Lessons VS Teaching Your Child to Ski on Your Own

Our son slid down the bunny hill for the first time a few months shy of his 2nd birthday, which was too young for lessons, but a great chance to get him acquainted with skiing at an early age. After a couple days on the slopes that first season and a half dozen more last winter, we were able to teach him to get on and off the lift without falling, snowplow down the mountain, speed up and slow down a little, and ski in one direction or another with plenty of advanced warning and coaxing.

This year we will do our best to build on those skills and start working on turning and stopping. While teaching our son to ski has been one of the most memorable parenting experiences so far, at age 3 and a half, this season he will be old enough for a professional lesson from someone other than mom and dad.

If, like me, you are nowhere near a professional ski instructor, getting your child in lessons as early as possible will help them learn the basics faster and have more fun when you do ski together as a family. A professional instructor may also trigger less drama in your little one when they are challenged or get tired.

All four of the Ski the Northwest Rockies association affiliated resorts (49 Degrees North, Lookout Pass, Mt. Spokane, and Silver Mountain) have their own group and private lesson programs for different ages and abilities of skiers and snowboarders.

49 Degrees North Child/Youth Lesson Programs

Here is a sample of the types of youth lessons to choose from at 49 Degrees North. Visit your favorite local resort for details about similar group and private lesson offerings.


  • EZ Ski/Ride 1-2-3: This complete package for beginners that focuses on building a strong foundation of skiing or snowboarding includes three lift tickets, three group lessons, and three rentals (youth and adult options).
  • 49er Youth Camp: Three full days of instruction, fun, and games with coaching for skiers and snowboarders at all levels (ages 5-6).
  • Little Nugget Signature Private Lesson: Personalized coaching and a lot of attention for the young skier or snowboarder (ages 2-6, hourly rates).
  • Mommy & Me/Daddy & Me Lesson: This program teaches kids to have a good time while they learn and teaches mom and dad the skills they will need to continue skiing or riding with their child after the lesson (ages 2 and up, hourly rates).
  • Lil Cub Package: A great package for the little ones that don’t want to ski all day. This all-day package includes daycare, lessons, rental equipment, and lift ticket (ages 2-6).
  • Scout Half or Full Day Lesson: Explore the mountain and build new ski or snowboard skills (all levels, ages 5-6).
  • Explorer Multi-Week Lesson Program: Four days of personal lessons from the same coach in small classes grouped by ability will help build your child’s confidence and skills (ages 5-6). Participants receive a free season pass at the end of this program!
  • More 49 Degrees North lesson info at Ski49n.com. //


[Sponsored by Ski the NW Rockies, Lookout Pass, Mt. Spokane, Silver Mountain, and 49 Degrees North.]

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