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Telluride Colorado

Children’s Ski & Snowboard School Tips

Trying a new sport can be daunting, whether you are 6, 36 or 66 years old! We put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you ensure your child has an amazing day! Of course, if you have questions that we haven’t answered, our staff is here to help you. Give us a call at (970) 728-7414.

Should my child take a lesson?

Yes! Whether your child is new to snowsports or an advanced level skier/rider, they will benefit from a lesson. We see skiing and snowboarding as a lifetime sport, and receiving instruction from a professional helps build new or refine existing skills making better skier/riders. And it just plain makes the sport more fun!

What options are available?

Telluride offers a variety of options for children ages 2½ and up including private lessons, guaranteed small group lessons (Max 4), and traditional group lessons. We break our children’s lessons into various age groups, including Cubs (ages 2½ - 4), Otters (ages 3 – 4), Bears (ages 5 – 6) and Eagles (ages 7 – 14).

Where can I get equipment for my children?

Almost all rental shops have equipment for children, including our Children’s Ski School. When booking your lessons through the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School, you can also include ski and helmet rentals in your package.

Does my child need a lift ticket?

In order to get on a lift, you will need a lift ticket. Our children’s lesson packages include a lift ticket. For those guests who may have season or multi-day passes, we have an option for just lesson and lunch. Please note that use of the Magic Carpet lifts also require a lift ticket. Free toddler passes are available from the ticket office.

What are the costs?

Taking a lesson from one of the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School instructors can be one of the best investments you can make whether your children are just learning to ski or looking to refine or develop new skills. Check our Ski and Snowboard School page for more information on the various lessons and relative costs.

What should my kids wear?

While Colorado sees more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the weather can change very quickly. It is 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:

  • Thin, over the calf socks made from either synthetic material or wool. PLEASE – no cotton and no need for wearing 2 pair – both promote discomfort and blisters.
  • Insulated, water-resistant gloves or mittens should always be worn, even on warmer days. PLEASE – no knit gloves for obvious reasons.
  • A helmet will keep your head warm and protect you. We have helmets available for rent if you do not own one.
  • A facemask that can fit in a child’s pocket when not worn.
  • 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.
  • Sunscreen

What time should I get to the mountain?

If it’s your first day with us for your vacation, please give yourself at least 1 hour prior to the start of the lesson to get registered for lessons and fitted for equipment.












  • Be sure your child arrives with equipment on – if you need help with this instructors are always available to help ensure proper fit and function of your ski equipment.
  • Want to make your first day smoother? Pick up your child’s rental equipment the afternoon before their first lesson.

Where do lessons meet?

We have 3 distinct meeting locations for Children’s Lessons, based on age and ability level:

  1. INSIDE OUR CHILDREN’S CENTER – All Otters and Never Ever Bears start their day in the Children’s Center inside of the ticket office underneath the Mountain Village gondola station.
  2. KIDS MAGIC CARPET (Adjacent to Mountain Village Gondola Plaza) – All other Bears
  3. BASE OF VILLAGE EXPRESS CHAIR – All Eagles and all Max 4

How will my child be assigned to a group?

We will talk to you and your child at check-in to assess skier/rider experience and make a preliminary assignment. Once check-in is complete, we take the groups onto the mountain to observe their skiing. We watch to see how they ski without prompting from an instructor. We then group children together who will be working on similar skills and tasks.

If your child skied with us the day prior, we will try to match them with the same instructor if they are available.

What should my child expect during the day?

They should expect to learn the sport in a safe and encouraging environment. They should be prepared to work as part of a team. They may find they make many new and possibly life-long friends.

All of our lessons reflect 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 your child) and constantly modify 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 the students are comfortable and ready. Our philosophy could also be described as “New Skill”/”Old hill”. In other words, we introduce new skills only on terrain that your child can ski comfortably. Once mastered, we introduce “Old Skill”/”New Hill”. Or simply, we practice that now mastered skill on more challenging terrain. We will always strive to not “over-terrain” your children. Our fundamental approach is Safety, Fun, Learning. We are skills-focused and are prepared to teach even high-level techniques on easy terrain.

Our typical day might look like:

  • 9-930 – Check-in and getting to know our students
  • 930-1000 – Assess skier levels and match to appropriate groups
  • 1000-1200 – Explore/teach/play
  • 1200-1PM – lunch – usually 30-45 minutes
  • 1-315PM – Explore/teach/play
  • 315-330PM – Meet your kids and their instructor/hear about their amazing day

The day also includes rest, water, and bathroom breaks as needed.

Can I watch my child ski?

Of course! But be mindful that you may want to do so discretely and from a distance. We are focused on the group as a whole and want to ensure our students receive our best effort. Without meaning to do so, sometimes a well-intentioned parent may detract from that goal.

My child has special dietary needs…

If your child has dietary restrictions, let us know at check-in. If they have their own meal, we can get it to them at lunch. If they have vegetarian or gluten restrictions, let us know and our instructors will ensure we meet their needs. Your older children need to advocate for themselves and let us know what they need. We will always do our best to meet those needs.

My child requires medication...

Our instructors are not trained medical professionals and cannot administer medication. Should they require that assistance, we can make plans with you to meet so that you may provide the medication. In cases of emergency, our trained Ski Patrol staff can help with medication administration.

I can’t be there at 3:15 to pick-up my child. What options do I have?

Our Children’s Happy Hour can help. This program was created for both kids (ages 5-12) and parents alike. Kids get some fun after-skiing activities, and parents can take another couple of runs and enjoy après ski. The program runs from the completion of their lesson until 5PM. Check out our Kids Winter Camp page for more information.

Where can we store our child’s equipment overnight?

Otters – Your child will have a dedicated cubby inside the Children’s Ski School to store their skis, boots, helmets, and miscellaneous other gear.

Bears and Eagles – You can store skis and poles with us for your 5-14 years old children. PLEASE take all other equipment with you for the night, including boots, helmets or other gear. The skis are stored on racks specific to the Children’s Ski School outside of the ticket office under the gondola plaza and near the public restrooms. These racks are brought into the center each night for security. You should pick-up your child’s skis each morning before checking them into ski school.

Special tips for younger children

It is our policy not to force children to ski. We will do everything we can to encourage participation and to make it safe and fun.

If a child is sleepy, we will bring them into the children’s center to rest and/or nap and will reach out to you to make a plan.

Aggression and/or hitting is NEVER tolerated. If necessary, our staff will reach out to you to discuss such situations.

Is there anything else we should do to prepare?

Talk to your children about expectations. This is a lesson in a group setting and safety is our first priority. Kids need to be prepared to follow the instructor’s guidance and to behave safely. Let them know it is okay to “speak up”. We can best meet your child’s needs if we understand them.

Hydrate. It is very important at this elevation and while skiing to stay hydrated. This starts the night before and continues throughout the day.

Rest. Get a good night’s sleep before a lesson. We often see kids who have arrived late the night before a lesson who do not have the energy for a full day on the slopes.

Be mindful of adjusting to elevation changes. Hydration and rest are great tools to prepare to ski at 10,000 feet or higher. In some cases, it might be best to take a day to acclimatize.

Our Code of Conduct

Eagles (7 – 14 years old)

  • I will be familiar with and follow the skiers/riders code of conduct – safety is my first priority.
  • I will listen to and follow directions given by the instructor.
  • I will respect my instructor and fellow students.
  • I will stay with my group unless released to my parents/guardian by the instructor.
  • I will restrict my cell phone usage to breaks and lunch.
  • I will clean up after myself.
  • I will clean up after myself.

Otters/Bears (3 – 6 years old)

  • We take care of ourselves.
    • I keep my bubble safe.
    • I wear my helmet, my goggles, my gloves, and sunscreen.
    • I am a good listener.
    • o I stay with my instructor and group.
  • We take care of each other.
    • I keep everyone else's bubble safe.
    • I share and take turns.
    • We are a team! We play together.
  • We take care of this special place.
    • I help clean up inside and outside.
    • I take care of my ski clothes and ski gear.
    • I take care of the skiing "toys".