French Swiss Ski College calls Appalachian Ski Mtn. home for a variety of reasons. Since 1962, Appalachian Ski Mtn. has prided itself in being a family friendly resort and has been the mountain of choice for skiers of all ages and abilities. The coexistence of great beginner terrain, family friendly environment, and professional snow-loving instructors is what has led the French-Swiss Ski College to teach over 1,000,000 people here at this mountain!


During the winter of 1968-69, Jim Cottrell, a ski instructor and head of the National Ski Patrol at Appalachian Ski Mtn., decided to offer a snow skiing course at Central Piedmont Community College.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. Manager, Grady Moretz Jr., agreed to allow the school to use the slopes to conduct this new snow skiing course. The first, five-week course consisted of one hundred and twenty three students and became the first of many to be conducted by this new school.

Meanwhile Jack Lester, a retired show business promoter, was spending the winter at a nearby ski resort. He was outraged at the handling of beginner skiers; although instruction was available to them, it seemed that the best instructors only worked with intermediate-advanced skiers.

Fate brought Cottrell and Lester together on a tennis court during the summer of ’69. By that winter the newly christened “French-Swiss Ski College” had become a business conducted through a card table on the lower level of the Appalachian Ski Mtn. lodge.


From the late 1930’s until the 1980’s many countries proclaimed their leadership in modern ski technique. There was the Swiss Method, the French Technique, and a newer Austrian Method. Depending on the nationality of the winning racer during the Winter Olympics, the method of the day prevailed.

During the 1968 Winter Olympics, Jean-Claude Killy won all three Gold Medals for France in the men’s events. In the same events, the Swiss skiers were close on Killy’s tail. Since Killy’s feat, no alpine ski racer has won three gold medals in a single Olympics.

The ski college adapted the best elements from the techniques of the two nationalities and thus the name, French-Swiss, couldn’t have fit any better.


Having taught over one million skiers and snowboarders since 1969, this is the place to learn skiing and snowboarding! Sign up with the oldest and best ski school in the Southeast for your next lesson.


We want you to enjoy winter sports, and we take a genuine interest in your progress. The French-Swiss Ski College located at Appalachian Ski Mtn. has taught over 1 million people to ski and snowboard. The instruction staff goes through extensive training on how to be effective with learners and is dedicated to making your first days on skis or snowboard a memorable experience. Reasonably priced group instruction is available 5 times daily with never more than 10 students per instructor. Group and/or private lessons are a great way to get started correctly in a sport that will bring a lifetime of pleasure.

What can you expect from a lesson with French-Swiss Ski College?

  • A friendly, professionally trained instructor to make your learning experience a memorable one.
  • Personal attention to help guide you through your first steps so you’re started the right way.
  • The opportunity to learn in an environment where “Safety, Fun, Learning and Practice” is the motto.

Invest in yourself! Let the French-Swiss Ski College team help make your goal a reality today. You are never too old or too young to enjoy the beauty of the mountains, and the thrill of sliding on snow.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. is “the place to learn to ski or ride.” We will work with you at your pace to help you acquire the skills needed to experience the joy of snow sports.

Jim Cottrell, Founder
French Swiss Ski College