Our baby’s first tobboggan run in St Anton am Arlberg took place on a warm sunny day. She was about 15 months old and loved it. We only did half a dozen short slides for her first time and they were all smiles.
We picked a nice warm and sunny day so that she didn’t get put off by getting too cold. We also left it quite late in the day so that the slopes would be quieter, around 4pm. Lunch time would also have worked; we were using the beginner slopes which would have been quiet during the lesson lunch breaks. We did have a few skiers coming past, but there were enough people tobbogganing and walking there for them to be being careful.
We made sure that D was well dressed in proper ski jacket and trousers, with layers underneath. Our main problem is finding warm socks and waterproof gloves as she is so petite. Gloves are essential though, for you and baby, as you can easily get a nasty friction burn from contact with hard packed snow.
We used a very gentle, short and smooth stretch at the bottom of the nursery slopes. We went for the nursery slopes at the Nasserein end of St Anton as these are the most gentle. I was surprised how little slope we needed to get going. We picked a spot where the little kids learn to ski, as there was a nice flat run out at the bottom to stop on. I think my rule of thumb will be if the slope is gentle enough for D to walk up, then it is gentle enough for her to slide down.
We used a standard bumboard; holding the handle with one hand, while holding D sitting up on our laps with the other. Brakes and steering are your feet! There are probably all sorts of safety reasons to use a ‘proper’ tobboggan, but as we were only sliding a few metres, this felt safe enough to us. Note it is recommended that kids wear ski helmets for tobbogganing, but as you can see from the pictures we did not follow this advice. I will leave you to do your own research and make your own decision. We were lucky that she really enjoyed it, but would have stopped immediately if she was not finding it fun.