The Green

News & Notes

7 Tips to Enjoy Snow Sports at Sunrise Park

3 Min Read

Does the image of speeding down a snowy white mountain trail appeal to you? Then plan a visit to Sunrise Park Ski Area on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. Skiers of all skill levels can enjoy exploring the 65 trails on 3 different mountains. Double, triple, and quad chair lifts as well as a magic carpet shuttle skiers up the mountains. Depending upon snowfall, the season extends from mid-November to early April. 

We asked Jared Austin, an avid Arizona snowboarder for more than 30 years who enjoys spending time with his three young boys at Sunrise, for his advice on making young beginners feel comfortable as they learn to ski and snowboard on the mountains.

“Keep an eye on how they are doing and be patient,” Austin recommends. “It’s important to remember that this is a great way for the family to have fun and spend time together.”

Before heading out for a skiing adventure, Austin checks the Sunrise website to look at the maps online and the degree of difficulty that will coordinate with the kids’ ability level. He also checks to see the snow levels, trail status and live cameras.

“This lets me know what the conditions are like,” he says. “Is it windy, is it snowing? Does my family need extra layers of clothing?”

As for equipment, he recommends consignment sales and used equipment. 

“You don’t want to drop a ton of money for a 5-year-old who will grow out of it quickly. You want to buy used boots or just rent equipment. It’s cheaper and faster to get the equipment at a local store rather than the resort. There’s a Ski Pro shop at Mesa Riverview or shops around Show Low, including Skiers Edge in Pinetop. “

Other advice:

  1. Start youngsters out with skiing and snowboarding lessons. Begin with ski lessons. They can take a group lesson for half a day at $109 or a full day for $189.
  2. Invest in good gloves, if their hands are cold, they are miserable. 
  3. Take breaks. Be sure they are nice and warm, but not sweating. Treat them with some hot chocolate.
  4. Start them off on a slower ski lift. There’s a lot of anxiety about getting on and off a lift. 
  5. Do a lot of repetition of trails. Build familiarity and then go on.   
  6. Once they are ready to take off on their own, be sure they know where they are going. Tell them where you’ll meet them. 
  7. Carry a phone, be sure your kids know your number. Walkie talkies are a good idea.  Or carry whistles. It’s easy to blow a whistle.

Austin said one of his favorite skiing experiences was last year in Utah where he and his kids had one lift all to themselves on an untracked mountain.

“There were not many other people there and the boys were doing laps, making their tracks on a powdery, untracked mountain. It was great.”

Sunrise Ski Resort is located at 200 Highway 273 in Greer, about 47 miles from Torreon Golf Club.

Lodging information: 

Located just three hours from Phoenix in Show Low, Ariz., Torreon is a luxury golfing community nestled in the White Mountains. It offers convenience, world-class recreation and amenities for the entire family. Offering everything from a sprawling outdoor pool, expansive fitness center to award-winning food at Torreon Grille as well as a family and game center, fishing pond and endless trails throughout the community, every member or guest is sure to enjoy time at Torreon. Learn more at  Contact Linda Cedarblade, designated broker for Torreon Realty at (928) 532-3030 or for more information on gorgeous, high country lots nestled in the White Mountains.