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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) 239-7061.


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? Do my kids need a lift ticket? What are the costs?

Our Ski & Snowboard School has a variety of options for children from age 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: Cubs (ages 2½ - 4), Otters (ages 3 – 4), Bears (ages 5 – 6) and Eagles (ages 7 – 14).

When booking your lessons through the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School, you can also include ski and helmet rentals in your package.

In order to ride any lift, you will need a lift ticket. All of our children’s lesson packages include lift tickets. For those guests who may have season or multi-day passes, we have an option for just lesson and lunch.

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.


Where can I get equipment for my children?

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


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:

  • Absorbent wool or synthetic fiber socks, not cotton. You may be tempted to have them wear two pairs of socks but we discourage this as the socks can cause their feet to hurt if they bunch up in their 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 their hands warm.
  • A helmet will keep their head warm and protect them. We have helmets available for rent if you do not own one.
  • A foldable facemask which can fit in your child’s pocket when not being used.
  • A water resistant jacket with a high collar.
  • Water resistant ski pants or snow bibs to stay warm and dry.
  • Goggles or sunglasses. At our high elevation, the sun is extremely strong, and its reflection off the snow can do damage to your children’s eyes. Protect them from the sun’s rays and other elements with a good pair of goggles and/or sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen

What time should I get to the mountain? Where do lessons meet?

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

Our Otters and First Time Bears start their day in the Children’s Center, located behind the ticket office in the Mountain Village Gondola Station building. All other Bear classes check-in at the Children’s Magic Carpet on the Mountain Village Gondola Plaza. Our Eagle and all Max 4 lessons meet at the base of the Village Express Chair (Chair 4). Look for the tall Ski School flags blowing in the breeze. Max 4 is a black flutter flag. The Eagles group lessons have a yellow flag.

Our Max 4 lessons DEPART at 9AM. We ask that you arrive 10-15 minutes early so we can discuss the day and ensure that your child is in the appropriate group.

Our children’s group lessons check-in between 9:00 and 9:25AM. The groups depart at 9:30 so it is important to be on time. Arriving at between 9:00 and 9:25 is ideal. Be sure to arrive with equipment on, ready to ski or ride. If you need help with this, instructors are always available to help ensure proper fit and function of your ski equipment.


CHILD MAX 4 LESSONSCHILD GROUP LESSONS

CHECK IN

8:45am

9am

START

9am

9:30am

PICK UP

4pm

3:15pm

PRO TIPS:

  • 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.

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 possible.


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 this:

  • 9 – 9:25 am: Check-in and getting to know our students
  • 9:30 – 10 am: Classes depart; assess skier levels and match to appropriate groups
  • 10 – 12 noon: Explore/teach/play
  • 12 noon – 1 pm: Lunch – usually 30-45 minutes
  • 1 – 3:15 pm: Explore/teach/play
  • 3:15 – 3:30 pm: Meet your kids and their instructor to 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.


What if my child becomes sick or is injured? My child has allergies and requires medication and/or special foods.

If a student is not feeling well, our instructors will return them to the Children’s Center located behind the ticket office below the gondola plaza. Once there, our staff will contact you to make a plan for retrieving your child.

If a student is injured, we call Ski Patrol to provide medical assistance. We will also contact you to make you aware of the situation.

Our instructors are not trained medical professionals and cannot administer medication. Should your child require that assistance, we can plan to meet with you so that you may provide the medication. With respect to allergies, either the child must be able to self-administer or our Ski Patrol staff must administer any injection or oral medication.

If your child has dietary restrictions, let us know what they are at check-in. If they bring 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 their needs. We will always do our best to meet those needs.


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.


Can we store our child’s skis and other gear?

We have storage space for our youngest guests (Otters 3-4 years old) for their skis, boots, helmets, and miscellaneous other gear. We assign these guests a storage cubby within the Children’s Center for the duration of their enrollment in the ski school.

We can store skis and poles for our other guests (Bears 5-6 years old and Eagles 7-14 years old) but unfortunately cannot store boots, helmets or other gear. The skis are stored on racks exclusive to the Children’s Ski School, located outside of the ticket office below the gondola plaza and adjacent to 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.

All of our students must be completely potty trained and self-sufficient with respect to bathroom needs.

If a child is tired/sleepy, we will bring them into the Children’s Center to rest but be aware that we do not provide dedicated sleeping facilities. We will contact you to make a plan for their comfort.

Aggression and/or hitting is NEVER tolerated. If this occurs, our staff will contact 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.

The ability to communicate clearly and directly with our students is critical to insure that your child has a safe, fun experience. Although there are instructors on our staff who can speak languages other than English, we cannot guarantee that your child’s group lesson instructor will speak your child’s native language. If your child is unable to understand and communicate in English, we recommend that you look into private lessons with an instructor who is able to speak with your child in their own language. This is especially important for our youngest guests to feel safe and secure.

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".