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Best place to learn

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm interested in learning from the well traveled forum users as to a good mountain to learn how to snowboard. My local mountain is a little too crowded and steep for me, but I'm willing to travel if I can find a good mountain and possibly a good instruction program. Any ideas?

post #2 of 5

Gear,

 

Where are you from? You mentioned Bellingham (Washington) in an earlier post. Presumably all of the relatively nearby local hills are going to be small and crowded (I think there are 1/2 dozen or so around Vancouver/Victoria Island). Presumably travel to a far off place like Zermatt, Switzerland would be asking a bit much. Knowing where you are coming from and what "scope" your willingness to travel is would help us narrow the options down a little. You might also consider going mid week to escape crowded conditions at a "day" resort (versus a destination resort that can be just as crowded mid week as on the weekends).

 

One might think that big resorts like Whistler, Vail or even Snowbird might offer uncrowded learning situations. But terrain for first timers can get crowded anywhere. The first time learning area at Snowbird for example, is truly tiny and the lift served portion of it is relatively steep for a first time experience. But with their soft snow what they have works for them and the next step up (Big Emma) is a near perfect slope for beginners (relatively gentle, comfortably long and very wide). So although their setup looks relatively intimidating it does not work out that way.

 

Some resorts (e.g. Camelback, PA) have implemented terrain based learning. Camelback claims that they have been voted as the #1 place learn to ski or ride. As a beginner in a group lesson, the odds are you going to get a rookie instructor anywhere you go. Getting a private lesson with a level 3 certified instructor could easily work out to be a more successful experience no matter what "the program" is (and be less expensive than travelling). Most people learn just fine in a group lesson, but some people really need a private lesson to be successful.

 

The bottom line here is that are a lot of "it depends" type of answers to your question.

post #3 of 5

For never-evers a bunny hill is a bunny hill regardless of whether it's at Aspen or Mt Trashmore.  While there are a few resorts with no beginner terrain, they are rare, so the standard advice is to just go somewhere close by to learn the basics of staying upright, turning, and stopping.  If crowds are an issue, try going on a weekday.

 

Where are you?  Do you already know how to ski and are looking at trying boarding, or are you completely green?

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post

For never-evers a bunny hill is a bunny hill regardless of whether it's at Aspen or Mt Trashmore.  While there are a few resorts with no beginner terrain, they are rare, so the standard advice is to just go somewhere close by to learn the basics of staying upright, turning, and stopping.  If crowds are an issue, try going on a weekday.
Sort of. Except lots of bunny hills don't have enough space, have coyote's, wolves, and gorillas all over the place. Not to mention other bunnies becoming killer rabbits with not enough room. Then there's the next step- off the bunny hill. Many places have too great a step which makes things harder.
Resorts, partic in the east, have sacrificed lots of beginner terrain for condos. Basically it's just piss poor planning, or no planning. They could have had both with just a little work. But no.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Gear,

 

Where are you from? You mentioned Bellingham (Washington) in an earlier post. Presumably all of the relatively nearby local hills are going to be small and crowded (I think there are 1/2 dozen or so around Vancouver/Victoria Island). Presumably travel to a far off place like Zermatt, Switzerland would be asking a bit much. Knowing where you are coming from and what "scope" your willingness to travel is would help us narrow the options down a little. You might also consider going mid week to escape crowded conditions at a "day" resort (versus a destination resort that can be just as crowded mid week as on the weekends).

 

One might think that big resorts like Whistler, Vail or even Snowbird might offer uncrowded learning situations. But terrain for first timers can get crowded anywhere. The first time learning area at Snowbird for example, is truly tiny and the lift served portion of it is relatively steep for a first time experience. But with their soft snow what they have works for them and the next step up (Big Emma) is a near perfect slope for beginners (relatively gentle, comfortably long and very wide). So although their setup looks relatively intimidating it does not work out that way.

 

Some resorts (e.g. Camelback, PA) have implemented terrain based learning. Camelback claims that they have been voted as the #1 place learn to ski or ride. As a beginner in a group lesson, the odds are you going to get a rookie instructor anywhere you go. Getting a private lesson with a level 3 certified instructor could easily work out to be a more successful experience no matter what "the program" is (and be less expensive than travelling). Most people learn just fine in a group lesson, but some people really need a private lesson to be successful.

 

The bottom line here is that are a lot of "it depends" type of answers to your question.

We travel a lot, and while I don't snowboard yet, I'm always skiing. So it's the type of thing where I'd like to be on a skiing trip, and say "hey, this is one of the resorts the peeps on the internet told me about that has a really good snowboard instructor." and then take a day or two to give it a shot. Obviously I don't plan on mastering the sport in two days, but to get the opportunity to get some good lessons and get a feel for it on a mountain that isn't too crowded would be great. Thanks for your suggestions, they are much appreciated. It makes a lot of sense to get private instructions after your point about the group lessons, which I can attest to as well.

 

As for a bunny hill being a bunny hill I would have to disagree. I think there is a lot of inconsistency with what defines a bunny hill. Hoodoo ski area for instance has a very very mild bunny hill, but it's always full and one of the intermediate runs empties right into the middle of it. Mt Baker's bunny hill is basically non existent unless you are a small child. Point is they vary from mountain to mountain. Thanks for your guys' input tho it's giving me a good idea of where to go 

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