First Timers' Guide

First Time on Snow? Never fear! French-Swiss is here!

If it is your first ever ski trip, or you are a seasoned ski veteran, these helpful tips can go a long way into making sure your first experience on the snow is a positive one.  From packing to lessons, this guide can help you prepare for a great vacation with your family.


Learning to ski or snowboard is a lot like learning to swim. You are not going to be ready for the deep end after your first visit. Learning to ski or ride takes time and practice. A lesson can be a very helpful, almost essential, part of learning a snow sport; it can teach basic technique while encouraging confidence in new terrain.



As stated before, lessons are almost essential to learn a new sport in a positive light.  A very high percentage of people who try skiing or snowboarding once do not return because of their first experience. A lesson helps a novice develop skills needed to enjoy the sport of skiing or snowboarding.  Here at French-Swiss, our motto is, “Three lessons will give you a skill for life.” And we aren’t kidding! For the average person it takes three lessons (with practice time) to be comfortable and have control on steeper, more advanced terrain. Please visit the links below to learn more about our learning options:

Private Lessons

Group Lessons

Childrens' Programs


What to wear

Enjoying the crisp, refreshing mountain air is part of the excitement of skiing, but that doesn’t mean you have to be cold! Below is a suggestive packing list that will keep you comfortable in most conditions:

-Layer up, don’t bulk up! Allow your body to adjust to the temperature changes throughout the day. Layers are easy to take off, easy to store, and easy to put back on should you feel cold again. The two most important layers are the one closest to the skin, and the outermost layer. Your underwear should be “wicking” and quick-dry while your outermost layer should be both wind-resistant and waterproof to protect you in all conditions.

-Eye protection: Sunlight and UV rays reflect off of snow and can make the slope features hard to discern at times. Sunglasses and goggles are good options to help you see definition and detail in the slopes below you, as well as protect your eyes from harmful rays, wind, or snow. Colder days will require goggles.

-WEAR ONLY ONE PAIR OF SOCKS! Too many socks can restrict circulation and affect boot fit.

-Gloves or mittens (preferably waterproof) should be worn no matter what the temperature is.

-If you forget anything the Alpine Ski Shop located in the lodge can outfit you with anything you would need for any condition.

***The App Ski Mtn. Gift Shop can also rent entire outfits of ski clothing***


What to bring to the slopes (besides the obvious)

It's the little things that count! Below are examples of some helpful things at a ski slope!




-Pair of shoes/extra clothes for after skiing





-Hand sanitizer


What to do when I arrive at Appalachian Ski Mountain

Equipment rentals and ski tickets must be bought through Appalachian Ski Mountain (unless part of an all-inclusive package). Cashiers located in the lower level of the lodge will be happy to assist you in getting your gear together as well as renting you a locker if you need one.


Staying Safe on A Ski Mountain

Courtesy is essential at a busy ski area, and your responsibility code serves to familiarize you with some guidelines that should be followed at all times when on the slopes.

Responsibility Code:

• 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.