Ski For Life FAQs
What level skier do I have to be to participate in the 3-day SKI FOR LIFE clinic?
All clinic participants need to be adult intermediate skiers, levels 5-7. You should be able to ski most groomed blue runs with parallel turns. This program is not appropriate for beginner skiers.
Do I have to be a Baby Boomer to ski with SKI FOR LIFE?
No, you do not have to be a Baby Boomer to take our 3-day SKI FOR LIFE clinic. It is appropriate for intermediate skiers of all adult ages who want to learn how to safely ski moguls and powder in complete control. The average age of our clients ranges from the 40’s to the 70’s. Our youngest participant was in his late teens and our oldest participant was 84! We also have parents and adult children who take the program together as a bonding experience.
The program is based around building a foundation of better balance, more control, greater efficiency and less fatigue using smart tactics that don’t require a high degree of athleticism, are low impact, easy on your knees and back with no need for fast reflexes. At a higher level, the program introduces life-long skills that enable you to break out of the intermediate-rut, and gain enjoyment from being able to ski any groomed terrain on mountain. You learn some skills to deal with ‘yikes’ terrain like icy spots, flat light, double fall lines, clumps of loose snow and crowded runs.
How many people are in a 3-day clinic?
The number of people in a clinic will vary. We staff the clinics to have a maximum of four people per instructor. Participants are grouped into small groups based on skiing ability. Groups can be ‘fluid’, e.g., you may start the clinic with one group of people, but if you are seeking a faster pace or more challenging terrain, there might be an option to move you to a more advanced group. Likewise, if your would prefer to be in a slower-paced group on less challenging terrain we have the option to make that adjustment as well.
Where are the 3-day SKI FOR LIFE clinics taught?
The SKI FOR LIFE clinics are taught on Snowmass Mountain. The vast terrain at Snowmass will provide many options for groomed run skiing and encountering various conditions. Our instructors will select the runs that have the most appropriate terrain and the best conditions for the group’s skiing ability and maximizing the development of new skills.
Will we ski any mogul runs or only groomed runs during the 3-day clinic?
The goal of the clinic is for every participant to become a competent groomed run skier. You will learn the same Foundational Skiing Skills we teach in our BUMPS FOR BOOMERS clinic. These skills are the building blocks of great skiing. Staying on groomed runs allows us to do more drills and skill building exercises to ensure you have mastered these skills. Mogul skiing is not a part of this clinic.
Will we ski powder during the 3-day clinic?
No. Sometimes after grooming a run, it will snow overnight and leave a few inches on top of the groomed run. Or, it might be snowing during the clinic. Have you ever been lucky enough to ski a groomed run with a couple inches of impossibly light ‘freshies’ on it? It is a memorable experience and if the snow gods offer it, we will find it! The clinic will not be seeking out powder runs, i.e., ungroomed or off-piste runs.
Are lift tickets included in the price of the 3-day clinic?
Lift tickets are not included in the price of the clinic. However, there are many options to get the lowest price on lift tickets.
If you plan to purchase individual daily lift tickets and want to avoid paying premium lift ticket prices, please make sure that you purchase your lift tickets at least 7 days in advance of your first day skiing in Aspen. For more information visit https://www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-your-stay/tickets-and-passes.
Stay Aspen Snowmass also offers discounted lift tickets in combination with purchase of lodging or airline reservations. Call them at 1-800-456-0897 for more information.
If you are over the age of 70, depending on the number of days you will be skiing in Aspen, it might be more economical to purchase a Premier Silver season pass from the Aspen Skiing Company. For example, the 2019-2020 season Premier Silver pass is $539 for the entire ski season. For more information visit https://www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-your-stay/tickets-and-passes/passes.
Aspen/Snowmass also participates in the IKON pass program that offers terrific lift ticket values across a large number of domestic and international resorts. Two versions of the pass are offered:
- the IKON base pass (that allows a total of 5 days per season skiing in Aspen/Snowmass with some blackout dates – perfect for a 4-day clinic plus 1 extra day, and
- the full IKON pass (that allows a total of 7 days per season skiing in Aspen/Snowmass with no blackout dates).
For more information and pricing visit https://www.aspensnowmass.com/we-are-different/ikon-pass. If you purchase an IKON pass you are also eligible to take advantage of special IKON pass lodging deals when skiing in Aspen/Snowmass. Call Stay Aspen/Snowmass at 1-800-456-0897 for more information on IKON lodging deals.
Finally, Aspen/Snowmass participates in the Mountain Collective program that offers 2 days skiing at each of the 18 partner resorts with no blackout dates and 50% off lift ticket rates for extra days. For details visit https://www.aspensnowmass.com/we-are-different/the-mountain-collective.
I've never been to Aspen before, what hotels do you recommend?
Aspen is a town of ever changing accommodations and we decided years ago to focus on mogul skiing lessons not lodging. We always recommend that our clients call Stay Aspen/Snowmass (SAS) for assistance with lodging, lift tickets and even airline reservations. The Aspen Skiing Company work with SAS to offer great package deals. SAS has access to the vast majority of properties in Aspen. They offer discounted lift tickets when purchased with lodging and/or airline reservations. Please contact them directly at 1-800-456-0897.
For our 3 day clinic we recommend that you select a property in Snowmass rather than Aspen simply for the most convenient access to Snowmass Mountain. If you stay in Aspen, you can take the free bus service to Snowmass.Allow at least 45 minutes for bus transportation between towns. If you rent a car and stay in Aspen, there is a parking garage for Snowmass Mountain.
What are my airport choices to get to Aspen/Snowmass?
There are three airports primarily used for travel to Aspen/Snowmass.
1) Aspen airport is a quick 5-10 minute ride from downtown Aspen and 20-30 minutes from Snowmass. Many lodges offer transportation from the Aspen airport to their property. If not, taxis are readily available. United Airlines is the primary carrier into Aspen and offers direct flights from Denver, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. American Airlines offers direct flights to Aspen from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix. Delta offers direct flights to Aspen from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Please visit the Aspen Airport website for current airline information as services change each season and not all airlines fly these routes daily.
2) Eagle Vail (EGE) airport is approximately a 1.5 hour drive to Aspen/Snowmass. Eagle Vail airport is at a lower elevation than Aspen airport and can accommodate larger airplanes. Several carriers offer non-stop flights from the U.S. East Coast into Eagle Vail. Commercial transportation is available for hire from Eagle Vail airport to Aspen. Stay Aspen/Snowmass can assist with booking transportation. Please see http://www.eaglevailairport.com/ for more information.
3) Denver International Airport. Denver’s airport is the closest major international airport to Aspen. If there are no weather or traffic delays, it is approximately a 4-hour drive from Denver to Aspen. Once in Denver, you can rent a car or take commercial transportation to Aspen. Please keep in mind that the drive on I-70 from Denver to Aspen travels over two high mountain passes and can be highly impacted by winter weather driving conditions. Again, SAS can assist with booking commercial transportation from Denver to Aspen. See www.flydenver.com for more information. Visit www.cotrip.org for road conditions.
What else should I know about traveling to Aspen/Snowmass?
Please keep in mind that Aspen and Aspen’s airport (ASE) is at 7,980 feet elevation and can be subject to weather delays. We recommend that you plan to arrive 1-2 days prior to the clinic to allow for travel delays and adjustment to our high altitude. We also strongly recommend that you carry your ski boots on-board your flight(s) to Aspen along with necessary medications and personal items just in case you encounter a delay with luggage arrival. Should your checked bags not arrive with you in Aspen, ski clothing is readily available for purchase or rental.
What time do the 3-day clinics start and end each day?
Clinics start promptly at 9 am therefore we will ask that you plan to arrive at the meeting location by 8:45. Your group will head up the mountain and ski until approximately 3:30 each day. Clinics break for lunch mid-day. Additional warm-up or bathrooms breaks are easily arranged with your coach.
Where do the 3-day clinics meet?
Details on specific meeting location in Snowmass will be sent a few weeks prior to the clinic.
What equipment is needed for the 3-day clinic?
You will need to provide your own ski equipment for the SKI FOR LIFE clinic.
Should I bring my own skis for the 3-day clinic?
Most participants who fly into Aspen/Snowmass for the clinic do not bring their own skis simply because of the cost and inconvenience of flying with skis. During the clinic you will experience the many benefits of skiing on a shorter length ski. After learning new techniques most participants are surprised to find how much better they can ski using a shorter ski than they have typically used before.
I’m signing up for the 3-day clinic with another person. Will we ski in the same group?
We typically separate participants into small groups based on their initial skiing ability. So, if you and your partner/friend do not ski at the same ability or ski slower or faster than your partner or friend, we might recommend that you ski in different groups in order to maximize learning for each of you. However, if you request to ski together we are happy to accommodate your wishes and put you in the same ski group, but both of you will then need to be placed in a group that is appropriate for the lower ability skier.
Do participants get together off the mountain?
SKI FOR LIFE hosts an après ski get together at the end of Day 3 of the clinic to celebrate everyone’s on-snow successes. The party starts at 3:30pm and usually wraps up around 5:00pm. Because many of our clients travel alone to Aspen to take the clinic they will often ask others in the clinic to get together for dinner, but this is not formally organized and is completely up to the individuals. Don’t be shy about asking.
What if my return flight home leaves late afternoon the last day of the clinic?
While we are not proponents of missing out on a minute of skiing we do respect the fact that some participants need to schedule a flight back home on the last day of the clinic. You are welcome to leave whatever time is needed to catch your flight.