March 24-26, 2008
My parents and I chose Sol Vista for a first ski experience for my three children. The gentle terrain was perfect for the purpose and the tubing hill was great, but there were significant concerns, especially about the ski school. They were ill-prepared. Check-in took forever, and had a 'we've never done this before' quality about it, even now at the end of theh season. The biggest deal: They lost one of my twin five-year-olds. He removed his ski school vest and left on one ski. He got in the lift line and rode up alone in a chairlift, with no previous experience on a lift. As he later explained," It bumped me in the butt and I flew away very high. I was scared and I held on tight. At the end, it threw me off." the ski school still had not noticed he was missing when my mother and 12-year-old daughter spotted him in the snow while they were (later) riding the same chairlift. He was about halfway down the (fortunately, Green) run under the lift, and frustrated that he couldn't ski on one ski. After my mother and daughter reached the top of the run, they skied down to him. The first the ski school knew that he had been away was when we returned him, then decided to pull him out for the rest of the day, so he could ski with my dad. At least it was the twin in a helmet who had the adventure. After making a (legitimately) big deal about requiring that parents either provide or rent a helmet - and we chose to rent a helmet - my other son was sent out to ski with his class without a helmet, because "they ran out before they got to me, so they put a hat on my head and then I lost the hat." Considering that Sol Vista positions itself in the market as a learn-to-ski area, it is doubly inexcusable that there should be such disorganization and laxity about safety and security in the ski instruction for children.