Lessons near DC
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KCB
September 8, 2004
Member since 09/8/2004
3 posts
Which resorts near DC offer the best private lessons? My wife is a "never-ever" (except for a group lesson at Whistler last year interrupted after two hours by the need to travel halfway across Canada to nurse a six-month old baby).

We're going to Park City in February, and we'd both like to take a one-day private lesson around here before we go. What can we do to increase our chances of getting a good instructor? I assume that weekdays are better than weekends. Does anyone recommend any particular ski areas and instructors at those areas?

I'd like a lesson myself. I took a few lessons as a teenager, and skied last winter for the first time in 15 years. I'm comfortable going doing blues and easy blacks, though my technique could use some improvement.
Jim
September 8, 2004
Member since 11/22/1999
317 posts
Ski Liberty (aka Liberty Mountain) is pretty close and has a decent ski lessons program. For the most part, if your wife is close to being a never ever, just about any of the PSIA certified instructors would be fine. If you are interested in a private lesson, I would recommend seeking out Otto Matheke as an instructor. He is PSIA level II (or is it III by now?) and a frequent poster to this board. A lot of his training to get to the higher level involved being able to not only ski very very well (so as to demonstrate proper technique to students), it also involved rigorous training and testing in various teaching methods. I've watched him teach and he is pretty good. I will add the mandatory disclaimer that he and I are friends, but I think my opinion is fairly objective anyway. I certainly plan to hit him up for lessons when my son is of age.

In addition, I would suggest that you may want to have more than one lesson. I like skiing at Liberty through the season as a warm up for trips out west. With Liberty only 90 minutes away, its an easy day trip. Getting a series of lessons will really put you in better shape for Park City. Mandatory disclaimer number 2: I also work at Ski Liberty (as a Ski Patroller), so my plug for the area should also be taken in that light. That said, I honestly believe that Liberty is very family friendly and accessible.

Good luck!
warren
September 9, 2004
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
KCB,
Welcome to the board! I think you'll like Park City. They have quite a bit of green and blue terrain along with some easy blacks and pretty scenery! Eat at the mid-mountain lodge, the views are beautiful

Anyway, another close-in ski hill is Whitetail . I live in Clifton/Centreville and it's about 90 miles away. I would agree with the mid-week idea though. They can get quite crowded on the weekends. My daughter has had several lessons there and we've been pleased.

I can't wait for the season to start
-Warren-
KCB
September 9, 2004
Member since 09/8/2004
3 posts
Park City was where I was reintroduced to skiing last winter. I had a business trip to Salt Lake City, so I went out a day early. Park City has a great deal for same-day travelers. Show them your boarding pass, and you get a free same-day lift ticket. Delta has a flight that leaves Dulles at 7:15 and gets into SLC just after 10. I was able to make it to Park City by 11:15, and with my $20 rental, I had 6 hours of skiing for next to nothing (parts of Park City are lit at night).

I then went to Whistler for two days in March, and I'm now addicted.
snowcone
September 9, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002
589 posts
I agree with Jim .. you might seriously want to take a look at more than 1 days worth of lessons. Speaking from experience, I was a never-ever 4 years ago and when I decided to take the plunge I invested in serious lesson time. Taking a lot of lessons on various terrain with some of the best instructors around (at Liberty, Whitetail, Blue Knob and Snowshoe) was one of the best investments I have ever made.

I would also recommend you take some lessons too. With the recent advent of parabolic skis, the physics and techniques of skiing have changed drastically in the last few years. Once you learn how to handle those babies, a whole new world of skiing pleasure is yours to enjoy.

Additionally, take some lessons at PC when you get there, you will have more fun and feel more comfortable on the PC/DV/Canyon runs. Utah is -not- Mid Atlantic!
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
September 9, 2004
Member since 10/18/1999
1,526 posts
I agree with the posts about taking more than one day. My brother and his wife came over to visit me at Snwoshoe this past season. Neither had ever skied and my sister in law is probably the textbook sports klutz. I hired an instructor for two half days in the AM to allow them to practice their skills. It worked wonderfully... After the second day, I was astonished to see my sister in law have the confidence to come down a blue trail with us and only fell twice. My brother at the ripe age of 52, was coming down comfortably if slowly, down blue trails. Lessons are a godsend...

As far as a place, I'd agree with Liberty in the nearness to DC... Having been in this forum since its founding, I have read Otto's totally correct guidance on his posts and although I've never met him, his advice and knowledge are awesome... You may contact him though this forum...
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