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Teaching the girlfriend to ski. Where to go for a first timer?

mccleaks

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My girlfriend wants to learn to ski. I'm horrified to try and teach her myself mostly because I have been skiing so long that I don't remember what it was like to learn. Seems best to just let the professionals handle it. So I am curious if anyone here learned to ski as an adult or has recently put a first timer adult on the hill and can recommend a good mountain/program to set her up in? I'm thinking we'll probably make a long weekend of it and set her up with her first lesson on a Friday to avoid crowds. Then if all goes well she can get back out there for day 2 on either Saturday or Sunday. I figure this way even if she hates the skiing part she can at least enjoy a rental house with a fire place and a hot tub for the weekend.

I know a lot of places run specials in January for "learn to ski month". So I am starting to look into those. I also just came across the Bebe Wood program at Ragged. The price is certainly right on that, does anyone have experience with them?

I appreciate any advice that anyone can give
 

Handlebars

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Skivermont.com has $49 one day packages and $129 3 day learner packages, those are definitely your best value. Almost every resort has learner programs, so go where you want to ski.


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 

ss20

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Don't make her ski three days in a row as a first-timer. She'll be super sore after the first day. And just doing one lesson on Friday isn't going to get her off the bunny hill so if you go the long weekend route you'll be regulated to that all weekend.

I can't vouch on specific programs...but I do teach...and Killington's learning area on Snowshed has always really impressed me as far as terrain. https://www.killington.com/plan-your-trip/lessons-rentals/lessons-for-first-timers/adults

Similar offering from Ski VT if you want to try a different place- https://skivermont.com/take-3

All this is assuming she isn't a 25yo ice skater, body builder, and professional water skier. If she's in great shape, has demonstrated balance, and is athletic the best route would be a beginner group lesson followed by a private lesson so she's not being bogged down by a group.
 

mister moose

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You're doing the right thing by going with a ski school and taking advantage of the many introductory programs out there. Now add in a candle lit dinner.

In January it can be as cheap as $30 for the first day, non peak.

Killington offers a discovery program where you get 4 days of lifts, lessons, and equipment for $399. Go any 4 days, doesn't need to be consecutive. Then you get a free pair of brand new skis. It usually sells out.

https://www.killington.com/plan-your-trip/lessons-rentals/lessons-for-first-timers/adults scroll to the bottom.
 

MEtoVTSkier

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[h=2]4-DAY DISCOVERY PROGRAM, AGES 16+[/h][h=2]MORE LEARNING, FREE SKIS OR SNOWBOARD[/h] Diving into a new sport can feel like a big leap of faith. But our Discovery Program for adult first-timers ages 16+ makes it easy and includes a free pair of skis or snowboard upon completion.
The Discovery Program includes a two-hour lesson, rental equipment and lift ticket for four days, all for just $399. Learn on Elan skis or a Burton snowboard and, prior to completing the fourth lesson, receive a brand-new pair of those skis or board mounted with bindings (MSRP $595).

  • The days don’t need to be consecutive but need to be completed by the end of the 2018-19 season.
  • Each day includes a two-hour lesson, rental equipment and lift ticket (which is limited to the learning area on days 1 and 2; days 3 and 4 include full mountain access)
  • On your fourth day, we'll hand over a brand-new pair of Elan skis and bindings or Burton snowboard and bindings - FREE!




[url]https://www.killington.com/plan-your-trip/lessons-rentals/lessons-for-first-timers/adults

[/URL]
 

Killingtime

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I learned as an adult and did it totally wrong. Girlfriend paid for a beginner group lesson at Hunter and said "you're ready". Two weeks later I'm at Sugarbush trying to pizza stop down sheets of ice. It did not end well and I wanted to throw the skis in the garbage and give up. I finally took a half day private lesson and learned how to stop and turn properly. Best money ever spent. I would recommend going to smaller, local places for the first few times They are cheaper and not as intimidating. I've tried to teach some people at K, but the beginner areas tend to be crowded and a little steep for first timers once you get away from the magic carpet area. Good Luck!
 

Dickc

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First off, DO NOT try to teach her yourself. She will take what you say as criticism more than instructions. My Dad taught, and would not teach my kids for that reason.

Second, it depends on where you are coming from as to where the best learning programs are. Bigger mountains may or may not be the best. I do know Sunday River in Maine has a good program. The learn to ski area is very gently sloped, and then the South Ridge are in a good progression. As you are located in north eastern Mass, you can go to Ski Bradford, a very small family run area with a 250 vertical in Haverhill. Other nearby small areas are Nashoba Valley, and for a big bigger, Wachesset. These are day trips and as other posters have noted, she will be too tired for even two days in a row. Once she has been out for two days and you can judge what she can now handle, then you would be able to plan a weekend at a bigger resort.
 

skiur

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Take her to a smaller area. Might be less intimidating!

This....no need to go to a big expensive resort to learn to ski. She will be on the bunny hill all day so go to your closest local hill for the first few days out.....less money, less crowds, less travel time.....make it fun for her, if it feels like a chore she isn't going to enjoy it.
 

ss20

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This....no need to go to a big expensive resort to learn to ski. She will be on the bunny hill all day so go to your closest local hill for the first few days out.....less money, less crowds, less travel time.....make it fun for her, if it feels like a chore she isn't going to enjoy it.

Not necessarily...these big resorts have first-time packages that are running parallel to the smaller hills from a price standpoint.
 

BenedictGomez

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Fantastic advice given in this thread so far. I'll just reiterate the most important bits in hopes you heed them.

1) Do not teach her yourself (go group lesson or private lesson route).

2) Do not have her ski 3 days in a row. Do Friday & Sunday, and hydrate, massage, anti-inflammatory meds after first day.

And if you dont know, January is Learn To Ski Month, and every resort does uber-cheap packages that incude rentals, lift ticket, and a lesson. If you can, hit at least 2 of those weekends in January and she will make great strides with instruction, and cheaply to boot.
 

Glenn

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I bucked convention and taught my wife (girlfriend at the time) and subsequently her sister how to ski.

We went to a small mountain in Connecticut. Mountains in Vermont can be somewhat intimidating to a first timer.

I'm a fairly laid back person. In the beginning, I could hang back, run blocker and follow my wife down a long meandering green. A number of years later, we spent part of a day with one of her friends who was a beginner. My wife said to me: "How did you do that every weekend while I was learning?" HA!

If you aren't comfortable teaching her, certainly go the lesson route. If a smaller mountain isn't available, find a day where it's comfortable in terms of temps. Someone's first day can determine their willingness to stick with it.
 

tumbler

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Take her to a big resort so she can experience all of what skiing is about. Bigger mountains and scenery, more to do off the hill since it is a long weekend and so she can feel the vibe of skiing and apres and the fun that it all is. It's more than just the actual skiing. And absolutely put her in lessons.
 

Bumpsis

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Lots of good advice here, but depending on the health of your relationship (good communication is established), you may want to do a bit by yourself before having her in a group lesson. A lot of people don't learn much in group lessons and private lessons can be much more effective if some basics are already there.
Just spend a bit of time with her showing how to move around on skis on flat terrain, so she gets somewhat comfortable having the skis on and knows how to find her balance, i.e. standing on one ski while picking up the other, etc.
If you can teach her how to use the skating method of moving on skis, she will be well along in the learning process. Worth a try and being on flat terrain will be a very good place to start.
 

ss20

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Lots of good advice here, but depending on the health of your relationship (good communication is established), you may want to do a bit by yourself before having her in a group lesson. A lot of people don't learn much in group lessons and private lessons can be much more effective if some basics are already there.
Just spend a bit of time with her showing how to move around on skis on flat terrain, so she gets somewhat comfortable having the skis on and knows how to find her balance, i.e. standing on one ski while picking up the other, etc.
If you can teach her how to use the skating method of moving on skis, she will be well along in the learning process. Worth a try and being on flat terrain will be a very good place to start.

I disagree completely. Don't teach her anything besides walking out of the rental shop in ski boots, especially if you're not educated on the sport yourself. Sounds like a recipe for bad habits to form, and for an adult it could be YEARS before they're comfortable enough to break out of bad habits if it makes them feel safe/secure. Kids are much more malleable without a sense of fear. They can ski down in a massive death wedge but a great coach could get them out of that habit in a few lessons. Adults tho...once they're in their comfort zone they tend to stay in it...especially when getting out of it means risking breaking a leg or arm.

I will add I would RECOMMEND a group lesson over a private for a first-timer adult. It breaks the tension tremendously. Just like kids...adults are there to have fun...you lose the social aspect of a lesson when it's a private lesson. A few women out on the magic carpet falling on their butts on snow is gonna generate some laughs from the group if they jive well...one person being taught by Hans Skiinstructorheimer is much more intimidating.
 

BenedictGomez

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I disagree completely. Don't teach her anything besides walking out of the rental shop in ski boots, especially if you're not educated on the sport yourself.........I will add I would RECOMMEND a group lesson over a private for a first-timer adult. It breaks the tension tremendously.

+1
 

drjeff

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I disagree completely. Don't teach her anything besides walking out of the rental shop in ski boots, especially if you're not educated on the sport yourself. Sounds like a recipe for bad habits to form, and for an adult it could be YEARS before they're comfortable enough to break out of bad habits if it makes them feel safe/secure. Kids are much more malleable without a sense of fear. They can ski down in a massive death wedge but a great coach could get them out of that habit in a few lessons. Adults tho...once they're in their comfort zone they tend to stay in it...especially when getting out of it means risking breaking a leg or arm.

I will add I would RECOMMEND a group lesson over a private for a first-timer adult. It breaks the tension tremendously. Just like kids...adults are there to have fun...you lose the social aspect of a lesson when it's a private lesson. A few women out on the magic carpet falling on their butts on snow is gonna generate some laughs from the group if they jive well...one person being taught by Hans Skiinstructorheimer is much more intimidating.

100% great advice here!!

I would say that possibly the only thing a spouse/significant other should even consider trying to "teach" a newbie who makes up the other half of their relationship, is how to properly carry their skis/poles out of the rental shop and over to the ski school meeting location without looking like a dork in the process! ;-)
 

benski

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Take her to a smaller area. Might be less intimidating!

I agree, it seams most big mountains add little value in terms of terrain if you don't know what your doing and probably not worth the extra drive. Have her learn the basics where it is convenient, it will save you time and money. I have not seen a compelling reason to go to a big mountain and spend it on the bunny hill, unless you just want the resort. You could always book a 3 day weekend afterwards.
 

catherine

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Years ago my husband decided to try skiing. He was 50 at the time. We went to Bretton Woods. They have a great learner area and with the Jan Learn to Ski program it was cheap. You also get the benefit of The Mount Washington Hotel.
 
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