Learn To Ski One Tip at a Time

learn to ski aspen snowmass

Photo courtesy Aspen/Snowmass

brave ski mom logoKevin Jordan has a goal.

The Children’s Coordinator for the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, Kevin wants to make it easier for everyone to learn to ski and ride.

So during January, Kevin is offering one solid learn to ski and snowboard tip per day on a special Facebook page.

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and Kevin is an Ambassador for this program, along with such notable skiers as Glen Plake, Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves. As Ambassadors, they find ways to get people fired up about snowsports.

Learn Before You Go

Jordan wanted to do something that would help beginners “clue-in” to snowsports before they get to the mountain. He wanted to help them find answers to the questions they might not even realize they have.

learn to ski aspen snowmass

Photo courtesy Aspen/Snowmass

“One of the biggest challenges in learning a new sport is that there are a lot of questions. Everyone wants to learn quickly and be good at something right away. They don’t want to look silly or look like they don’t know what they are doing.”

His tips can help anyone be more informed and knowledgeable.

Specific tips cover everything from how to size skis, the importance of goggles and sunscreen, as well as things like what kind of socks to wear and understanding the skier and snowboarder Responsibility Code.

The tips don’t go in any particular order, and some may resonate more with some people than others. I asked Jordan for his favorite tip and he replied, “that snowsports are supposed to be fun,” adding that it’s also important to remember that learning them will take more than one lesson.

“Learning a winter sport is not a ‘one-off’ experience,” he explains. “There is always something that we can improve upon in terms of skill development.”

Learn to ski aspen snowmass

Photo courtesy Aspen/Snowmass

Lessons for All Levels

While Jordan’s tips focus on beginners, teaching pros have plenty of skills they can share with intermediate and advanced skiers to help them explore the mountain in a safe and fun manner.

Kevin jordan aspen snowmass

Photo courtesy Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.

Taking an example from the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, Jordan explains how they teach kids specific skills on easier terrain before introducing them to new challenges. For example, kids are taught how to ‘self-arrest’ or stop themselves before skiing expert slopes.

“We have a double black diamond checklist and this ‘self arrest’ skill is just on of the many skills they learn and have to be proficient in before we take them into this difficult terrain,” according to Jordan.

So whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced skier or rider, log into Facebook and check out Jordan’s daily tips.

Then, get out there. Take a lesson.

And, enjoy this miracle we call winter.

When You Go…

UnknownLearn to Ski and Snowboard Month programs and specials area available at resorts across the US this month. For more information on lessons, contact your local resort.

If you and your family find yourself taking lessons at Aspen/Snowmass this season, Jordan suggests purchasing half and full-day private lessons at least seven days in advance at a discounted rate.

Other suggestions for families include the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, which has programming for infants through teenagers, and Ullr Nights.

An on-mountain celebration of winter, Ullr Nights happens every Friday night through March 28 at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola featuring sledding, ice skating, ski biking, live music, and of course, delicious food and drinks.

ullr nights tubing snowmass

Sliding downhill during Ullr Nights at Snowmass.

As for skiing Snowmass, Jordan points to the diversity found on this big mountain.

“Snowmass offers something for everyone, from a beginner’s paradise at 10,000 feet known as the Elk Camp Meadows, to extreme terrain in the Cirque and the Hanging Valley Wall.

“Intermediate and advanced skiers and riders can try skiing or riding from one side of the mountain to the other. It will take you at least a couple of days,” he says, adding that even then you won’t cover the entire resort.

“I’m still learning new lines here in some of the extreme terrain!”


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Learn to ski aspen/snowmass

Photo courtesy Aspen/Snowmass

© 2014, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.


  1. Julia (Brisbane, Australia) says

    Being really organised, helps to get the most our of your ski day! Our children take personal responsibility for prepping the night before and making sure their items are ready for next day – helmet, goggles, gloves, etc (secretly checked by mum