From never-ever to never-better, at Mountain Creek we've taught three generations to ski and snowboard. Whether it's your first time sliding on snow or you're looking for a tune up on technique, we've got specialized programs from single-session lessons to season-long memberships to get you out on the slopes this winter. Our Ride & Ski School operates daily at the Vernon Base.

Your handbook to success on the slopes
First Timer's Guide

Mountain Creek is all about family fun for all ages, but we know that if this is your first time experiencing the mountain, it can be a little intimidating to enter into something totally new.  That's why we've created this First Timers' Guide, which will make you more prepared for when you get to the mountain.  This guide will answer questions like: How do I rent equipment? How should I dress for the conditions?  What should I expect when I get here?

Learning Made Easy

Mountain Creek has taught over 1 million guests to ski and snowboard since 1965 and thanks to the revolutionary new Terrain Based Learning™ method of teaching, learning to ski or snowboard has never been easier or more fun. Terrain Based Learning uses specifically shaped snow features to naturally control your speed and assist with learning. By eliminating the effects of gravity (speed) you can spend less time fighting the hill and more time focusing on the fun!

from SNOW Operating  PLUS

The Terrain Based Learning Advantage:

Focus on fun and the skills will follow. Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most social and lifestyle focused sports around. Through our Terrain Based Learning method of teaching we’ll get you up and moving and making the first turns faster than ever before. No need for fear or anxiety, our friendly, professional instructors will keep the focus on the fun as they progress you through the stages of our Terrain Based Learning Area.

Snowboarding Must Knows

Getting Started: While many snowboards may look similar on the shelf, not all are the same.  A number of things influence the performance of a snowboard including the construction material, stiffness, length, weight and shape.

A Few Key Pointers

  • As far as length goes, your board should fall somewhere between your chin and your nose (when stood up on its tail) and be wide enough so that your feet don't hang over the edge more than half an inch.
  • Beginners will generally want a more forgiving (softer) board to learn on
  • When renting a board, discuss your riding experience with the technician and don’t exaggerate your ability or experience
  • Lastly, you'll need to know your stance (regular or goofy). This is different for every person, but is usually the same as the leading foot on skateboards or surfboards. There is no right or wrong here and remember you can always change if you start to find that you’re more comfortable with one foot over the other.

Proper Boot Fitting

Boots are the primary connection point to your board and as such are arguably your most important piece of snowboard equipment. Uncomfortable feet can lead to all kinds of problems with snowboarding, so make sure your boots fit properly. Some initial fit tips for boots include:

  • When trying on boots, wear the socks you'll be wearing up to the hill. A medium-weight wool or other moisture-wicking sock is best.
  • The fit should be snug. Remember, the foam in your boots will pack out slightly as you break them in, so you want them tight at the beginning but not painful.
  • Your heel should remain in place when bending the knee and ankle forward.
  • Walk around and make sure there aren't any pressure points or spots pinching your feet. Common problem areas include on the bridge of the foot, the heel and around the ankle bones

Your First Day

Now that you’re all geared up with a board, boots and bindings, you’re ready to hit the slopes.  First-time snowboarders should always take a lesson from a qualified instructor. A lesson will help you learn much faster and avoid the frustration many beginners feel on the first day.

Call ahead to the resort to find out about beginner lessons and any special deals that might be available. Don’t forget to have fun!

Skiing Must Knows

Getting Started: Skis are constructed to make learning and turning far easier than ever before.  Knowing a few basic facts about ski construction as well as the various ski types will help you find the perfect skis that are right for you.

Getting the Boot: Comfort is the Key

  • The most important thing is that the boots are comfortable and fit your feet. Ski boots come in traditional American sizes and "mondo point," which is the length of the boot in centimeters.
  • When trying on boots, wear one pair of medium-weight or light-weight socks.
  • The fit should be snug and your heel should remain in place when flexing the knee and ankle forward into the boot.
  • Your toes should barely touch the inside of the boot and should slide back slightly when you bend your knee forward.
  • Make sure there aren't any pressure points or spots that pinch your feet or calves.
  • Remember boots will stiffen in the cold.
  • Bindings hold your boots to the skis and are designed to release when you need them to during a fall.
  • Poles are used to help you with your balance and rhythm while skiing. Poles can be made from fiberglass, aluminum or carbon fiber

A Few Key Pointers

  • When renting skis, discuss your skiing experience with the technician and don’t exaggerate your ability or experience
  • Skis should be about chin high for beginners. Specifically, the tip should land between the chin and nose. Edges should be sharp and bases should be freshly waxed.
  • It’s important to note  your exact weight, height, age and skier type (beginners are type I). These factors determine your DIN (Deutsch Industrial Norm) setting on the bindings. DIN numbers correspond to the torque needed to release a ski boot out of the binding
  • After sliding into the boot, your foot should feel snug (not painful) everywhere. With ski boots, your toes should touch the front until you drive your knees forward. Your toes should then pull back, leaving a little wiggle room for comfort.
  • Don't tuck pant legs into boots. The boots are designed to hug your shin and calf, so you don't want any extra fabric to interfere.

Get Going

Now that you’re all geared up with skis, boots, bindings and poles you’re ready to take it out on the hill. First-time skiers should always take a lesson from a qualified instructor. A lesson will help you learn much faster and increase your confidence.

Call ahead to the resort to find out about beginner lessons and any special deals that might be available.

Don't give up. The first day on skis can be challenging, but stick with it and you’ll be making turns in no time. Don’t forget to have fun!