Archive for February, 2012

More than 80,000 Youth and Families Introduced to Winter Recreation in the Month of January

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

By: Ali Kelley, Deputy Associate Director for Let’s Move Outside!
February 29, 2012

This January marked the fourth annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM). The month-long effort aims to get children and adults of all experience levels on the slopes for an active start to the New Year.  LSSM began in 2009 with a few select programs and has since grown to include more than 300 ski resorts in 33 states.  Throughout the month of January, these resorts provided introductory ski and snowboard lessons to more than 80,000 children and adults across the country for free or at a reduced price.

A highlight of this year’s LSSM was an event in the rugged mountains of North Carolina.  On January 28th, more than 150 young people from Knollwood Elementary and the Whitehead Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta, GA visited Cataloochee Ski and Snowboard Resort in North Carolina’s Scenic Maggie Valley. The Southern Snow Seekers Club sponsored the event, providing the students with exciting opportunities to get active outside and learn new skills. “Our trip showcased snow sports as a fun and enjoyable way to move and stay healthy, even if there’s a chill in the air,” commented Kimberly King, SSS President.

LSSM is very popular in the Rocky Mountains.  This January, the Colorado Ski Country USA First Class program celebrated its second year, giving more than 800 5th graders across the state the chance to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time. Participating resorts provided each student with three free lift tickets and one free lesson. According to one parent, the program has “really helped us bond – it’s become our “thing.” And in a time in your kid’s life when it’s only getting harder to “hang out,” this program really brought us together as a family.”

Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding are great ways to get moving outside during the cold winter months. As one LSSM fan said, “humans were not meant to hibernate!”

LSSM is made possible by the support of national, regional and state associations, retail organizations, product suppliers, and individual resorts across the company. Next year, LSSM hopes to expand its program to reach even more kids and families in every part of the country.

Pro Kits: Joss Christensen’s Gear

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

By: Shay Williams, Freeskier Magazine
February 21, 2012

Triple threat Joss Christensen has steadily been making waves throughout the competition scene. One of three guys who compete in all three disciplines regularly, Joss is busy jetting around the world, stacking AFP points as he hunts down Gus Kenworthy for an overall title this year.

For the Park City-native it all starts with the sticks, and for that, Joss skis Fischer‘s Guru because it’s “amazing for for both pipe and slope. It’s super light and agile.” Coupled with the skis are the Fischer X17 bindings and the Soma X-110 boot which he likes as it “allows for more natural movement and power when jumping.” Joss is new to Fischer’s program as of last fall, but he’s been making good use of the gear.

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Nashoba Valley still thriving as local ski area

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

February 9, 2012
By: Tony Chamberlain
Boston Globe

Family-run location keeps luring visitors back

WESTFORD – Al Fletcher likes to tell a story about his daughter, Pam, who at the time was not yet 3. When the lifts closed at the end of one day, she threw a tantrum demanding that they be started up again so she could continue skiing.

Since Al owned the ski area, Nashoba Valley, the lift operator called him to ask if he should indulge the little girl.

“Hell, no,’’ Al remembered saying. No one can quite remember how long the tantrum went on. But everyone knows how that girl grew up to be a national champion ski racer, World Cup winner, Olympian, and television commentator, a career arc undoubtedly fueled by the passion that tried to get that ski lift restarted so many years ago.

Now Pam Fletcher, “Fletch’’ to her former teammates, is back at the ski area Al founded nearly a half-century ago, and that is carrying on its original mission, catering to families. Run by the family that founded it (Pam’s brother, Al, bought it from their father), she serves as events marketing and sales manager.

Though he says he’s retired, 80-year-old Al Sr. looks in on things a couple of days a week.

“I was selfish,’’ he said of when he arrived in the area and bought a tract of land with the 248-foot vertical hill in the middle, with a couple of pleasingly steep faces.

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10 Winter Getaways to Suit Every Age

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

By: NY Times
February 1, 2012

SUDDENLY it’s the end of January and you realize the children will be off for Presidents’ Day next month — an ideal opportunity to squeeze in a short family vacation.

But coming so soon after the holidays, you don’t want to travel too far. After all, there is still spring break and summer vacation to plan. Ideally, your destination should be somewhere you can reach in an easy drive or on a nonstop flight and that will have enough activities to occupy the children — or at least wear them out — so the grown-ups can actually relax and have some fun, too.

How about Scottsdale, Ariz., where children can enjoy mornings spent horseback riding cowboy-style or exploring nature trails in the Sonoran Desert, followed by a mellow afternoon at the pool for the grownups and gallery hopping in the evening? Or go your separate ways — the children to ski school, while you hit the spa— in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Want something you will all enjoy together? Explore ancient Mayan temples in Mexico, bike along Miami’s shore or ice-trek through gorges in Banff, Alberta. Since you don’t have time to research all of that, I’ve done much of the heavy lifting for you. Here are 10 family-friendly winter escapes you can run off to for a weekend or longer at a range of prices.

Banff, Alberta

For the Kids: Spotting wolf tracks on snowshoe tours, yelling “mush!” from a dogsled and trying out gentle slopes for beginner skiers and boarders. For ages 8 and up, there are also ice walks through frozen gorges. Banff Adventures Unlimited offers four-hour ice walks through Grotto Canyon, past unusual rock formations, Native rock art and icefalls (40 Canadian dollars for children 8 to 12; 62 dollars for adults; Canadian dollars are about the same in value as U.S. dollars).

For the Grown-Ups: Three ski areas (Mount Norquay, the Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village) in a Unesco World Heritage site, Banff National Park. After a day on the mountain, adults can enjoy some farm-to-table dining or soak their sore muscles in hot springs. Family rates for two adults and two children (17 and younger) at Banff Upper Hot Springs, where temperatures are kept between a steamy 98 and 104 degrees, are 22.50 dollars.

Where to Stay: The Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, about four minutes from downtown Banff, has two indoor water slides and offers rooms with full kitchens and fireplaces, from 109 dollars a night including free unlimited use of the Town of Banff shuttle bus. The Fairmont Chateau in Lake Louise, just outside Banff, offers supervised activities in their playroom during ski season for ages 3 and up. Rates start at 279 dollars a night; children 5 and under eat free.

Getting There: Nonstops under four hours are available from major United States cities including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago and Phoenix, into Calgary International Airport, less than two hours from most ski resorts.

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