snowboarding at the canyons

I have lived in Utah since the summer of 2002. Plenty of winters to try skiing, right? Wrong: it costs a butt-load of money. My first 4 years were spent as a broke college student/newlywed/new parent. Then we bought a house, then we had more kids, then Luke went back to school. And also, we’re both from the south and hate the snow and being cold.

Then I met Kristen from The Vocal Sokol and she was like, “Um, you really need to get on the mountain and stop being a baby about it.” She told me that most of the resorts offer deals for local first-timers each January so I said, “Oh, okay…I’ll check it out…” And then I actually did it. (The direct quotes are made up, okay? Say it like Steven in Nacho Libre)

I checked out Ski Utah and learned that January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. There are some great deals for first-timers and locals all month. But, you have to be on top of it and get your reservations early!!

We ended up going snowboarding at The Canyons, in Park City, because they offered it on the day we wanted and the big kids could do it as well. It was a big adventure for us since we just send the kids sledding on the hill down the street when it snows! I was excited but nervous and I hate snow/being cold so I was nervous about how that would go. Here’s the run down of our day- pictures are limited because the kids each had their own class and Luke and I were in an adult class:

snowboarding at the canyons
7AM- grab some breakfast, sunglasses, and head up the mountain

8:30-9:30AM- arrive, ride the Cabriolet (free) up to the village, figure out where we were supposed to be, fill out paperwork, drop Noa at the Carvers class for his rentals and instructions

9:45AM- drop Isca at the Cats class- her instructor helped her with her rentals, pick up our rentals

10:00AM- meet up for our beginner adult class, head up the lift!

snowboarding at the canyons
We learned which foot we should lead with (Luke, Isca, and I are all ‘regular’ or left foot forward, Noa is ‘goofy’ or right foot forward), we also learned how to skate around with one foot strapped to the board and the other free so we wouldn’t have to unstrap and pick up the board each time we wanted to move. We learned about heels and toes and how to lean and where we should look to turn the board right or left and to brake. Then we were taken to the bunny slope/magic carpet hill to practice.

snowboarding at the canyons

snowboarding at the canyons

I loved it. Then I hated it. Like, I was literally crying in the corner at one point because my entire body hurt from falling over and over and I was frustrated that I couldn’t quite understand my Chilean instructor and I took out several poor people who were just beginners as well and most of them were children. And then I loved it again.

We finished up before the kids so we got to see them come off the lift with their classes. They both LOVED it! Isca said, “Mom! Can we come back and do this every day?!” And Noa said things like, “Mom? What does it mean when your teacher tells you you’re a natural snowboarder?” And then he wrote his first fan letter to Shaun White.

It was exhausting, exhilarating, terrifying- sometimes you crash through the fence, right Luke? and the only thing that is stopping us from going back soon is how much it costs :( We’ll start keeping our eyes open for deals on used equipment and hopefully we can go once or twice next year, after practicing on our neighborhood hills!

Before I leave you with a parting image, I have to mention that I suffered a bit of PTSD. I could NOT make my body relax when I went to bed. I would close my eyes and see snow and a steep hill filled with people I needed to dodge and I couldn’t slow down or turn to avoid hitting them. This was while I was still awake. My dreams were worse- me snowboarding on a rickety old wooden roller coaster that was in some sort of dark tunnel that had lights and images flashing on the walls. It was like the creepy boat part of Willy Wonka.

The next day was almost unbearable. I was so sore. I had bruises on my wrists. I hurt in muscles that were deeply buried under other aching muscles. The mountain beat us up.

I would do it again- we all had such a fun time learning something new. The weather was beautiful up above the inversion (smog) in the valley and the temperature was in the upper 30’s. We were peeling off the layers and sweating. And last, we can now say “yes, we live in Utah, and yes, we’ve been snowboarding or skiing!” Bucket list.

snowboarding at the canyons


The whole adventure took just over 12 hours and we were very happy to be reunited with our darling Hollis at home again.

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  1. Bravo! Way to gut it out and hit the slopes! I am not a huge fan of being cold either, but if you’re gonna be cold, skiing/boarding is the way to do it! :) Looks like a fun time.

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    Laura Muir

  2. rad! I want to try snowboarding so badly but am afraid of well, everything. I need to mom up haha

  3. I’m so glad you went. If you LOVED/HATED it then you had the right experience. You should give skiing a try too. I promise you’ll fall less and prolly have more fun. Plus you can ski every day at Alta for $5 after 3 p.m.. Seriously. The lifts close at 5 but 2 hours of skiing is plenty for a beginner anyway. Rentals are less than $10 that time of day too, so you can ski for cheap. The only thing is there is NO snowboarding at Alta. Only skiing.

    • Kristin saves the day AGAIN! My husband’s grandpa grew up skiing Alta and was just telling us about how he used to pay $7 to ski. We were like, “Uh, try $4 million these days!” We wanted to ski but those lessons were full so snowboarding it was. Thanks for the info about Alta…my kids will be excited!

  4. I’m dead serious when I say you should come with us! We ski Brighton because my husbands grandparents have a cabin that we stay in…that you skin in/out of, it’s the best because the kids can take a break and warm up, we bring cheap/easy food (party pizzas anyone?…) and can all be up there together. I *JUST* started skiing this year (was a snowboarder, broke my tailbone RIGHT before I found out I was pregnant with Lila and now i’m scared) and am having so much fun being out there with the kids. We probably have things that would fit your kids (skis and snowboards) as Nate is constantly finding *deals* – we ALMOST have at least one of everything in every size – maybe one day even we could ditch all the kids and make it a double date (like your date series) – only couldn’t really be a date this year because Nate had surgery and he isn’t allowed to do anything fun (as per his dr….direct quote “if it’s fun you shouldn’t do it” – really though, let’s plan it!

    • Dear Jenn,

      You have received the “GREATEST COMMENT OF ALL TIME” award. 1. you invited us to your cabin that people ski in and out of?! 2. You offered free use of gear 3. You offered a double date 4. You suggested fresh blog content. I mean, really, you just WIN.



      • I am printing out this award (unless you’re gonna send me an official award) and totally hanging it in my newly created *office space*.

        I meant every single word….seriously!

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid