Visiting Ski Areas
VISITING SKI AREAS
WELCOME TO SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN THE USA!
There are more than 400 ski areas in the U.S. ranging from small, easy to navigate family-owned areas to large destination resorts to family-owned local areas. Nearly all offer professional instruction. Our Find Lessons section will link you to venues participating in our Learn to Ski and Snowboard (Month)/Bring a Friend Initiative. Here are a few things you will find at most ski areas:
- The Base Area
- Learning Centers
- Rental Shops
- Beginner Areas and Slopes
THE BASE AREA
Liberty Mountain, PA.
The base area is the hub. Base areas generally have a main lodge that houses restaurant and/or cafeteria facilities, storage lockers, bathrooms, retail shops and rental shops. Most areas offer day care centers for young children. Many ski areas have Welcome Centers and friendly greeters on-hand to answer your questions and get you pointed in the right direction.
Learning centers, also referred to at some ski areas as the ski and ride school, are the epicenter for professional instructors. Ski and snowboard instructors are professionally trained to teach a wide range of students, from beginners to experts, three year olds to 83 three year olds. Learning centers offer a range of lesson options, including an all-day lesson, or a lesson for just an hour or two. Group and private lessons also are available.
You can get outfitted with your gear, including skis or snowboards, boots, and ski poles at a venue's rental area or shop. Most beginner lesson packages include the cost of the lesson, plus rental equipment to get you sliding, and a lift ticket to get you up the hill. See Rental Equipment for more details.
Retail outdoor sports stores also offer equipment rentals. Shops are a great resource for products and information as you progress. Find the retail store nearest you under the Shop Gear section of this website. No matter where you choose to rent your gear, friendly staff is there to help you and recommend the right equipment. Don't be afraid to ask questions! There is a lot to learn. We want to make your first time, the best time!
Typically ski areas set aside a portion of their mountain especially for beginners. You will find gentle slopes and a great place to learn. Beginner lessons start on flat terrain to get you started. Ways to get you up the slope in beginners areas often include a tow lift, a moving mat, something referred to as a "magic carpet", or short chair lifts. No matter what type of lift, your ski and snowboard instructor will teach you how to ride safely. The photo at the right shows beginners riding a moving mat (magic carpet) lift.