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ski lessons for teens in Whistler

Singapore, Singapore
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ski lessons for teens in Whistler

My 3 teenage boys will try their hands skiing this Dec while in Whistler. After checking, the fees are $175 per person for group lessons of up to 8 pax. I'm wondering if this amount is inclusive of ski lift and gratuities? This is their first time skiing so would like to know if there're other costs involved. Oh yes, we plan to rent the ski jackets there too as we don't have any ski gear. And would everything in Whistler be open from 23 to 25 Dec, including the ski school? Where exactly is the ski school and how do we get to the ski school from Whistler Village? Any suggestion on what can my husband and I do in the area while they go for the ski lesson which is supposed to be 8.30am till 3pm? Has anyone tried the ski school to be able to share your experience? Thanks in advance!

Toronto
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1. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

The price of ski lessons generally does not include the lift ticket. The ski school is based at the foot of the mountain next to the gondola, very easy to find. The ski school does a great job and your boys should enjoy it. You may also want to email the ski school directly, I'm sure they will respond to you questions.

Christmas is peak season and everything will be open December 23-25, though I don't know about ski lessons on Christmas day.

As for you and your husband, why not try some ski lessons too.

Vancouver
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2. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

Not sure what it costs to rent jackets but at Function Junction which is just before whistler, you turn left and then do a quick right there is a "thrift store" that often has great jackets for a great price.

Ali

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

Thanks CharlierRogers and aliii for the input. My husband and I had tried skiing before and can't really say it's our cups of tea ;-) Think we will be happier sipping real tea while boys ski!

Whistler, Canada
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4. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

Hi Marie here at Tourism Whistler

$175 is for a ski lesson only. It is $222 with a lift ticket - this is much cheaper than buying a lift ticket separately. Gratuities not included, but completely optionally. It is a nice gesture if your boys have a great instructor. Lunch is included. Maximum 6 per class for 13-18 year olds. Book in advance as it can sell out over the Christmas period.

You can rent a beginner ski/boot/pole set from $32 per day - it is cheaper if you book more days. You can also rent clothing at the rental store. $37 per day for a full package - jacket, pants, helmet, goggles and gloves.

You could also try the Whistler Clearance Centre to buy clothing. A good place to go to get ski socks and long underwear.

I would suggest on one day you and your husband buy a PEAK 2 PEAK sightseeing ticket. You can have a nice lunch at the top of the mountain - Christine's on Blackcomb is one of my favourite spots. Make sure you make a reservation as it will be busy over Christmas.

Other ideas for things to do - Scandinave Spa, Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, snow-shoeing around Lost Lake.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

Ski school is all day. Your boys will meet at a pre determined spot and start the lessons. Please expect big crowds on the slopes as it is prime time.

Lessons will take place probably on Whistler near Olympic Chair area.

You and your husband should go chill...go to a movie, spa...etc.

For clothing just rent it all unless your planning to come back or if the boys stopped growing. Definitely rent your skis. If you are renting get your gear the day prior or first thing in the morning. As I said it's a zoo.

I have taken lessons at WB and they are good.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

I had no idea the beginner lesson prices were so high. That is out of control! The instructors have a little bit of training but they are not going to perform any miracles. Are there no third party lessons available (not through Whistler/Blackcomb)?

Whistler, Canada
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7. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

No third party lessons available.

The OP was enquiring for teen lessons over the Holidays when prices are higher. Have you looked into the Discover Whistler Day pricing? 30% off for select dates during the winter. There is also $50 off select adult, teen and kids lessons when you book by November 15.

For adults you can get a 3 day beginner group lessons and lift ticket for $342 during Discover Whistler Days. This is good value and only maximum of 4 per class.

Not sure how often you come up to Whistler during the winter, but if you are a weekender there are great lesson programs available for kids and teens. Good value if you want to commit to 1 or 2 days per week for the season.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

I would suggest the OP find and alternative smaller resort to for their kids to learn to ski. You can save a lot of money and the experience will be less overwhelming for everyone. The benefit of skiing in Whistler is the vast terrain. 99% of this terrain your kids will NOT yet have the ability to enjoy but pay for anyway.

You could google it but maybe Big White or Sun Peaks. You will get more of the Canadian mountain feel. As opposed to the international resort feel.

If it is only a three day trip, the parents may find they also have a more intimate (mountain holiday) experience at one of the smaller hills. If the non-skiers really need vast shopping and entertainment then Whistler is still your best bet.

As a local and expert skier I was just disappointed to see Whistler-Blackcomb gouging our visitors with these excessive rates. The rates are not in line with the costs of instructors, insurance etc.

Another tip for the OP: Most ski resorts will be fully open for business on Dec 25th, so it is actually one of the best days for skiing as the lines are small because everyone is at home opening presents.

Singapore, Singapore
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9. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

Thanks, Mr PineappleSunshine. We're not into skiing so unsure how ski schools usually charge. But we had expected to pay a premium at Whistler. Is the price really that much higher? We had thought since it's a 7 hr class with lunch thrown in, it was not so bad. It's only not too good when multiply by 3!

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: ski lessons for teens in Whistler

Hi Uallin,

So I looked at this more closely. What she is quoting for your teenagers is $222 for the "Ride Tribe Daily Ski Lessons". Max six per group (so there will probably be three other kids - which is fine). It is for the full day. The wisdom of such a long day (especially three in a row) is a little dubious, this is why other resorts they only go to 1:30 or so. In a smaller resort it's more feasible for teenagers to keep practicing on their own for the afternoon. Parents can often even watch from the lodge at the bottom of the hill. Whistler is much more confusing so having someone with you the whole day is a plus. Also, you know the kids are out of your hair for 7 hours!

As a comparison, Sun Peaks Resort has a standard rate of $99 for the first learning day and $125 for additional days (inclusive of Lift Ticket, Lesson and Rentals - ski, poles, boots, helmet but not clothing). So for the three days you would save about $400 PER KID. The big difference is the instruction time is shorter (only two hours) on the second two days. But from a learning to ski perspective it would not make a difference and if I was a teenager with two brothers I would be happy for the independence.

At Big White the pricing is similar to Sun Peaks where they are pushing the short lesson, practice on your own concept. Or you can hire a private instructor for the whole day in which case (for 3 people) the price is similar to Whistler's "Ride Tribe".

I do want to shame Whistler-Blackomb for taking so much profit from the lessons. They are grossing as much as $690 from one lesson with the instructor getting paid maybe $15 per hour. These potential skiers are the future of our town, lets not scare them with astronomical prices. Also if you look closely the "MAX4 Group" adult lessons are much cheaper then the lessons for teens.

Whistler is is world class, like the restaurants, I am sure the standards for lessons are very very high. But it would not be my choice to learn to ski. I would choose somewhere low key to get the hang of it.