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First Timers - Tips for you



You'll love skiing & snowboarding...


IT'S FUN! -- and an exciting change from daily routines and pressures.

Each time you ski there's a new challenge to meet and a new accomplishment to take pride in.

Skiing & Snowboarding puts you in a mountain environment of astonishing beauty. You feel healthy, happy and alive.

Alpine skiing is a very personal experience. You can change the way you ski to match your feelings and the mood of the mountain.

It turns winter into an enjoyable time of the year.

A beginner can enjoy skiing right from the start, experiencing the same challenges and rewards as the accomplished skier.

No two runs are the same because of the infinite variables of mountain terrain, weather, snow conditions and your own feelings.

It's a great way to meet new friends and for family and friends to grow closer together.

Alpine skiing is an expression of freedom, creativity and independence.

It continually challenges the human spirit.

Ski & Ride 101

A great introduction to this exciting and popular winter sport. It's fun, it's cool, it's demanding! Available Sunday - Friday, anytime for skiers or boarders, the one-time 'course' includes a snowpass, rental equipment and lesson. Make sure to look over the Lessons and Trail Map areas of our website. Both will help you get accustomed to where to go and what to do on your first visit.

Suggestions for the first visit and Expectations

Don't worry, you are not the only one! Believe it or not, we have designed our facilities and programs for people just like you. The best overall package is our "Ski & Ride 101", mentioned above. Everyone learns at different paces. It is important to keep your expectations reasonable. This way both you and your children will have a successful and rewarding on the snow experience. Factors that can affect learning to ski or snowboard include your temperament (how open you are to new things), age, and physical ability. Both skiing and snowboarding take specialized skills that improve with time over practice. Ultimately, your expectation for you or your kids should focus on the fun and excitement of the overall experience.

Things to Bring

Well, no surprise here but clothes that will keep you warm and dry. And that's really important if you end up falling a couple of times. We do not recommend cotton clothing (jeans and a sweatshirt) it becomes wet, then cold. What's great is that you probably have most of what you need. If you don't, just borrow some from friends.

Layer Up

The best way to dress for winter is to wear layers. This gives you flexibility to add or remove layers, depending on the weather and your activity. Turtleneck shirts, sweaters, long underwear and footless tights work well as under-layers. Avoid wearing cotton next to your skin, because it will absorb sweat and snow and make you shiver. For that same reason, wool or acrylic socks are better than cotton athletic socks. Wear one, thin pair. Ski and snowboard boots are designed to be warm. Thick socks, or multiple layers of socks, will only give you blisters. If you buy anything, it should be a pair of waterproof shell pants and warm long underwear. You probably have a winter sports jacket already. You may not need as many layers of clothing as you think. On a sunny day, you may only need two layers - the waterproof outer layer and the turtleneck/long underwear first layer. But bring a middle layer (fleece or wool sweater) just in case. You can always take off clothes as you get warmer. Interested in more info, check this out: In general, the three main layers are wicking, insulating and weather protection.

Wicking layer: This is the layer worn next to your skin, usually consisting of long underwear.

Look for thermal underwear made of a synthetic - usually polyester - fiber that has "wicking" power. This means the fibers will wick (move) moisture away from your skin and pass it through the fabric so it will evaporate. This keeps you warm, dry and comfortable. Silk is also a good, natural fabric that has wicking abilities.

Even though it's cold, you will sweat - especially if you are cross country skiing or snowshoeing.

Insulating layer: This middle layer includes sweaters, sweatshirts, vests and pullovers. The purpose of this layer is to keep heat in and cold out, which is accomplished by trapping air between the fibers. Popular insulation materials include:

Fleece, a synthetic material which maintains its insulating ability even when wet and spreads the moisture out so it dries quickly. • Wool, which naturally wicks away moisture.

Protection layer: The exterior layer, generally a shell and pants, serves as your guard against the elements of winter. It should repel water from snow, sleet or rain and block the wind, while also letting perspiration evaporate.

Most genuine winter shells and pants are made waterproof and breathable to some extent by using tightly woven fabrics teamed with a coating or laminate. This keeps moisture on the outside but allows perspiration to escape, keeping you dry and comfortable.

Depending on the weather and type of winter activity you will be doing, you may be interested in uninsulated pants and jackets/shells, or garments with increasing amounts of insulation.

One-piece suits, which combine a jacket and pants, are popular with many alpine skiers, especially on cold days and days where there is a lot of fresh powder snow.

Look for functional hoods, cuffs, pockets and zippers - details that truly make garments comfortable in a snowstorm.

Although less baggy than in previous years, most snowboard clothing is still designed to fit looser than alpine skiwear, giving snowboarders freedom of movement. In addition, many snowboard pants are reinforced in the seat and knees for extra protection when kneeling or sitting on the snow.

Headwear: Up to 60 percent of your body's heat can escape from an uncovered head, so wearing a hat, headband or helmet is essential when it's cold. (Tip: If you wear a hat, you may be able to wear one less layer on your body.) There are thousands of styles of hats and headbands, usually made from fleece or wool. Many have non-itch liners. Helmets are becoming very popular. Not only do they protect your head from bumps, but they also keep your head warm. A fleece neck gaiter (like a collar) or face mask is a must on cold days.

Sunglasses and goggles: Sunglasses do much more than make you look cool. They also protect your eyes from damaging solar radiation. Snow, or any other reflective surface, makes ultraviolet (UV) rays stronger, while increased altitude also magnifies the danger. On flat-light days or when it's snowing, goggles are vital. They protect your eyes and special lens colors increase the contrast so you can properly discern terrain features.

Gloves and mittens: Look for gloves and mittens that use waterproof, breathable fabrics. Mittens, in general, are warmer than gloves, but offer you less dexterity. Consider the type of activity you'll be doing. Snowboarding gloves and mittens often have a reinforced palm because of extra wear from adjusting bindings and balancing on the snow. Some snowboarding gloves and mittens also have built-in wristguards, which are excellent for novice snowboarders. Cross country skiing gloves tend to be lighter-weight for extra movement and because you perspire more.

Socks: One pair of light-weight or medium-weight socks works best for skiing or snowboarding. Socks are made from a variety of materials, including polyester, silk, wool and nylon. Some socks have wicking properties similar to long underwear, meaning your feet will stay dry and comfortable.

Fashion Tips

The wicking layer should fit snugly (not tight) next to the skin in order to effectively wick moisture. Comfort is key for the insulating layer. It should be loose enough to trap air between layers, but not so bulky that it restricts movement. Whether you are a skier or snowboarder, your protection layer should fit comfortably, offering you maximum range of motion.

Look for 100 percent UV protection in sunglasses. Make sure the glasses fit snugly behind your ears and rest gently on the bridge of your nose.

Goggles should form an uninterrupted seal on your face, extending above your eyebrows and below your cheekbones. Watch for gaps, especially around your nose.

Don't buy gloves or mittens that are too tight. There should be a little air space at the tips of your fingers, which acts as additional insulation.

Don't wear jeans or street pants. Denim is not waterproof, so water will soak through and you'll end up cold, wet and miserable.

Cotton is a no-no. Cotton is great for towels, because cotton soaks up and retains moisture. That's precisely why cotton is all wrong for on-slope apparel. It absorbs moisture (sweat and snow), and retains it. When the wind blows, you will get very, very cold. Don't wear cotton athletic socks, cotton jeans, cotton sweatshirts, or cotton T-shirts.

Resist the temptation of putting on too many pairs of socks. You'll restrict circulation and actually cause your feet to get colder.

What do beginners forget to bring the first day?

Sunglasses, goggles and sunscreen. The sun can be very strong against a snow-white background. Also remember to bring water-resistant gloves or mittens and a hat. Future snowboarders, wear wrist guards if you have them. If you already have knee pads, they will help cushion snowboard falls.