There is absolutely nothing in the world like
watching your own child learning and loving a sport you know your
entire family will enjoy and that will be a big part of family
fun. Nothing, except, maybe, for being able to teach that
sport. This love of teaching children is something that is
unmistakable for anyone who meets Mike and Kelly Stephenson, the
new owners and operators of Ski Bluewood.
was a beautiful sunny Saturday and I was headed up to Bluewood with
Ethan, my 8 year old son. It was a big day for both of
us. This was going to be Ethan's first time skiing, ever, and
for me, it was going to be my first time skiing in 10 years (and
first time with shaped skis). A short 1.5 hour drive from
Tri-Cities got us to the 4,545 ft elevation of Bluewood's parking
lot. A quick and easy trip through the rental shop and Ethan
was ready to learn!
The learning school meeting area at Bluewood is just perfect.
It is a wide open area of snow, flat enough that beginners can get
the feel of having skis on their feet without sliding out of
control. Kelly worked the basics with Ethan here and I took
the opportunity to get in a run or two. Mike was kind enough
to give me some great pointers on skiing with shaped skis (remember
it's been over ten years since I've skied!) while giving me a
run-down of the mountain.
Bluewood is the second highest ski facility in Washington with a
peak of 5,670 ft. While boasting 24 runs and two triple lifts
it is truly a mountain for the whole family: enough long cruising
green runs for beginners to enjoy, yet enough black diamonds,
including some of the best tree skiing around, to keep things
interesting. After some runs on their platter-pull area to
get used to my new skis it was time to go back and check on
The huge grin on his face was all I needed to see to know how much
Ethan was enjoying himself. The instruction was great too -
he was ready to start making some slow snow-plowing runs with Mike
already. Almost a dozen or so runs later Ethan collapsed in a
tired, happy pile at the bottom of the run and announced loudly:
"I'd like some hot chocolate please!"
can't say enough great things about Mike and Kelly. They
obviously are living out their passion and their love for teaching
children is contagious. Everything about Bluewood, from the
friendly lift operators to the wonderfully helpful information
booth and rental staff to the first class teaching staff told me
Bluewood is going to be a great mountain for my family.
we drove away, Ethan announced: "That was AWESOME! I LOVE
skiing! When are we going again?" "Soon," I told
Oh, and by the way, the bruised lip? It was from PE class at
school - not from the mountain, and Ethan had so much fun he forgot
Stay tuned for more about Bluewood and Sporthaus, including Mom
lessons, little sister Natalie's ski adventure, clothing tips and
more, on the MOM blog.
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