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Wednesday, February 10,2010

Beaver Creek good for beginners, too

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

More Beaver Creek content: Beaver Creek's varied terrain, open runs set resort apart; The Laughing Bones give cool performance at Crystal Grotto.

Never skied or snowboarded before but always wanted to give it a shot? The question always comes up of where to go, what kind of equipment is needed, and how well trained will an instructor be?

If you’re a beginner, Beaver Creek Resort is a good place to start.

First up equipment:

We rented our equipment from RentSkis.com. The website is easy to navigate and offers services to every major resort in Colorado plus locations in Denver and Boulder to pick up equipment. The website runs similar to buying airline tickets – you put in information of your equipment pick-up and return dates along with the time of pickup and location. That’s followed by renter information, which is basic contact info along with shoe size, weight, height, ski skills and gender.

You have the option of choosing different packages that range from adult and children to performance (expert) or demo (general) in skis along with the brand options like Salomon, K2 or Volkl. You’re then given you’re total for the rental and you pay online through a secure system.

We chose the RentSkis.com location near the Centennial Express lift at the end of the Beaver Creek Village. The pick up was quick and concise. There was just a quick check to make sure our boots fit and we were on our way to ski school. (You can also book lessons at BeaverCreek.com. Prices range from $475 to $675 for private lessons and $120 to $220 for classes.)

Our teacher was a fellow named John from Connecticut who trains with the U.S. Ski Team and also coaches youth and junior skiers in alpine racing. Teachers are well trained and tested and are guaranteed to be above their students ski level. John was so patient, articulate, and clear in his instructions that it would be difficult not to learn how to ski under his tutelage. In addition to that, John had great stories about the celebrities always coming through the resort and hanging out with their families.

We spent most of the day near the Cinch and Hay Meadow runs, sometimes labeled the “bunny slopes,” where beginners learn how to control and get comfortable with their skis and snowboards. The runs aren’t steep at all and there’s hardly ever a line at the lift. We spent most of morning pointing our skis and learning how to turn without the constant rush of skiers and snowboarders zooming past us or telling us to get out of their way.

That’s the best way to learn.

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