MAY
12

Learning to Ski at Beaver Creek

colorado, ski, skiing, snow, spring break ideas | 1 comment

Written by Erin Truax, guest travel writer

This spring I had the opportunity to go skiing for the first time at Beaver Creek. I was traveling with my boyfriend and his sister, who both have experience snowboarding and skiing respectively. Since I had never skied before I knew I was going to need a lesson to learn the basics, especially if I wanted to even attempt to keep up with them on the mountain!

Known as the “Ivy League of Ski Schools” Beaver Creek is the perfect place to ski for the first time. Visiting their website I knew ahead of time that they offered a variety of lessons for all ages and skill levels, but the one that interested me the most was the Adult First Timers.

For Adult first timers (and beginners) Beaver Creek offers group single day lessons, which run from 9:45 to 3:30, of if you have time you can do a 3-day session as well. Since I was only skiing at Beaver Creek for one day, I went with the single day option.

When I arrived the day of my lesson I was both excited to experience something new, and also nervous that I was potentially going to be terrible at skiing. At the information desk I quickly checked in, and directed to the time and location of my class’s meeting spot. Ski rentals in hand, I headed towards the bottom of the mountain where a large banner labeled “Adult First Timers” greeted me.

I was the first one to arrive at my lesson, but with in minutes I was joined by a few other classmates, and finally my instructor Steve. I knew immediately that Steve was going to be an awesome instructor. He greeted each of us with a smile, asked a little bit about each of us, and quickly mastered all of our names – which really impressed me.

beaver creek ski lessons first timer

Through group introductions I quickly learned that many of my classmates and I had something in common – we were all there with friends and family who already knew how to ski, and were anxious to learn so that we could join them on the mountain.  Steve assured us that we were going to take things slow at first, and hopefully by the end of the day we would all be ready to join them – on the easy trails of course.

On a small area at the base of Buckaroo Express Gondola, Steve began with the basics – What is a ski? What does it do? How do I get them on and off? We then practiced putting on one ski at a time and doing simple gliding. From there we put on both skis and learned how to step, as well as slide down the bunny hill while creating a “wedge”, which is how you stop yourself – or the position you rely on as a newbie because it makes you go SLOW.

Once we had practiced sliding and stopping ourselves with the wedge on the small hill we rode the gondola up to the ski school learning area – small bunny hill with magic carpet lifts. Here, Steve had us practice more sliding and stopping, all while encouraging each of us and critiquing our form. Steve eventually taught us how to turn as we went down the hill – allowing us to control our speed.

Up to this point ski school had been easy for me, but as I began my first set of turns I got a little TOO confident. When I turned left for the first time, my skis crossed, and I face planted into the snow. Steve was quickly at my side to make sure I was okay, help me up, and get me back into my skis. He assured me that everyone falls their first time skiing, and to not be embarrassed, which is exactly how I was feeling. More importantly he encouraged me to try again, this time following his lead down the hill, and I did it without falling

After we took a break for lunch, we rode the gondola back up to the ski school area, to continue practicing our turning. After a few rounds, Steve decided that we were ready to try a remaining portion of the Cinch green trail that was near the school area. Next thing I knew I was following Steve and my classmates down an actual trail! I fell once before I made it to the bottom, but I got back up and kept going.

Once at the bottom, we learned to ride the ski lift back to the top. This was tricky, but Steve showed us exactly what to do, and the lift attendees helped us each get on safely. We all re-grouped at the top, and repeated the same trail to finish up our day.

Here’s what I had learned by the end of my first day: 

  • About my equipment and how to use it properly
  • How to stop using a wedge
  • How to get up from a fall
  • Making different sizes and types of turns to control my speed
  • How to get on and off a chairlift

The Beaver Creek Ski School also incorporates a program called EpixMix Academy, which instructors use to track your progress throughout lessons. At the end of the day I received an email from EpicMix that included the skill and level scores from Steve – a 7 for skills and a Level 2 overall.

The next day I went skiing at Vail with my boyfriend and his sister, and we stayed on green trails so that I could ski with them. Was I ready? Maybe not 100%. I spent majority of my first run down the mountain falling. It was really frustrating, but they both encouraged me to get back up and keep going.

Overall, I would say my first experience skiing would not have been possible without Beaver Creek Ski School. If I could do it again, I would enroll in the 3-day program so I could have more instruction before going taking on an entire green trail for the first time. However, the instruction that I received from Steve was more than helpful, and I will use those basic skills every time I ski.

 

FEB
27

Winter 2013 Ski Trip – Part 1

colorado, ski, skiing, snow, winter destinations, winter travel | 1 comment

ski trip - breckenridge4

Christmas break 2013 managed to be the perfect blend of low key relaxation and fun after last year’s very busy and full holiday season with a lot of visiting family that I played host to. This year was fun with skiing, ice skating, tubing, cooking, movie going, and plenty of peaceful laziness in between. My [...]

SEP
26

Girl Hunter Adventure Getaways with Georgia Pellegrini [Giveaway]

adventure getaway, adventure travel, girls trip, travel planning | 10 comments

DSC8808-copy1

Please welcome the lovely Georgia Pellegrini for a guest post! Georgia has been over here before, but if you’d like a refresher you can read all about her and her book Girl Hunter right over here. Take it away Georgia…(don’t forget to check out the fun jewelry giveaway at the end). Recently I have been [...]

DEC
19

Vail’s Opportunities for the Beginning Skier

colorado, mountain, ski, skiing, snow, vail, winter destinations, winter travel | 4 comments

view along I-70 home from Vail

As someone who has been on skis before, but without proper lessons during my first experience, I am 100% sold on the Adult Ski Lessons at Vail. My first time skiing was nearly 12 years ago. I spent the better part of my day falling on my bum, losing my skis, and crashing into other [...]

DEC
14

Surprise Getaway Trip: 10 Tips Glitch-Free Surprise Planning

colorado, mountains, surprise trip, the four seasons, travel planning, vail | 1 comment

vail ski

By the time you read this Eric and I will be well on our way to Vail, Colorado to enjoy and celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Sound fun? The best part is that Eric doesn’t know where exactly we are traveling to, and until last night believed that we had plans for a Friday day [...]

JUL
30

Napa Valley Restaurant Picks

bakeries, california, hilton hhonors, napa, napa valley, restaurants | no comments

auberge-rhubarb-coffee-cake

While in Napa Valley to preview the Your Ticket to Dine prize package for the Hilton HHonors Seven Tickets to Your Paradise Sweepstakes we tasted some amazing food. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Napa Valley restaurant picks with you. There certainly is no shortage of good food in California! Oenotri Located [...]