In Like a Lion, Out like a Lamb. March means spring in Utah. And that means sun. Or snow. Or both.
The rest of the country may be ready for spring but around here I’m clinging to winter with everything I’ve got. Sure I like warm weather and pretty flowers as much as the next person, but the advent of spring means snow will melt away fast. No snow means no skiing or snowboarding!
I’ve loved snowboarding on my own this season and skiing with Big E and Little G. But Baby L got none of the winter sports love. She was always left with a babysitter.
As any breastfeeding mother knows, it’s hard to get out with a baby in tow. At eleven months, Baby L can’t even walk yet, let alone ski, snowshoe or sled. That’s why I was so thrilled to try out the We! Ski Kit and D’Lite Bike Trailer that Burley sent to review. It meant that I could finally get outdoors with the baby and share what I love most with everyone in the fam.
Certain gear opens up a whole world of opportunities. That’s what the We! Ski Kit is for us – a ticket for outdoor freedom.
The We! Ski Kit is compatible with Burley’s D’Lite,Cub, Encore and Solo trailers. Skis attach as easily as the wheels, with a quick push of a button. Lightweight poles connect the trailer to a padded waist strap the skier wears.
Wrangling equipment is a huge hassle on any outdoor adventure. Scratch that, any outing ever. I feel like I’m constantly hauling stuff in and out of the car, but certain features of the D’Lite and the We! Ski Kit made this headache a little easier.
All Burley trailers fold down easily, although sometimes setting it back up takes some upper body strength. Attachment poles disconnect at the midpoint and the waist band for easier storage. Plus they’re surprisingly light. I could barely feel them when I strapped in.
Even with all of those features the set up, strapping in, connecting and securing takes time. Baby L hates it. She cries while I frantically buckle, zip and cover her then clip in, connect and adjust myself, but once we’re on the snow it’s a whole new experience. Cries are replaced with sounds of contentment and eventually she’s lulled into a calm sleepiness.
I Am Not a Horse
Using the We! Ski Kit made me feel a little like a horse pulling a carriage. I’m okay with that. At least horses get out of the house and away from doing dishes all day.
The waist strap felt comfortable and surprising light, but pulling that much extra weight is not easy. Adding 65 pounds of children to a strenuous workout made for a lot of huffing and puffing. It was much easier when I just took the baby instead of both Baby L and Little G.
While skiing with the We! Ski Kit I had a little problem with physics. When I started sliding too fast down a small incline with the weight of the trailer and kids pushing me I couldn’t stop. I’m an intermediate cross country skier at best, being out of practice with last season’s pregnancy and this season’s infant. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to me when I fell.
But it did surprise Little G. Little G, who is not all that little anymore, couldn’t buckle right with her bulky coat in the way. I have since figured out how to do this (Note – spend some time with the equipment before heading to the trail) but at the time I fell, so did Little G. Almost out of the carrier.
Burley folks are probably rolling their eyes at me. It says in no uncertain terms to buckle your child and put the cover on to avoid just this scenario. Luckily we were going slow enough that she didn’t get hurt, even when I fell again ten feet later. But she did walk the rest of the way back to the car.
Pros of the We! Ski Kit
- Easy ski attachment
- Simple installation
- Light feel when connected
- Freedom to get outdoors
- Price $275
- Cumbersome set up
- The front of the carrier plunges when not connected to the waist making loading kids tough.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ski or snowboard now’s your chance! January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and several Utah ski resorts are offering beginner deals including a $45 lesson, rental and lift ticket package from Brighton Resort.
|Graphic from SkiUtah.com|
When I first learned to snowboard it was through Brighton’s Ladies’ Day clinic. I signed up for the four week course with a bit of a rebellious attitude. Mountain Dad and I had been trying to get pregnant with no luck. “Fine,” I thought. “If I can’t be a mom I’ll do something else I’ve always wanted to do.” Thus started my love of downhill snow sports.
Now, years later, I’m in the opposite position. At seven months pregnant, skiing and snowboarding black diamonds is definitely not happening. However, I want my tots to feel the joy of speeding down the mountain, the wind in their hair and a smile on their faces so I decided I’d put on my skis for a little ride in the tow rope area. (I really hope my doctor, mother, and sister aren’t reading this).
Little g and I “skied” a little last year with her between my skis, flopping around like a rag doll while I hunched over her to keep her from rolling snowball-style down the mountain. It was a lot of work for me and she had no control on the snow. At three-years-old this season we have boots that actually fit her and she’s noticeably taller and stronger, although this photo doesn’t exactly show off her strength.
Last winter, Big E started his skiing career by accompanying me to Sundance Resort several times. He had a lesson and by the end of last season was able to make it down the beginner run all by himself. I was so proud, my little skier at barely four years old.
This season, I expected him to catch my love of the mountain as if it were contagious. Unfortunately all those months between last season and this one left plenty of time for him to forget. Our first (and only) run together was frequently punctuated with falling, crying and frustrated pouting.
“I’m done with doing this on my own,” I thought and I signed him up for a lesson. His instructor was great, but said he “got frustrated when the skis didn’t do what he wanted.”
A few days later Mountain Dad tried cross country skiing. He’d done it before, years ago, but never on his own. When he came home annoyed and red faced he said, “I just couldn’t get the skis to do what I wanted.” Do you think they’re related?
January is Learn a Snow Sports Month, and I’m pretty sure our family will be first in line.