Originally Posted by VeganFreeskier
Thanks everyone for the advice--definitely leaning towards the Alta/Bird pass now that I realize it exists.
As for ski school versus me teaching her, I'll probably just see how it goes. My dad taught me, I've never had lessons, and I have no regrets about that, so my leaning is to start out teaching her, then see what she wants and how well she is doing to determine if ski school would be a good idea for her. But if anyone wants to challenge my decision, feel free.
Also, any suggestion on what type of skis to start her on (after the basic rentals)? I would lean towards twin tips for just about any beginner because they are so versatile, and my first pair of skis were partial twins, but it's been a long time since I was there so I may be way off.
So, there are a couple of things to consider here. How old were you when your dad taught you? You don't have any regrets, but I do think that age makes a difference. As someone who learned as an adult, I've always gotten by on stubbornness and basic athleticism. That was all fine and good until I really wanted to start being a GOOD skier, not just someone who could make it down difficult slopes. So, I've spent the last two years unlearning what I had learned for the first four or five. I think it's taken more work to undo my bad habits than it would have taken to instill some good fundamentals early on. That's not to say you don't have good fundamentals - you probably do. However, if you've skied since you were relatively young, trying to break down and teach those fundamentals could prove challenging. You might do something because it "just makes sense." Again, as someone who learned as an adult, a lot about skiing was initially counterintuitive to me (knees over my toes??? WTF? that's how you ruin your knees in most sports!). As I've gotten better, those things have come more naturally/have made more sense, but it's taken work. And I'm dedicate to getting better. I'm not sure how your girlfriend is about things like that.
And then there's the fact that she's your girlfriend. Even early in my relationship with my now husband, when we were still in the honeymoon phase and he could do no wrong, even though he was a much better skier than I, he couldn't make suggestions. Period. I am usually a pretty logical person. Not with regard to this. He couldn't tell me what to do. If he/we were smart, I would have just taken lessons. Now the shoe is on the proverbial other foot and I can't tell him anything. Period. Ahhh, karma. But I digress. Learning to ski as an adult is frustrating. If your girlfriend doesn't take to it naturally (and even if she does, she probably won't feel like she does), all of that frustration is going to be directed at one place - you. It sounds like unnecessary cash to spend, but ski school will be worth it in the long run.
As for the skis, be careful about getting her twin tips. They are versatile . . . for someone who skis. Instead consider some skis with enough give that she can bend them while still holding an edge. You don't want her to have to fight against them while she's learning. Things like the Völkl Estrella or Luna, Atomic Could 7 or 8, or K2 First Luv or Sweet Luv come to mind. To be fair, my knowledge of women's specific skis and beginner skis isn't great. Those were just the ones that came to mind immediately. Whether you want to go with the softest ski in each line will probably depend on your girlfriend's size and leg strength. I would imagine the same will go for boots, but someone else can jump in here.