Beginner Tips

Now that you've decided to embrace winter by learning to ski or snowboard, choosing a resort, getting there and finding your way around are your first challenges. Here's what you should know before your first trip.

Layer Up

The best way to dress for winter is to wear layers. Layering provides the necessary flexibility to add or remove apparel, depending on the weather and your particular activity. In general, the three main layers are classified as wicking, insulating and weather protection. Click here for more details on the best clothing for your first day on the mountain.

Choosing the Lesson

Don't even think of not taking a lesson, or worse, letting your friend, spouse or cousin teach you. Search for learn-to packages on this website. Each package usually includes a two- or three-hour lesson, rental equipment for the day and, a lift ticket.


Make sure your car is equipped for winter travel and that the driver has the skills for driving on ice and snow. While it may be balmy in the city, storms can begin swirling in the mountains without notice.


Most larger resorts have free outer parking lots with shuttles to the base area or pay-parking close in. But close is a relative term. Generally, there's a fair amount of walking involved getting from the car to the slopes. Sometimes you'll find drop-off points - a good option for first-timers who want to get started on the rental process while a friend parks the car.

Walking to the Lodge

If you bring equipment, don't walk in ski boots. You likely are not used to them yet, and you can slip easily on ice and snow. Carry your boots to lockers where you can store your stuff and gear up. Boot bags are handy for hauling and storing boots, gloves, goggles, helmet, hat, hand warmers and extra clothing.

Your Day at the Resort

Once at the base area, look for signs directing you to Skier Services, where you'll find everything from rental and retail shops to ski-and-ride school to lift ticket windows. Here's where you'll begin your first day. After your lesson, practice a bit but don't overdue it. Above all, relax, take it all in and have fun - talk to other skiers and snowboarders; watch them on the hill; begin the transformation.

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