The winter season is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, and unless you spent the summer in New Zealand or Chile (or at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Park), you probably haven’t experienced the feeling of sliding on snow for 7 or 8 months.
The seasonality of skiing and snowboarding is part of what makes the sports both special and unique, but the annual hiatus is an unfortunate consequence of our favorite sport. Getting back on the snow for the first time in the early winter can sometimes feel like sliding across ball bearings on a pair of chattering 2x4s.
Taking a lesson on your first day might be a good idea – it can help you remember those fundamentals that you might have forgotten during the summer, get you back in the groove, and start your ski season off on a positive note. This is especially true for kids, who will forget some of their skills and haven’t yet developed the long-term muscle memory that multiple years of experience provide to adults.
If you have a big trip planned for this ski season, say to Colorado or Utah, definitely plan on making at least one visit to your local home mountain before you head west. You don’t want to waste even one of your trip’s precious days getting your ski legs back under you. Take a tune-up lesson at a ski area closer to home, and you’ll be ready to tackle the slopes and make the most of your visit.
Check out some of these options for some early season snowboarding and ski lessons to kick start your season.
Eldora, located in the mountains west of Boulder, CO, has an early-season lesson special for kids good through December 19 for just $69. The Mountain Explorer package includes an all-day lesson, equipment rental, lift ticket, and lunch. The package is available for different ability levels, so kids who are intermediate and above, as well as never-evers, will be able to get out on the hill for a tune-up day with a great instructor.
Roundtop offers a variety of different lesson options for kids and adults, for beginners and intermediates, and even for adaptive participants. Their “Learn To” package for adults (which includes a lift ticket, equipment rental, and a 90-minute lesson) is only $49 before December 24.
Not a beginner? Check out the early season deal on an adult 90-minute group lesson at times throughout the day and evening – for only $10! This is the perfect way to start out your winter season and get your ski legs underneath you.
If you live in Reno, Mt. Rose is your closest chance to get on the snow. The ski area takes advantage of this proximity by offering the “Dip Your Toe in the Snow” pass, an early season beginner product good through December 19. The $99 pass provides unlimited access to the beginner lifts, rental equipment, and group lessons – Yes, that’s right, you can take as many lessons as you want for $99. Plus, the $99 may be applied to a full season pass at any time.
Also, during weekends and holidays, Mt. Rose provides “Learn at Your Own Pace” lessons, a station-teaching tactic that puts the power in the hand of the student to move through the five stations at their own pace.
Taos Ski Valley
Looking for more one-on-one attention in your lesson experience? Taos has a private lesson deal to give you personal instruction on the slopes. The build-your-own-tune-up lesson package offers three 2-hour private lessons with the instructor of your choice for only $300. Because it is a private lesson, you can focus on the specific techniques that you need to brush up on, whether it be steeper terrain, carving turns, bumps, or dynamic skiing. The special deal is available until December 19, so plan to visit the biggest ski area in New Mexico for some early season learning enchantment.
Check out your local resort for an early season lesson to start your season out on the right ski (or snowboard).
In addition to a lesson to tune up your skills, be sure to also tune up your skis or snowboard (especially if you didn’t perform any maintenance at the end of last spring) before heading out for your first day. Ski shops are busy this time of year, so visit your local shop at least a week before you plan to head out on the snow.