In previous posts we have talked about how to get to the ski resort and things you should pack. In this post, we are going to talk about planning the actual ski.

Understand Your Level

Just as most people think they are “above the average drivers”, you might fall in the trap of illusion of competence. Before you get in the lift, make sure you understand where you are in terms of your capability. Read this post for some reality check.

In the ski resorts, they mark the trail difficulty from easiest to hardest with Green (beginner), Blue (intermediate) and Black (advanced). For the first time skier, it is always good to assume yourself as beginner and slowly add the difficulty.

Ski Lesson?

The best way to learn is to learn from the professionals. As a matter of fact, it is even more important for the beginner to have a correct start by going through some lessons. Once you have get into a bad habit or form, it will take you double the effort to get rid of it. The ski resort offers learning package for different levels. You can pick from group or private lesson based on your own need.

Based on our experience, the difference of taking the group package (which include lifting ticket) and buying lifting ticket by ourselves are around $40-$50. So it is well worth it. For private lesson, they don’ t include the lifting ticket and the price tag is much higher. Based on your own situation, you can pick the one that fit you.

My take away for the comparison of private vs group is that taking beginner lessons in group. If you grasp the basics well and want to work on some specific technique, then private is a good choice because of the personal attention from the coach. They could correct your mistakes as you are making them.

Some of the lessons are very popular in hot seasons, so you might want to reserve ahead of time. Check the resort website before you head there.

Ski Rental

If you are renting the ski, make sure to go to the rental office earlier. Because it take quite some time to fit the boots, etc. Especially if it is a busy day, you might spend 2 hours in the line for getting your rental. If you are staying for multiple days, you could consider keeping them for your whole stay because you could avoid the line and spend more time on the hill. Typically, the resort offer locker for shoes and skies. You can keep them there overnight.

Lifting Ticket

There is not much you need to think about the lifting ticket. The only thing you could do is that when you are beginner, you can consider purchasing tickets that goes to lower part of the hill with cheaper price. And then purchase the full ticket after you sharpen you techniques.

Stay Healthy

High Altitude Sickness

Remember, the ski resorts typically located in high altitude mountains. So it is possible you would suffer from high altitude sickness. If you feel short of breath, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, they could be the symptom. To prevent it from happening you should drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcoholic beverages and consume a high-carbohydrate diet. Read this post for more information:



In the cold weather it is easy to catch cold, keep yourself warm especially after sweating.


Be aware of the environment, be aware of your own capability and be progressive. Slow down in crowded area. Stay Safe.

Enjoy your trip, it is going to be wonderful.

How To Plan Your First Ski Trip (Part 3): Planning the Ski
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