Just to let you know, I’m a sportbike rider through and through, but for some reason I was on my way to Snowshoe Mountain in Snowshoe, West Virginia to learn skiing for the first time. Now being that I’ve never stepped foot on any type of ski, I needed a lot of assistance from start to finish. Task one; I had to find rental gear. We stopped by Snow-Creek Mountain Sports, a subsidiary of Ski Barn, to pick up what I would need for the weekend.
We walked into a building filled with two floors of everything you could want or need for a weekend of fun playing in the snow. The first floor was a massive selection of skis, snowboards, clothing, hats, gloves, and souvenirs. The upstairs seemed to cater more toward women’s items and gear.
After explaining that I was a first time skier and needed boots and skis, I was directed to a table where I filled out the typical information such as name, address, shoe size, weight, height, and then marked what level of skier I was, either I, II, or III. I returnsed the form to the gentleman at the counter and from there, I was directed to the fitting counter.
I put on my heavy ski socks and then tried on the boots. They felt snug at first, but it was explained to me that the boots should be snug, but still comfortable. When you stand in the boots upright, your toes should be near or brushing the end of the boot. When you lean slightly forward and hold that position, your heel should fit snugly in the heel pocket of the boot and your toes will move back slightly away from the toe of the boot. I buckled the boots, tested them, and was confident that I had the correct size.
Skis are then chosen according to your level of expertise, mine being a I (beginner), and by your height and weight. They chose 146’s for me according to my criteria and with that, I was on my way with boots, skis and poles.
Being a newbie, I appreciate the assistance they gave me on how the boots and skis should fit, and sending me on my way with the correct equipment to start flying down the mountain along side the best experts out there… Well, the experts that were in the under 6 years of age category. I was able to keep up with them!
Regardless, SnowCreek Mountain Sports made a potentially intimidating process fairly friendly. If you’ve never been skiing before, make SnowCreek Mountain your first stop.
They have two locations near Snowshoe Mountain: The Ski Barn is located at Rt. 219 & Snowshoe Rd. in Slatyfork, WV 26291 - ½ Mile from Snowshoe Welcome Center, and SnowCreek Mountain Sports is located at the entrance to Silver Creek area on top of Snowshoe Mountain. For more information visit www.skibarn.net.
Normally an ‘adrenaline’ junkie by nature, learning to ski was surprisingly intimidating to me. Whether it’s my strong dislike for being cold, or perhaps the fear of injuring myself, I was apprehensive. The decision to start with a private lesson eased my nerves and seemed like the best way to start the experience.
After picking up my skis and boots at SnowCreek Mountain Sports, we arrived at Snowshoe Mountain Resort and I immediately scheduled a one hour private lesson. I was assigned to Pat Rehberg, an expert ski instructor.
The beginner’s section was very organized with flags designating the different meeting points such as Kids Ski School, Adult SnowBoard Lessons, Adult Ski Lessons, and Private Lessons. My instructor arrived early and we began with the basics. After spending a short time on the beginner’s hill, we soon ventured down one of the larger slopes, stopping often to talk and go over things that I needed to work on. How to get back up after a fall was our first lesson and I had plenty of chances to practice that skill.
Taking that one hour with a pro instructor, wearing warm and comfortable clothing and having the right ski equipment enabled me to truly enjoy the remainder of my weekend. I was able to ski down the beginner slopes, and even a few intermediate ones. All and all, a fabulous weekend and no broken bones. SCORE!
The following day I took a group lesson and was put into the intermediate group, which ended up only having two students with one instructor. The other student, having skied previously, but not in years, was a little slower at first; slowing the pace at which I could advance the skills I had learned the day before. I still gained some additional knowledge but felt that I learned much more in the one on one lesson which allowed more personalized training. For more information visit www.snowshoemtn.com.