. Same goes with the little guys.
Some differences in lessons. Private lessons are wonderful and you get the one on one attention, but can be a bit spendy. Showing up to a resort and having a group lesson is great because you can ski for the day and the kids get into their age group and enjoy learning with other kids. The consecutive weekly lessons are really nice because you have the same instructor and same kids in the class week after week.

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Holiday traditions....skiing at Alta Christmas Eve

by Mountain Mama

I love the holidays! As a child we all have traditions and I've now started my own with my family. 3 years ago when Emily was just over 2, we started going to Alta on Christmas Eve. At the time, she was too little to ski, so we put her in the day care. They have a program called a Pre Ski at the Childrens Center. They will take the young ones out and walk them around in skis so they get the ski bug! It was Emilys first time in skis. Mom and Dad got to ski all day. One year later, Brennan and Emily went into day care on Christmas Eve.
This year, Emily took her first class lesson at Alta's ski school. If your child has skiied before, you will have an idea of what level they are at. It starts at level 1 and goes up from there. Since Emily has been in a couple of lessons, she is at a level 2. There are advantages and disadvantages to private lessons vs group lessons. I would suggest the first time on skis be a private lesson. Let them get the confidence they need to get up and going and the individual attention. They need to really get the hang of it. It also depends on the child. Group lessons are great once they get their confidence going and are ready to keep up with the others. For Emily, she is outgoing and likes other kids. Being around others her age is a positive thing for her..besides, I feel they are pushed a bit.

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Sometimes a little bribe helps....a 2 year old lesson at Brighton

by Mountain Mama

After a successful lesson with Emily at Brighton, we decided to give it a try with Brennan. Since we had success with Gina, I requested her to teach Brennan. With the little guys, it's all about FUN. Let's make it FUN. Emily was easy, bonded with Gina and took off. Could Brennan do that? NOOO! Gina greeted him and was happy and friendly; Brennan turns his head and wouldn't look. Ok, now what...we've driven all the way here, I am a DEDICATED Mom and don't even have my skis. It is an ugly inversion in the Salt Lake Valley and we can breath easy up in the mountains. (That whole inversion thing is for another blog.) Brennan gets a little stuffed horse to bond with..it's working! We head outside and grab the skis to walk to the lift. Of course, I carry him since he won't look at Gina. How many of you have one like this? :)
2 good things: he has his boots on and is standing in the snow. No to the skis yet. You have to ask yourself if they will do better with or without you. We try with at first since he likes Mom around. Not working...so I get out of sight. Still not working. Gina is VERY patient and now at least he's talking to her, but laying in the snow. I head back and decide it's time for ultimatums. He likes to be outside, doesn't want to go home. I give him a choice...put skis on and go up lift like a big boy or go home. Well, no choice there...on go the skis and mission accomplished.

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Emily's first ski lesson at Brighton

by Mountain Mama

The snow has arrived and with nearly 40" of new snow...time to get out. Ok, I'm thinking if Emily gets a lesson, I can take some runs on my new demo skis..yes, I love the powder! What can I say, I'm a Meteorologist and know how to pick my days :)
I've talked with many of the resorts as to the best approach to getting Emily started and on her way to the best experience. All agree, lets start with a private lesson. Brighton has been talked about as having a great ski school for the little ones. The WONDERFUL thing about Brighton, is they WILL take Brennan at 2 years old! I am VERY excited for that one, but that will be another blog. As long as it is a private lesson, they will take a 2 year old out and encourage the parent to attend to learn how to teach the little guy.
There are 2 options for lessons, a private one on one with an instructor or a group lesson. I'm excited for the group lesson because it is a weekly lesson you can sign up for in which the child will have the same group and instructor every week. Like being in school, they learn to trust the instructor and get to know the kids in the class. I think it makes for a bonding experience and at times, a good competitive day for them.

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