First Timer's Guide

This comprehensive First Timer’s Guide was created to help make your first visit with us a great one. Reading and reviewing the information included in this Guide will get you prepared and ready for your skiing or snowboarding adventure at Appalachian Ski Mtn. Click on a section to expand it and read the helpful hints within!

First Time Guide

First time participants in skiing and snowboarding can have fun sliding on the snow right from the start. The ability to stop and make controlled turns are the two skills that will allow people to progress in the sport and move beyond the beginner slopes to enjoy the entire mountain.

The joy of skiing really starts when you can turn and ski in control on intermediate terrain. Guidance and coaching from a trained professional instructor makes this goal much easier to accomplish than trying to learn on your own or with the help of well-meaning friends.

A very high percentage of people who only try skiing or snowboarding once don’t return because they have not allowed enough time to develop the skills to enjoy the sport. For the average person, it takes 3 times to be comfortable and in control on more difficult terrain.

Taking a series of 3 lessons (not just one) will give you a skill for life. Skiing is a lot like swimming. No one learns to swim with just one lesson.

Your first lesson helps you learn to keep your balance, and you get familiar with sliding while staying on your feet. A second lesson makes the transition to intermediate terrain and the third lesson gets you comfortable and confident on intermediate terrain.

Being out and enjoying the crisp refreshing mountain air is part of the excitement of skiing. By wearing the appropriate clothing you will stay comfortable and warm no matter what the winter weather conditions may be. Listed below are some suggestions regarding clothing:

  • Dress in layers. This allows you to adjust your clothing as the temperature changes throughout the day. The two most important layers are the one closest to your skin and the outermost layer. The best underwear is absorbent and “wicks” perspiration away from your skin. The outermost layer, including pants, should be wind and water resistant.
  • Wear a warm collared shirt, sweater or fleece.
  • Water and wind resistant pants are the best bet, and you will be glad you have them on the snow. Snow or ski pants are ideal, jeans are not the best choice for an outer layer, but can be worn with a waterproof shell over them. Be sure your pants are wide enough at the bottom of the legs to fit over large boots.
  • Jacket or shell with a high collar, again water and wind resistant is ideal.
  • For your feet, one pair of thin socks is all that is needed – too many socks will restrict circulation and affect boot fit. Wool or acrylic socks are better than cotton athletic socks, but make sure the socks are long so they will extend up above your ski boot. Ski and snowboard boots are made with insulation and will keep your feet warm.
  • Eye protection – Goggles and Sunglasses – Infrared and ultraviolet rays can be extremely harmful to your eyes, especially at higher altitudes. Good quality sunglasses are an important investment. Wind, blowing snow, cold, and fog can also be very uncomfortable for your eyes; Goggles are every bit as important as sunglasses. Always take both with you, even if the day seems perfect.
  • Gloves or Mittens should always be worn no matter what the temperature is. Avoid knit gloves as they get wet very quickly.
  • A warm hat that covers your ears. You lose 90% of your body heat through your head; get a warm hat and wear it!
  • Extra clothes for the ride home can make the trip back much more comfortable.

The Alpine Ski Shop, conveniently located on the lower level of the lodge, carries a wide variety of every item listed above. The Gift Shop, on the 2nd level of the lodge can also outfit you with rental clothing from head to toe. Stop by either upon arrival to the Mtn., and let our friendly staff help you complete your outfit!

Not sure where to go when you arrive at Appalachian Ski Mtn.? This section will help you through the process, from parking your car to stepping out on the slopes. As always, if you have any questions once you arrive to Appalachian Ski Mtn., don’t hesitate to ask one of our many courteous, knowledgeable employees who will be glad to assist you.

There is plenty of parking at Appalachian Ski Mtn., and no matter where your space is, it is sure to be a short walk to the base lodge. The Gatekeeper at the entrance will greet you and give you information on where to park your vehicle. On busier days, you will be assisted by parking directors who will guide you to your spot.

Lift Tickets
Once you have entered the Base Lodge, you can proceed to one of our lift ticket booths, located on the lower level of the lodge. The cashiers in the ticket booth will be happy to get you set up with exactly what you need. Rentals and lockers are also purchased at the same booth, and you also will receive specific instructions on where to go for all of your rental equipment, making the entire process as easy as possible!

Your Responsibility Code: Courtesy is essential at a busy ski area, and this responsibility code serves to familiarize you with some guidelines that should be followed at all times when on the slopes. Please observe the code to enhance your enjoyment on the slopes this winter.

  • Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use retention devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Other Tips to make your trip a safer and more enjoyable experience!

  • Always check the weather and dress accordingly.
  • It is important to ride within your own fitness level and pace yourself on the slopes.
  • Clanking your skis or boards together while on the lift can result in an injury to someone below you.
  • After loading any chairlift, be sure to lower your restraining bar.
  • When you unload any lift, move away from the unloading zone quickly as you don’t want to be in the way of other riders unloading the lift.
  • Snowball throwing is not permitted on or off the slopes.

The best way to learn to ski or ride is to take lessons! Professional instruction will accelerate your improvement. Allowing your friends to teach you is not a good idea. As good a skier as a friend may be, it is best to let them ski their favorite runs while you enroll in a lesson from a professional. More often than not when a friend is trying to teach, the newcomer is being taken on terrain that he or she is not quite ready for. Above all else, this is unsafe — both for yourself and for others around you.

The perception is that instruction is expensive. it is not, and the beginner ski and snowboard lessons are economical.

Don’t expect too much from yourself after just one lesson, Fact is, it will take three—maybe four to have a solid understanding.

Teaching Children to Ski
If you’re registering children for their first ski lesson, it is important to set realistic expectations. Children under the age of 5 often remain on the beginner slope most of their first day. Depending on individual muscle control and development, skiing can be difficult in their first days. If your child is under the age of 5, it is important to recognize that walking in ski boots and skis and straight glides are big accomplishments.

Private lessons are recommended for children under 5 or they can enroll in the Ski Wee program designed especially for 4-8 year olds. The most important thing to remember is that their first taste of skiing needs to be positive, non-threatening and fun.

Kids and Snowboarding
Snowboard lessons for children usually start at about 7 years of age. Private lessons are available for any age.

If you are enrolling children in the SkiWee program, your first stop should be at the French Swiss Ski College desk on the lower level of the lodge, instead of the lift ticket booth.

If you are renting equipment, you will receive a rental form at the Ticket Booth. Depending on whether you are renting skis or a snowboard, our ticket cashiers will guide on where to go to pick up your equipment. It is very important that all the information on the form is accurate. If you’re not sure of your height or weight, we have height charts on most every wall and a scale behind the rental counter that you can use. Review one of the skier type charts if you are unsure of your skier type. It is recommended (by us and the French Swiss Ski College) that you check the shaped ski rental box if you’re just starting and learning to ski. The shaped skis turn easier, have a friendlier flex, and are much easier to learn to ski on. If you are an advanced skier looking for a more aggressive, stiffer flex, wider, twin-tipped all mountain ski, check the twin-tip ski box. This upgrade will get you on a higher performing advanced ski. We also offer ski boards, a shorter, lighter, slightly slower, quicker turning ski.

Boots: Proceed to the ski boot rental area with your rental form to get your ski boots first. Ladies’ and kids’ on the right side, mens’ on the left side. Use your regular street shoe size. Snowboard boots are given out at the snowboard counter just past the ski counter.

Our rental ski boots are easy on and off rear entry, one buckle boots. Unbuckle the buckle, slide your foot in the boot, tighten the buckle until it’s snug, but not too tight. On the front of the boot shell is a lever which you can adjust the forefoot pressure. Your boot should fit snug, but not too tight.

Our standard snowboard boots are step-in types with standard lacing on the shell. Just like the ski boots, the boots should be snug but not tight. The step-in boots also have one strap across the top. This strap should also be snug but not tight.

Our Burton Learn To Ride and Burton Performance Park Board set-ups use standard lacing on the shell along with liners that have integrated liner lacing, so one pull on the cord will tighten the liner. Tighten the liner first, then the lacing on the shell.

Snowboard boots are issued at the snowboard counter past the ski counter. Boards and boots are issued at the same time and are to be returned together at the same time. Please remember to tuck in the laces and re-connect any straps on the boots. Please remember to have your rental form with you when you return your board set-up, as this will be the key to your deposit return.

How your ski and snowboard boots should fit: Your toes should be able to move freely, but not too much play. An indication of a good fit is standing with your knees straight, your toes should just be touching the end of the boot. Now, stand with your knees bent, your toes should have just pulled away from the toe of the boot, but just barely. Your toes should not be consistently touching the front of the boot. Boot fit is so very important to skiing and boarding. The boot transfers your inputs to the bindings and skis and board. Sloppy fit will equate to sloppy handling equipment and can make it harder to learn to ski or ride. And by the way, one pair of good quality moisture wicking socks (not cotton) will do the trick, as multiple layers of socks tend to wad and bind, and also can restrict the circulation of blood to your feet. Remember, there aren’t many things in life that are fun when your feet hurt, skiing and boarding are no exceptions. Tip: Make sure to trim your toenails before you come to ski or board. Your feet will thank you.

Skis: Now that you have a good fitting pair of boots on, you’re ready to get your skis. Walk on over to the ski counter to get your skis. Don’t forget to bring your rental form with you. Our rental technicians will ask you a few questions, and set you up for skis. After you receive your skis, you may take them outside on a nice flat level snow surface, lay them on the snow, and step in them. First put your toe in under the lip on the front binding, then press down on the heel to attach the ski to the boot. Note, the heel piece must be in the flat position to step into the ski. If you fall and don’t press the binding back down, you will not be able to re-enter the ski binding. We will show you how to do this at the rental counter as you receive your skis.

Poles: are located in marked bins (according to the users height) next to the outside snowboard lockups to the right as you head towards the slopes from the lodge. Please return the poles to the appropriately marked bins with the tip of the poles placed in first.

Regular or Goofy?: If you know if you are goofy footed or regular footed, let the snowboard technician know. If you don’t know or aren’t sure, ask us to help you. Regular foot is leading with your left foot forward. Goofy foot is leading with your right foot forward, with your left foot behind. Generally speaking, right handers are regular foot, and lefties are goofy foot. The theory is that you would want your dominant leg behing you. This is only a theory, and you may find that you like riding opposite of that. It is a matter of personal preference. The forward foot should stay attached to your board. Use your back foot to maneuver your board while loading or moving other than downhill.

Boards: Our standard step-in rental board has Rossignol boots and non-releasable bindings. After you have received your snowboard and boots, you may take the board outside, lay it down on a nice flat snow surface, and step in your bindings. Because you use your back foot to maneuver (kind of like skateboarding), you will put your leash on your lead (front) foot, as it will stay attached while you are on the snow. Line up the groove on the sole of the boot to the notch on the binding and step in. Check by pulling up on your foot to make sure it is securely in the binding. Now, attach your leash to the laces of the front boot. The leash is to keep the board from getting away from you in an uncontrolled fashion and endangering others on the slope. If your boot wont lock into the binding, make sure there isn’t any snow or ice built up on the binding or the bottom of the boot. This is the main reason boots wont lock in. To get out of the bindings, simply pull up on the release lever on the side of the bindings, lift your boot, unclip your leash, and step off of the board. Please be careful to not let the board get away from you while you are getting in or out of the board. Out of control equipment is a danger to everyone.

Our Burton Learn To Ride package has specially designed boards to ease the learning process. Specific beginner friendly tuned edges and specially shaped board and a forgiving flex that promotes an easy learning experience. These bindings are also non-releasable but are traditional strap-in bindings. Upon receiving your Learn To Ride package, you may take your board out to a nice level snow surface and put your lead foot into the binding. Tighten the strap that goes over your ankle first. This will help seat your boot in the binding properly. Your boot heel should be firmly against the back of the binding before attaching the front toe strap. To tighten the straps, slide the strap through the buckle, lift the front of the buckle and ratchet until the straps are snug but not too tight. To get out, lift the rear of the buckle upwards and slide the buckle off the strap.

Our Burton Performance Park Board rental is a Burton Park Specific board that has added pop, special park and rail edge tuning, rocker shape, and a flex that is built for performance. The binding set-up is also a non-releasable strap in type and attaches the same way as the Burton LTR packages.

Remember, all equipment is to be returned to the same counter from which it was rented from. Poles are located in marked bins (according to the users height) next to the outside snowboard lockups to the right as you head towards the slopes from the lodge. Please return the poles to the appropriately marked bins with the tip of the poles placed in first.