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Where should my family go skiing in the Pacific Northwest this winter?
December 2, 2009 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend ski slopes for my family to learn to ski and snowboard in the Pacific Northwest this winter.

We live in Portland, Oregon, and this winter my kids want to learn to ski (the 5 year old) and snowboard (the 7 year old). I used to ski but was never very good and haven't gone in many years. I'd like to take a few snowboarding lessons (yes I know this will hurt). My husband loved skiing til he hurt his knee. He's thinking about snowboarding.

We have some time around Christmas. Mt. Hood is super close, but since we have a few days, we can drive somewhere, and stay a few nights, if it'd be better for us.

I'd like to find someplace family-friendly (like maybe with a tube center), with a good kids' learn-to-ski/snowboard school. We don't need much beyond green slopes. We'd like to stay in lodging pretty close to the ski slope (this is flexible). Also, we are not rich.

So, what family-friendly ski resorts/slopes do you recommend?

Also, any advice on how to prep my kids for skiing and snowboarding would be great. They're pretty active kids, and my older one already skateboards.

Finally, if you have injured your knee and now snowboard, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!
posted by bluedaisy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
If money is not an object, I would recommend Mt. Bachelor, down by Bend. Plenty of places to stay in Bend and along the road to the mountain, and lots of options for terrain.

My "home" area is Willamette Pass which is cheaper, but staying somewhere is not as easy.
posted by Danf at 10:28 AM on December 2, 2009


(My daughter used to have a bumper sticker in her room: If it were easy, it would be called snowboarding.)
posted by Danf at 10:42 AM on December 2, 2009


Mt. Baker is known as a hotspot for snowboarding and offers one of the best lift prices in North America. Very family friendly too. The only issue is that there is no lodging right on the mountain, but it's a close drive to many B&Bs and rental places near Glacier, WA (and an hours drive from Bellingham).

I'm a big fan.
posted by carabiner at 10:58 AM on December 2, 2009


I know you asked for Pacific Northwest, but if Kirkwood in California isn't too far for you, they have a great little ski school, and it's a very friendly (non-snobby) place, with some good beginner terrain. I took my son there when he was 4, 5, 6... we always have fun.

The other one I'd recommend would be Alta in Salt Lake City. They have HUGE nearly flat areas with tow ropes and it's very friendly as well.
posted by eleyna at 11:13 AM on December 2, 2009


Alta is wonderful, but it is skiers only, and the lift chairs dont have bars, so if you arent used to them and/or are afraid of heights you might not enjoy it. Also I cannot speak to the bunny trails there but most of the terrain is fairly challenging.
posted by BobbyDigital at 11:34 AM on December 2, 2009


You want Baker. Great snow, good prices, the very definition of "family friendly."
posted by mr_roboto at 12:05 PM on December 2, 2009


I've gone to Snoqualmie Pass, Steven's Pass, and Crystal Mountain in Washington when I lived near Seattle.

Although I learned at Snoqualmie, I wouldn't recommend it as a tourist destination - it was just closest to my house. Steven's and Crystal were pretty nice, but it was a drive and we never stayed the night.

I've heard very good things about Mt. Baker.
posted by bookdragoness at 2:04 PM on December 2, 2009


Mt. Baker is decent, but it's a long drive for a 5 and 7 year old and there's not a whole lotta stuff for the kids off the slopes.

I'd head up to Mt. Bachelor. It's very family-friendly, the Snowblast Tubing Park is a blast, you can take a sled dog ride into beautiful terrain with gorgeous mountain views, and childcare is available if needed. You can choose from many types of lodging on the road to the mountain and in Bend. Plus, you can visit the excellent High Desert Museum, explore Bend and its many great restaurants, go to Lava Lands Visitor Center (a huge hit if your kids are into volcanoes, lava, science), stop for lunch in Sisters on the way to Bend....
posted by prinado at 2:17 PM on December 2, 2009


Thanks, all, for the very helpful information. We're now planning a trip to Mt. Bachelor, hurray!
posted by bluedaisy at 10:59 PM on December 3, 2009


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