If you have decided to spend the money on a ski vacation, spend a little more and register everybody for ski or ride school. What you will learn in a ski or snowboard lesson will help you throughout the rest of your vacation. Instead of spending your entire vacation sitting face down in the snow, you can enjoy the slopes from the upright position. Okay, you will probably fall down a lot but the falling will probably be much more graceful if you learn how to fall properly.
When we signed up for ski lessons, I was very nervous about how everything would go. How do I drop off the kids? How will we do? Will everyone in the group be a never-ever skier like me? Are we going to actually take a ski lift? These are just a few questions I had and besides the excerpt on the Copper Mountain website, I didn’t find much out there for first time ski students. I found a plethora of advice about what to wear, what sorts of snacks to bring, and how to combat altitude sickness but what could I expect during my ski lesson?
Checking In for Ski and Ride School
You can begin checking in to ski and ride school at 8am. The earlier you get there, the more time you will have to get yourself together before your own lesson. My first impression of the Copper Mountain Ski and Ride School was how easy the check-in process went. We checked our children, ages 6 and 8, into their ski lesson at the School House first. After filling out a waiver, we received a lift ticket and a ski school card. We were given a bright blue informational paper with instructions on how the children’s day would go, how and where to pick them up and more. We also received a barcode strip that was our ticket to pick up our kids at the end of the day. After checking in, you will pick up ski equipment if you haven’t already.
Things to Know Before You Go – If you can pick up your ski equipment at the end of the day before your lesson, I highly recommend doing this. We picked our equipment up at 4pm the day before and it took almost 50 minutes to outfit my family of four.
You can’t drop the kids off just yet, so head across the way to check yourself in to your lesson. Check-in is similar in that you register at the computer and head to a desk to pick up your lift and ski school ticket.
Once you are all checked in, you have until around 9:15 to grab a quick bite to eat, shove all your stuff in a locker (available for rent) or just relax and wait for your day to begin.
Dropping Off the Kids for Ski and Ride School
Around 9:15am, you will want to report to the Ski and Ride School drop-off. Children’s lessons begin at 9:30am and adult lessons begin at 10am so you have plenty of time to get the kids situated before going to your lesson. The sign-in process is just as smooth as the check-in process. A ski instructor will greet your child, get their name and sign them in, attach a real-time GPS tracker to them, and tell them where to wait. Then it is time for the parents to disperse and leave the kids alone.
What Will I Learn in a Ski Lesson?
Although I thought I was more nervous about how my kids would do, I was most nervous about my lesson. I had been on skis one other time and it is not a good memory. I was worried that I would fail miserably like I did the first time around.
After introductions, the instructor had us put on one ski. We slid around in a circle for a little while so that we could get used to the feeling of the ski sliding on the snow. Then we switched feet and did it again. We learned two different ways to get our feet out of skis with and without our poles. We learned how to walk up and down a hill as well as walk in a circle. Once the basics were done, we moved over to the magic carpet. The magic carpet is sort of like a walking escalator. We hopped on and rode it to the top of the hill. Once at the top, the instructor gathered us and we each tried skiing down the hill. We did this over and over again until lunch. We learned how to stop mid-way, we learned how to turn and we just got comfortable on the skis.
Lunchtime was on our own in the little cafeteria. In the afternoon, a few of us took a ski lift up to the top of a green run and practiced skiing down the hill. By the end of the day, we were exhausted but we had the confidence to try skiing again the following week during a visit by ourselves.
*Thank you to Copper Mountain for hosting our stay with no expectation of a review. All opinions are mine.