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Ski Lessons

Berkeley, California
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for Berkeley
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Ski Lessons

I am going skiing for the first time this weekend. My friends want to go to Northstar because one of them has a seaon pass. We are spending Saturday night in Kings Beach, so Northstar is convenient for us.

However, I am stumped on ski lessons. Why does it cost $119 for ski lessons at Northstar while lessons at Boreal are $70? I realize that Northstar is "better" for regular skiiers, but for a first timer I am having difficulty justifying the extra $49.

As if that weren't bad enough, I noticed that a second day of lessons at Boreal is just $25, while it's still $119 at Northstar. So the price difference for me is $143 between the two days. Am I missing something? Should I have my friends drop me off at Boreal? I'm suddenly not too excited about skiing...

Edited: 07 April 2011, 20:42
Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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1. Re: Ski Lessons

Not sure if I am reading this correctly, but looks like Diamond Peak, over in nearby Incline Village is $69 for a beginner.

diamondpeak.com/lessons_rentals/ski_snowboar…

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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2. Re: Ski Lessons

Two different resorts, two different owners, two different price lists. Did you notice that Boreal lessons are only an hour and a half while Northstar is a full day?

Northstar is cheaper.

Berkeley, California
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3. Re: Ski Lessons

The lessons at all other resorts are in the 1.5-2 hour range. It is highly unlikely the "all day" at Northstar includes instruction for a full 6 hours. It is much more likely that the "full day" includes the limited lift ticket afterward, which is how other resorts do it.

However, I suppose it's possible Northstar gives full 6-hour lessons. It looks like I'll be going to Northstar on Saturday, so I'll report back with findings. We may go to Mt. Rose on Sunday, and if we do, I'll report back with a comparison.

Berkeley, California
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4. Re: Ski Lessons

P.S. I'm not sure why this is in the SLT forum. I posted in the regular LT forum, but maybe TA thought it knew better than me! :-?

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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5. Re: Ski Lessons

A full day lesson means 9-12 in the morning and 2-4 in the afternoon, usually. It's not 6 hours straight, there's always a 90-120 minute break for lunch.

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Ski Lessons

Do the first full day at Northstar with a lesson and see you how you feel. There is a good chance that you will feel comfortable working on your own for the second day and not go for the second lesson. Especially if it is a full day lesson.

San Jose, California
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7. Re: Ski Lessons

Hi there,

My younger child had lessons at both Boreal and Northstar. I was very disappointed with Boreal. It was a few years ago. I paid for a 5 hour lesson, but my child only skied for about 2 to 3 hours. It was dis-organized, felt like half day-care, half lesson. After their lunch break, my then 4 year old just stayed inside and watched cartoons with a few other kids.

Northstar's lesson was great. The staff were kind, caring, and warm to the kids, the lessons are very organized, and the children stayed in their small group, and participated on a full day lesson. Both of my children also took snowboarding lessons at Northstar.

$119 is actually a good deal. During Christmas week, I paid $159 for a full day ski lesson for my 6 year old niece. And the kid can join us at the slopes the next day.

I think it costs more, because it is WAY better.

San Jose, California
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8. Re: Ski Lessons

Ops, I just realized that this is lesson for yourself. I only have experience with these resorts' lessons for children.

I still think that one day of lesson should be enough for you to go on the mountains on your own the next day.

If Boreal's lesson is 5 hours for $70, that sounds pretty good, as long as you won't be tempted to sit and watch TV after your lunch.

Everything at Northstar is more expensive, i.e. the lift tickets. Because it is a very good resort, and much bigger. But since you are a beginner, you don't need that much mountain, so Boreal might be a good place for you to start the sport.

Edited: 09 April 2011, 06:59
Berkeley, California
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9. Re: Ski Lessons

I'm back to report my findings...

It turns out the full-day lesson does indeed last 5 hours (10-12:30, 1:30-4). Northstar is a better value when considering the lesson lasts 5 hours instead of 2!

I took a half-day beginners lesson on Saturday and a full-day novice lesson on Sunday and had a great time. The half-day lesson is $99; however, since they don't sell them until noon, I had to buy a full-day lesson for $119 so I could go up the gondola with my friends. Lame! The novice lesson was pricey at $149 for a full day, but I got a lot out of it.

I had enough good instruction that I can go up by myself next time, or I could take another lesson and further improve my skiing ability (read: move beyond the comfort of a gliding wedge).

As for prices, my friend who didn't have a season pass was extremely unhappy with the high lift ticket prices; she didn't consider it a good value for her money. So definitely try to find discount coupons to North$tar!

Also, Northstar is spread out, so it definitely takes a full hour to get from the parking lot to the ski slope if you have to rent anything. That's a bit of a drag!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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10. Re: Ski Lessons

Glad your first experience was positive. I admire anyone who learns a new sport as an adult.