Things Are Different. More Ideas For Successful Lessons.

Protect yourself and others. Be prepared. Credit: Marketwatch

Correspondent Keller Minton’s article last week on taking a lesson in COVID times was praised by a ski world notable. Seth Masia, president of the International Ski History Association, long time ski journalist, active ski instructor at Aspen/Snowmass, and member of’ Board of Advisors, wrote to us with some additional comments.  Here are his observations:

Based on early-season experience at Snowmass, here are some points to bear in mind:

Stay warm! Indoor facilities may be limited, which limits opportunities to warm up over a hot chocolate. You may be out in the cold all day, so dress appropriately. Take measures to keep boots and gloves warm. This factor alone is reason enough to wear a mask, or a proper double-layer neck gaiter.

Lunch may be a problem. Many on-mountain restaurants sell take-out only, and some require you to order food in advance with a smart-phone app. Your instructor should be able to help set up lunch. Time indoors is limited, and you may wind up eating outdoors, on a patio or in a tent.

A mask may fog your goggles or sunglasses. In general you can ski with the mask down, but need to wear it on the lift or when the class stops to talk on the hill. When you mask up, consider lifting your goggles to prevent fogging. Invest in a no-fog cloth for sunglasses and prescription lenses.

Lift capacity may be limited. In a group lesson, where you’ll mix with strangers, you may be asked to ride lifts alone, or limited to two passengers on a triple or four-pack lift. This goes double for gondolas and trams.

Consider a private lesson, which opens the possibility of skiing as a family. This simplifies lift loading because members of a household can ride together. Some resorts that limit the number of people on the hill may give ticket-sales priority to private-lesson clients.

Prove you are negative. Some jurisdictions require proof of a negative COVID test for entry or overnight stays. Be prepared.

Go all online. Expect to make all reservations online, for rental gear, lessons, lodging and parking. Call centers are universally overloaded. 

Seth Masia teaches in the Aspen/Snowmass ski school, and is based at Snowmass. See his website


One Comment

  1. Bob Lushanko says:

    Seth enjoyed your article. At 74 being an active instructor has been a challenge with COVID-19. Mostly work with older clients. Teaching the snow dance with the least amount of effort possible. Normally come to Snowmass first week in December for training., really missed it this year.

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