Peter Greenberg | Downhill from here: All skiers benefit from lessons

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Building better skills is a road to better thrills on skis. Are you already a skier, or maybe you have never skied before and are willing and wanting to give it a try? If you are a beginner, anytime is a great time to start.

It doesn't matter if it is your first time or you know the terrain better than the back of your hand, time spent with an instructor will advance your skill to the next level.

Let's go over types of lessons and the skill levels involved in order to make sure you are getting the correct learning experience for your skill level.

If you are a first timer and are new to sliding down a hill, I have good news for you — this is OK. Your instructor is present to make sure you get a great experience the right way the first time, as your first experience on skis is all about safety, fun and learning. It will give you a good foundation for your first time sliding down the mountain. Here's what you can expect:

• Learning to use your equipment and about the mountain's terrain and climate

• Learning how to stop and recover or get up when you fall

• Being able to knock off different size and types of turns

• Establishing confidence with some rhythm and speed

• Riding the beginner lift up the mountain

As an intermediate skier, you are still developing your skills. Your confidence should be growing and now is the time to push to the next level. You are also probably more ambitious to overcome the more challenging terrain the mountain has to offer with some of your own flare. Here is what you should expect based on you own needs:

• Building up confidence at higher speeds and on steeper slopes

• Moving away from the Green Circle-marked trails onto Blue Square-marked trails

• Focusing on your fundamentals and using your ski poles

• Working on better balance and technique for consistency

• Being able to use an array of different turn shapes, approaches based on the terrain and conditions, which vary from day to day.

For the expert, whether you just want to hone in on the strong skill techniques you already have or catch some new fall lines with more confidence and flare, this is the level that can help you add to your bag of tricks and build on them. Here is what you should learn:

• Executing short, medium and long carved turns with rhythm

• Improving your technique and mastering new approaches that will help you maneuver the mountain

• Bolstering your adaptability and also developing your range of speeds, terrain and conditions

• Exploring new challenges on the mountain, as well as small to moderate moguls, varied terrain like the steeps, powder etc., and analyzing your ability and skill deficiencies to help you refine your technique

And finally, you can always choose the custom-fit private lesson:

• Probe the mountain with your personal instructor showing you the way

• A private lesson gets you on the lifts faster for quick access to the slopes and more time on skis

• More personalized instruction with all attention focusing on you

• Private lessons can be tailored so you can take one alone or with family or friends.

Peter Greenberg leaned to ski at age 3, and is an avid skier who has taught skiing in the Berkshires for more than 30 years. Email him at pgreenberg@berkshireeagle.com.


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