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3 days of lessons out of 4 total too many for Beginners? (Breckenridge)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Me and my wife are going to Breckenridge in late February for what will be 4 days of skiing. This will be the first time skiing for both of us.

Breckenridge has a "first-timer discovery" program that's 3 days of lessons, rentals, and lift tickets for $272/person. Here's more information about it: http://www.breckenridgeskischool.com/breckskiride/info/adult-first-timer-discovery.asp

Does anybody think 3 days of lessons is too many? Will the 4th day be enough to just relax and enjoy skiing on our own?

I appreciate any advice!
post #2 of 11
Welcome to EpicSki.  Hope you enjoy the company.

Personally, I think that is a great idea.  You'll be with a snowpro that most likely specializes in teaching beginners.  That pro will teach you to ski and might show you around to various areas of the mountain that are within your capabilities at the time.  I think it will be much more fun for both of you.  You will learn to ski with less of a chance of developing bad habits.  (Bad habits have a tendency to take away from the fun of skiing.)  That is much better than taking a lesson on the first day then flailing around for the next three.

You might want to call Breckenridge and ask them what the program fully entails.  What does the pro do with the students after they begin to ski?  Doe he take them around on an appropriate mountain tour?  What is the size of the class?  Do you get the same snowpro every day?  Is time for free skiing built into the program?  etc. etc.

There should be time for free skiing built into the program.  That in itself is good.  You can try things yourself and then the next day ask your pro any questions that come up.

I've gone to many events where I've been "under instruction" for four days or more.  There was always time for free skiing.
post #3 of 11
Some questions you might want to ask them.
Does the beginner lesson last all day?
Does the lift-ticket include the whole mountain or only the beginner lift?
How big a group will each instructor be instructing?

Ideally, imo, the lesson would be a small group or private (doubt it will be private), and last about 2 hours and then you get to ski on your own for a bit, with another lesson later in the day and some more free time following.

The ability to ride all the lifts might not be important to most first timers. 
post #4 of 11
I went skiing for the first time last year and took a half day lesson and by the end of the day I was doing greens and easy blues without much difficulty. But who knows I may have developed some bad habits as the others have stated before.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
 Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback. I just gave them a call. They said:

- It should be the same instructor for all 3 days.
- Classes are around 8-12 people
- Instruction lasts from 10--3:30, except for an earlier "meet up" time on the first day.
- It is a beginner's lift ticket

I asked about Free Skiing and he said that what you're doing each day is really up to the instructor's style, but you're "in lessons" from those times every day.

Does that help?

post #6 of 11
The beginner lift ticket will get you anywhere your instructor wishes to lead you.  On your own, it's only good for the beginner lifts.

Because lessons last basically all day, you will learn something and then have a lot of time to practice with coaching.  Then you'll learn something to add and practice that with coaching.

Typically, adults in reasonably good physical condition will learn to ski at least easier blue terrain in three days of lessons.  That will give them access to nearly 45 per cent of Breckenridge.  That's about 1000 acres of slope space.

Some tips:  Get lots of rest before the trip.  Get to Breck as early as possible, at least a day before you start skiing.  Drink lots of water.  Don't drink coffee of soft drinks or any form of booze.  Walk around town--it's a cute little real town--and get some exercise after your travel time, but go to bed early.  Be at the appointed ski school office on time the first day to complete the paperwork and rental gear arrangements.
post #7 of 11
I think this is a great idea. Of course it depends somewhat on factors you can't control like the expertise of the instructor and the make-up of the class but three days starting from scratch with the same folks and the same instructor ought to be ideal for getting a good start in the sport. You may be surprised at your skiing comfort level after the three days. The progression through the first few levels of the sport is pretty smooth. Each succeeding level dovetails nicely with the last and develops a basic level of the skills and movements that are present even in the highest levels of the sport. Resist the temptation to take a break from part of the three days. If you find yourself getting tired and sore odds are the rest of the group will be feeling the same. Instead ask your instructor to stop occasionally in slopeside restaurants and/or to mix relaxed cruising into the routine. Chances are he will do this anyway. Guided practice is usually the most enjoyable way to build upon focused instruction and this should give you a great introduction to the pleasure of the sport.
The advice to get there at least a day early, get lots of sleep and stay hydrated is the best way to avoid the effects of too rapid transition to high altitude.
post #8 of 11
Sorry, I forgot about the altitude.  Those of us from lower elevations need to understand the base of Breckenridge is at 9,600 feet and it goes UP from there.  You run out of oxygen really fast.  I like to get to Denver about 2 days before I go out to Breckenridge.  I usually spend a day in Denver.  (They have great museums and there is a lot to do.)  Then the next day I drive out to Breckenridge taking in the sights along the way.  (Its a beautiful drive and there are things to see and do along the way.)  I check into the hotel that day, have a nice dinner in town, then get to bed early.  The next morning I'm ready to go.

I've seen people fly into Denver the night before.  Then they take the van up to Breckenridge arriving about midnight or later.  The next day they are in no shape to ski or do much of anything.  That affects their whole stay negatively.

So, schedule a bit of extra time and make a nice trip out of it.  After all you don't get to Colorado that often, enjoy the experience.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the altitude warnings. We'll get into Denver at about noon the day before we start skiing, and will make sure to take the much appreciated advice about drinks.

So it sounds like you're all pretty positive on 3 days of lessons, and that even though they're lessons we'll still have plenty of fun. If anybody has any more feedback I'd love to hear it, then we'll get to booking!
post #10 of 11
In addition to the altitude, be sure to keep hydrated.  Use sunscreen and dense sunglasses in bright sun...goggles aren't sufficient.  Check the weather forecasts and be ready for frigid weather if that's in the forecast.

Ask about the charges if you choose to drop out of the lessons early some day to ski by yourselves and want to upgrade to a regular lift ticket.  If you buy tickets there, look for ticket vending machines in some of the ski shops and motels...you get gouged less than the ticket window prices.
post #11 of 11
I sometimes had people take a day off from their lesson package to go shopping or something. I supect they were becoming tired and chose to take a break. Almost invariably when they returned expecting to fit right back into the group they had been skiingwith they were extremely disappointed to discover the group had made tremendous progress in their absence and they no longer fit in comfortably. I'm sure that if you asked the group that had remained in the lesson what they had been doing in their absence they'd have responded they were just skiing but the rate of progress in a guided lesson can be quite high. Obviously fatigue can be a safety factor and shouldn't be ignored and you can expect to feel some muscles you weren't aware of so to speak but I would encourage you to to stay with the entire 3 day lesson otherwise. You can get a lot out of it and will have the advantage of being with a well matched group which can bea trememdous advantage.
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