Don’t Miss the Spring Break Snow!

And More Snow To Come!

It’s been a great year so far! Ten feet of snow on the ground, and now, more to come. A couple of storms are due in next week. The first is due Monday or Tuesday with the possibility for several inches of snow to as much as a foot! The next one should follow late in the week, and could add that much more. We’ll just have to wait and see, it’s weather, after all.

Like the famous comedian Will Rogers said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!”

Snow news is good news! Thank you for your continuing business,

Think Snow!


George Denise
Owner, The Ski Renter

10 Tips for Teaching Toddlers to Ski or Board

It’s never too early to learn!

The snow continues to be fabulous! So far this year, this is the fourth most snowfall to date since 1970. If it doesn’t get too warm, we should have good conditions well into Spring! Right now, temperatures are in the 50s during the day, dropping down into the 20s at night. Great time to teach the little ones when it’s not too cold outside. We started our granddaughter, Iliana, age 2, on skis this year.

Tips for Teaching Toddlers to Ski or Board:

  1. First of all, what is the right age? This depends on you and your child. If you have an active, adventurous child, and you are a fairly competent skier, earlier is fine.  If your child is more reserved, or you are not comfortable teaching, maybe wait until they are old enough for bunny ski school. We started our oldest son at age 2 (almost 3), the next two at age 1 ½ .
  2. Introduce them to the snow gently, positively. Make sure they are dressed properly and have gloves or mittens on, and start on a relatively warm day. Cold snow on small bare hands can be unbearable.  Don’t force anything. Make it a game. Be excited. Let them make and throw a couple of snowballs at you (but don’t throw them back; that just makes you a bully!) And that may be it for the first time out. Maybe half an hour or so. Then go back inside and have a hot chocolate.
  3. Start with toddler skis that strap on to their snow boots with Velcro. Let them wear them in the house and walk around on the carpet. Again, make it a game.
  4. Next take them out to the ski hill and let them walk around on the snow where it is flat so they can get the feel of the skis sliding on the snow.
  5. We recommend using ski toe clips to hold the toes of the skis together in the beginning. Also a harness with a leash, letting them ski ahead of you while you snowplow behind them.  You can also ski next to them holding a ski pole sideways across you and them (let them have the handle) so they can see you and you can provide words of encouragement. You can also let them ski between your legs, but we have seen others slip and fall on their child, so we do not recommend this method.
  6. Start at the bottom of the slops, out of the potential path of other skiers and boarders. Once your feel your child is ready, start on the bunny slope, take it nice and slow, with lots of encouragement, and when you get to the bottom, go in for another hot chocolate. Don’t wear them out; always leave them wanting more!
  7. Next time out, on a very gentle slope, and with the toe clips on the skis, have them put their hands on their knees and slowly ski down the slope. Have them push down on their right knee and they will turn to the left; push down on the left knee and they will turn to the right. Once they do this exercise a few times, most get the hang of it almost immediately and advance very quickly!
  8. Beginners should not have poles, but let them hold the handle of one of your poles and pull them along when walking, help them in and out of their skis, and so on. Take as much of the effort out of it as possible and make it fun for them.
  9. Take lots of pictures and show them later with lots of positive comments. You have one chance to make a first impression; make it a positive one so they want to do it again!
  10. Once your child is potty-trained, you can enroll them in ski school. Most of the hills have very good programs, half-day and full-day, including lessons, games, snacks, lunch, and naps!

So have fun and Think Snow!


George Denise
Owner, The Ski Renter

More Snow!

Our slogan at The Ski Renter is “Think Snow!” Well, we thought snow, and snow we got! 

We have been tracking snowfall at Squaw Valley daily for the past thirteen years. (Hey, that’s what we do. It’s our business!) As of this writing, the base at Squaw is 138”, with 243” up on top.

In the snow report below you’ll see the conditions of other resorts in the area:

It’s been more snow on top of more snow this season. Total cumulative snowfall to date is 462”, which is the most we have had in over ten years. Temperatures have been a little warmer, so the snow has been wet, but now temperatures are dropping.

We may get a few inches of snow over the weekend, but then there should be a break in the storms for an extended period of time. Lots of snow on the ground, clear skies, colder temperatures, and consequently, better skiing and boarding!

So enjoy, be safe, and even though we have lots of it,

Think Snow!


George Denise
Owner, The Ski Renter

Fall One-Day Sale, up to 50% off!

Save the Date: Saturday, October 29th

For ONE DAY ONLY: Get 10-50% off almost all retail items including: ski jackets, fleece jackets, summer tees, thermals, Camelbaks and reservoirs, coolers, camping pots and pans and more! Our shelves are full of awesome warm and cold season gear – help us make room for a plethora of new items as we get ready for a blissful ski season.

Still wanting to squeeze in one more camp trip? It’s not too late. In fact, October is the best time for coastal camping! Head south for Big Sur and Oceano Dunes or north for Olema and Anchor Bay. Pick up one of our camping gear bundles for as low as $26 and hit the road.

It’s Never Too Early to Get Ready for Snow

Ski Resort Season Passes Are Here!

Fall is here and as you enjoy the the cooler weather with hikes and tents it’s time to start thinking snow! Winter 2016/2017 Season Passes are now on Sale for a limited time. Right now you can get season passes to ski Northstar, Kirkwood, and Heavenly Mountain – all with one pass!

And you don’t have to wait until the first snowfall to visit these great resorts! There are plenty of fun summer events to keep you busy while you wait for snow.

Northstar California – Northstar boasts summer activities for all ages. Pan for gems, play mini golf, go roller skating, and more! All with a Summer Fun Day Pass.

Kirkwood Mountain – Unfortunately Kirkwood is now closed for the summer, but keep an eye out for when they open again for the Winter Season!

Heavenly Lake Tahoe – Fly through the forest with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe on the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster, or slide down the 500ft-long summer tubing hill. Heavenly has plenty of summer adventure waiting for you!

These passes are a great deal if you’re planning to visit the mountains often. Get them while you can!

Labor Day Challenge: These 3 hikes in 3 days!

Three Awesome Hikes for a Three Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend is a popular time to get outside with family and friends. This usually means that campgrounds are booked to overflowing and getting any last minute spots can be difficult if not impossible. Even if you missed the deadline for Labor Day camping reservations can still get outside with these three amazing hikes!

Levee Trail – Take the Levee Trail at Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area for a leisurely stroll through the 50-acre bayfront preserve with a wide variety of waterfowl and shorebirds.

Arastradero Creek Loop – Hike around the Atastradero Creek Loop at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve for a beautiful mixture of rolling savanna grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest.

Indian Rock Trail – Trek up above the clouds on the Indian Rock Trail at Sanborn County Park and enjoy incredible views from the Santa Cruz Mountains.

All three of these hikes are less than a 30 minute drive from our store in Cupertino! Stop by on your way out for your Labor Day Weekend hike!

The Pinnacles Await!

Explore Pinnacles National Park for your Labor Day Adventure

Created in 2013, Pinnacles National Park is the newest addition to the National Park Service. While there travelers can journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms, while hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires teeming with life.

Hiking – Pinnacles National Park has more than 30 miles of trails that showcase the beauty of the park up close and personal. Hikes range from flat stretches of grasslands to uphill climbs through talus caves onward to the rocky spires that Pinnacles is famous for.

Climbing – If you’re looking for a vertical adventure, Pinnacles National Park offers a variety of climbing routes that range from easy topropes to the multi-pitch climbs along Machete Ridge.

Caving – Pinnacles National Park has two main areas of caves: the Bear Gulch Caves and the Balconies Caves. Both have trails that can take you through the caves, but be sure to check ahead to make sure the caves will be open!

While you are there, be sure to watch for California condors, too. The California condor is one of the rarest birds, with only 450 left in the world. In 1980, there were only 27 birds left in the wild. All were captured and bred in captivity in order to save the species and later reintroduced into The Pinnacles. The California condor has a wingspan of 9.8 feet and weighs up to 26 pounds. Condors do not migrate and can be seen in the park year round.

There are currently 27 free-flying adult and juvenile condors at The Pinnacles managed by Pinnacles National Park.

Cool Down with a Trip to the Beach!

Three Great Beach Campgrounds!

Summer may almost be over, but the heat hasn’t left yet! Escape the higher temperatures by setting your tents up on the beautiful California coast. We’ve found three great spots for your next beach camping adventure!

Manresa State Beach – Just below Santa Cruz sits Manresa State Beach. This popular camping destination features a beautiful expanse of sea and sand where you can surf, hike, and camp!  Reserve now!

The Steep Ravine Environmental Campground – Nestled in Mount Tamalpais State Park, The Steep Ravine Environmental Campground offers beautiful views of the ocean for tent and cabin campers alike. Reserve now!

New Brighton State Beach – Camp on a bluff overlooking northern Monterey Bay and then walk to the beach featuring picnic areas, swimming, and a nearby forest of Monterey pine and coastal live oak.  Reserve now!

The Perfect Farewell to Summer Break

Say goodbye to Summer Break with the perfect family adventure!

As the Summer Break winds down and the new school year draws near, get outside one more time with the whole family at Roaring Camp Railroads nestled in the town of Felton, California. Between amazing train rides and historical experiences, Roaring Camp railroads is a great day-trip for the whole family – Even Fido*!

Redwood Forest Steam Train – Explore the Redwoods in open air cars pulled by a magnificent steam engine to the summit of Bear Mountain as you learn about the history of the railroad and the forest.

Santa Cruz Beach Train – Take a ride to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for a day at the beach on the The Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway – one of the oldest and most historic lines in California.

Living History and Heritage Events – Experience history with free heritage events during the week and living history events on the weekend. Watch Roaring Camp’s blacksmith make tools, see a real old-fashioned printing press in action, try your luck at the gold-panning station, and much more!

Want to make it a weekend camping adventure? Set up camp at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park! A stroll through the redwoods takes you directly to Roaring Camp Railroads, and the campground itself offers great amenities for tent campers and more amazing hikes through the beautiful forest.

*Dogs are allowed on leash at both Roaring Camp Railroads and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.


Yosemite: Cliffs, Waterfalls, Lakes, Forests, and More!

Only a short drive from the Bay to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, beautiful lakes, spectacular mountains, glaciers, and biological diversity.

Yosemite Museum – Looking to learn? Try the Yosemite Museum! The Yosemite Museum was the first building constructed as a museum in the national park system and contains many exhibits about the history of Yosemite!

Mirror Lake/Meadow Trail – Want a beautiful hike? Take stroll around Mirror Lake. When water is calm, the lake offers beautiful reflections of surrounding cliffs. Bring Fido along as well, this trail is pet friendly!

The Yosemite Zipline – Need an adventure? Look no further! The Yosemite Zipline and Adventure Ranch offers zip-lining on six different courses, aerial ropes courses, roping lessons, gold-panning and more. Gear up and get out there!

But you have to hurry, camping spots fill up fast, so plan the perfect Yosemite trip and book today. Can’t get a spot? Yosemite still makes for a great day trip!