The point of the questions below is to help adult beginners, or parents of beginners understand the concept of "terrain based instruction." The idea is to help them learn about ski school options. In particular, when they are choosing a destination ski resort partially on the basis of the ski school. They may need to choose a place for a ski vacation week or to select a "home mountain" that is one of several possible ski areas that require driving 1+ hours.
In early Nov 2014, a Boston newspaper ran a piece about "terrain based instruction" for beginners. The title is "New ski instruction gains momentum and students." When I looked around, I quickly found several ski resorts that mention the idea on their websites including Killington, Sun Valley, Brian Head, Camelback, and Snowshoe. I assume the comparison is to the more typical beginner area that is a dedicated beginner area on a more or less flat slope with just enough pitch to allow a beginner to slide at a slow (hopefully) speed.
Snowshoe in WV is making a big deal of the transformations made to their beginner area for 2014-15. They put a 2 min video on their webpage specifically about terrain based learning.
Camelback in PA says this on their website about adult lessons for skiing and snowboarding:
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Learn Here Learn Right! We take the fear out of sliding downhill with Pennsylvania’s only Terrain Based Learning. At Camelback you’ll slide on shaped snow features that will help you progress faster than ever before.
“I learned to snowboard with this new program in no time. When I took a lesson previously through traditional methods, I had a tough time and wanted to give up; with the learning system at Camelback I am now an avid snowboarder who loves the winter!" John Age 49
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Looking for comments related to the following questions based on remembering what what I didn't know 10 years ago as an adult intermediate and parent of a potential skier.
* Is terrain based instruction for beginners really new? If so, what prompted it? If not, what is not new?
* How does terrain based instruction help a beginner?
* How much extra value is dedicated beginner terrain features worth? Is it enough to sway the decision of where to go, even if the place with the special set up costs more?
* What is an important question to ask when talking to a ski school about beginner lessons on the phone?