Learn to Ski in Whistler

Whistler Ski and Snowboard School is one of the biggest in the business with qualified professional instructors from all over the world. All ski school programs are given lift line priority, avoiding the wait in the queues and increasing your time on the snow.

Whistler Ski and Snowboard School

Skiers and snowboarders are graded by level (1 -6, ranging from beginner to expert), each of which is described clearly to help prevent people from overstating or understating their abilities. To see where you fit in check out Whistler Blackcomb’s Ski Ability Chart.

For people with disabilities, the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program (WASP) offers lessons at all levels with experienced instructors and guides.

The school’s private lessons programme is for both kids and adults, designed to maximise your experience through one on one instruction and guided mileage. These lessons are also given lift line priority over other ski school programs. An alternative to these expensive private lessons is the Supergroups Programme, with maximum 3 students per group guaranteeing individual attention in a unique social environment.

Adult group lessons are divided into two categories: Learn to Ski which meets at the base and more advanced Summit Sessions which meet at the mountain top huts. Particularly suited to many European skiers is the Ski Esprit program. Ski Esprit offers 3 days of group lessons (at all levels) with the same instructors. Video analysis and an optional yet organised and informal après ski program are included in the price.

Female skiers and riders can sign up for the Roxy Women’s Ski and Snowboard Camp, a 2 day programme offered at all levels featuring top female coaches, equipment demos from Roxy, après reception and more.

Whistler offers an excellent and comprehensive ski program for children, starting with an infant childcare program for babies aged 3-18 months. The toddler program for 18 months to three years includes both indoor and outdoor play time in a special childcare facility.

Whistler Kids teaches to children as young as 3 and 4 in the Minis program (ski only). Ski and snowboard lessons are available to ages 5 and up. 5-12 year olds have the option of daily lessons or Adventure Camp (5 day program with same instructor) Teenagers have their own programme called Ride Tribe, specially catered for 13-18 year olds with experienced high-level instructors.

For kids looking for freestyle coaching, the Park & Free Ride programme is offered to 10-18 year olds (skiers and snowboarders) who are at an advanced level. All kids and teens programmes include lunch and advanced registration is strongly recommended. Lessons will sell out to keep the teacher-student ratio at an acceptable level.

For those wanting to concentrate on off-piste skills in advanced and expert terrain, the resort has got you covered. Extremely Canadian Steeps Clinics employs sponsored ski coaches who have expert knowledge of the terrain in Whistler.

Look out for Discover Whistler Days and save up to 40% off certain lessons during non-peak periods.

Whistler Ski Camps and Courses

A variety of ski camps are offered in Whistler, all open to skiers from intermediate to expert level. The Dave Murray Ski Camp is the longest running in North America and will improve your skiing on all terrain in all conditions. Focus is on race technique in gates where you will have your private hill space for training.

Dempsey Tours and Yes Improvement offer multi-week programs for skier improvement and training to become ski instructors. All coaches are CSIA Level 4 certified and aim to get you to CSIA Level 2 by the end of the course.

Many companies offer GAP year programs in Whistler with a similar program to Dempsey and Yes, organising tuition, accommodation and courses. Some of the popular ones are listed below

Crystal International Academy – www.crystalinstructors.co.uk

Base Camp Group – www.basecampgroup.com

Alltracks Academy – www.alltracksacademy.com

For the independent minded travellers who want to work in Whistler, such programs are not a prerequisite. Whistler employs hundreds of new ski school instructors every year. If you are at least an intermediate level skier the company may hire you as a ski instructor on the condition that you pass your CSIA Level 1. Once hired, all the training is free and the mountain can even organize staff housing for you. For more information check out www.whistlerblackcomb.com/employment

Whistler Free Guided Tours

Free guided tours are offered daily for intermediates to experts at 11:30 am. Whistler Mountain Tour runs from the Guest Satisfaction Centre under the light board at the top of the Whistler Village Gondola, and Blackcomb Mountain Tour starts from the top of the Solar Coaster Express. The Blackcomb Glacier Tour starts from the same place, weather permitting.

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