I'm one of those who suffered not learning to ski over several decades by being repeatedly brought up the mountain by advanced skiing friends and being turned loose to fall my way to the base again and again. While I perfected my humility I didn't earn to or enjoy skiing much at all. Living in Southern California it took a few hours of driving to get to the humiliation site (aka ski resort) and I've experienced some of the best... June Lake, Mammoth, Big Bear... etc. and finally decided it wasn't worth the drive.
Then we moved to Washington State and...
A few years ago my prettier (and wiser) half dragged me off the couch and got us signed up for Nordic ski lessons. I learned several things with Nordic Skiing -
1. There is nothing intuitive about skiing. Lessons are a must, preferably from someone who is on the mountain to TEACH, not just ski. Like maybe a ski instructor.
2. Things tend to happen much slower (usually) on skinny skis
3. It doesn't have to hurt to fall... in fact it usually meant I was testing my skill and was able to integrate the experience into my skiing and not fall the next time.
4. Take a lesson to help advance your skills and correct self taught bad habits
After a couple of years of Nordic skiing the lower snows melted early leaving the Upper Mountain still available and this time it was me who suggested lessons but this time Downhill/Alpine Lessons. We were really missing the time on the snow so signed up for an introductory Downhill Group lesson. The lesson was amazing. Learned more in two hours of instruction than from all the fall to the bottom experiences of my past downhill mis-adventures. Also learned that the time on the "quiet side of the mountain gave a starting point for downhill skiing.
We downhill skied for the last few days of the season and had a blast snowplowing down the bunny hill over and over. First chance, purchased downhill skis, boots, poles and season passes for the next winter. More lessons and we were skiing Blue runs after a bit (actually a lot) of practice and at season two were checking out every blue run on the mountain.
Opening day we were signed up for lessons and have spent the last few years switching weekend days between Nordic and Downhill days as the snow permits.
Now it was really Discover Skiing time. Here's where we learned a lot more things got really fun-
1. Transferred learning from our initial Nordic intro did help us in adding to our winter fun however most important was the Nordic then Downhill instruction - SEEK out and GET INSTRUCTION.
2. Time spent on "skinny skis" really helped get us in shape.
3. The balance and ski comfort we had developed on Nordic skis was transferrable to Downhill
4. The design of skis had changed from the olden days when skis needed to be long. Wider shaped skis were easier to manage and a lot more stable platform for learning.
5. Having ones own current and properly fitted equipment really matters, especially boots. I rented boots (and skis) on a trip to California last winter and found out how much a proper fit matters.
I was in my 60th year when we took the first Nordic lesson and pushing 65 for the downhill lesson and have been season pass holder for several years now...
For those of us in the northwest who are in the vicinity of Stevens Pass and are mid level to advanced beginners and beyond (level 3 and up) and admit to being "50 or better" I found the following which I plan to check out this winter, snow willing. Link below:
Stevens Pass "Boomer on Groomers" multi-week program https://www.stevenspass.com/site/lessons-rentals/ages13up/adult-intermediate-advanced-clinics
And after re-considering, I'll have to admit that Skiing can be more fun than flying... and yes, much less expensive