Experience Northstar
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Plan Your Trip


Book online or call 1.800.GO.NORTH (+1.530.562.1010) to speak with a local expert.


Call (800) 466-6784


Beginner or seasoned, all riders welcomed.

Private Lesson FAQs

How long will my private lesson be?

3- & 6- Hour Private Lessons
For most guests we highly recommend either a 3- or 6-hour lesson. The main reasons for this length are:

  • To ensure a positive learning experience
  • Instructor is able to focus on more than one skill.
  • The amount of time on the snow with time for guided practice.
  • To create a lesson that is specific to your needs.

For first time private lessons we do not recommend a “Rise & Shine” or 3-hour private lesson, as they do not allow enough time to develop beginning skills.

For small children aged 4 and under, we strongly recommend a Rise and Shine Private. This lesson is appropriate because these children tire easily and may not have the attention span or muscle development for a longer lesson.


What time do I arrive?

For a 9:30 a.m. start time, we recommend arriving at the resort sometime between 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. in order to leave plenty of time to park, get equipment, and ride the gondola up to mid-mountain. The earlier you arrive at the resort, the fewer (and shorter) the lines.

Please arrive at the mid mountain Ski and Snowboard School at least 5 minutes before your lesson to find the private lesson area, change boots, and meet the instructor.

  • 6-hour lessons begin at 9:30 a.m.
  • Rise & Shine lessons begin promptly at 8:30 a.m.
  • 3-hour lessons will begin at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. 


What is a “Rise & Shine” lesson?

Rise & Shine lessons begin at 8:30 a.m. and last for one hour. We recommend this one-on-one lesson for small children, who may be too tired to last 3-hours, and people looking to work on maybe one to two skills. We do not recommend this lesson for first timers, as the duration is not long enough to gain the fundamental skills they need for a positive mountain experience.

Rise and Shine is a great product for numerous reasons. First, they are a great value for the money. Next, they allow for the guest to freshen up their knowledge before heading out for a day of skiing on their own. This lesson is a great option for high season when the 3- and 6-hour lessons sell out.


Are equipment and lift tickets included in the price?

Equipment and lift tickets are not included in the price of a private lesson.


Will a first timer be able to ski/snowboard on their own after the lesson?

Our instructors are wonderful at teaching people at their own pace, so we do not guarantee the results of any lesson due to the fact that people all learn at different speeds. People will be more likely to venture out on their own after they have had some professional coaching.


How does a 6-hour private run throughout the day? Lunch?

Generally, you will meet your instructor at the mid-mountain private lesson meeting area at 9:30 a.m. with your lift ticket and equipment. You and your instructor will be able to talk about how you would like the lesson to be set up. This is your lesson so please tell the instructor exactly what you would like to do. Up to six separate people can interact in the lesson.

Lunch breaks for instructors is required. Therefore, lunch is entirely up to the guest. Lunch is handled in a few different ways. Some families choose to take their instructors out to lunch and others choose to set a meeting place and time after lunch. If you start at 9:30 am., the lesson ends at 4:00 p.m.


Why does a private lesson cost more than a group lesson?

Private lessons offer tailor made instruction and learning experiences. You get to choose the skills that you want to work on, can move at your own pace, and get to skip the long periods in line. It is catered to your specific needs. You may also request an instructor (upon availability) at no additional cost.


Can you split the lesson time with multiple people?

Yes, you can break up the lesson with different people, especially if they are at different levels. Make sure to communicate with your instructor how you want to break up the time and where to meet for the switch off. 


If there is a group of people skiing/boarding at different levels, can they go with the same instructor?

The instructor has to teach to the lowest level student, so if there is a big difference in levels we suggest separate instructors or splitting the lesson. If they are close in skiing ability then they can go together and the instructor will have students working on different exercises fit to their needs. The instructor will work hard to keep everyone interested and learning. However, due to safety concerns, the lowest level student will be the main focus.


What is easier, skiing or snowboarding?

It depends on a couple of different factors:

  • What you would like to learn? It's more likely you will enjoy learning what you want to do.
  •  Another consideration is if you have experience with sports such as ice skating or roller-blading. Often skiing is the best choice. Conversely, if you have experience wakeboarding or skateboarding, snowboarding may be far easier for you.

Adults: Snowboarding can be a bit challenging to learn at first, but once you get it you can advance quickly. Adults can sometimes have a hard time balancing on the board because both feet are strapped in. You do spend much more time sitting on the snow. We recommend wearing waterproof pants. Skiing can be a bit more first-time friendly.

Kids: We do not recommend snowboarding for children under the age of 7 unless they have other similar experiences (i.e. skateboarding or surfing). However, if the guest’s child is very keen on snowboarding, we offer private lessons for the younger age group; our instructors are always excited to teach smaller children!


Should my child ski or snowboard?

3 to 6 year olds: We suggest skiing because at that age kids' motor skills are not developed enough to control a snowboard.

Children 7 years and older: It really depends on what the child wants to do, but it can be influenced by the child’s background.


Can I tag along while my child is in a lesson?

We recommend that you watch from a vantage point where your child cannot see you. It is very distracting for both child and instructor and can take away from having a positive learning experience. It is difficult for a child to stay engaged in the lesson when their parents are present.


Who is my instructor?

Unless you request an instructor by name and/or have had the instructor previously, we cannot guarantee a specific instructor due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts. Northstar offers its instructors a high level of training for all lesson taking demographics. They are professionals that work here to serve your on snow needs. You may request any one of our instructors for no extra charge. We recommend booking early as our instructors schedules fill up quickly.


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