Father Knows Best? Nah.

A few months ago, my dad called to tell me he’d hatched a plan for his next visit.

Considering one previous visit found me helping the kids select the most absurd Halloween mask they could find for their beloved grandfather to wear for Trick-or-Treating on Main Street, and another found me videotaping my father, a 68 year-old attorney, trying out the bungee trampoline at an amusement park, my interest was, shall we say, piqued.

 “What if I came out in January, took a week’s worth of ski lessons and then skied with the boys on the weekend?”

 I was thrilled by this idea–but also slightly suspicious. After all, he’d dived into ski school when I was in middle school, because I’d threatened to (wait for it) quit the sport.  Perish the thought. My dad, wise man that he is, felt like I might regret such a choice (which begs the question, Why, oh why, was I allowed to quit the violin??) – so he offered a deal—he would sign up for lessons simultaneously with my pre-race program at our local resort, and we’d meet up in the afternoons for some Dad-and-Daughter skiing.

 This is Parenting 101. Lead by example. Support your kids in their activities. Show up. Play along. My Dad, of course, got an A in this course.  And as a grandparent, he seems to go after extra credit, too (see: bungee jumping, above).

This plan, by the way, worked out really well—I improved rapidly, my dad, perhaps a little less rapidly. We found ourselves on a favorite blue—one with just enough steep to make it interesting, and about a third of the way down, my dad launched a yard sale. I skied up to him, a little worried. “Dad, are you ok?” Gamely, he began to collect his gear, and shake the snow out of his ski hat (pre-helmet culture, indeed). “Yep, I’ll be ok!” So, loving daughter that I am, I said, “OK, see ya!” And shot off toward the bottom. I know, very, very ungrateful. Bad, bad kid. I’m not entirely sure why his skiing tapered off, but given this history, it’s a wonder the man would volunteer his vacation time to relearn the sport and risk being exposed to such compassion again.

 And yet, he did.

 And he loved it.

I lined up two Max 4 lessons and a full-day private for “Parka.”(For reasons none of us can remember, Big Guy started calling him that around age 1, and it stuck). I wanted him to feel comfortable skiing wherever Big Guy wanted to take him on Saturday.  We had many, many discussions about gear. He reported to me mid-morning the first day that he’d struggled mightily with his boots, tried in vain to find the right positioning for his hat/gaiter/goggles arrangement. In a moment of mock exaggeration, this man who bikes hundreds of miles every summer, said drily, “You know, you just get on the bike….” I got a call from him from the chairlift that afternoon. “I’m skiing Success, and loving it. I will be here all night. Don’t wait for me for dinner.” I informed him the groomers may take issue with his presence after 4pm, so he decided to come home after all. But first, he stopped in the ski school office to change his lesson the next morning to the afternoon. It was my request—I couldn’t stand the thought of him having so much fun and not bearing witness to it.

Our ski morning together was a blast. He kept thanking me for helping him arrange it all. “I’m really having FUN!” And he was. He was also exercising caution. His stance was slightly hesitant, and his pace was deliberate rather than relaxed. Which was fine. I didn’t want to push. We parted ways after lunch—he headed off to his lesson with a sarcastic “see ya!” and I met up with my friends Lisa and Dave for a few runs on Flagstaff.

 The next morning, I decided to tag along for the first half of his lesson. I met Parka’s instructor, JR, and explained, “I’m just along for the ride—it’s his lesson.” As we descended our first turns, I shouted that I would ski ahead to watch—and to take some pictures and video. I was blown away by his improvement since the previous morning. We soon found our way over to Flagstaff, and did one of my favorite loops. Blue Bell to Silver Buck to Stargazer to Gemini. When we got to the Stargazer portion, my dad said, “Well, this is going to scare me a bit.” He then executed ten perfect, balanced turns to the top of Gemini. “Wait! I was just getting that! I want to do it again!” No lack of enthusiasm here.

 Soon enough, we were heading toward lunch at Snow Park when my father made a confession. “I made a mistake,” he said, with more than a hint of woe in his voice. He looked at me a little sheepishly before he continued. “I thought a full day lesson would be too much. So I cut it to a half day when I made the other switch. But now, I feel so great I want to keep going!”

 Sigh.

 “I can fix it. With my favorite tool,” I said, taking my cell phone out of it’s designated pocket in my jacket. Quickly, I was connected with a friendly member of the staff. “My dad thought he knew better,”I explained. This may not have been the first time someone decided to extend their day, because the very helpful gentleman on the other end of the call offered a knowing chuckle as he restored the reservation . Mission accomplished. JR and my dad and I sat down to a quick Snow Park Lunch (hello, Natural Buffet) before I scooted to town to pick up Little Guy and they headed off to ski more. We agreed to meet up an hour later on Wide West. Little Guy was keen to show his skills to his grandfather. He demonstrated three of his top skills (Candyland, Racecourse and Exhaustion Meltdown).

little guy skiing

 Unfortunately, by the next morning, Parka was sidelined with a minor but ski-boot-prohibitive foot injury, and he couldn’t complete the mission.

We all solved the problem at once. “When can we schedule a return visit?” Fab.

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Today's #DeerValleyMoment | Photo Credit: Emily Summers ... See MoreSee Less

Todays #DeerValleyMoment  | Photo Credit: Emily Summers

Joyce Cook, Sandra M Law Almeida and 23 others like this

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Stephen HelmI thought that was Upper Stein, I have a shot real similar to that one

1 day ago   ·  1
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Joyce GriffinBeautiful photo, Emily Summers! It makes me want to be there making the first tracks down.

1 day ago   ·  1
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Brian ParkerIf I squint, I can just barely see my old house!

1 day ago   ·  1
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Randy CarterBeautiful and my acrophobia will dissipate as the thrill of downhill takes over.

18 hours ago
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George LadnerI was there 2 weeks ago and loved it. Nearly as good as the Swiss alps/Zermatt¿¡¡

1 day ago
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Eric LongabardiNice shot Emily Summers! :) I can see Heber!

18 hours ago
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Todd RameyTop of Steins, just past Sultan .

1 day ago   ·  1
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Alma WeldeLovely

15 hours ago
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Francis GougeonWith this view you can pretend you are an astronaut.⛷

1 day ago
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Ariana B. AlvarezI want to be the first one down!

1 day ago
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Janis Bauer FullmerBeautiful!

1 day ago
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Rafael TorresWHAT A SHOT!

22 hours ago
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Gerry FeherCorduroy....yea baby !!

15 hours ago
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Will WilliamsDebbie Riley-Williams favorite place to ski in the USA 😎

19 hours ago
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MaryEllen ProctorBarb and Karen, wish we were there.

22 hours ago
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Drew DealIs this the run to the gondola?

1 day ago
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Linda Glore-SewardI must get my knees in shape so I can ski that again!

14 hours ago

1 Reply

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Holly EtlinStein's Way, nice!

23 hours ago
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Charlotte StrackBeautiful!

1 day ago
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Paul Stu HerlanRipped that yesterday...thanks Stein!

19 hours ago
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Alan HorganI want to there now! Pity our £ is so cheap...

19 hours ago
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Carolyn MacherBeautiful...

23 hours ago
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Lisa AntellJordanelle run?

1 day ago

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Pam Holler, Imelda Chavez and 23 others like this

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Atanacio MartinezAmazingly beautiful love the snow

2 days ago   ·  1
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Andy SimmonsLooks great to me.

2 days ago   ·  1
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Alexis PavlovOlivia Flores can you believe this?! We were just there in 60 degree weather!

2 days ago   ·  2

1 Reply

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Mitch MannHoward Greenberg looking at the size of these flakes...best be bringing a shell to stay dry.

2 days ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Eric MatteiCalvin Regan it's 100 and 100% humidity in Ho Chi Minh right now...would love to be in deer valley

1 day ago   ·  1
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Ali Elner RomeroAlready hot where I live, so can't wait to be in #DeerValley next week!

2 days ago
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Cory HaagensonNeed to go to Keystone Colorado for one ski trip together Hayden Haagenson ..

2 days ago
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Lindsay Mehrtens-BedwellTaylor Griffin, Matt Bedwell and Dean Griffin, can you believe this??!! It was so hot and sunny last week!

2 days ago
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Jeanne McgrathAre you in Deer valley? We are too

2 days ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Teri HoenstineSilver Strike Lodge

2 days ago   ·  1
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Glenn RiversHi Madonna Marron , miss you and all my park city friends

2 days ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Dave AndrzejewskiHold the snow! We are coming on Saturday

2 days ago   ·  1

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Kathleen Cooney CammarataBe there Monday! Can't wait🎿

2 days ago
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Eric PikePlenty of snow

2 days ago
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Nic ReneeI really do wish I was there!!!

2 days ago
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Corinne Nunez O'HaraSee y'all very soon! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

2 days ago
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Chris LovattNot too many sitting by that gorgeous fire!! Out skiing I'd say!!

1 day ago
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Roberta StoutAmazing ❄️.

2 days ago
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Gloria DuncanBeautiful! Wish I was there!

2 days ago
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Nancy SchiltzBeen there many times love it! Have fun!

2 days ago
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Adi DeOltNot today! It's too warm for skiing now

2 days ago
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David HoldenLooks like fun!

2 days ago
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Matthew VerrandoWish I was there.

2 days ago
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Rosemary SpiveyLove it!

2 days ago
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Rex MartinMan I miss skiing so bad

2 days ago
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Deer Valley Resort shared Visit Park City's event.

Thin Air Concert: Magic! with Special Guests MarchFourth
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Thin Air Concert: Magic! with Special Guests MarchFourth

April 7, 2017, 6:00pm

Main Street, Downtown Park City, UT

2017 Thin Air Park City closes out with a concert on Historic Main Street featuring the reggae fusion sounds of MAGIC! with special guests MarchFourth. Presented by Park City Mountain and Deer Valley ...

Thin Air Concert: Magic! with Special Guests MarchFourth

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