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Telluride Colorado

First Time Skiers and Snowboarders

Trying a new sport can be daunting, regardless of if you are 6 years old, 36 or 66. We put together a list of frequently asked questions from first timer’s to help you get from your accommodations to the slopes with as little anxiety as possible. Of course if you have questions that we haven’t answered, our staff is here to help you. Give us a call at (970) 728-7540.

How Do I Get Started?

You’ve booked a trip to Telluride, so you’ve taken the first step. The next step is to line up lessons and get your gear in order. All of the information you need to have an enjoyable time on the slopes is below, from what we recommend you wear to where you need to go.

What should I wear?

While Colorado sees more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the weather can change in an instant. It’s important to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions and temperatures. Our strongest advice is to dress in layers so you can add or remove as needed throughout the day. We also recommend wearing:

  • Absorbent socks in wool or other material that is not cotton - You may be tempted to wear two pairs of socks but we discourage this as the socks can cause your feet to hurt if they bunch up in your boots.
  • Insulated, water-resistant gloves or mittens should always be worn, even on warmer days. Avoid wearing knit gloves or mittens as they will get wet and not keep your hands warm.
  • A warm hat, or even better, a helmet. A helmet will keep your head warm and protect you. We have helmets available for rent if you do not own one.
  • A water resistant jacket with a high collar.
  • Water resistant ski pants or snow bibs to stay warm and dry.
  • Goggles or sunglasses – at high elevation, the sun is extremely strong, and its reflection off of the snow can do damage to your eyes. Protect them from the sun’s rays and other elements with a good pair of goggles and sunglasses.

Should I take a lesson?

We encourage all new skiers and snowboarders to take a lesson. You’ll learn all the basic skills you need to hit the slopes and will eliminate some of the frustration that could take fun out of this new activity. We see skiing and snowboarding as a lifetime sport, and taking lessons helps you get off on the right foot so you are set up for years of skiing and riding ahead of you.

What kind of lesson should I take?

The Telluride Ski & Snowboard School offers a variety of lessons for all ages and abilities. Ask yourself, are you more comfortable learning in a one on one environment, or would you prefer to be with peers of the same ability? We offer group and private lessons for adults and children and specialty lessons such as our “Never Ever Beginners” program for adults just starting out in the sport. Call our Ski School to speak with a representative who can help determine the best lesson for you.

My kids want to learn to ski, are there options for them?

Our Ski & Snowboard School has a variety of options for children starting at age 2 ½ and up. We break our children’s lessons into various age groups, including Cubs (ages 2 ½ - 4), Otters (ages 3 – 4), Bears (ages 5 – 6) and Eagles (ages 7 – 14). Lessons include lunch and you have the option to bundle your lesson purchase with a lift ticket and rental equipment if you do not have a season or multi-day pass. The Cubs ski lesson program even includes rentals. Visit our Children’s Lessons page for more information and rates.

How much will a lesson cost?

Taking a lesson from one of the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School instructors can be one of the best investments you can make when you’re learning to ski. Check our Ski and Snowboard School page for more information on the various lessons and relative costs.

I don’t have skis or a snowboard, where can I get my equipment?

You can rent everything you need with our local outfitter, Telluride Sports. Their on-site experts will make sure you are set up with everything you need for a successful day on the slopes. When booking your lessons through the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School, you can also include rentals in your package.

Do I need a lift ticket?

In order to get on a lift, you will need a lift ticket. You have the option when making your reservations to bundle a lift ticket with your lesson at a discounted cost.

What time should I get to the mountain?

Here’s a great insider’s tip – book your lesson online at least two days in advance.  By doing this you’ll often have access to reduced lesson rates and will also save the stress of waiting in line to register the morning of the lesson while overheating in your ski wear.  Even if you can’t register at least two days prior, it’s helpful to register in person at least he evening before, so that all you need to do is show up the morning of ready to go. 

Children’s Lessons begin grouping up at 9am, Adult Beginner Group Lessons at 11am, and Private Lessons 5 minutes before your start time.  Be sure to show up with equipment on – if you need help with this instructors are always available to help ensure proper fit and function of your ski equipment. 

Where do I go for my ski lesson?

All lessons meet at the base of the Misty Maiden Chair Lift (a.k.a. Chair 4) which is located just on-snow in the Mountain Village Core.  Look for the tall Ski School flags blowing in the breeze.

What should I expect?

You should expect learn the sport in a safe and encouraging  environment with a good possibility of falling in love with the sport and meeting some great new friends as well.  All of our lessons are based off the Professional Ski Instructors of America teaching model and the American Teaching System.  What does this mean for you?  It means that our instructors are focused on the guest (that’s you!) and constantly modifying their lesson plan to best meet your needs.  Lessons start with a thorough equipment check to ensure proper fit and understanding on flat terrain and progress slowly, introducing new tasks and terrain only when you are comfortable and ready. 

Is there anything else I should do?

Remember, even though it’s cold out, you are getting a good workout and are using different muscles than you would if hiking, running or biking, so you’re expending more energy than you think you are. Take frequent breaks and don’t forget to eat and drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep your energy levels up. But maybe most importantly, HAVE FUN! 


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