Learn to ski at resorts

For a skier, the anticipation of a new season gets higher and higher as temperatures dip lower and lower.

For a skier, the anticipation of a new season gets higher and higher as temperatures dip lower and lower.

At first glance out your window in Edmonton, you’d think that the ski season was still weeks away. But at Snow Valley and Rabbit Hill Snow Resort, they don’t need to wait for Mother Nature.

“We opened last weekend already,” said Kristina Zelko, Snow Valley’s marketing co-ordinator. “We don’t wait for the snow here.”

For beginner skiers, the best way to get in to the sport is by taking a lesson from a certified instructor.

“We’ve got a ton of stuff offered here,” Zelko said. “Our lessons are always generally full. We offer everything for every age group and for people who have never skied to advanced skiers.”

Snow Valley has five-week and three-week programs for skiing and snowboarding for everyone above the age of four. They even have lessons solely for the ladies.

Both ski hills have Discover Lesson packages for ages six and up.

“They’re for anyone that has never skied or snowboarded before,” Zelko said. “It includes their rentals, lessons and a lift ticket.”

Rabbit Hill Snow Resort is the largest snowboarding and ski area in greater Edmonton. Twelve runs spread over 40 acres of scenic river valley. And they opened last weekend as well.

Jim Sutherland is Rabbit Hill’s manager. Sutherland is looking forward to another great season of snowy bliss. And it all starts with a lesson.

“We can handle just about anything,” he said. “If there are individuals that are pretty good skiers or snowboarders, we’ve got instructors here that will be able to help them. And of course beginners are our forte.”

You can set up a private lesson with a certified instructor any time you want at Rabbit Hill or you can take a Discover Skiing package over the weekend.

“We hire about 300 staff here every year and instructors make up half of them,” Sutherland said. “There are several different levels of instruction in Canada; we have mainly level ones up to level threes.”

There are plenty of lesson spots available at both Rabbit Hill and Snow Valley. For more information, visit www.snowvalley.ca or www.rabbithill.com.