First impressions are critical, which makes choosing the best ski resort when learning to ski that much more important. The whole experience, from finding the ski school meeting place and riding the chairlift for the first time to accomplishing your first turns, contributes to how much you will enjoy skiing or snowboarding in the long term. Start out on the right foot, choose a resort that ensures you will become passionate about skiing from the very beginning and learn the proper techniques by taking a lesson with an instructor from a world-class ski school.
Thanks to designated beginner areas, custom-designed instructional programs, industry-leading facilities and an acclaimed ski and snowboard school, Aspen Snowmass is one of the best places to learn to ski or snowboard. To top it all off, beginners can hone their skills at multiple ski areas while on a single vacation and enjoy magnificent mountain views that are typically exclusive to skiers and snowboarders with intermediate to expert abilities. The following are details about five things that make Aspen Snowmass one of the best places in the world to learn how to ski or snowboard.
Help a first-time skier or snowboarder get started on the right foot… This month, nominate a newbie (i.e. a new skier or snowboarder) to learn in Aspen Snowmass, and you and your friend could win a grand prize ski trip, including learning experiences for you both!
Many skiers and snowboarders are introduced to the sport at a young age, and Aspen Snowmass does an excellent job of fostering fun and inspiring a love of the mountains in youngsters by offering some of the most cutting edge facilities in Ski Country.
Buttermilk’s new Hideout Children’s Center is the latest in Aspen Snowmass’ campaign to win the hearts of little ones. This innovative 7,500-square-foot facility features custom-designed play features, a playroom and a lookout tower.
Snowmass Base Village’s 25,000-square-foot Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, the first of its kind in the ski industry, provides children with a forest-themed basecamp for hot chocolate breaks, lunch, play time, snacks, arts and crafts and childcare.
Confidence-building beginner areas
Learning a new sport as an adult is not without its challenges, which is why Aspen Snowmass has put as much attention into crafting adult beginner programs and facilities as they have with their two world-class children’s centers. In Snowmass, for example, adults who are learning for the first time are not relegated to the kiddie area; they are treated to an exclusive learning zone called Elk Camp Meadows, which is located at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola. The learning area and the ride up the gondola offer awesome mountain views.
Buttermilk’s base area learning zone provides both children and adults the opportunity to practice their new skills in their own dedicated area. A flat, confidence-building slope, magic carpet and beginner lift provide all the right ingredients for developing committed skiers and snowboarders. Head up the Summit Express Chairlift when it’s time to explore more of the mountain and test out your new skills on Buttermilk’s large selection of green runs. The views of the 14,000-foot Pyramid Peak from the top of the lift are among the best offered at any resort in North America. Few beginners can enjoy Rocky Mountain splendor like those learning at Buttermilk.
Highly trained ski and snowboard instructors
Undergoing an average of 26 hours of training on the newest teaching techniques each season, Aspen Snowmass’ ski instructors are some of the best in the world. At the beginning of every ski season, the instructors re-familiarize themselves with the terrain and facilities so they can be efficient, helpful and effective when giving their lessons. The Aspen Snowmass Ski & Snowboard School is comprised of 1,200 professional instructors who are committed to helping you build confidence, understand the ins and outs of your ski equipment, navigate terrain and foster proper mountain awareness.
Specialized instruction for all levels
Inspiring lifelong learning, Aspen Snowmass has custom-designed instructional programs for just about every type and level of skier and snowboarder. Here’s a sampling of some of the programs available to teens and adults.
- Adult Beginner’s Magic, ideal for first-timers, features an accelerated learning method that helps skiers and snowboarders quickly build confidence on the slopes.
- Women’s Edge, a unique four-day program designed especially for women, takes intermediate to advanced skiers to the next level.
- Performance Coaching pairs groups of three skiers with a pro at the more advanced Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands ski areas.
- Black-Diamond Expeditions are multi-day ski camps where skiers learn to tackle expert terrain at Snowmass.
- Terrain Park & Pipe Private Lessons train skiers and riders on jumps and jibs ranging from beginner-level all the way to the expert, X-Games-level features.
It’s easy to get around
If you’re just learning to ski, navigating a new ski resort can be a bit daunting. Aspen Snowmass’ free bus makes it easy to get to and from all four mountains, including all of the attractions, restaurants and shops in downtown Aspen. Once you’re in town (downtown Aspen or Snowmass Village), it’s enjoyable to walk around pedestrian-friendly malls and get the lay of the land on foot.
Those who prefer to stay among the liveliness of downtown Aspen will appreciate the Limelight Hotel’s proximity to all the renowned dining and shopping. Guests can easily get to and from any of Aspen Snowmass’ four resorts since the hotel is located just one block from the main hub of the award-winning free bus system. The hotel also offers complimentary shuttle service around town.
Carrying skis and walking around in ski boots can be one of the most challenging—and frustrating—parts of learning to ski, so being able to ski to and from your condo or hotel is a huge win for first-time skiers or snowboarders. More than 85 percent of Snowmass’ accommodations, including Crestwood Condominiums and the luxurious Viceroy Snowmass, provide slopeside access.
Start planning your Aspen Snowmass ski vacation now! Our Mountain Travel Experts can help you customize and book your lodging, lift tickets, ski school lessons, flights, ground transportation and more. Call or request a quote today!
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.