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Instructor at Hemel or MK for 3 year old skier

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Our 3 year old has really started to love skiing this year and is relatively competent at snow plough turns, stopping and generally controlling his speed on greens and gentle blues. He's very small for his age (0.4th centile) and struggles to use all but the most gentle button lifts on his own as he gets lifted off the ground whenever they pull.

We're keen to take him to a snow dome in late Spring/Summer/Autumn just so he can remain familiar with skiing (and so we have an excuse to do some drills ourselves). He is, I think, beyond using the training slopes so would benefit from being on the main slope. However reading around it seems as though he's unlikely to be able to use a snow dome without being able to consistently use the lift on his own and that he won't be able to use it with one of us.

We were originally thinking of going with him ourselves and then getting him the occasional lesson as he definitely listens to others more than us. However given the button lift concern it seems sensible to get him instruction at his first couple of sessions ias we then aren't lying when signing him off as competent on the lifts!

Does anyone have a recommendation of a good instructor at MK or Hemel? We were thinking of inside out at Hemel but assume it could be tricky given his age/lift abilities even though he may just about fall at the minimum skiing standard otherwise (video for reference).


http://youtube.com/v/ghD0YR4Tyw0
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Jonathan was excellent with my 3 year old niece when she was being introduced to skiing.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I was impressed watching Alex K teaching little ones when he worked at Skiplex a couple of years back. I believe he's now at Hemel.
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@Hoppity, that's impressive, I know how hard it is to get littlies to get their feet to make a snowplough.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks everyone.

@Dave of the Marmottes, was that at Hemel or MK?

Will probably give Hemel a ring otherwise to ask about Alex K.

@karin, we were really surprised that he got the hang of it as we thought he might be too small/not strong enough to hold a plough consistently. He was pretty comfortable walking around on skis and gliding from one person to another when we first took him out this year. However he was really struggling to get into a snowplough, but once he did it once, something clicked and it all came together for him (and he loved going out even more as he could make "wiggly worms" with his skis and pretend to be a bat/dragon/monster/car chasing us down the slope).
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Hemel. But a few years ago so I don't know if he is still around.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Hoppity, if you have not already skied at Hemel just be aware (particularly if taking him yourself) that the main slope is quite steep at the top, a lot steeper than the slope in your video appears and difficult to snowplough on.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks @Dave of the Marmottes.

@Gämsbock, that's really helpful to know, thank you. He was skiing steeper and longer stuff (blues in Les Arcs, Les Houches and Flegere) than in the video at a slower speed but in good control, traversing and turning on icy snow as well as slush and groomed snow. Our plan, if he wasn't in a lesson, was for one of us to take a look at the upper section before he went all the way up on the lift and see whether we thought it was okay for him. He'll be happy enough starting from lower down the slope if needs be, but obviously having a bit further to ski before getting back on the lift would probably be more fun for him if possible.
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@Hoppity, @Gämsbock makes a good point, to which I would add that the main slope gets quite chopped up over the course of a day and so for little ones it is better to visit early in the day (earlier the better) when it is still nice and flat. I'd suggest booking a trainer slope lesson (a lesson that begins on the trainer slope and may move to main slope if appropriate) and let the instructor know that you want to work up to the point where he can ski with you on the main slope. This will mean that he can get familiar with the environment and get some confidence before having to tackle the button lift on the main slope. I'd suggest that the priority should be that he has an enjoyable session and isn't put off by a scary experience of the main slope.

Smashing video BTW!

[I should disclose that I do instruct at Hemel, views expressed are my own though. Also not trying to suggest myself, modesty etc. apart, I don't work early mornings]
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks @Tubaski, that's also really helpful to know. An early lesson is also easier for us from a nap perspective (his, not ours) and may avoid some of the crowds which could also make it easier on him. We definitely want him to have fun and enjoy any indoor session and that, as you say, should be the priority. It makes perfect sense to start off on the trainer slope with an instructor and build from there - and doing that in the context of a lesson seems easier than trying to do it as parents/non-regulars at Hemel (especially as I assume we couldn't ski on the trainer slope away from a lesson). When going out with him we were starting on the easiest run there and then building up based on his energy level and mood (or if he was insistent on "going to the top of the mountain" etc). If it is possible for him to ski from the top of the main slope then that's great as he has a longer ski before revisiting the lift (and in principle he'd like the idea of going to the very top), but if the slope is too steep/bumpy or he's not happy on the lift then I'd rather not push it.

He's definitely nervous of the lift so avoiding any issues there for him is key (again why a lesson seems better than us, especially as we can't go on the lift with him, which is what we have been doing outside).

An ESF class had set out the cones in that video and he was really keen to take sneaky goes while they were going up on the lift. I've taken so many videos of him on skis this year though, hopefully one day he'll enjoy looking back at the transition from stomping around and sliding between people to first "getting" the idea of snow ploughing, to making consistent turns and then, in far too little time (if we don't cause him to hate skiing) to out skiing us...

You're lucky you don't work early mornings, K asks continuous (random) questions and will be asking you to do tricks and find him jumps - nice and demanding. He also has a preference for people wearing blue boots which may be a limiting factors!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hi again everyone. We've just got around to booking a lesson on the morning of June 30th (only one we could make). We'll ask for Alex K (assuming he's still around and is working that day) but before we do that are there any further recommendations?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hoppity wrote:
We'll ask for Alex K (assuming he's still around and is working that day)

It might be worth me mentioning that lessons are allocated some days in advance, so if you have a preference for a particular instructor (and have not done so already) I'd suggest giving the slope a call to discuss.
I hope your son enjoys his lesson! snowHead
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Thanks for the reply. Yes, we're planning to give the slope a call. We booked without giving a preference but they said we could call back and add one if we got a recommendation. I couldn't remember who has been recommended when I called as my brain was chugging too slowly. Really hoping he enjoys the lesson too, we've gone for an hour as it gives a but more flexibility and he was skiing for 2h+ when we were in the mountains. If he doesn't last the time it's okay, 30 minutes is just very short in case of loo breaks and general faff.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Hoppity, Sorry about my earlier brain outage - Alex's surname is Kiddle. I thought Alex was sensitive and kind and good with children, and professional. Except when he was laughing at me, which I didn't mind as I normally deserved it Toofy Grin
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