on February 19, 2001
Heavenly Rockets Instructors come from all over the country and, indeed, all over the world. Our son's lead coach was from Argentina! Kids may rent equipment before school starts (a helmet is HIGHLY advised!), or they may come with their own equipment which will result in a small discount in the daily rate. Kids are assessed at which level they ski and grouped accordingly (Brand new skiers are level 1!). I HIGHLY suggest ski school for the first day of any child's visit to Heavenly if that child is not a solid skier. If he or she is a beginner, the rest of the trip will be MUCH more enjoyable if the basics are learned from an instructor. If he or she has been skiing before but not for a long time, ski school is a good place to brush up on the basics before tackling hard runs on the mountain. Higher level skiers are also taken up the lifts so that they do not get bored. Also, while your child(ren) is learning how to stand on skis, you can feel very secure about his or her safety while you have full freedom to ski whatever level runs you like! My husband and I greatly enjoyed skiing with our son, but it was fun on the first day to check out the resort by ourselves. This also allowed us to figure out which runs we believed our son could handle when he joined us skiing. In addition, we found we were very welcomed to watch a bit of the kids' instruction whenever we liked, and this was comforting to me. We popped into the ski school before and after lunch (kids are fed at the school) to watch our young skier at work! At the end of the day, make sure you have the claim ticket you need to pick up your child. We found the Rocket staff to be very protective of the kids, and we had to wait for our son to finish up with his coach before we could collect him. We liked getting the Skiing Progress Card that gave us a general idea about how he did during the day, and we were thrilled the next morning to take him up on a green run with us. We also invested in one private lesson for our son ($80/hour) to help him further gain control of turning and stopping. If you can afford it, a private lesson is VERY helpful for your child(ren) (and you, too!) regardless of the level of skiing. When we went to Tahoe, our son could not ski at all. Before we left Tahoe, he was able to ski on every blue run the resort had to offer! This, of course, made skiing with him much more fun for us, too! Heavenly has a great program!
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