|Some Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What if I don't have a board or skis?
A: Your snowboard/boots or skis/boots/poles are already included in the price of the one-day program. For the 4 week program we have made arrangements with local shops to provide these to you at a substantial discount.
Q: What shops participate in the program?
A: See our list of preferred suppliers
Q: What if I have my own gear?
A: You're welcome to bring it along. If you're skiing, make sure you take your gear to your favorite ski shop and get it safety checked for your current height and weight and tuned before the start of the season
Q: I need rental equipment, can I rent it on the mountain?
A: For the 1 day program your rental gear will be issued at the resort. For the 4 day program participants must have their gear before getting on the bus. For a list of participating shops, please see our separate page. By renting locally you will save valuable time and you'll be guaranteed the best equipment
Q: Should my child wear a helmet?
A: Skiers and boarders who chose to wear a helmet should ensure that it is designed and certified for the sport, fits properly and is worn properly. Children who wear helmets sometimes feel that they can take more risks because the helmet will protect them. Please reinforce the idea that wearing a helmet does not make you indestructible. Wearing a helmet does not give permission to ski or board in a manner that increases your risk.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Visit our Equipment Checklist page. The most important thing to remember is to bring appropriate clothing for the expected weather. Temperatures in the Sierra can range from -5 to +50 by spring. Watch the weather forecast the night before and bring the right amount of clothing
Q: Should I bring a lock for my board/skis?
A: Yes. Unfortunately not everyone is as honest as you, and the number of thefts in the resorts is rising. Bring a lock and use it. Some of the resorts we visit have ski/board check facilities, which cost $1-$4 to mind your skis. It is cheap insurance.
Q: Should my child wear wrist guards?
A: Yes. Unfortunately the number of children injuring their wrists has increased. By bringing and WEARING, the same sort of guards they use when in-line skating or riding a bike most of these injuries can be avoided.
Q: I am a parent. an I ride up on the bus without having to buy a lift ticket?
A: Yes. In fact we encourage parents to watch our program first-hand.
Q: I like to ski/board. Can I ride with my kids if they are on the 4 week program?
A: Yes. We would charge a transportation fee of $35, and can arrange for a discounted lift ticket.
Lift Tickets/ Lessons
Q: I have a season ticket? Can I use it with your program?
A: Yes. For a child who participates in the 4 week program we will credit you the difference in price as a result of you not needing a lift ticket.
Q: Does my child have to take a lesson?
A: We encourage all beginners as well as intermediate boarders/skiers to take lessons on each trip. Children who are accompanied by their parents throughout the day are not required to take instruction. However, for the small difference in price you will find is worth the extra investment as it makes your child's experience significantly better. Besides, it gives you a couple of hours to board/ski on your own.
Q: What is included in the one day package?
A: Rental skis/snowboards
Beginner Lift ticket
Supervision and assistance throughout the day
It does not include
Clothing and miscellaneous items of a personal nature
4 Week Program
Q: What is included in the 4 week program?
All mountain Lift Pass,
Instruction for all levels (if that package chosen)
Supervision and assistance throughout the day.
It does not include :
Rental skis/snowboards. All participants must rent their skis/boards locally before the trip. See our list of recommended shops for more details.
Clothing and miscellaneous items of a personal nature
At the Resort
Q: Are there lockers in which I can leave a bag/backpack for the day?
A: Yes. But, for efficiency it's best to plan on leaving your bags on the bus and retrieving the items at lunchtime. We highly recommend that your child eats lunch on the mountain (with their friends) and leaves bulky items on the bus.
Q: What happens if my child forgets to bring money for lunch?
A: They should contact one of the supervisors who will assure they are taken care of for the day. Our goal is to make sure their day is successful and stress free. Our supervisors are capable of dealing with any situation that arises.
Q: Does my child ski/board alone?
A: No. Our program works on the buddy system. All participants are required to ski with a buddy or supervisor throughout the day.
Q: If my child gets separated from their buddy or lesson how do they get back together?
A: Each child, before being allowed to ski with their buddy will be provided with the steps necessary to find their buddy. This list will be sent as part of your welcome package before the program starts and we will remind them again before they leave the bus on the first day. We would also encourage them to bring this list with them each week, so they don't have to memorize it. We have never left anyone behind in 40 years.
Q: What happens if my child is hurt during the day?
A: Our supervisors carry two-way radios and have direct access to ski patrol. In addition, we check in regularly throughout the day. Before accepting a child for the program we require a signed medical release. If your child is injured we will be with them while they are in first-aid. We will contact you and keep you updated with progress throughout the day. Your child is in better hands with us than they are if they simply buy a seat on a bus with another company, and may even be better off with us as opposed to skiing with you as a family, as we have direct access to ski patrol and often arrive at first-aid before they do.
Q: Should my child bring lunch or buy lunch?
A: The can do either, but on the single day trip and the first day of the 4 week program, we highly recommend they buy their lunch. If they bring a lunch, they will have to take it with them on the hill, which will be inconvenient. Most of the areas have a variety of food service. Purchasing will cost about $7 to $10 for a typical lunch.
Q: Can they wear a backpack while skiing/boarding.
A: Yes, but these puts them off balance and alters their center of gravity. Therefore, we discourage it.
Q: Is there a check-in throughout the day?
A: No. The kids are mature and responsible enough to be where they are supposed to be. We give them a level of responsibility and bundle this with their sense of freedom. Part of program deals with building child independence. Children are granted the freedom to ski/board by themselves throughout the day. However, if they abuse this trust we will have to re-evaluate their appropriateness for the program
Q: How will they recognize the supervisors?
A: All of our supervisors wear bright yellow jackets. We are easily recognized throughout the resort. Resort staff also recognize our jackets and have alternative means of gaining our attention
Q: How will the supervisors recognize my kids?
A: We will send you a patch, which should be affixed to their clothing (or placed inside the plastic sleeve). If worn correctly, we can spot you children from a chair lift or in a lift line. The patches also allow resort staff to call us if a problem should arise with your child during the day and they are unable to speak?
Q: What happens if my child gets lost during the day?
A: Contact resort staff, go to first aid/ski patrol or get in contact with one of our supervisors. Our staff carry two-way radios and monitor frequency 13/7. Although we try our best, conditions sometimes prevent us from being contacted all over the mountain.
Q: How can my child get in touch with a supervisor if they have a problem during the day?
A: Our 40 years of experience means the staff at each of the resorts know us well. The easiest way to contact is by asking resort staff at the information booth to contact us via cell phone or two-way radio. Alternatively, lift operators and first aid/ski patrol are able to contact us directly.
Q: What happens if your child is injured during the day?
A: Because we don't allow children to board/ski by themselves, their buddy will be able to contact resort staff and ask for assistance. The patch that we require all children to wear will allow ski patrol to identify our program members so they can contact us directly.
Q: Where do they have lunch?
A: Before we leave the bus for the day, we will let the kids know where the supervisors will be eating.
Q: Are the children allowed to ski/board by themselves?
A: All participants must board/ski with a partner. If they are signed up for the program by themselves we will make sure they have buddy before getting off the bus.
Q: What areas will my children be allowed to board/ski?
A: If they have never boarded or skied before they will be restricted to a small section of the mountain, which is ideal for beginners. For those participants that have more experience they are free to use the whole mountain. However, they typically remain a small distance from the main lodges.
Q: How do they turn up at the designated time?
A: We have found that all of our participants have the maturity to follow direction and return at the designate time. However, we emphasize the importance of turning up to the bus at the designated time by levying a $50 fine if they are not back when requested. This fee is necessary to cover our costs for chartering the bus for a longer period of time.
Q: What happens if they get back to the bus late?
A: Before leaving all participants are told what time they are required back at the bus. If they are late, a $50 fine will be imposed.
Q: Who are the people that are taking care of my kids?
A: Supervisors come from all walks of life. Many are ex ski/snowboard instructors as well as professional adults who have worked in our program for between 7 & 15 years. They enjoy working with kids, and are passionate about sharing their enjoyment of the sport with others. See our staff profile page for more details.
Q: I would like to become a supervisor too. How can I do this?
A: We encourage parents to be involved in the program and would love for you to see how we work first hand. We have a training program that pairs you with a senior member of staff for the first year. If you make it through this first year and think you can handle a bus load of kids, we will then place you on a list from which we select our best candidates.
Q: What are your cancellation policies?
A: These prices are subject to change for the 2006/07 season.
For our Learn to Board/Ski in a Day, cancellations received less than 2 weeks in advance of the trip date (December 11th), will result in forfeiture of all monies. Cancellations received greater than 2 weeks will incur an administrative fee of $35
For the 4, 8 & 10 week programs, cancellations received 45 days before the first trip will incur a $35 administrative fee. Between 45 days and the 1st day of the program, we will refund all monies, except your deposit. For cancellations received less than 1 day before the start of the program all monies are forfeited. However, we can work with you to arrange credits for future dates.
Q: How do I know if my child is ready for this kind of program?
A: We have found over the years that children who are self-sufficient, have a mature and responsible attitude enjoy the program most. The ability to follow direction and act independently (if the need arises) will improve their experience further. Our supervisors are always available to assist, but we encourage the children to use this time, not only improve their boarding/skiing, but to gain life skills as well.
Q: Where do the buses leave from?
A: The one day program will leave from the parking lot in front of REI in Folsom. Other pickup locations around the Sacramento region are available for the 4 week program.
Q: It looks kind of expensive, compared to a regular ticket. Why?
A: The one day program includes everything except your clothing. The 4 week program provides transportation, lift pass, instruction and supervision for not much more than a regular ticket. Besides, think of it as cheap baby-sitting for a day.
Q: What resorts are you going to?
A: We will use Sierra-at-Tahoe for the one day program. For the 4 week program we will utilize either Northstar or Squaw Valley (depending on who has the best conditions). Our 8 and 10 weeks programs will utilize Northstar, Squaw Valley, Kirkwood and Alpine Meadows.
Q: Under what circumstances don't you go?
A: Weather in the Sierra is not the same as in the Sacramento Valley. If it is raining here, it might be sunny up there. Alternatively, if it is sunny down here, it might be blizzarding up there. We track the weather through the National Weather Service and receive updates from our contacts at the resorts. The most common reason for postponing a trip is when we expect long delays due to chain requirements, or it is forecast to rain at the resort. Forecasts of snow usually don't warrant a postponement as it typically means great conditions. However, the safety of your children is our #1 priority at all times.
Q: Is there a number I can call to check if a trip is going?
A: Our trip information line (916 456 0263, extension 9) is available 24 hours/day. We usually make the determination as to whether a trip is running around 9 pm the night before. However, conditions in the Sierra can change rapidly and we sometimes make the decision around 3 am. To be on the safe side, you should always call the trip line before leaving for the pickup point in the morning.
Q: How do I know if you're going to be late back?
A: We are usually on time in returning to the departure points in the evening. PLEASE be on time to pick up your children. The buses can be delayed by several factors (weather, traffic, members not returning to the bus on time). If the bus will be more than one half hour late we will try to get a message on our club information line (916) 456-0263 Ext. 8. You should call this message before leaving home to pick up your child. Parents who have not picked up their children within 30 minutes of our return will be charged $1.00 per minute for any time after the first 30 minutes.-
Q: What movies do you watch on the buses
A: We watch G and PG rated movies. If you have a favorite and would like to bring it along, you are more than welcome.
Q: Why do you request a medical form and liability release?
A: Serious injuries are not common, but wrist injuries often occur when snowboarding. If we are unable to contact you in an emergency the releases will allow us to swiftly take the necessary arrangements to take care of your child. The questions on the release are the same questions asked by first aid and clinical staff. The more complete it is, the quicker your child will receive attention.
Q: Can I leave my valuables on the bus?
A: Although the buses are locked whenever the driver is not around, we recommend that you leave your CD players, and hand-held games at home. We are not responsible for any loss or damage to your personal property.
Q: What are your policies on smoking, drugs and alcohol?
A: None of these are acceptable in our program. Any participant found possessing or using them will be asked to leave and will forfeit any monies paid.
Q: Do you have a sibling discount?
A: Yes. Please call our office for details.
Q: Do I get a discount if I refer a new member to the program?
A: Yes. For each new member who joins the four week program, we will credit your account with $40.
Call us at (916) 737-7669 for any questions you may have.