> Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006 11:08:14 -0400
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [SKIVT-L] Best Toddler Ski Program in US?
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Im planning on going somewhere in early December. Its going to be a
> daunting task, but I am going to take my 3 1/2 year old daughter alone on a
> ski trip.
> What are your suggestions on who has the best intro to ski full day program
> for children that young. I want a good facility, good teachers, and good
> lodging. Take the snow conditions picture out of it right now since one
> can never tell. I just want to get a list going and do some research and
> book something where the snow is best.
> I will travel anywhere its good.

A lot of places (as we've discovered over the past year) don't do full ski school programs with the kids until they are four years old.  Some do have programs that involve children three years and older however, so sticking to that list (assuming your daughter still hasn't reached four by the time of the trip) will make your list a lot shorter and easier to manage.
Some examples of what we discovered this past season, when Ty finally turned three:
Sun Valley doesn't offer their regular clinics to children under four.  Three year olds are limited to a special 1-hour class on Dollar Mountain or a private lesson as far as we could tell.
Big Mountain seems to have only private lesson options for three year olds as well (as they told us when we inquired).
Moonlight Basin limited three year olds to one-hour private lessons similar to the two above.
I'm guessing these mountains have found that children under four don't have the stamina or attention span required for longer sessions.  Either that or they just haven't taken the time or seen the need to develop longer programs for three-year olds.
In all the cases above, we just ended up taking Ty out skiing with us for the day, or did a half day of daycare/half day of skiing with him.  We had great experiences anyway, but we did want to broaden his instruction by letting him learn from someone other than ourselves if at all possible.
Unfortunately the only report I have written up so far that deals with these experiences is the one for Big Mountain, but it does discuss the daycare and ski trail options that we used on our trip and may provide some insight into taking trips with little skiers in the 3-4 year old range:
I have the suspicion that Smuggler's Notch Resort might be one of the best for allowing three year olds to ski (it looks like their all-day program allows them) but Eric Morton might be the best person to ask since he has been there very often with his children and seems to know the resort well.

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