Fun and Professional
Skiing is my passion and so is teaching students of all ages. I guarantee we will share laughs and have an incredible time throughout your lesson.
Photos and Videos of Your Day
No matter if you "yard sale" throughout the whole lesson - we want to capture your journey to the coveted moment where you stand up and ride your first trail all the way down.
We'll get your amazing experience captured and then you'll be able to pick your favorite photos and videos out of the lot.
What should I wear for skiing?
Be prepared for anything. It could get very cold or quite warm here in the mountains. I have a very helpful list for you to follow for what clothing and accessories to bring.
Bring a hydro-pack! Get hydro-packs for the kids too! Can I stress that enough? Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You'll be glad you did.
Will you ski with children?
Yes - if under 8 I ask that the parent be there to supervise.
Who will you teach?
Important note: I will only teach first-time beginners in a private one-on-one lesson. I suggest that group beginners use the resort school. However, we can definitely rotate the members so they are on the snow with me one on one.
I will ski with children or adults. Children under eight years old, or multiple children will require special consideration before booking. All children must be toilet trained and they must be a willing participant in the lesson. If you are a first-time beginner I insist on working "one on one", at least for your first hour. I am very experienced working with timid beginners, but I also love sharing the secrets to mastering a field of moguls. I really like what I do, but honestly, the best part of my work is the interactions and new friends I make.
What is a "first-time" beginner?
A first-time beginner is someone who has never had skis on before. It is an important designation from calling someone a "beginner" skier. A beginner skier is someone who can ski beginner trials on the mountain but is uncomfortable on blue (intermediate) trails.
Do you do snowboarding lessons?
Will you do guiding or be a skiing companion?
Yes! Often I have clients who don't really want much or any instruction but instead would like someone to show them around the mountains safely, take them on appropriate terrain, and be of general assistance when needed. Just let me know if more of a guide service is what you would like.
If you don't need an instructor, but would like someone to ski with your children or spouse while you free ski, we offer a Ski Buddy service.
Do you have references?
Yes. If a reference is the last piece of information you need before booking with me, I will have another regular client give you a call. I respect and protect my client's privacy as I would yours and will not give out emails or phone numbers. I do have many clients who have offered to make a recommendation for me to new people, but I try not to bother them unless I'm sure of a booking. Mom's usually want to talk to another Mom, and I totally understand that.
How do we start our day?
We make our arrangements of when and where to meet by phone, text or email, usually the evening before we ski.
How do we pay you?
You can pay me with cash, Venmo, or PayPal. When using PayPal for deposits or payment, please choose the "send money to a friend or family" option to avoid a processing fee.
How do we handle lunch?
Ski instructors/guides cannot reasonably afford their own lunch every day at the resort restaurants, so if you would like your instructor to dine with you or your children at lunch, it is customary to treat them as your guest, but not required if you want to make other plans. This goes for "resort" instructors as well as "independent" instructors.
If for any reason you would like to have a personal dining experience at lunch, you can simply say to your instructor something like; "my wife and I would like to have a little private time today during lunch, would you mind if we dined alone and met you back here in one hour?" Or something to that effect.
I can totally understand if I were on vacation with my wife, we might like to occasionally have lunch at a cute mountainside restaurant, just the two of us. So, don't hesitate to request "alone" time, if that's what you want. Any instructor can get something to eat at a cafeteria and then reconnect with you for the afternoon.
Ask your instructor for suggestions of great dining spots. If you send an instructor off with your kids for the day you should plan on giving them $40/child minimum to cover food, hot chocolates, etc. as well as money for the instructor. For example, One slice of pizza is $10, and a Cliff Bar is $3.50, two hot chocolates is over ten dollars. It adds up fast. Ask the instructor to keep receipts if you would like, and they can return them with your change for the day. Another option is to give your instructor a credit card for the day and keep receipts.
Do you offer discounts for multiple day bookings?
Sorry, but not at this time. Most of my clients are families who come for multiple days on their vacations, and this is my bread and butter. My rates already reflect substantial savings over regular ski school rates for Utah resorts.
Do you require a deposit?
I require a 25% deposit to reserve your dates. You can send a deposit using Venmo/PayPal. As soon as you're sure you want to book, get your deposit in. I block out dates based on when I receive a deposit. First come first served is the only fair way. If you want or need to cancel your vacation, I will refund 100% of your deposit if I can re-fill your dates. During holiday periods, or school vacations this should not be a problem. I will keep a waiting list. If there is a cancellation, I will call the people on my waiting list to try to fill your slot. I do not like or want to keep deposits, but it does protect me from no-shows or late cancellations. I will always try to get your reserved dates re-booked if I can. Please Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.
What are the advantages of hiring an independent instructor?
There are several. First, this is a very personalized service, and everything is done on your terms and for your convenience. Where we meet, when we start, who we ski with, are all in your control. Unlike resort ski schools, you can have me ski with different members of your family at different times during the day and the price is the same. With an independent instructor, you can get to know them and their background, ask questions, go over concerns. In a resort ski school, you take whoever is assigned to you.
My only desire is to help you and your family have a better ski vacation experience.
Although the quality of instruction is just as high or higher than a resort ski school, your savings can be substantial. In a resort ski school, you might get a full certified Level III instructor with years of experience, or you might get a non-certified newbie instructor.
I ski with you in plain clothes, and nobody knows you're on the hill but me, so if you are a public figure, we can be discreet.
Are there disadvantages of hiring an independent instructor?
One disadvantage is that an independent instructor can NOT cut lines at the ski lift. Sometimes, when you're waiting in a ski line you'll notice a resort instructor go right to the front with their students. We can't do that, but I've said before that lines here in Utah are seldom a problem except on the busiest of vacation days, and on those days, even the instructor lines are long and they alternate with the public.
Another thing; although this has never happened to me, the possibility exists, that if for any reason you are unhappy with your independent instructor, there is no supervisor to complain to. You have to communicate with your instructor and hopefully work it out. In a resort ski school, you could simply ask for a different instructor, if one is available.
Communicate with your instructor. Let him or her know what your expectations are. Everyone is different, some guests like to do ski improvement drills all day, and others just want a guide who gives pointers once in a while. Talk to us, we can provide whatever you want, but we can't read your mind.
Where's the best place to ski?
All the resorts here in Utah are exceptional and each has its own particular qualities. If you ask a hundred locals that question, you'll get a hundred different answers. However, that being said, I do have some opinion on the matter, depending on your skiing ability and vacation desires.
Because of the new combining of Canyons and Park City, the expanded Park City Mountain Resort is now HUGE, one of the largest ski area in the United States. There's something for everyone. Below I describe characteristics as though Canyons was still separate though because you could start your day from different locations.
Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) is by far the best ski resort for a beginner. No matter which resort you are planning on skiing, I have always asked my clients to bring "never-ever" beginners to PCMR for the best possible learning experience on their first day.
Canyons is awesome, with some of the best intermediate and expert level terrain on the East side of the Wasatch Mt. range, but Utah very little beginner terrain. (beginners take note!)
Deer Valley, voted the best ski resort for many years by Ski magazine is a wonderful blend of terrain but still lacking on beginner trails compared to Park City, yet their personal service and food quality at the lodges is unparalleled.
In my opinion, if you are coming to Utah with your family for a vacation, the Park City resorts (Deer Valley, PCMR, Canyons) are by far your better bet to please everyone.
Deer Valley resort and Alta do not allow snowboards!
The front range resorts, Brighton, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird are all excellent resorts with their own unique qualities. Out of all of them, I recommend Brighton for its variety of features and beautiful scenery. However, all of the front range resorts are located in steep canyons with less beginner terrain.
Should we purchase or rent our ski equipment?
This depends on your personal situation, and has a different answer for children.
If you only ski a few days a year and are a beginner to intermediate skier, than I would say rent your equipment. Out here in Utah, you can rent skis, boots, and poles for about $30, and the equipment is good.
As you become a better skier, or start to ski more often in any given season, you ought to consider purchasing your own ski boots. The ski boot is an intimate, and very important part of your equipment. When you purchase your own ski boots, you can have them custom fit to your foot. A high-quality ski boot, custom fitted by a professional can make a huge difference in your skiing ability and enjoyment. Ski boots are easily transported, and then you can rent skis and poles at your destination.
You can rent "beginner or general purpose" skis, or for a little more money, you can rent "high performance" skis. Ski fashion and technology change rapidly, so unless you ski over thirty days per season, it probably makes sense to only rent skis and poles.
For children vacationing once or twice a year, renting makes sense. Their feet grow every week and keeping them in new boots would be impractical.
Where's the best place to rent ski equipment?
Although it usually costs a little more, renting from a ski shop right at the base of your resort has advantages over renting from a ski shop in town.
If, during the day, you have any problem with your equipment, you can simply walk into the shop and trade out or repair anything right away. I would recommend that all beginners rent from a shop at the resort. I can't tell you how many times I've brought my students back into the shop to get better fitting boots.
Now, if you are an experienced skier, and have confidence that the equipment you're renting is fit properly, then there are other rental services that will deliver your equipment right to your hotel room. This is a very nice perk, and I have heard first hand from my clients how much they like that service.
It is rare that ski equipment breaks, so renting from a downtown shop is totally fine. Just make sure you have a plan to pick up your equipment, or have it delivered, and make sure your boots fit!
How should a ski boot fit?
This is important! Your ski boot, is your most important connection to the snow. A good fitting boot will give you the most control and best skiing experience.
So, in general, a ski boot should fit very snug around your whole foot and ankle. Although a boot should be tight, it should not hurt. The pressure around your foot and ankle should be uniform.
Your toes SHOULD hit the end of the boot if you stand straight and tall, but when you FLEX your ankles and knees into the front of the boot, your toes should pull away from the end, allowing you to wiggle them comfortably.
Ski boots are NOT easy to put on. If your foot slides easily into your ski boot, it's probably too big. Your boot should feel snug before you even buckle it. After you get your foot into the boot, kick your heel back into the "heel pocket" then begin buckling your boots starting with the lowest "ankle" buckle to hold your heel in the pocket. Then continue buckling all other buckles, adjusting as needed, to provide a tight, but comfortable fit. Your instructor can and should help you with the fitting of your boots during your lesson.
Is it legal to hire an "independent" ski instructor?
Yes, absolutely, but no resort would openly allow an independent like myself, even when their ski school is sold out. After ticket sales, ski schools are the biggest money maker for the resorts. Resort instructors earn from minimum wage to about $25/hr for fully certified. Resort policies forbid independent instruction. They want to keep ski instructors under their control.
You, as a free American, have the right to contract with whomever you choose for your children's or your own ski instruction. Just like you can rent your ski equipment from a shop in the city as opposed to the resort ski shop, you can also rent your ski instructor from anywhere you want. European ski resorts have been welcoming independent ski instructors for years. America needs to catch up.
Your ski "ticket" is evidence of a lawful contract that gives you and your independent instructor the lawful right to be on the resort property and utilize the lifts and trails. What we talk about during the day is nobody's business but yours.
The ski resorts want to maintain their monopoly control of ski lessons, (use our instructors or nothing) and therefore do not support independent ski instructing, at least not yet. If you are ever approached by any resort "official" asking you about your activities on the mountain with someone they suspect is an independent instructor (which so far has never happened), simply and politely tell them, "we're all just friends skiing together." This is the absolute truth, and is lawful. If they continue to harass you, you have grounds to file a complaint against that individual. That is the law. You have no legal risk whatsoever. It is possible however that the independent instructor you are skiing with could be requested to leave the resort. I've heard ski resorts have forced independent instructors off the hill. But, it will ultimately be up to the public to change these policies, not the independent instructors.
From a purely business standpoint, good independent instructors bring lots of business to the resorts and we create long time skiers, a definite benefit to the ski industry.
If you have any other questions or comments, please write to me, and I'll add them to this page. I hope you found this information helpful. Thank you!