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Skiing/lessons for beginner in New England

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Can anyone suggest a good place for lessons/good selection of green runs no further than 2-2.5 hrs from the Boston MA area (it would be for a day trip). I just spent several days at Tremblant doing some beginner lessons and skiing and want to go someplace this weekend to continue my progress. I was originally thinking of going to Wachusett since it's so close, but it looks like they don't have that great a selection of greens. I'm not really looking for beginner area/magic carpet type trails--looking for longer runs to do on my own and to take a lesson on. Would Stratton, Mount Snow or Okemo fit the bill? Any input on the instruction there? Thanks!
post #2 of 18
Not sure about Okemo, but Stratton and Mount Snow might be a little longer than 2 hours. From inside 128, it takes me about 2:45 to get to the base area at Stratton, maybe 2:30 if traffic is light and moving. If you want close to Boston, what about some of the NH areas? What about Mount Sunapee (run by the folks who own Okemo), Gunstock or Waterville? I think those would all be at or under 2 hours, and would probably serve your needs.
post #3 of 18
I can tell you that Bromley has a wonderful school, while Stratton's is to be avoided at all costs.
Both are close to the Mass marge.
post #4 of 18
Sunapee has a great learning area with a dedicated lift.

I learned to ski there about 5 seasons ago.
post #5 of 18
All the areas you mention would fit the bill nicely, although be forewarned: they all do get crowded on the weekends. Okemo is an intermediate's skiing paradise; it is known for awesome grooming and snowmaking. There was this thread a few days ago regarding recommendations for Okemo instructors. The people who own Okemo also own Mt. Sunapee in southern NH. Sunapee is a lot smaller then Okemo, but it's easily an hour closer to Boston.

Stratton is nick-named "flatten" for a reason -- there isn't much there with a substantial pitch to it. Day tickets are very expensive at Stratton; I have the feeling that they are more interested in selling slope-side condos then they are in providing a good skiing experience. There is this on-going thread regarding Stratton.

Mt. Snow. Ummmm. I was there about three years ago. I don't really remember anything about it.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Great, I will consider Sunapee as well.
Okay, read the other thread mentioning Stratton and it does not make it sound appealing. May I ask though what makes the ski school there "to be avoided at all costs"? I really have nothing to compare it to besides Tremblant- which of course is also Intrawest. Thanks
post #7 of 18
I agree with Scalce, the South Peak area at Sunapee is a very nice learning area; it's isolated from the main mountain so you don't get more advanced skiers bombing past at high speed. The trails in that area are also graduated in terms of pitch. Once you're comfortable on the steepest greens in that area you should be ready for easy intermediate terrain. Pat's Peak also comes to mind. Pat's has two real easy green trails served by their own lift. And if you look at the Pat's trail map you'll see a green trail from the peak at the far left of the map. The terrain at Pat's Peak tends to be graduated such that if you start at the far left (looking up towards the peak) the trails get progressively steeper. The few times I've been to Pat's I've always found it to have a very friendly atmosphere.
post #8 of 18


I took two lessons last year at loon ... Cannon has a quad for the bunny slope .. Heaven compared to loon which only had a rope tow(It sucks at the end of the day when you have fallen a bizillion times and it feels like your arms are going to be ripped off)..
The lessons at loon werent anything to really talk about..
post #9 of 18
If you're looking for a mountain with a variety of green terrain, I would recommend either Okemo or Bretton Woods (NH). Both these mountains are generally considered "great intermediate areas" and both have several long, green cruisers off the main lifts as well as dedicated beginner areas.

Can't speak to the ski school at Okemo, but we were very happy with the quality of instructors at Bretton Woods.

Both these mountains might stretch your driving limit, but depending on where you live (and how fast you drive ), either could be done in 2.5 hours.

I'll also agree with others on Sunapee as a good learning hill somewhat closer to Boston. The advantages of the segregated learning area have been pointed out, but depending on your desire to explore you may find it a bit restrictive.
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Miramar
Great, I will consider Sunapee as well.
Okay, read the other thread mentioning Stratton and it does not make it sound appealing. May I ask though what makes the ski school there "to be avoided at all costs"? I really have nothing to compare it to besides Tremblant- which of course is also Intrawest. Thanks
stratton devotes very little time toward actual instructor training, and, llike all intrawaste resort schools, the mountain management cares little as to whether or not pupils progress.
intrawaste is strictly about selling units in their McVillages, and they dedicate little energy toward ski education.
they keep their schools around for when their McVillage residents want some guidance.
stratton, which had a decent, albeit largely conceited school prior to it's McMountain sale, simply doesn't emphasize good, solid teaching skills.
Bromley, on the other hand, is keenly interested in making breakthrough changes in their pupils, and thereby encouraging them all to return each holiday and weekend from Greenwich, Cos Cob, Scarsdale, etc.
Bromley likes the commuter skier, and therefore relies on a strong, progressive snowsports school.
Stratton would prefer that it's McVillagers have the hill to themselves, a sthat's where the money is, and being they already OWN the McUnits, the concept of 'return visits' is immaterial to them.
Just visit stratton and observe their classes, then drive the eight minutes to Brom and observe theirs. You be the judge.
It would be very cool if epic sponsiored a sort of 'secret shopper spycam' with which to observe lessons at various resorts.
post #11 of 18
Id certainly recommend Bretton Woods. Its 2.5 hours door to door to Attitash from Brighton, so Bretton Woods is just another 20 mins down 302. The mountain has some great cruisers and the new glades arent too advanced- if youre progressing like you want to , take a run in them. The instructors (Ive heard) are really good and the atmosphere is family oriented. The main area gets a little crowded on some weekends but not too much- plus theres more than one lift, so hit up the short line.
I also agree that Pats Peak is great to learn- its where I learned and the "beginner" area of the hill is great- long cruising groomers. Its also a bit closer to Boston than BW.
Vlad is right about Stratton too- it feels like youre getting ripped off right when you get to the mountain. The whole place looks like an airport and theyre trying to cram as many people as they can onto the slopes and into the increasing surrounding condos.
Side note- Does anyone else feel like Loon is the Stratton of NH?
post #12 of 18
Mt. Snow is my favorite ski area. There are wide, long runs that are smooth, and easy to ski upon . I'm sorry I don't have any info on ski instructors there though..
post #13 of 18
Can't believe it took me this long to find this thread.

I work at Okemo. I would suggest you request Nancy McGrath as your instructor she has been instructing for about 25 years. PM and I'll give you more info.

Have to run right now, PM me, I'll take care of you.
post #14 of 18
Bretton and Sunapee are both really good choices for terrain, but I have no experience with lessons at Bretton, and I had one really bad instructor at Sunapee. The best instructors I've had are at Stowe, and you can hang out over at Spruce Peak all day and have plenty to ski as a beginner. You can also ride up to Mansfield and take Toll Road down for a change of scenery. Go the extra half-hour and go to Stowe! Skiswift on Epic is an instructor there (but you probably can't get him as he's usually booked) and I had a fantastic group lesson with Mike Anglin in January.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. Hopefully I'll get to go somewhere this weekend, though now they are predicting rain and 50 degree temps.
post #16 of 18
Is your clothing waterproof? What's the big deal ? The snow will be soft and you won't get cold. I thinking about taking Friday off to ski. It's only a 50%of showers.

post #17 of 18
I had a very good lesson with Crystal Newbound at Okemo. She is a former racer and gives very specific tips for improving. It was a good time. I think you will find the terrain there okay. Even the blues are not too steep.:
post #18 of 18
I've also taken a lesson with Crystal. Yes, she is also very good.
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