Should I Take an Early Season Lesson?

By Yeti Nov 25, 2014
Don't wait, sign up for a ski lesson now.
Should I Take an Early Season Lesson?

By Harriet Wallis, the geezer girl


Yes. Absolutely yes. Take a lesson right after the mountain opens.

Don't be like my friend. She says the same thing every winter. She'll take a lesson as soon as there's more snow on the ground or when she has more ski days under her belt. That's been going on forever and she still hasn't taken a lesson.

Is that you? Have you ever said that? So I asked some ski pros about it.

Early season lessons are really helpful because "all of your movement patterns are not engaged right away, so it's easier to learn new patterns before you get entrenched in old ones," said Tom Pettigrew, director of skier services at Park City Mountain Resort. "Skiing is a seasonal activity, so whether you're a vacationer who skis once a year or whether you ski all season long, you come back to it fresh" and that clean slate makes learning easier.

Don't fret about the terrain. Early season terrain is usually limited, but that's an advantage. You can get comfortable on your skis and make learning break throughs without being distracted by vast terrain choices, Pettigrew said.

Are you convinced?  

Just in case, I also asked Scott Mathers, ski school training director at Alta, for his spin on early season lessons. He echoes Pettigrew. "Your senses are heightened when you first start to ski again. You're aware of how your body moves and what it's doing. But as you ski more, you get desensitized making it harder for you to make changes. 

"It takes a lot of practice for something to become ingrained," he said. "An early season lesson gives you something to focus on for the rest of your vacation or for the season."

Do it. Take a lesson early this winter. To make it easy, here are links to the resorts' ski schools. And here are links to ski school programs for the kids.