This comprehensive First Timer’s Guide was created to make your first visit with us a great one. Reviewing the information below will help you prepare for your skiing or snowboarding adventure.

– ASM Staff

A very high percentage of people who only try skiing or snowboarding once don’t return because they have not allowed enough time to developed the skills to enjoy the sport. For the average person, it takes 3 times to be comfortable and in control on more difficult terrain.

First time participants in skiing and snowboarding can still have fun sliding on the snow right from the start. The ability to stop and make controlled turns are the two skills that will allow people to progress in the sport and move beyond the beginner slopes to enjoy the entire mountain. Guidance and coaching from a trained professional instructor makes these goal much easier to accomplish than trying to learn on your own or with the help of well-meaning friends.a

Parking: There is plenty of parking at Appalachian Ski Mtn., and no matter where your space is, it is sure to be a short walk to the base lodge. The Gatekeeper at the entrance will greet you and give you information on where to park your vehicle. On busier days, you will be assisted by parking directors who will guide you to your spot.

Lift Tickets: Once you have entered the Base Lodge, you can proceed to one of our lift ticket booths, located on the lower level of the lodge. The cashiers in the ticket booth will be happy to get you set up with exactly what you need. Rentals and lockers are also purchased at the same booth, and you also will receive specific instructions on where to go for all of your rental equipment, making the entire process as easy as possible!

Being out and enjoying the crisp refreshing mountain air is part of the excitement of skiing. By wearing the appropriate clothing you will stay comfortable and warm no matter what the winter weather conditions may be. Below are some suggestions regarding clothing:

  • Dressings in layers allows you to adjust your clothing as the temperature changes throughout the day. The two most important layers are the one closest to your skin and the outermost layer. The best underwear is absorbent and “wicks” perspiration away from your skin. The outermost layer should be wind and water resistant.
  • Water and wind resistant pants are the best bet, and you will be glad you have them on the snow. Snow or ski pants are ideal, jeans are not the best choice for an outer layer, but can be worn with a waterproof shell over them. Be sure your pants are wide enough at the bottom of the legs to fit over large boots.
  • Wear a warm collared shirt, sweater or fleece, and a jacket or shell with a high collar. Again water and wind resistant is ideal.
  • Ski and snowboard boots are made with insulation, so one pair of thin socks is all that is needed – too many socks will restrict circulation and affect boot fit. Wool or acrylic socks are better than cotton athletic socks, but make sure the socks are long and extend up above your ski boot.
  • Infrared and ultraviolet rays can be extremely harmful to your eyes, especially at higher altitudes. Good quality sunglasses are an important investment. Wind, blowing snow, cold, and fog can also be very uncomfortable for your eyes. Goggles are every bit as important as sunglasses. Always take both with you, even if the day seems perfect.
  • Gloves or mittens should be worn no matter what the temperature is. Avoid knit gloves as they get wet very quickly.
  • You lose 90% of your body heat through your head – get a warm hat that covers your ears and wear it!

The Alpine Ski Shop, located on the lower level of the lodge, carries a wide variety of every item listed above. The Gift Shop, on the 2nd level of the lodge can also outfit you with rental clothing from head to toe. Stop by either upon arrival and let our friendly staff help you complete your outfit!

Courtesy is essential at a busy ski area, and this responsibility code serves to familiarize you with some guidelines that should be followed at all times when on the slopes. Please observe the code to enhance your enjoyment on the slopes this winter.

  • Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use retention devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Tips to make your trip a safer and more enjoyable experience:

  • Always check the weather and dress accordingly.
  • It is important to ride within your own fitness level and pace yourself on the slopes.
  • Clanking your skis or boards together while on the lift can result in an injury to someone below you.
  • After loading any chairlift, be sure to lower your restraining bar.
  • When you unload any lift, move away from the unloading zone quickly as you don’t want to be in the way of other riders unloading the lift.
  • Snowball throwing is not permitted on or off the slopes.

The best way to learn to ski or ride is to take lessons! Professional instruction will accelerate your improvement. Allowing your friends to teach you is not a good idea. As good a skier as a friend may be, it is best to let them ski their favorite runs while you enroll in a lesson from a professional. More often than not when a friend is trying to teach, the newcomer is being taken on terrain that he or she is not quite ready for. Above all else, this is unsafe — both for yourself and for others around you.

The perception is that instruction is expensive. it is not, and the beginner ski and snowboard lessons are economical. Don’t expect too much from yourself after just one lesson, Fact is, it will take three—maybe four to have a solid understanding. For more information visit our Lessons page.

If you are renting equipment, you will receive a rental form at the Ticket Booth. Depending on whether you are renting skis or a snowboard, our ticket cashiers will guide on where to go to pick up your equipment. It is very important that all the information on the form is accurate. If you’re not sure of your height or weight, we have height charts on most every wall and a scale behind the rental counter that you can use. Remember, all equipment is to be returned to the same counter from which it was rented from.

For skiers: Review one of the skier type charts if you are unsure of your skier type. It is recommended (by us and the French Swiss Ski College) that you check the shaped ski rental box if you’re just starting and learning to ski. The shaped skis turn easier, have a friendlier flex, and are much easier to learn to ski on. If you are an advanced skier looking for a more aggressive, stiffer flex, wider, twin-tipped all mountain ski, check the twin-tip ski box. This upgrade will get you on a higher performing advanced ski. We also offer ski boards, a shorter, lighter, slightly slower, quicker turning ski.

For boarders: Our standard and Burton snowboard boots are step-in types with standard lacing on the shell. Our Burton Learn To Ride package has specially designed boards to ease the learning process. Specific beginner friendly tuned edges and specially shaped board and a forgiving flex that promotes an easy learning experience. These bindings are also non-releasable but are traditional strap-in bindings. Our Burton Performance Park Board rental is a Burton Park Specific board that has added pop, special park and rail edge tuning, rocker shape, and a flex that is built for performance.

If you’re registering children for their first ski or snowboarding lesson, it is important to set realistic expectations. Children under the age of 5 often remain on the beginner slope most of their first day. Depending on individual muscle control and development, skiing can be difficult in their first days. If your child is under the age of 5, it is important to recognize that walking in ski boots and skis and straight glides are big accomplishments.

Private lessons are recommended for children under 5 or they can enroll in the Ski Wee program designed especially for 4-8 year olds. The most important thing to remember is that their first taste of skiing needs to be positive, non-threatening and fun.

Snowboard lessons for children usually start at about 7 years old. Private lessons are available any age or they can enroll in the Cruiser Camp program. For more information see Children’s Programs.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. is implementing comprehensive measures to allow guests to have a fun and healthy winter on our slopes and our ice arena. For the full list of changes click here.