Both [R5R, Alpine Meadows] and [R179R, Homewood] added GPS tracking for all kids in skiing and snowboarding lessons this winter. The tracking tags increase safety for children skiing the slopes.

The flaik GPS tag-the size of a cell phone-fits into a small neoprene pouch secured around the child's leg. The device, which is included in all children's full or half-day lessons, allows resort personnel to pinpoint the child's location immediately.

The flaik GPS tracking tags record real time location, along with data available after lessons that includes the average speed, total vertical, number of trails, and distance covered. The tag uses cellular technology via a Global System for Mobile communications network. It transmits information to a central server that allows the ski school to track individual students and instructors across the resort in real time.

"There are really two reasons for incorporating GPS tracking into our programs," said Doug Pierini, Director of the Ski and Snowboard School at Alpine Meadows and Homewood. "Primarily, the GPS tracking device offers an additional element of safety. Secondarily, the GPS device offers a real element of fun: a child can log onto the resort Web sites after a day of skiing with the GPS device and view the trails he or she skied during a given day."

The resorts plan to add the GPS tags as a daily rental option for individuals, families, or groups. Rental of the device costs $20. Users must be registered on the flaik Web site to view their statistics from the day.

More information: Alpine Meadows, 530-583-4232; Homewood, 530-525-2992.