LEARNING TO SKI IS A FABULOUS WAY TO GET OUTSIDE IN MT WASHINGTON VALLEY, NH
Advice for first time skiers
North Conway, NH – If there’s one thing that nearly everyone is finding during the Covid pandemic, it’s a refuge in the outdoors. Throughout the past nine months, thousands of people have discovered a release from their homes – which are doubling as offices and schools – in the White Mountains. This winter is no exception. People are finding joy in getting out on skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles throughout Mt Washington Valley. And when it comes to skiing, why not head to North Conway, voted the #1 ski town in North America this winter by USA Today’s 10Best readers? With 13 ski resorts and XC Centers within 35 minutes or less from North Conway, those hoping to learn to ski, ride or snowshoe can count on plenty of terrain.
“We’ve never seen anything like the kind of interest in skiing we’re seeing this year,” said Terry Love, owner of Bob & Terry’s Sports Outlet in North Conway. “Equipment is flying out of the store for everyone from beginners to advanced skiers. People can’t wait to get out on the trails and are looking for new gear for a wide variety of winter sports,” he explained.
Learn to Ski programs are offered at each of Mt Washington Valley’s 7 ski resorts. Yet, with Covid, things may look a little different this year. “The trend is toward family lessons or skiing with your pod,” explained Shannon Dunfey-Ball of Ski New Hampshire. “Sometimes you want a pro there to take the stress out of learning to ski or to help you improve your skill set, and while some of the protocols may be a little different this year, it’s certainly easy to take lessons to learn to ski or to improve your skiing,” she finished.
While lessons procedures and approaches vary between each ski resort, a number of tips remain consistent across all of them. Here’s some advice for those hoping to learn to ski or improve on their skiing by taking lessons.
Advice for those hoping to take lessons in 2021
Reserve in advance
While not all ski resorts are asking skiers and riders to make a reservation for skiing and riding, all of them are requiring reservations for lessons this ski season. Those hoping to “walk-in” to lessons will likely find themselves out of luck. All group, semi-private and private lessons must be reserved in advance directly with the ski resort or XC Center. With demand high for learning to ski, the sooner you make reservations, the better.
All ski resorts and XC Centers are requiring skiers to wear masks both on the lifts and while skiing. All those taking lessons will be required to wear masks throughout the lesson. Per the newest executive order, masks must be worn at all times and in all locations when on federally owned lands too.
Expect health screenings
Upon arrival for ski or ride lessons, expect to be asked a series of health questions and have your temperature taken. While this health screening varies from resort to resort, most resorts will ask those involved in lessons to participate.
Private or semi-private lessons best for social distancing
Private and semi-private lessons are the new rage. This option allows individuals or families to stay within their “pod” and learn to ski in the safety of those they know.
Learn to ski & ride programs in Mt Washington Valley
Use these links to connect to Mt Washington Valley’s ski resorts and XC Center learning programs and ski and ride schools.
Attitash Mountain – Everything you need to know about the Attitash Ski & Snowboard School is here. Offering private and group (up to 6 people) lessons
Bretton Woods Resort – Offering private learn to ski or learn to ride lessons only for guests 7 and up. Advanced skill lessons also available.
Cranmore Mountain – Reserve lessons 48 hours in advance. Small group and private lessons available. Learn to ski or ride programs for both kids and adults.
King Pine Ski Area – Group and private lessons available for “never-evers” and up. Group lessons offered weekends and holidays. Private lessons for all ability levels and as young as three are available with reservations.
Shawnee Peak – Children’s’ half day group clinics available during holidays and holiday weekends, and junior (ages 7-12) and adult group clinics available daily. Private lessons available daily for all levels too.
Wildcat Mountain – Learn to ski and ride lessons available for guests aged 7 and up. Group and private lessons available for all levels of skiers or riders.
Great Glen Trails – Private and semi-private lessons available for adults and kids (aged 5-12). Better your skills clinics available, plus “Ski with an Olympian” opportunities too.
Jackson XC – Learn to ski and skills building group programs available for first-timers ten years old and up. Private and semi-private lessons available for any aged skier.
To learn more about visiting Mt Washington Valley, or learning to ski or ride in the Valley, go to www.MtWashingtonValley.org for complete trip planning information. To learn more about skiing or winter vacations in New Hampshire, visit www.VisitNH.gov.
1. Learning to ski at Cranmore Mountain Resort by Josh Bogardus/Cranmore Mountain.
2. Shawnee Peak ski school by WiseguyCreative.com.