SnowSports School

It’s Time to Think Snow (Lessons)

There is a nip in the air and before we all know it, the snow will be falling and the lifts will be running on Bald and Dollar Mountains. Yay! Though autumn is a spectacular time of year in Sun Valley, it’s not too early to look ahead to your vacation plans and book snowsports lessons to make sure your season starts out on the right foot or that you get the most out of your vacation.

There are so many reasons to add a few lessons on the hill to your holiday or early winter plans. For me, the most obvious is that every year, when I click into my bindings and stand on the lip of a run for the first time, I feel like I’ve forgotten everything I learned the previous seasons! The professionals at the Sun Valley SnowSports School will refresh your memory of how to carve a great turn whether you have skied for only a few days or for your entire life. I always learn something new when I take the time to take a lesson. They are also great for confidence. The rest of your season will be so much more productive if you start on the right edge, er, foot.

The amazing professionals at the Sun Valley SnowSports School will help you make the most of every turn

There are many choices for lessons, one that is perfect for you or your family.

The first, private lessons, are an excellent way to get exactly what you are looking for out of a day on the slopes. After all, the teachers’ eyes will only be on you or your group and you will be amazed at how quickly you climb the learning curve with this option. Private lessons are the perfect way to quickly move to the next level and are available daily on both Baldy and Dollar. It is recommended that beginners and low intermediate athletes start on Dollar – a wonderful mountain that offers gentle, treeless terrain, perfect for building confidence and skills. Dollar is also home to the new and progressive terrain-based learning center, new adventure trails, a variety of terrain parks, and a world class Superpipe. Intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the challenge of Baldy with its perfect pitch and varied terrain. And private lessons don’t have to be ‘private’ per se! Up to four additional family members or friends can enjoy a private lesson together. Matched capability makes for the most successful day.

Another great option for private lessons is available for families who wish to plan their own day on the mountain, the so-called Family Private. This allows everyone to get what they want out of a lesson while still skiing or snowboarding as a family. For instance, one family member can take advantage of the early up and work on, say, bumps with the instructor. Then the same instructor can focus on carving a perfect turn with a second family member. Maybe the teacher will then focus on coaching the children while the parents focus on the slope ahead. One day, one price, one instructor  -- it’s a great option. “Most of our instructors are pretty darn versatile, so the Family Private is a great way for everyone to get what they want and have a great time,” said Tony Parkhill, Director of SnowSports.  “It’s very flexible. People really love this choice.” Specialized private instruction is also available for the littlest shredders. Tiny Tracks is tailored to children ages 2 to 4, either with or without a parent. The emphasis is on fun and creating a love for skiing.

Private lessons are a terrific way for you, your family, or your group to have an amazing day on the slopes

Prefer the camaraderie of a group? There are so many choices for group lessons for both children and adults. Adults, ages 13 and up, might opt for a Dollar Classic Group, as the perfect way to work start the season or work on skills. Or perhaps the SunStart program, perfect for beginners, has your name on it. This commitment-free option includes the lesson, Dollar lift ticket, and equipment. Also on Dollar is Fun in the Sun, offered in two half-day sessions. Over on Baldy, there are Classic Group Lessons, offering training on more challenging terrain in a relaxed, supportive, and fun environment. Discounted lift tickets are available with these lessons, too. Ready for the next step up? Then try the Elevate program that explores Baldy’s varied and vast terrain, from groomers to bumps. This is the best in skills improvement in a pressure-free environment.  There are some blackout dates for some group lessons, so be sure to call ahead and find the best option for you during your stay.

The littlest shredders have a multitude of choices when it comes to group lessons on Dollar and Baldy. What do they all have in common?  Fun!

Sun Valley is all about families and there are lots of ways for children to get in on the action with thoughtful group programs designed to accomplish both goals of teaching great skills and teaching a love for skiing and snowboarding. According to Tony, new this year, is additional purposed terrain both at Dollar and Baldy to help kiddos develop great expertise while having the time of their lives. At Dollar, the very popular Adventure Park named Prospector Park, uses purposed terrain to work on things like edge control, making fluent turns, balance, and much more. Using what Tony calls “hips” (a small quarter pipe), “spines” (little ridges on the slopes) and more, children improve without them even knowing it! On Baldy, everyone’s favorite Adventure Trails are under construction right now to widen certain areas and to incorporate fun skill building elements like rollers. “Purposed terrain is really handy. Some skills just don’t develop as fast on flat terrain. It’s a whole learning system for children,” Tony said. “It’s become fully integrated into our curriculum on Dollar and a new reporting system allows instructors to tell parents what the children accomplished and on what kind of terrain so they can replicate it and keep practicing.”

The Prospector Park on Dollar teaches lifelong skills in a way that leaves children thinking they’re just having a blast

Children can have this amazing experience at Camp Group Lessons for skiers ages 4 – 12 and snowboarders ages 6 – 12. Instructors are specially hand-picked and trained in special techniques for teaching children. There is also kinderCubs for two to four year olds; a program that includes both daycare and lessons, Dollar Cubs for 4 – 5 year olds, Dollar Bears for kids ages 6 – 11, and Dollar Challenge for youth 12 – 17 years old.

Guests are already starting to make reservations, especially for the Christmas holidays when it can get very busy. “Early reservations are very helpful, particularly if you have an instructor in mind,” Tony said. “You can call now and book that teacher or if you have a relationship with him or her, you can feel free to contact them and set it up. If you are interested in lessons with any of our amazing professionals, you can call 208-622-2289 or even book online. We are ready and excited to hear from you!”

Let the team of pros at the Sun Valley SnowSports School help you ski or snowboard your very best

We are starting to think snow and hope you are, too!

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