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Ideal time for group lesson?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My family is planning a late March week at an Eastern Resort that is packed on the weekend and almost empty in the middle of the week. So when does everyone think is the ideal time for a group lesson? On the weekend, you get the advantage of cutting in the lift line, but during the week there is a good chance that you will end up with a private lesson and may learn a little more. What would you do?

post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 

My family is planning a late March week at an Eastern Resort that is packed on the weekend and almost empty in the middle of the week. So when does everyone think is the ideal time for a group lesson? On the weekend, you get the advantage of cutting in the lift line, but during the week there is a good chance that you will end up with a private lesson and may learn a little more. What would you do?


Would help to know what level skiers and what ages?  Adults, teens, tweens, younger?  I'm guessing you're going during an Easter week spring break.  Starting on what day of the week?

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, my daughter and son and I would probably take a level 7-8 lesson, my wife and other daughter would probably do a level 4-5. It is the Easter week, skiing from Saturday to hopefully the following-following Monday (10 days).

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 

Yes, my daughter and son and I would probably take a level 7-8 lesson, my wife and other daughter would probably do a level 4-5. It is the Easter week, skiing from Saturday to hopefully the following-following Monday (10 days).


For Level 4-5, being able to cut lift lines on the weekend may be worth it.  Especially if they could use a refresher if they won't have much chance to ski before then.  Perhaps a lesson on Sat, no lesson Sun, then another on Mon.

 

For Level 7-8, midweek would be my choice.  The best instructors are likely to be doing private lessons on the weekend.  I assume advanced skiers can find places on the mountain with shorter lift lines when things are busy during a holiday week.

post #5 of 18

Take the group lesson on the first day of your trip regardless of whether it falls on a weekend or weekday so you can apply what you've learned all week.

post #6 of 18

I definitely do an intermediate lesson in a smaller (possibly private) group on less crowded slopes mid-week, and wait in longer lines on the weekend. I think I'd get so much more out of the lesson, and overall have more fun that way.

post #7 of 18

I'm going to answer it this way:  why are you taking the lesson?  If solely to improve, then take the lesson when its the least crowded and the probability is for the smallest group.  if you want to have fun and mazimize vert, then take it on the weekend

post #8 of 18

What area are you going to ski? By late March, both lift line crowds and ski school sign-ups tend to be less crowded, so, it may not make much difference what day you do it. I'd bet a Sunday afternoon lesson would be ideal. Monday morning may tend to be more crowded. Agree that the sooner you do it, the better. 

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

The lesson would be pretty much just to get better, not really to maximize vert. I like the Sunday afternoon idea. It's at Snowshoe WV, which gets a ton of traffic on the weekend and is much much less crowded during the week. In spring in particular the crowds will be light during the week. 

post #10 of 18

I would second the question of where you are skiing.

 

I say that because for a 10 day trip you might have access to other areas on your ticket. Killington/Pico or Okemo/Sunapee could give you an option to head elsewhere on the weekend for lower crowds, and even lower crowds midweek.

 

Even if you are not skiing at one of those locations, look into other nearby ski areas that may have lower crowds and cheaper lessons. For the same cost at a big resort, you might be able to switch to a private or increase the number of lessons. $110 at Bolton Valley can get you a 2 hour private lesson, while that would barely cover 2/3 of the cost of a group lesson at Stowe.

 

Marznc has been a big advocate of using smaller hills for ski school, and based on cost and crowds alone it is a smart move. Plus on a long trip the variety might be nice.

 

Edit: Of course I write this as you are posting your answer!

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 

The lesson would be pretty much just to get better, not really to maximize vert. I like the Sunday afternoon idea. It's at Snowshoe WV, which gets a ton of traffic on the weekend and is much much less crowded during the week. In spring in particular the crowds will be light during the week. 

Normally at Snowshoe I would say look into the lessons over at Silver Creek, but it's hard to say if SC will still be open in late March.  Although if there are late season storms, they might continue to staff SC for the Easter spring break vacationers and those taking advantage of buying a 2016-17 season pass for whatever deal they offer in the spring.

 

Do you have to make reservations for lessons at SS?  If not, can just wait until closer to the date to decide.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

I like the Silver Creek idea. I always encourage never-ever skiers to take lessons there: wider slopes, less crowded, etc. Maybe I should take my own advice! I think by that time they usually scale back on lessons at SC though, if the slopes are still open at all. 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 

I like the Silver Creek idea. I always encourage never-ever skiers to take lessons there: wider slopes, less crowded, etc. Maybe I should take my own advice! I think by that time they usually scale back on lessons at SC though, if the slopes are still open at all. 


Have you ever considered a day trip up to Timberline?  If the snow gods are kind and Tline is still open in late March, a semi-private with an experienced Level 2 (10+ years experience) or a Level 3 instructor could be good for you and the Level 7/8 kids.

post #14 of 18

I'm going to say that at any area that far south, you're running a bit of a risk that they won't be open in late March. Having worked in the Mid-Atlantic, after about March 15th, things can be a tossup one way or another. 

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

I'm going to say that at any area that far south, you're running a bit of a risk that they won't be open in late March. Having worked in the Mid-Atlantic, after about March 15th, things can be a tossup one way or another. 

 

I think the OP knows Snowshoe fairly well.

 

Snowshoe is in the snowiest part of eastern WV with the "base" at the top of the ridge at 4800'.  Trails end at about 3300'.  Average snowfall is close to 200 inches for the past decade.  Quite different from the typical Mid-Atlantic ski areas in PA and VA.  Showshoe has been able to stay until the end of March and beyond in recent years.  Last season, Snowshoe opened by Thanksgiving and closing day was April 5.  Having added more snowmaking equipment over the summer, the base in the main area will be that much deeper before the snowstorms in Jan and Feb.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 

My family is planning a late March week at an Eastern Resort that is packed on the weekend and almost empty in the middle of the week. So when does everyone think is the ideal time for a group lesson? On the weekend, you get the advantage of cutting in the lift line, but during the week there is a good chance that you will end up with a private lesson and may learn a little more. What would you do?


Are you going the week before Easter or the week after?  Found a review from 2014 on OnTheSnow dated March 29 that said the three green trails were closed in late March as well as several of the shops and restaurants.  But Easter was April 20 that year, so there were probably fewer schools with spring break in late March.  Snowshoe may staff differently in late March 2016.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

We do know Snowshoe well, and Timberline as well. Timberline has an outstanding ski school, but we have a place to stay in Snowshoe, and Timberline has been closing early the past few years in March. The problem for those resorts in WV in Spring isn't "not enough snow," it's "not enough skiers." 

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
 

We do know Snowshoe well, and Timberline as well. Timberline has an outstanding ski school, but we have a place to stay in Snowshoe, and Timberline has been closing early the past few years in March. The problem for those resorts in WV in Spring isn't "not enough snow," it's "not enough skiers." 

I think running out of paying customers, as opposed to season pass holders, in late season way before the snow is too far gone is a probably almost everywhere.  But definitely even worse when most of the skiers/boarders drive from places that have flowers blooming in by early March.

 

Plus Snowshoe continues to up their snowmaking capability, which is not only good for early season but also for late season because the base can be deep enough to withstand warm spells after Pres. Day weekend.  Seems like SS was still blowing snow at least in a few places well into late March last season.

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