Have you ever thought of skiing or snowboarding? Those winter sports that all those ”other” people do? Have you said to yourself, well it’s too difficult to go. It’s too far away. It’s too expensive. It’s too hard or I’m too old. Nonsense. You too can ski. It all starts with a little homework and some patients. A little hot chocolate goes a long way too.

Did you know New York State has the most ski resorts in the country with 50. There are dozens of small mountains in NYS  to our own olympic venue at Whiteface Mountain that played host to the Alpine events in the 1980 olympic and Paralympic games.

You can easily reach a ski resort from New York City within 2-2.5 hours. The Catskills is home  to Belleayre, Hunter and Windham mountains, three fine resorts (I personally am partial to Belleayre, I teach skiing in a seasonal program there).

Making your plan

Where to go

If you have never skied before you want to go to a mountain that gives beginner lessons.  You may find that at the very beginning of the season, near NYC that might be hard to come by. Many mountains do not offer beginner lessons at the very beginning of the season because the easiest terrain is just not available yet.

If you have a car your options are wide open. You can drive to Belleayre Mountain or to Hunter, or Mountain creek in NJ. Or several other resorts within a short driving distance. Check first to be sure they are open and ready for you!

If you do not have a car there are some tour operators that provide bus transportation, and ski packages for an all inclusive price. One of them is Sourced Adventures. They provide day trips to both Belleayre and Mountain Creek. When looking for day trips through an operator make sure it includes transportation, lift ticket, rentals and lessons.

Lift Tickets 

Getting lift tickets can be confusing. There are general lift ticket options, specific day options, partial day, whole mountain or partial mountain, multi-day tickets, and combination tickets that may include rentals and lessons. Depending on how you are arriving and how long you are going for will help guide your decision, along with what the mountain offers as each one is different. But it is essential that you ask questions and understand that they are accustomed to people that have not skied before.

So make sure you have a lift ticket, rental reservations, and lessons booked. If lessons are not part of the package, make sure you book them at the same time as you book your lift tickets. You don’t want to end up at the resort and find out that there are no lessons available.