“First Tracks” on the Mountain

I’m not sure how to describe my love of skiing, alpine that is. Cross-country is too much like working at a labor camp so I save that for rare occasions. I grew up skiing and conquering the art of bombing hills at the ripe ole’ age of 5 and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t care if it’s -20F in January or 65F in May, if there’s snow I’m there.

Lutsen Mountains Magic Carpet

Mom, I’ve got this.

A couple of weeks ago I hit the slopes for the first time this year and I couldn’t have had a better experience. Though there were only a few runs open, there was plenty of snow for the special skier I had with me; my coming 3-year-old son Theo. My husband would rather him spend his time at the rink because after all, we do live in the hockey capital of the world. But if I could persuade Theo just slightly, I was going to give it my best shot.

To start the day, we went down Big Bunny. Why not? This was only his first time ever on skis and he was going to be a natural. I had this visual in my mind that I’d put the harness on him and we’d be skiing gracefully down the hill all day long. After performing a series of squats and begging him to stand up and not sit in my arms while I desperately wished I had a sweat towel and a Bloody Mary, we made the mutual decision to work Flap Jack instead.

After the second run down I was no longer allowed to help him. I was instructed to “stay over there Mom,” which meant I was supposed to ski on the side of him and “don’t help me!” If I aided him in any fashion, I was disrupting his skiing. There was only one situation in which I could step in – stopping him before crashing into the fence at the bottom.

After 3 ½ hours of skiing, I decided to call it a day. But not after coaxing him with hot chocolate because we had about 50 “one more time” trips down the hill. We came, we conquered bombing the hill and he was sleeping before we got to highway 61.


If you have a little one that you want to get out on skis I encourage you to do it – but stick to Flap Jack. I gave up on thinking I would teach him how to carve the hill or slowdown in his first lesson. We just focused on balance and making it fun. The ski hill offers free passes to those 5 years old and under which is all the more reason to expose the little ones to another outdoor activity like skiing.

I couldn’t have been more proud of him and it went down in the books as one of my best times at the ski hill. I see skis in our future and a lot less ice rinks 😃

Until next time, peace, love and pogo sticks.

~ Helga


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