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Absolute beginner

Joumanaahmed

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Hello! My family and I are absolutely beginners, never been on skis.
We live in CT ( Hartford County) and were wondering where is the best place to start lessons for us adults and our kids ( 11 and 7)?
Thanks!
 

Edd

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Most people can’t but, if possible, try your first couple of days during the week (not a holiday). Cutting down on the crowds will make learning more pleasant.
 

ss20

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A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
All the area mountains offer a beginner rentals/lesson/lift ticket package in the $90-$120 range.

If you're close to the I-91 corridor check out Berkshire East west of Greenfield, MA. They have some really nice beginner terrain for all levels of "beginner" (as it's unlikely your family will all progress at the same rate). They have a long magic carpet slope, a small beginner chair, and a medium sized beginner chair before heading to the top of the mountain. Their deal for returning beginners is also great! https://berkshireeast.com/winter/lessons-camps/group-lessons

Sundown is fun but they can be pricey especially for what they are. You're better off going to Butternut or Catamount, both in Mass. They're further away but they both have GREAT beginner terrain (especially Catamount) and are twice the size of Sundown for roughly the same price.
 

ss20

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A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
Most people can’t but, if possible, try your first couple of days during the week (not a holiday). Cutting down on the crowds will make learning more pleasant.

You're also more likely to get a more experienced instructor. All these small hills rely on teen ski instructors- they're teaching almost all the beginner lessons on the weekends. Fine for the kids but in my experience Moms/Dads feel comfortable with someone older.
 
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mister moose

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The answer is going to vary depending on your priorities. Sundown is likely the closest, there is also Mt Southington right off 84. Otis Ridge is the closest Mass area, and they focus on kids lessons. It might be the cheapest and it's the smallest. Butternut has better size and good learning terrain, but can be crowded. Right down the road from there is Catamount, and a little further north is Bousquet.

Sure, quality instruction is important, but so is repetition. You'll learn more if you ski more. So go somewhere you're willing to go often.

TO save $$, look into beginner packages. Lift, lesson and equipment for one discounted price. After a couple times if you like it, look into a seasonal lease on equipment instead of renting by the day. That's especially good for kids that grow out of stuff. The advantage of Ski Sundown is you can go night ski, or if you can get off a little early, go for the afternoon at weekday rates.

Ski Sundown (New Hartford) has a ski swap coming up Nov 4-6th. If you want to take a plunge, you could outfit your family with good used equipment there.

If you want to do a weekend, Vermont offers better snow, better rental equipment, better instruction, and better terrain. WAIT FOR GOOD WEATHER. Don't spend your first day on lousy conditions. If it rained in the last week, don't go.

January is the industry's "Learn to ski" month, so look for special deals on learn to ski packages then.

Arrive early. Dress warmly. One pair of socks. You can bring your own lunch. Try not to go on a Saturday.
 

Granite1

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Hello! My family and I are absolutely beginners, never been on skis.
We live in CT ( Hartford County) and were wondering where is the best place to start lessons for us adults and our kids ( 11 and 7)?
Thanks!
Bretton Woods, NH. Free skiing - don't have to buy a lift ticket - to use their beginner lift area (if that policy is still in place). Go during the week, for sure. Weekends are a zoo almost everywhere. Staying at the resort is very expensive, but very nice/top notch. However, if you stay at any of the hotels/motels in the Twin Mountain area near by, it's about the best value there is in ski country - Profile Motel there is a good, inexpensive place to stay! The lodge at the base of the ski area is one of the best in New England, and the new mid-mountain lodge is spectacular. The entire ski area is very gentle too-good grooming/snowmaking; a great place for beginners. The view of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range are some of the best in ski country. Cocktails and the bar menu at the Mount Washington hotel lobby bar with a backdrop of Mount Washington is well worth the trip!
 

RH29

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Nov 23, 2021
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I'll second Berkshire East and Catamount. Both have excellent progression on their green terrain, from the carpet up to summit runs. Mohawk tends to be pricey because it caters to the NYC/Westchester crowd, but they're a great place to learn as well. Same for Sundown. No point in going to Vermont just to fumble around on the carpet all day.
 

Vter

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Mar 6, 2022
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Bretton Woods, NH. Free skiing - don't have to buy a lift ticket - to use their beginner lift area (if that policy is still in place). Go during the week, for sure. Weekends are a zoo almost everywhere. Staying at the resort is very expensive, but very nice/top notch. However, if you stay at any of the hotels/motels in the Twin Mountain area near by, it's about the best value there is in ski country - Profile Motel there is a good, inexpensive place to stay! The lodge at the base of the ski area is one of the best in New England, and the new mid-mountain lodge is spectacular. The entire ski area is very gentle too-good grooming/snowmaking; a great place for beginners. The view of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range are some of the best in ski country. Cocktails and the bar menu at the Mount Washington hotel lobby bar with a backdrop of Mount Washington is well worth the trip!
Exactly !!! Bretton Woods is cool. The OP didn’t mention $ savings nor travel time.
If you want the coolest 1st time skiing, the nicest fellow clientele, the greatest views & wonderful service make the trip ! For a newbie, it will change your life.
There is reasonable lodging around and nothing scary, just nice & clean. The drive in thru the Notch will excite everyone. Can you say Mt Washington views shining from the top lodges blow my mind everytime I go there !
Ps. I love the place. Been skiing hard since 1967 & still Rip…and I go there a lot. But don’t tell anybody, that the “Pancake” deliverers time & time again. Great beginer programs too !
I’ve Skied all over, for many years, if you hit BW’s slopes midweek you will fall in love with the sport. It’s that good of a show for Nor’ East.
If dimes are not a thing, Mt Washington Hotel never fails !
Winter camping too, if you really dig the outdoors…I done it All over there and always, always A Great time, Solo or not … it’s a class A - Act.
 

JimG.

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I'll second Berkshire East and Catamount. Both have excellent progression on their green terrain, from the carpet up to summit runs. Mohawk tends to be pricey because it caters to the NYC/Westchester crowd, but they're a great place to learn as well. Same for Sundown. No point in going to Vermont just to fumble around on the carpet all day.
I would add Butternut to your list as well.
 

Kingslug20

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Belleyare has is own beginner area...and gets a good amount of snow...and isn't too crowded.
 

urungus

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Western Mass
Belleyare is a six hour round trip from Hartford. Bretton Woods 8 hours. IMO all that time driving would be better spent improving skills on a local slope. Then head further afield once basic competency has been achieved.
 

joshua segal

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Jan 31, 2014
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Southern NH
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skikabbalah.com
Most people can’t but, if possible, try your first couple of days during the week (not a holiday). Cutting down on the crowds will make learning more pleasant.
Assuming you will be taking a lesson, you are likely to have a smaller class and more attention from the instructor on a weekday.
 

Vter

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Belleyare is a six hour round trip from Hartford. Bretton Woods 8 hours. IMO all that time driving would be better spent improving skills on a local slope. Then head further afield once basic competency has been achieved.
Oh for god sakes ! You crazy yaks crack me up.
‘Ya, do your time’ …. are you for real, Man ?
It’s a 1st timer attempting to experience what every “skier” says about this sport; “I just love it” for betta or worse.

Putting drill days/nites down the local hill is way, way down on my suggestion list. I believe these nice folks may want to see the neighborhood Ice hills to practice some day, if they enjoy The Fun & laughs of a couple, few or more days at a place that…for one has alternative activities if it’s cold, wet and yes too snowy.
A morning lession, a nice fun lunch and hopefully a nice mellow green from the top will make fun stories all night(s) long. Or see it for yourself & Download, no shame there.
Double Sessions at a local hill night & day, I would have packed my bags from skiing at 3 yrs old !
I did choose to go close & local to learn my skills every chance I got…because I saw the rewards of real mountain skiing and I thrived the skills to ski it all. Pease out, Newbees, Enjoy it first, then love it or leave it. 😺
 
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