I will be heading to Breck in a few weeks and would like some input on what type of "adult lesson" I should book for myself. After reading the description of skier levels, I would consider myself a 5-6. I spend my entire day skiing blues and I ski them confidently and comfortably but I am intimidated by steeper terrain, especially when it gets icy. At this time, have no desire to do a black diamond or moguls. I have gotten down a blue-black, but its slow going and not enjoyable for me yet. I tend to be a slower, more cautious skier. I have been skiing for approx 4 days (1 week) each year for the past 15 years. I haven't had a lesson since my first "never ever" ski lesson and have gotten to where I am by learning from experience (aka just doing it) and the assistance/advice of much more experienced family. After years of renting, I finally bought myself some nice boots and a good pair of skis, and I have decided that I would like to take a lesson to get my skiing to the next level. My PRIMARY goal is improving my technique (I'm sure I have some bad habits/form), so that I can last longer on a day out and also so that I will gain even more confidence in my skiing ability. I would be perfectly content skiing blues the rest of my life--just want to do 'em better & faster. Less important, but a hoped for outcome, is that as my skill improves, that I will find myself desiring to be challenged by more difficult runs and having the confidence to ski the blue-blacks more often.
Ideally, I would like a private lesson, but I just can't swing that cost ($460 for half day--no one in my family is even close to the same age/ability level, so I don't have anyone to share the cost with) :( Will I be OK signing up for an intermediate/advanced group lesson? My concerns are 1) being grouped with more aggressive skiers of same ability and finding myself somewhat intimidated all day and 2) ending up in a large group and not getting the individualized technique instruction that I desire. I have called the ski school on 2 occaisions and gotten different responses each time. The first time I called, I was told that my choices were either a private lesson or group lesson. Thats it. I asked about the Ultimate four, and was told that was only for beginners. I called the second time, mostly wanting to determine whether my skiing ability put me in the "beginner/novice" group lesson category or the "intermediate/advanced" category for a group lesson. That time, I was strongly encouraged to try the Ultimate Four session for more personalized technique instruction, albeit more beginner terrain. She said that the group lessons, while they try to keep them at 4-6 can have as many as 13!!!! on a busy day!? (FYI: I will be taking lessons on a non-holiday weekday in Feb) Apparently the Ultimate Four is only for adults in levels 1-4. The ski school rep I spoke with said she'd hope that I would be grouped with at least a level 4 skier, if not an advanced level 4 skier. That could put me on green terrain a good part of the day?
Does anyone have experience with either of these options? If so, based on your experience, what do you think would be the best way to go based on my ability and goals? Cost difference is negligible. ($120 + lift ticket for group lesson, $240 for ultimate four includes lift ticket & lunch). Given that I'm going on a weekday at a more "off" time, am I likely to be in a small enough group that group lesson would be oK? Will I be grouped witih a level 7 skier if there aren't more people signed up for lessons or will I be taught separately? Any advice or comments you have based on your own experience in Breckenridge would be much appreciated!