Tips For a Fun Family Experience On The Mountain

woman pulling kid on snowboard
Photo: Dean Blotto Gray

We are an adventurous family who loves to spend time outside exploring all the beauty of the Eastern Sierra. As a professional snowboarder, I am used to being in the mountains majority of the winter, but as a mom of two little boys, Koa 4, and Zeppelin 1, finding a rhythm of getting my family onto the mountain can be challenging.

Packing up the winter gear, snacks, diapers, and getting us all out the door between naps is a huge juggle and even though it may look easy as an on-looker. I know how hard it can be to get out the door and onto the slopes, for what seems like one run with little ones.

Tips for a fun day on the mountain with your family

Try Kids Gear On

What’s worse that boots that don’t fit? Finding out your childs boots are too small as you gear up at the mountain. I find it helpful to pull all my kids gear out of the closet at the beginning of the season and have them try it on before you leave for the mountain. Making it fun, like a dress up party, may keep them interested and tolerant of the layers of clothes you’ll be shuffling the through. Knowing how everything fits gives you time to make purchases for new gear before heading to the mountain.

Have A Plan

Share the idea of a mountain adventure with your kids. Create curiosity by asking them questions about snow, winter, and mountains. Explain when and where you will go. If you have a trail Map from your local resort, let them draw on it, and help them become familiar with the mountain before you go. Having a plan, doesn’t mean the plan always works, but it helps everyone feel involved in the planning process.

The Checklist and Pre-Packed Car

The time has come to get the family out the door and out to the resort. I find it super helpful to go through my checklist and pack most the gear the night before. This gives me time to remember things I may have forgotten. I bring a small backpack with snacks and water in the car, and I stash some treats in my pockets for extra boosts of energy for the kids.

At the resort, now what?

When you make it to the parking lot of the resort, you have won! Now try to let go of expectations, because there’s going to be a lot of shuffling gear, slow walking, and probably winning. This is part of the adventure. Keeping your cool, and keeping the process of getting onto the snow fun, will make everyones experience better. Playing ‘eye-spy’ or another fun game that keeps the kids excited to move will help everyones sanity.

One Run And Done

The amount of time and energy it takes to get my family packed and geared up, can be exhausting when my kiddos are content with just a few minutes on snow, or just one lap on the bunny slope. But I have learned that’s also part of the process. Showing them how fun being on snow (or out in nature) can be, keeps them wanting to come back; even if it’s just walking around looking at other people snowboarding/skiing, building snowmen, pulling them around on a Burton Riglet Board, etc.

End On A High Note

I am also a big believer of ending the mountain experience on a high note- so I try not to wait until they are exhausted or over it before we call it a day. Keeping their stoke level high and eager for more time out there! For a special memory, take them into the lodge for a warm hot chocolate, to amplify the “wintry” experience.

Some of my favorite products for encouraging fun on the snow

Burton Snowboards after school snowboard package , the MDXOne Harness, kids Dragon goggles, and reliable helmet, plenty of cozy layers, wool socks, and warm gloves.

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