Everyone from kindergarteners to seniors can find an activity geared especially for them this winter at Stevens Pass.
For those past 50, 73-year-old ski and snowboard instructor Henry C. Parker offers a program called Boomers on Groomers, especially for people who enjoy the company of other mature skiers.
Parker is certified as a senior ski specialist, and for the last five years has been taking seniors around the mountain resort.
The program is open to all skill levels, and includes coaching tailored to each person’s skill set and needs.
Some skiers of that age group haven’t skied for a while, and aren’t current on the new technologies in ski gear. Others simply need to brush off the rust. And some prefer to ski with contemporaries, making new friendships and enjoying some company.
“Usually the boomers are people who haven’t skied for a few years and they want to start again,” said Parker.
He offers guidance to the members of the group, including coaching on technique, especially on how to conserve energy by use of good form.
Often people who learned on older equipment have to unlearn the techniques they were taught in order to utilize the newest gear.
“With the new equip you can stand up,” said Parker. “I tell people that there are two types of hugs, the unfriendly hug where you don’t stand against the person you are hugging and the hot hug, where you stand against the person you hugging. I tell people to ski in the hot hug stance. Then you can steer with your torso. I can get more miles out of them then.”
The program includes three two-hour lessons for $84, and $170 with three lift tickets.
The next three-week session starts Feb. 12, and you must register one week before classes start.
For more information, call 206-812-4510 ext 4206.
Junior Snow Rangers
For the youngest people seeking fun in the snow, there is a weekend program for kids 6 and up called Junior Snow Rangers, offered by the Skykomish Ranger District.
The two-hour sessions include indoor and outdoor activities such as outdoor safety, snow science, learning about how different animals adapt to the snow, and observing the natural world. Kids get to compare the fur of different animals, then snowshoe into the forest for hands-on activities.
“We use our senses to see, hear, taste and feel,” said Nan Lammerer of the ranger district, who leads the groups.
Kids who attend can send away for a Junior Snow Ranger patch and membership card.
The classes are open to kids ages 6-11, and take place from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. for the morning session and 2-3 p.m. for the afternoon session on weekend days.
The program are free, but a $10-$20 donation is suggested. Parents must accompany kids. Group size is limited to 20, so reservations are required. Call (360) 677-2233. Groups meet at the Forest Service Guard Station in Parking Lot A of the Stevens Pass Mountain Resort.