What to expect as a first-timer

Is it your first time first time skiing or snowboarding? We are here to help! Take a look at our step by step guide on how to enjoy your first visit.

Plan Ahead
mother and daughter learning how to ski

Homewood Mountain Resort offers lessons 7 days a week, however they fill up fast, especially on holidays and weekends. We recommend booking in advance online to make sure you get the date and lesson time you want. We offer full day child ski lessons which include lunch, lift ticket and rentals, while adults can attend a 3-hour AM or PM group lesson. Private lessons are available for any age. 

How to dress
getting ready to go ski in the rental facility

Dressing for a day of skiing can be tricky. The temperature can fluctuate throughout the day so it’s importing to bring a few layers so you can adjust your clothing accordingly. Avoid wearing cotton shirts or jeans because they tend to absorb moisture which makes for a soggy day. Instead, opt for wool or synthetic fabrics like fleece or polyester as these are made to wick moisture away from the body and dry quickly.

Your outfit should include:
– Synthetic long underwear (top and pants)
– Extra layers such as a synthetic sweatshirt, vest or softshell jacket
– Waterproof Jacket
– Waterproof Pants
– Socks (Tip: opt for ski or snowboard specific socks and don’t wear more than one pair. Wearing multiple pairs of socks negatively affect the way your boots fit and may restrict circulation which will cause your feet to be colder than if you stick with a single pair).
– Waterproof gloves – A hat
– Sunglasses and/or Goggles
– A helmet (helmets are available to rent at Homewood Mountain Resort)
– We also recommend bringing and extra change of clothes for after your lesson.

You may not need all of your gear every day that you ride but it’s better to be prepared. All off the above items are available to purchase in our Retail Shop.

Lastly, bring sunscreen and chapstick and apply often. Not only is the sun more intense at higher elevations, but it reflects off the snow which means you’re twice as likely to get a sunburn

The night before
Chairlift overlooking a large alpine lake in the winter

Make sure to get plenty of rest, eat well, and stay hydrated. Check the weather and be prepared for the day ahead. You can adjust your gear list based on what the forecast predicts. For example, sunglasses and fewer layers are ideal for a sunny day but goggles and an extra warm sweatshirt or jacket will be necessary on snowier days.

On the Day of your Lesson
family arriving at ski resort

Get an early start. You’ll want to arrive at Homewood at least an hour and a half before your lesson start time. This will give you enough time to check in, pick up your rental gear, and make sure you have everything you need without feeling rushed.

Additionally traveling in the mountains can be tricky. Be sure to check road conditions and be prepared for icy roads and slow travel times. Drivers are often required to carry chains during the winter in Tahoe. If you’ve never used chains, we recommend practicing putting them on in nice weather in your driveway before you have to do it on the side of the road in the snow.

You can check road conditions and chain control statuses on the Cal Trans website at http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi or by calling 1–800-427-ROAD.

When you get to the resort

Parking – We offer convenient parking right at the base of the resort at both the North and South Lodges. A shuttle runs between each lodge every 15 minutes. Adult lessons (13+) meet at the North Lodge and Children’s lessons (12 and under) will meet at the South Base.

Lessons for 13 years and older – After you’ve parked head over to our Guest Services office. Even if you purchased your lessons and rentals in advance, you’ll need to visit our Guest Services office to check in for your lesson and pick up your tickets.

After checking in and picking up your rentals, all adult group lesson participants should check in with Ski School at the Ski & Snowboard School building (Little Red School House) behind the North Lodge (located at 5145 West Lake Blvd.) at least 30 minutes prior to the lesson start time (we recommend at least 1 hour prior on weekends/holidays). Lesson times are 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. OR 1 – 3:30 p.m. for Learn to Ski and Ride Lessons and from 1 – 3:30 pm for Beginner – Intermediate Lessons.

On busy days we’ll have an additional location to pick up your tickets and check-in which is located near the ski school area in the front of the rental shop. Once you have your vouchers head to the rental shop to get fitted for gear.

We strongly recommend advanced registration to expedite the check-in process. Same-day on-site registration cannot be guaranteed.

All day Children’s Lessons (12 and younger) – UPDATE AS OF 3/2/2020: All Children’s lessons and check in (ages 4-12) will be held at Homewood’s North Base at 5145 West Lake Blvd. Note that checkin location may change on the weekends, be sure to check back for updated information. Children’s lessons include an all-day lift ticket, equipment rental (including helmet) and lunch.

In order for your child to be ready to learn how to ski or snowboard, please be sure they have warm, waterproof pants and a jacket, mittens or gloves, one pair of warm socks, and either sunglasses or goggles.

We strongly recommend booking online in advance to expedite the check-in process. Same-day on-site registration cannot be guaranteed.

During the Lesson
instructor teaching group how to ski

Be patient with yourself. Learning a new sport can be humbling, but remember skiing and snowboarding is supposed to be fun. If you’re feeling frustrated, it’s okay to take a quick break and a deep breath. Remember to stay hydrated and apply plenty of sunscreen.

What’s Next?

Congratulations! You finished your first lesson and you’re well on your way to becoming a skier or rider. Celebrate with a solid meal, rest, light stretching, and of course staying hydrated. So what’s the next step?

You can upgrade your single lesson to our Easy as 1-2-3 package. Skiers who complete three beginner lessons + one intermediate lesson are eligible for a free season pass for the remainder of the season, but you must register in advance. For more details check out our 1-2-3 program below.

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