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What to expect on your first day with the Snowbasin Learning Center

By Alyssa Erickson Mon Jan 07 2019 Skiing, Snowbasin Report, Snowboarding

So this is the year! The year you decided to become a skier or snowboarder. Or maybe you are a parent and this is the year you signed up your kids for lessons, rented all the gear and now you find yourself staring into early light of a grey morning wondering if this was a good idea.

Trust me.  It is. But like all first days, first days learning to ski or snowboard can be a little unnerving. As humans, we just aren’t comfortable with the unexpected or unknown. Today I am going to help a little bit with that.

What should you expect on your first day:

For an introduction to the typical first day in ski school, I caught up with Ashley Watts, the Snowbasin Snow Sports School Director and he shared these tips:

  • Plan your morning. Arriving on time, unhurried, and prepared will set the stage for your day. To do so, Ashley suggests arriving an hour before your scheduled lesson if you are renting equipment. On weekends, holidays, or powder days, allow more time for snowy roads, traffic and possible delays.


  • When you arrive at Snowbasin, head right into the Learning Center, a short walk from skier drop off or the shuttle drop off at the base. At the Learning Center you will check in at the main desk, receive your rental gear and meet your private instructor or receive your group assignment. If you are confused on where to go, please ask one of our awesome Guest Services workers in the yellow jackets.
  • There is no need to pack a lunch, especially if you have children signed up for group lessons as lunch is included! Children will eat at the Learning Center. Adult participants will take a break around noon for lunch and often eat with their instructors at one of the on mountain lodges.  
  • A frequent question is, “will I be riding a chair lift or go up on the mountain during my first day?” The answer to this varies depending on the individual. "Most new-to-snow participants will ride the magic carpet very soon after starting their lesson. Most of the time, skiers or snowboarders will ride at least one other lift during the day," says Ashley.

  • Make sure you layer your clothing for your first day. Even on the coldest days, your effort may be strenuous and you may find yourself wanting to drop a layer. Helmets and eye protection are also a must. While goggles are often preferred, Ashley suggests sunglasses are a great idea on day 1 as many students end up warmer than anticipated and their goggles tend to fog up.
  • If you are a parent wanting to observe from a distance during the lesson, you are welcome to do so. However, it is critical that parents give the instructors plenty of space and don’t try to help out with the lesson. Ashley suggests that parents take a lesson as well or if guests book a private lesson, they can bring up to 4 extra people at no extra cost.  If you would like to take a family lesson, where you are learning alongside your child, you can help the instructor most by modeling a good attitude and being actively engaged in the learning process.

We hope you this helps lessen the anxiety of your first day and leads to a successful season on the slopes of Snowbasin!


Alyssa Erickson
I am a wife, mom, rock climber, skier, coffee lover and all around adventure lover with a passion for writing. I have my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado and am the founder of KidProject.org. I live and play near the Wasatch Range, partnering with my husband and teaching my kids to make the most of life and the One who gave it to us.