The Garnet Hill Ski School
Member: Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA)
Cross country ski lessons are a great step toward improving your technique and increasing your enjoyment of the sport. At Garnet Hill Ski Center we teach all ages and abilities including beginner lessons, telemark and ski skating lessons. We recommend a beginner group lesson for all first time cross country skiers. The ski school is also available for intermediate and advanced lessons including ski skating, telemark and backcountry techniques, and racing techniques.
We have a ski school staff that is dedicated to helping you start off on the right foot, improve your skiing, and help you to have more fun on skis. We offer a full range of lessons, from beginner through advanced, including all types of nordic skiing. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!
It’s been proven by athletes that the best way to master a new sport is by learning it right the first time. If you develop good habits from the start, it will save you a lot of “unlearning” later, and will allow you to progress more rapidly to higher levels.
Beginner lessons are offered as group, semi-private, or private lessons. Intermediate lessons and specialty lessons, such as skate skiing and telemark lessons, are available as semi-private or private lessons.
Private and semi-private lessons can be tailored to your needs, and can include lots of focus in one area (i.e. downhill), or can be a “trail” lesson, where we ski the trails, using the terrain to practice different skills.
Ski School Rates and Information
Group lessons meet daily at 10am and 2pm
Private lessons are by appointment only
Beginner lessons are for those who have never skied at all, for those who have done downhill skiing but never cross-country, or for those who have skied some, but know they could use instruction on the basics and develop good habits. The following is covered in a beginner lesson:
- Ski and pole fit/construction
- Getting comfortable on skis
- Balancing on two skis
- Basic body position for skiing
- How to fall down. How to get up!
- Double poling
- Basics of diagonal stride: weight transfer, balancing on one ski, push off and proper poling
- Uphill techniques: herringbone and sidestep
- Downhill techniques: Straight run, half wedge (snowplow), full wedge (gliding, braking/wedge)
- Using tracks, trail etiquette
In many beginner lessons, we can also move on to the wedge turn, and occasionally step turns.
The intermediate lesson is a more individualized lesson. We will work on refining the skills covered in the beginner lesson, correcting bad habits, and addressing individual needs. The goal is to increase efficiency and improve dynamic balance. The following is covered:
- Better balance and body position for more glide
- More dynamic weight transfer
- Refined poling technique
- Stronger, more dynamic kick (pushoff)
- Refined timing, rhythm, and flow
- Improved wedge, moving to steeper terrain
- Introducing or refining wedge turns (striving for greater control on varied terrain)
- Step turns (often skate turns also)
- Double poling is refined
- Double pole with kick is introduced
- Smooth transitions from one technique to another
In the advanced lesson, we get down to the nitty gritty of energy efficiency and improved balance and dynamics. This lesson is for the serious skier who wants to refine his/her techniques and strive for a new level of speed, comfort, and efficiency. The instructor makes a detailed and critical analysis of the skier and gives necessary feedback. Specific skills are addressed as needed, and include all aspects of diagonal stride, double pole, and downhill technique.
If you want to learn or are frustrated with your attempts at it, a lesson is highly recommended! There is a lot involved in this technique that looks so easy when you see the experts fly by you. We introduce many different drills to help you improve each aspect of the technique. A beginner lesson introduces:
- Weight transfer and body alignment in skate position
- No pole work on flat terrain, working on balance and push-off
- The V-1 skate- poling rhythm and timing
- Putting it all together! (balance, poling, pushoff, etc.)
- Diagonal V skate
- Step turns and skate turns
- Brief demonstration of other skate maneuvers: V-2, V-2 alternate, marathon skate
An intermediate/advanced skate skiing lesson would include:
- Refining the V-1 and diagonal V skate
- Introduce the V-2 and V-2 alternate skate
- Refining skate turns (at higher speed)
- Transitions from one skate maneuver to another
- Refining rhythm, flow, energy efficiency
- Addressing downhill technique for higher speed skiing
The Telemark Lesson
This lesson introduces the basic telemark turn, and can be done with most regular nordic equipment, although waxable skis are highly recommended. We spend most of the lesson without poles, going through a gradual progression and a series of exercises that results in a complete telemark turn. Proper body position is stressed. If time permits, we try to link turns. Equipment, terrain, and snow conditions are discussed. Individual issues are addressed.