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Jason Kurth

Putting on skis
Skier
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206
This is a few months away but I'll be racing at stratton and I might take a girl who has never skied or even seen snow before with me. She's expressed an interest in wanting to try it and is naturally athletic. I won't be able to ski with her at all the first two days.

So what would you do? Just throw her in a group lesson for two days? I don't know what the instruction is like there at all or how they progress a total beginner. Private lessons would be prohibitively expensive unless it was a short one. I have faith she could learn the basics quickly.
 

Green08

Front Range Skier
Skier
Posts
324
Location
COS
When are you at Stratton?

Ski Vermont in January has some extra cheap learn to ski options.

Stratton does not seem to be offering a multi-day learning option, which is a bit disappointing. I would call and see if they will have a 2 or 3 lesson package option. Neighboring resorts like Okemo and Killington have been running them for years, and are one of the best ways to get people skiing.

There should be quite a bit for her to do, depending on how much of the mountain is open. The "village" has enough to keep somebody busy for a few hours each day. There is a great amount of Green level terrain accessible from the Summit, and the new Snow Bowl HSQ should take some load of the long lines for the beginner friendly gondola.

Lower mountain away from the village is probably one of the quieter places for a beginner, once she graduates from basic lessons.
 

LiquidFeet

Making fresh tracks
Instructor
Posts
2,283
Location
New England
When you get some free time to ski with her, ski with her on HER TERRAIN and at HER SPEED. That means you, a racer, need to ski with her on the green terrain she's been skiing on, and if you want to ski "with" her you need to slow down. Do 360s. Try ballet moves that you don't know how to do.

Most important, do not give her advice. Do not correct her aft stance. Do not tell her she is leaning in, using her upper body to start her turns, bracing against the outside ski, cutting off the tops of her turns, that she needs to pole plant, or that the instructor told her wrong and that she needs to start every turn with ankle-tipping. Do not tell her these things even if she asks.

If you can't keep yourself from doing this, don't ski with her. Or... plan B, it may be a good time for you to rent a snowboard and accompany her as a newbie boarder on that green terrain. Learning to board should give you plenty to think about so you won't be zeroing in on what she needs to do different. Or plan C, rent tele gear.

Oh, and praise her efforts and courage and grace and fast learning!

Many a relationship has been destroyed by the skier trying to "help" the newbie SO ski better. Or by taking said newbie up the lift saying "it's easy" and then skiing down ahead to demo, leaving that person at the top, confused and frightened, looking down their first blue groomer. Tears happen, and rage can follow. Just don't go there. She may need multiple seasons of skiing lesser terrain and slower speeds than you before she can accompany you on your terrain with any confidence.

An expert who has a newbie SO has to do mostly psychological "work," while the newbie needs to do more physical training.
 
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Jason Kurth

Putting on skis
Skier
Posts
206
Yeah I'm prepared to be patient, luckily stratton has a ton of top to bottom beginner terrain.

The challenge will just be balancing skiing with everyone as I have a few friends coming just to ski for fun too so I want to get to ski with them my last two days free as well. They are all intermediates of various degrees but they can all occupy themselves fine.
 

surfsnowgirl

Instructor
Skier
Posts
4,378
Location
Londonderry, VT
Just don't pressure her. Maybe ski with your people while she's in lessons. When she's done, ask what she wants to do and do that. As someone who skis with someone who's been doing it a lot longer is I'd often have to send him on his way and we'll meet up later. He is very good with me but often doesn't understand the fear I had when I was just starting out. Just point your tips down hill he says, just stick with me you'll be fine he says. I also was very self conscious about people waiting for me. Ski wherever she wants and don't pressure her to ski anywhere she's not comfortable. Nowadays I've a lot more mileage under my belt so I ski a lot more with my guy now and he waits a lot less. I'm also very understanding if I'm skiing with someone who's a much newer skier. I just like to ski with people, if she's a newer skier, I'll go wherever she wants to go, it's just nice to ski with folks and I can have a good time wherever. I suspect the folks that are back and double black skiers I feel the same when they ski with me, it's just fun to ski with other people. Noone's trying out for the olympics, no need to impress anyone. Just find out who's comfortable skiing what, pick the easiest of all that and hit the trails and have fun. She'll just be learning so rock those greens with her and have a blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

KingGrump

Most Interesting Man In The World
Team Gathermeister
Posts
4,041
Location
NYC
Be careful of the top to bottom "beginner" terrain at Stratton.
Stratton been my home hill since the late '70s. Over the years, I've coached many random beginners down Mike's way, work road, East & West Meadow, etc.
I know Stratton has a reputation of being flat. Some sections on the top to bottom green runs are more than a true beginner can handle.

The Lower Tamarack area serviced by the old triple is a great for true beginners.
 

WheatKing

Ice coast carveaholic
Skier
Posts
241
Location
Ontario, Canada
Some days I consider myself lucky because my wife doesn't ski.. She makes up for being bored in the lodge, drinking and playing candy crush by dragging me to horse shows during the summer. The point being when it's snowing hard up top on the mountain, do you really want to be stuck on the greens/blues watching them flail on a few inches of fresh?

It's nice to get away and enjoy separate hobbies..

Depends on the significant other however.. maybe they're really cool and catch on quick.. but maybe they're only there because you enjoy it and want to share that, but could care less and would rather talk about dinner reservations, the new lamp they saw at ikea, this instagram post with a cat, their cold toes, the crappy muffin and coffee from the hotel at breakfast, the traffic jam, omg it's snowing.. do we have 4wd?.. sometimes the singles line and solitude is better..
 

Mendieta

Master of Snowplow
Moderator
Posts
4,060
Location
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
This is a few months away but I'll be racing at stratton and I might take a girl who has never skied or even seen snow before with me. She's expressed an interest in wanting to try it and is naturally athletic. I won't be able to ski with her at all the first two days.

So what would you do? Just throw her in a group lesson for two days? I don't know what the instruction is like there at all or how they progress a total beginner. Private lessons would be prohibitively expensive unless it was a short one. I have faith she could learn the basics quickly.
Jason, I was an absolute beginner 4 years ago. So, I remember how it feels. It wasn't fear, it was terror. It goes away quickly if properly guided (I love @LiquidFeet 's suggestion above). For the first day I strongly second your idea of having her in group lessons while you are busy. LF covered days 3 and beyond IMHO.
 

elemmac

AKA Lauren
Skier
Posts
968
Location
The Granite State
I would highly encourage a group lesson the first day. Then let her decide what she wants to do from there...she may want to focus on what she learned, and free ski the second day solo (or maybe with your other friends that are going to be there?). Or she may be progressing well, and want more tips from another lesson the next day.

I've been on a ski trip with a couple, one of them was a newb to the skiing world, but she was just fine hanging out on the lower lift chugging along at her own speed (she actually preferred it...no pressure). He'd meet up with her for a few runs, then meet back up with us for a few from the top. Of course, it depends on the person's personality, and their expectations.

I think you need to be clear about your own expectations for the trip too. If you want to spend a decent amount of free ski time hanging on green trails with her...tell her that, and then actually do that. Do not tell her you'll spend time with her, then go fast, take other lifts, and spend minimal time actually with her. If want to spend most of your free ski time on harder terrain...explain that to her, and make sure she's okay with spending a decent amount of time on the slopes solo or in lessons.
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
Skier
Posts
3,570
Location
Denver, CO
This is a few months away but I'll be racing at stratton and I might take a girl who has never skied or even seen snow before with me. She's expressed an interest in wanting to try it and is naturally athletic. I won't be able to ski with her at all the first two days.

So what would you do? Just throw her in a group lesson for two days? I don't know what the instruction is like there at all or how they progress a total beginner. Private lessons would be prohibitively expensive unless it was a short one. I have faith she could learn the basics quickly.
This:

bubble-wrapped-person.jpg
 

AngryAnalyst

Getting on the lift
Skier
Posts
297
I’m assuming you’re in a romantic relationship with the lady in question. Is that correct?

If so, my best advice is not trying to teach her yourself. I have seen about 3 couples try that and it ended with the learning member of the couple throwing skis twice. Not a good look.

I’d think a group or, if financially possible, private lesson would be in order. I’d also spring for a hotel that comes with a nice hot tub or plan a bar to visit because it’s a lot easier to enjoy apres as a beginner than the activity itself. I get those boost cost quite a bit but if you want to get her into skiing they’re my best advice.
 

KingGrump

Most Interesting Man In The World
Team Gathermeister
Posts
4,041
Location
NYC
Hi Jason. As everyone have said, leave the lessons to the ski school.

Where you can make a difference with your experience is in the rental process.
Get a rental package around where you live. Go with her to make sure she get a decent fitting boot and skis that have a good tune.
If renting locally is not possible. Get the rentals from either Norse House or Startingate on Route 30 at the bottom of the access road. Do it the afternoon before her first ski day. They are open to 6:00 PM on weekdays. Their equipment are generally better than the stuff available on the hill. Getting the rental the night before will allow her to familiarize herself with the boots at the very least. All that will greatly reduce the hassle and stress of going through the rental zoo in the morning. She will be much calmer and relax when lesson time comes.

Good luck.
 

mister moose

Instigator
Skier
Posts
245
Location
Killington
When you get some free time to ski with her, ski with her on HER TERRAIN and at HER SPEED.
So important, and so often not done it bears repeating.

That means you, a racer, need to ski with her on the green terrain she's been skiing on, and if you want to ski "with" her you need to slow down. Do 360s. Try ballet moves that you don't know how to do.
To this I'd add ski behind her a lot. Wait for her to get some distance then catch up at a moderate speed. That way you can also ski up if she falls. If she's a creeper at first, just let her creep, you just wait. Her seeing you struggle with creeping or worse doing 360's in front of her is going to add unwanted pressure. "Oh, look how much I'm boring him, holding him back", etc. Your mindset should be selling skiing, not having your personal fun ski time. It's about sharing her experience.

Also, she might not want to ski morning and afternoon at first. If so, just do half days at first. Rental boots might get sore, fingers might get cold, muscles might get maxed out in the beginner struggles.
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
Instructor
Posts
1,832
Location
Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
When you get some free time to ski with her, ski with her on HER TERRAIN and at HER SPEED. That means you, a racer, need to ski with her on the green terrain she's been skiing on, and if you want to ski "with" her you need to slow down. Do 360s. Try ballet moves that you don't know how to do.

Most important, do not give her advice. Do not correct her aft stance. Do not tell her she is leaning in, using her upper body to start her turns, bracing against the outside ski, cutting off the tops of her turns, that she needs to pole plant, or that the instructor told her wrong and that she needs to start every turn with ankle-tipping. Do not tell her these things even if she asks.

If you can't keep yourself from doing this, don't ski with her. Or... plan B, it may be a good time for you to rent a snowboard and accompany her as a newbie boarder on that green terrain. Learning to board should give you plenty to think about so you won't be zeroing in on what she needs to do different. Or plan C, rent tele gear.

Oh, and praise her efforts and courage and grace and fast learning!

Many a relationship has been destroyed by the skier trying to "help" the newbie SO ski better. Or by taking said newbie up the lift saying "it's easy" and then skiing down ahead to demo, leaving that person at the top, confused and frightened, looking down their first blue groomer. Tears happen, and rage can follow. Just don't go there. She may need multiple seasons of skiing lesser terrain and slower speeds than you before she can accompany you on your terrain with any confidence.

An expert who has a newbie SO has to do mostly psychological "work," while the newbie needs to do more physical training.
Why is there not a quadruple triple double like?

You want her to love your sport. Make sure to put her in group lessons -- many folk bond together and become great friends! Remember, this is as much about getting her to like your sport as it is to get her to advance. In fact, it is about getting her to like your sport even if she doesn't advance. Absolutely, positively, and without exception make it about her having fun. Whatever it means for your own skiing.

Mike
 
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