17It is a myth that adults cannot learn to ski — I started skiing when I was forty. It is easier for children, but these days a sizable number of adults are taking a lesson.

The Baby Boomer generation continues to hit the slopes and it is not unusual to see skiers in their seventies. Skiing is an engaging sport that is both aerobic and anaerobic and a sport that the entire family can enjoy.

Making a good plan for your ski trip is an important part of having an enjoyable experience. Look for a slope that is beginner friendly with a good rental department and has qualified instructors. In the beginning, avoid investing in expensive ski clothes and equipment to see if you like the sport. Wearing water-resistant clothing will help keep you dry when you fall. Let’s face it you are going to fall, get cold, and get snow down your pants. Your clothing should be layered, moisture wicking and avoid cotton because it absorbs sweat and will make you colder.

My advice to the beginner is to buy an inexpensive pair of bibs, a jacket, and a good pair of gloves and wear sunglasses that have a holder strap or goggles and a helmet. Rent your skis or snowboard and go early because the lines are usually long, and it takes a while to properly fit equipment not to mention how long it takes you to get settled and put it on.

Go to a ski slope that offers other activities such as ice skating or tubing for other members that may not be interested in the sport. A lesson or lessons are a prerequisite in learning how to navigate your skis or board, start, stop and get on and off the lift. The “bunny slope,” as it is affectionately called, is there for a reason and a fantastic way to learn and build confidence. Going straight to the top is no way to learn how to ski or board and can be dangerous for you and the others around you when you are unable to stop.

Hydration is a key factor for endurance during the day, taking breaks and eating something nutritious. The choice of a slope suited for your level of experience is important to enjoy the experience and create memories you take with you and look forward to your next trip.

I have skied out west, the North Carolina mountains (that include Beach, Sugar, Appalachian) as well as in West Virginia (Winterplace and Snowshoe). The ambiance of the North Carolina mountains is perfect for a place to ski and shop but the downside is the popularity and crowding. If you love the North Carolina mountains try to schedule that trip on weekdays instead of the weekend.

My suggestion for beginners would be Winterplace, West Virginia, which is good for proximity and usually less crowded with a variety of beginner friendly runs.
Churches or schools offer road trips or weekends for youth and is a fantastic way for your children to go with supervision.

If you are thinking about a family trip, planning in advance will save you time and money with lift tickets, available times, ski packages that include rentals, lessons, and any days that may be sold out.
Ski season on the East Coast typically runs from mid-December through March.

Adults learning to ski should have lessons from a qualified instructor to learn the basics and opt out from those eager friends that want to teach them. Enjoy that friend time later while you talk about your runs.
Live, love life with skiing and snowboarding!


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