Ski and Snowboard FAQ

How do I register for lessons?

Most single-day group lessons can be purchased online 48 hours or more before the lesson start time or 7 days or more before the start of a multi-day program.  If there isn’t a “Buy Now” button on the page of the lesson you’re looking at, call us at 651-436-5254 X277.  For private lessons, please call us at least 48 hours ahead of time to register to ensure instructor availability.


If it is less than 48 hours before the single-day lesson time or 7 days before the program start day, please call us to register or stop in one of our Ski and Snowboard School offices at least an hour or so before the lesson time.  We may still have room in the lesson or program.


What discounts are available for lessons?

We offer early registration discounts for some lessons and programs.  Please see the lesson description pages for more information.  Registering in advance also better ensures you or your child will be able to be in the lesson. There is not a discount on lessons for season pass holders except for Get Ready for the West clinics booked early in the season.


Are lift tickets included in the lesson price?

You must have a lift ticket to be in a lesson. Lift tickets are not included in the lesson price except I Will Ski, I Will Snowboard, First Time Beginner early registration package, and Epic Kids early registration package.  For some children’s lessons, you can purchase a lift ticket at a discounted rate when you purchase the lesson. Please see the specific lesson description to learn more.


Are equipment rentals included in the lesson price?

Equipment rental is not included in the lesson price except I Will Ski, I Will Snowboard, First Time Beginner early registration packages, and Epic Kids early registration packages. For some children’s lessons, you can purchase equipment rental at a discounted rate. Please see the specific lesson description to learn more.


Can my kids or their friends (different ages or abilities) ski in the same group lesson?
Classes are divided by ability and age. We don’t guarantee that kids of different ages can be in the same lesson but you can request that when you register for lessons. If you would like to ensure that you or your kids are in the same lesson with friends or siblings, a Private Lesson is the best option.


What is the youngest age that can participate in ski or snowboard school?
Group lessons start at age 4.  Private for Tot lessons depend on the child.  All children must be fully potty-trained (use the restroom independently) and be willing to ski or snowboard. Instructors or other Ski and Snowboard School staff will monitor younger children in the restroom to ensure their safety but may not assist children with toileting.





What Level ski/snowboard lesson should my child or I take? What level am I?

For group lessons and multi-lesson programs it’s important that you indicate the appropriate level of skill for you or your child.  If your or your child’s skill is between levels or you’re unsure of your skills, choose a lower level to ensure the best learning experience and for safety.  If we need to, we will move you or child to different lesson for a more appropriate level of challenge. Click here for skier and snowboarder level descriptions


When I get to Afton Alps, where do I go for my lesson?

Please arrive for your lesson early.  We recommend checking in at least an hour before the lesson time to allow time to get through the rental shop and to complete paper work. On busy weekends, holidays, school break periods, you may want to allow more than hour.


If you or your child is in a multi-day program, you’ll receive an email with more information and a meeting place. 


For children’s weekend and holiday lessons, please go to our Meadows Children’s Learning (CLC) Center at the North East corner of the resort. 


For most adult lessons, meet at the Alps Ski and Snowboard School (SSS) between Guest Services and the Rental Shop at the main Alps chalet area.


Private lessons can start anywhere in the resort that you choose.  Most private lessons start at the Alps Ski and Snowboard office or Meadows Children’s Learning Center.


Freestyle programs typically operate out of the Landing Zone which is located halfway between the Meadows area and the Alps area.


USSA training and racing operates out of the USSA clubhouse located immediately at the bottom of the hill as you drive down the hill to Afton.


Some programs start at the Firepit (such as ARC, Jr. ARC, and All Mountain Team) which is located immediately in front of the Alps chalet.)





Do I need to accompany or be with my child for lesson check-in?
Yes, please accompany your child to check-in for lessons. You may also need to fill out paperwork such as a release of liability form for your child prior to them entering into the lesson. 


Depending on your child, you may choose to watch some of the lesson from the side of the hill or one of our buildings.  It’s not safe for you and others to stand or walk on the hill or at the bottom of the hill.


Please pick up your child at the designated meeting place promptly at the end of the lesson. 


Can I change or cancel my ski school reservations?
If you have registered for a lesson or program and need to make changes or cancel an existing reservation please call us at 651-436-5245 X277 at least 48 hours in advance for single day lessons and 7 days in advance for multi-day programs and we can process a full refund for you or make those changes for you depending on availability.


For single-day lessons, between 48 hours before and up to 5:00 PM the night before, we can refund 50% of the lesson price and the entire lift and rental price.


If you need to cancel the day of a single-day lesson, you’ll forfeit the price of the lesson and, if you purchased lift and rental with your lesson, they aren’t refundable but you can use them any time until the end of our winter season.


There are no make-up opportunities if you or your child must miss one of the days of a multi-day program.  If you purchased a lift ticket and/or rental package with the lesson, those may be used any day until the end of the season.


What happens if we’re late for a lesson/ski school?
Please check-in for your lesson or program at least an hour before its start time to allow time to complete paper work, get through the rental shop, and prepare yourself.  On busy weekends, holidays, school break periods, you may want to allow more than hour.


We cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to get you or your child into a lesson or that they will be able to catch up to a group that has already left the meeting place if you are late. If you or your child is late for the lesson start, we may be able to upgrade you at an additional cost to a private lesson or place you in a group in a later lesson time that same day. This depends on many factors including the type of lesson, instructor availability, and the time of day. Missed lessons are not refundable.


This is my first time skiing or snowboarding.  What are some things that will make it more enjoyable?

  • Dress in layers.  Your first layer should be wicking material. Wool or sport performance materials work best.  Your second layer should be wool or poly-fleece.  Your outer layer or layers should include insulation, wind resistance and water resistance.
  • For your bottom layers, choose a lightweight wool or athletic performance base layer that can be rolled up and out of your boot and an insulating and wind resistant outer layer that can be pulled over your boot.  You’ll want just your socks inside your boots (no pants legs).
  • Socks are important.  Choose socks made for skiing or snowboarding for the most comfort.  Your second best choice is any smooth wool sock.  Avoid cotton socks. Wear a separate pair of socks to the ski area so you can put on a fresh dry pair of socks just before you put your boots on. You may also want to bring an extra pair of socks to change into mid-day.
  • Insulated, wind resistant gloves or mittens are best. Knit gloves or mittens aren’t a good choice for skiing. 
  • Hand warmers are popular with skiers and snowboarders.  They can be purchased in the Afton Alps Retail shop.
  • We recommend helmets for all of our guests and require them for guests under 18 years old in lessons and guests in racing programs.  Some people prefer to purchase their own helmet or you can rent one here.
  • Snow sports goggles will help keep your eyes safe and comfortable. They can also be purchased at the Afton Alps Retail shop. Sunglasses are a good second choice for daytime lessons.
  • Wear sunblock during the day.
  • Eat healthy and hydrate before your lesson. 
  • Children should use the restroom before meeting the instructor at the lesson start time.

Should I tip my instructor?
Gratuities for coaches and instructors are not a requirement but an appropriate and appreciated gesture. A 15-20% gratuity based of the cost of the lesson will make your coach feel very appreciated and valued.