Mom conquers fear of skiing and bonds with teen son at Nitehawk Ski Area

Of all the reasons to learn to ski, Ginger Dumais’ motivation may be among the best. A couple years ago, she had convinced herself to give it a try again. And yet despite her best intentions, she found herself feeling afraid to make the attempt as time went on. Last season came and went, and she passed on another chance over the Christmas holidays this year. 

“I was just nervous,” she says. “I really thought that I would have no idea what I was doing, and I’d fall and hurt myself.” 

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Want to know more about getting a start on the slopes at Nitehawk? Make sure to check out SnowSeekers coverage.



After all, it had been more than 20 years since she last tried sliding downhill on snow, and her last attempt – snowboarding as a teen – hadn’t gone so well.  

It’s surprising how those memories linger as adults, preventing us from taking risks or trying something new or unfamiliar. But getting past those mental barriers, as Dumais discovered on a recent visit to Nitehawk Ski Area near Grande Prairie, AB, usually comes with a reward. 

“It was really nerve-wracking, kind of scary at first,” Dumais recalls, “but it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting. It was fun.” 

Well-trained CSIA instructors and large, gently sloping beginner areas make Nitehawk a welcoming place for new skiers. A legacy of development from the 2010 Arctic Winter Games has allowed the community-run facility to establish programs geared towards making skiing and snowboarding more accessible and affordable for families and beginners.  

But the hill also has more challenging runs and a terrain park to pique the interest of Aiden, Dumais’ teenage son – and the motivation behind her return to skiing.  

“My son loves snowboarding, and I really wanted to do something with him,” she says. 

Her first slides were shaky, and Aiden wasn’t so keen on hanging out on the magic carpet. But after a morning of coaching from one of Nitehawk’s instructors, Dumais’ confidence and ability had grown. By mid-afternoon, she, Aiden and his friend Dane were cruising green runs together. It’s not always easy to connect with your teenage children, but from the smiles all around, this was a win for mom. 

When You Go

Want to know more about getting a start on the slopes at Nitehawk? Make sure to check out SnowSeekers coverage.

Pretty much any time of year is a good time to be in Grande Prairie to enjoy the slopes of Nitehawk.  Night skiing is a unique draw for the region in the wintertime, and snow seekers shouldn't be fooled into thinking this is just a place for kids. This place has changed a lot over the years. In just 13 years, Nitehawk has grown its operations six-fold, so you'll experience the momentum and have a blast ripping it at Nighthawk.

Set the compass north and Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association can help get you there.

For more on Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park’s menu of options, ski over to the website  or search it out online at  #GoNitehawk.

For more of the story, and to get in on great secrets to winter adventures of all kinds in northern Alberta, visit

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