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Photo credit: Mt Peter

I am not a natural athlete.  I lack the competitive drive, natural agility, and most importantly interest.  My daughter, on the other hand, was born an athlete; every sport she tries she loves and excels at.  The one sport I do enjoy and am semi-competent in is skiing.  I have been impatiently awaiting for Madison to be old enough to learn to ski with me.  Loving all sports like she does, I was really hoping this could be the one sport we could enjoy together.

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Madison turned five years old last week, and for me that felt like the perfect age to start skiing.  Not having skied in the last two years because of pregnancy and then having an infant, I didn’t trust myself to take her for her first time so I signed her up for a lesson at Mount Peter in Warwick.  Chris, our instructor, is also the ski school supervisor and the father of a four year old whom he taught to ski when she was 18 months.  So, I felt confident in his ability to keep Madison safe and to provide a solid lesson.  He told me he could teach her to ski in an hour but wanted to take her up the ski lift.  I had initially thought he would teach her the basics like putting on and taking off the skis, walking around in them, and then perhaps the magic carpet on the smallest hill, so I was not emotionally prepared to let her out of my sight and up the mountain.  I was also doubtful he could teach her to ski independently in only an hour, but I kept that to myself.  Chris was disappointed but understanding of my hesitancy.

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After securing Madison’s skis, they headed over to the magic carpet, and Madison took her first ride up the hill.  As soon as they reached the top, Chris had Madison skiing on her own while he skied in front of her.  By the end of her hour long lesson, Madison was snowplowing down the hill independently and just getting the hang of making turns.  Chris was right.  He had her skiing in an hour.  It was all I could do to keep myself from jumping up and down on the sidelines, although I did a little to keep myself warm.  When the lesson was finished, Madison was frozen but so proud of herself.  Chris had been a great instructor: totally kid friendly, made the lesson fun, gave Madison confidence on the slope,  and appeased my crazy worrisome mama ways.

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Mount Peter Ski & Ride is a great place for beginners and families of varying abilities.  They have trails to accommodate the novice and experienced skier, offer free lessons with the purchase of a lift ticket on weekends and holidays, and their rates are reasonable.  We took advantage of the weekday special: lift ticket and private lesson for $65.  We also had the benefit of having the bunny hill to ourselves, and practically the mountain as well which was well maintained.  We, of course, checked out the girl’s bathroom which was newly renovated and even provided a basket above the toilets for gloves and other ski accessories you may need to remove.  Madison and I ended our day with a snack of rather expensive french fries in the lodge before heading home, but you do have the option of bringing your own food.

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The bad news is the Hudson Valley is cold right now and will be for awhile.  The good news is that means our local ski slopes are thriving.  We can’t escape the cold, so let’s make the best of it and enjoy what winter has to offer.