Crosscountry skiing with a toddler

3 lessons from a spring ski


We recently picked up about a foot of fresh snow in the Boulder area this weekend. And I must say, at first, I wasn’t totally psyched about the interruption in our beautiful spring weather. But, in the spirit of making the best of it, I decided to take our 2 year old and our dog out for a ski in the foothills west of town.

After getting myself up for the challenge that is skiing with the children, I began to load the car, preferring to focus on the task at hand rather than on how much gear I needed to bring. This allowed me to get the car loaded up quickly and efficiently.

  • Loading up quickly and efficiently can keep you from getting derailed before you get started. 


Seriously, I am more likely to go ahead with my day if I don’t get bogged down in the gear. Get it out and get it loaded. It’s a lot of stuff but if all goes well then I’ll be skiing with our baby soon.

What makes this possible and I am so thankful for this piece of gear is my Thule Chariot.


Isn’t it great? Here it’s shown in bike mode. I pull it like a trailer. As an accessory I bought skis from Thule that fit right where the wheel is (the wheel pops off). There’s also a long hip belt and bars that attach where the arm for the bike attachment comes out.

No time to wax the skis. This can’t take all day. I’ve got work to do. But I do have to get Olivia dressed which is much more difficult in the winter. Layer upon layer of items she doesn’t want to wear. Nevertheless, we get in the truck and head west. The first place I went didn’t have enough snow for us to ski. The second place I went required me to park too far away from snow so I decided to go to another place I know of, which brings me to my second lesson.

  • Stay flexible and manage expectations. She’s a kid. Getting all that stuff  together is tough.

Look, it definitely would be easier to stay at home on the couch and watch Disney movies. There are times for that. Read Raising ripper’s blog here. But when it’s hot and sunny out or when Olivia is old enough to ski on her own. I’m going to miss her sitting behind me in the Chariot singing “If you’re happy and you know it, clap!” especially the way she messes up the words and rhythm and everything. That kind of singing is only cute for so long. So when we get to go out together, it’s tough, yes. We drove around for  awhile, foregoing one place because I simply didn’t want to carry skis, and Chariot and kid 100 yards. And if I was going out by myself, I could do twice as much in half the time, which would make me feel much more hard core than covering 1.7 miles in an hour. But, by keeping my expectations low and reminding myself why I’m doing this (to set an example for Olivia) then mission accomplished.


And yeah, this is a much better story than “we sat and watched Frozen for the 1 millionth time. (love Frozen, don’t get me wrong).



In the end, I got an hour worth of cardio, burnt over 400 calories and got the dog out for a run. All good things. After 50 minutes, Olivia wants out of the carrier. I don’t blame her.


After giving her some time to run around, she went back into the car willingly. Okay with a little coaxing with one of her mother’s Kodiak bars.





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