Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Canada (
-   -   First time to ski in Whistler (

doodlebugg Nov 29th, 2004 08:50 AM

First time to ski in Whistler
Hi all,

My husband and I are meeting friends in Whistler the week before Christmas, and I am the only one who has never been skiing.
I am in good shape, and can rollerblade relatively well. I'm planning to take a one day lesson. Does anyone else have suggestions? I am 30 years old and I'm nervous!

laverendrye Nov 29th, 2004 09:19 AM

I don't know how long you will be staying, but I would recommend that you take several lessons over the time that you are there. I think that Whistler offers a three half-day package, so that you could take lessons in the morning with a group of your own ability, and then join your husband and friends in the afternoon. By the end of three days, you should be able ski well enough to enjoy yourself on any of the green runs, and maybe even some of the easier blues.

You will find that good instruction will be a sound foundation to enjoying this sport. I started skiing nearly 40 years ago, and still take the odd lesson.

Cat123 Nov 29th, 2004 10:35 AM

I recommend that you sign up for the "Ski Esprit" program at Whistler.

It is more than one day (and you will absolutely need more than one day of lessons, especially since it is Whistler) and goes all day long with a break for lunch. It is adults-only, so you won't be learning with little kids, and there are about 6-8 people in a group. Also, it is a really good combination of lesson and guilding - you're not constantly doing drills so you can relax and enjoy.

There are at least 6 different levels of Ski Esprit, and you would be in Level 1 as a first timer. Level 6 would be expert skiers only, where the instructor basically just guides them around the mountain and gives them a few tips for powder skiing and technique improvement.

You generally alternate mountains, skiing Whistler one day and Blackcomb the next.

At the end of the day all the 6 levels meet at a different bar in the village for food and apres-ski, so if your husband did the program as well, you'd be able to see each other.

The first time I went to Whistler I could hardly ski at all, and I found this program to be phenomenal. My husband did level 6 and even though he is a fantastic skier he still found it fun and challenging.

I think that this program helps you get the most out of your Whistler trip as a beginner skier - you'll learn lots and have fun as well.


PS - Although it may seem like it with all my cheerleading here, no I don't work for Whistler!

lovesprada Nov 29th, 2004 10:57 AM

There are good lesson descriptions on the Whistler website, including a lesson "finder" that shows the available options when you indicate that you have never skied before - private or group lessons, supergroups (groups of 3), ski esprit, etc. Last week I made reservations for some lessons -- the website shows prices and when I called the number at the bottom of the homepage the operator was knowledgeable about the various types of lessons and how to set up equipment rentals.

ALF Dec 7th, 2004 01:04 PM

I think that the advice above is good. Whistler and Blackcomb have great ski schools that will get you up and running in a few days.

I would just add that there is an easy 'green' run that most novices can handle, from the summits of both mountains. In particular, the Burnt Stew trail passes through some very scenic above-timberline terrain on its way from Whistler's peak, down to the Harmony chairlift. From there, you can continue on all the way to the base, completing one of the longest runs in North America. Much of that trail is quite flat - my kids complain that its no good because they can't get up enough speed.

KMK Dec 16th, 2004 06:21 AM

Hi doodlebugg - just wanted to reassure you, I didn't really start skiing until I was 32 and now I am an advanced skier, and, starting this year, a ski instructor!

By the way, in our training for ski instruction, we have been told that those with a background in ice skating, rollerblading, etc. have an easier time learning to ski - some of the motions & feelings are similar. Do take a lesson or series of lessons though, and have fun!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:16 AM.