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Our Mountain

First Timer's Guide

Discovery Program
Check out our new step by step lesson product from Peak Resorts is aimed at giving you the opportunity to “Learn, Practice, & Explore”.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Winter snow sports! We know that once you get out on the snow for the first time, you will choose to return again and again. This web guide will help make your first experience both fun and easy! By reviewing this information while planning your first visit, you'll arrive at Whitetail Resort well prepared to begin your skiing or snowboarding adventure. Select any of the headings below to learn more about each topic

Our Award - Winning Program is Ranked #1 in the USA

You have made an excellent choice in selecting Whitetail Resort to help you get started in your new Winter adventure. Our programs for new skiers and snowboarders were recognized as the best in the country by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) during the 2010-2011 winter season. The Discovery Program for first timers is a great way to learn at your own pace.

What to Wear

This section of our guide will help you decide what to wear during your visit to Whitetail. By dressing properly, you'll stay comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Dress Right!

By dressing properly, you'll be comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

  • Dress in layers. Wearing several lighter layers allows you to adjust your clothing as the temperature changes.
  • Wear a base layer of long underwear or tights.
  • Wear a warm collared shirt, sweater or fleece.
  • Water and wind resistant pants are the best bet, and you will be very glad you have them. Snow or ski pants are ideal, but jeans are OK as long as you bring an extra pair. Avoid sweat pants; they get wet very quickly! Be sure your pants are wide enough at the bottom of the legs to fit over large boots.
  • Wear a jacket or shell with a high collar; once again water and wind resistant is best.
  • Make sure to wear high socks. Bring a couple of extra pairs of socks - the higher, the better. Avoid socks with big, thick seams if possible.
  • Always wear eye protection: either sunglasses or goggles.
  • Wear gloves or mittens. Gloves allow more freedom of movement, but mittens are warmer. Avoid knit gloves; they get wet very quickly.
  • You will want a warm hat that covers your ears. The old saying "If your feet are cold, put on a hat" is true!
  • Sunscreen and lip balm are a must. Make sure to wear SPF 15 or greater. Even on cloudy days it is very easy to get too much sun when on the snow.
  • Be sure to bring extra clothes to change into for the ride home!
  • You will also need a driver's license or credit card to rent skis or a snowboard. Please bring them with you to the rental center.


The Whitetail Mountain Sports Shop, conveniently located just steps from the slopes, carries everything listed above. Stop by the shop upon your arrival to Whitetail Resort; our friendly staff will gladly help you prepare for your day on the Mountain.


Arriving at Whitetail

Arrival at Whitetail will be a breeze with the information provided in this section of our guide. From parking information to the folks who can give you all the answers you are looking for, it is all right here in this section.

Your Day Of Fun Awaits


We offer plenty of free parking at Whitetail Resort. If you arrive early in the day, you will probably find a parking space close to the lodge area. For later arrivals, convenient shuttle buses run between the parking areas and the ticketing area. We have unloading zones in the main circle, right in front of the ticketing area. Please be sure to bring everything you need from your car and always remember to lock your vehicle.

Mountain Hosts

Our award winning Mountain Host staff are here to help you in every aspect of your visit. If you need assistance, simply look for their green jackets in the front plaza area. They are here to help make your stay with us as enjoyable as possible.

Lift Ticket Windows

As you walk or ride the shuttle into the main circle, the ticket windows are located up the front steps and to your right. The ticket window will be your first stop. This is the place to buy all the tickets, rentals, lessons, and packages you will need. The cashiers at the ticket windows will be happy to direct you to the restrooms and a place to store your belongings if you need to make a pit stop.

Guest Service

Our Guest Service lobby is located just to the right of the ticket windows. If you have any questions, or are interested in purchasing a Season Pass or the Peak Discovery Program...this is the place to be! 

You're now dressed for the elements and here at the resort; on to the next phase.

Learn To Ski or Snowboard

Whether you are learning to ski or snowboard, our "Learn To" Package is the way to go. Including an all-day beginner's area lift ticket, equipment rentals, and a group lesson...this package has everything you need to go out and enjoy the slopes for the first time.

You have arrived safely at the resort, parked your vehicle, and made your way to the plaza area of our beautiful resort. Now what...In order to get started on the snow, you will most likely need a lift ticket, rental equipment, and a beginner lesson in our Discovery Zone. Our Learn To Ski or Snowboard Package combines all of these items into one convenient, money-saving package. Lift tickets with this package are valid on the Lift Off Quad, U-Me Double, First Class Magic Carpet, and the Launching Pad. These lifts provide plenty of excitement for your first day. This package is for new skiers and snowboarders ages 7 and older. For children ages 6 and under, please visit our Kid's Mountain Camp page.

Learn to Ski or Snowboard Package (Ages 7+)*

Learn to Ski or Snowboard


Learn to Ski or Snowboard

*Grants access to: First Class Magic Carpet, the Launching Pad Magic Carpet, U - Me Double and Lift - Off Quad

The Learn to Guarantee

Learning to Ski or Snowboard really is easier than you may think. We will even guarantee that after your first lesson you'll be able to turn both ways, stop, and ride a lift.

Rental Experience

Getting set up in your rental skis or snowboard can be a challenge on your first visit. This section of our guide will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

The Tools For Winter Fun

Whitetail Resort features state-of-the-art rental ski and snowboard equipment for new skiers and snowboarders. We offer special rental equipment designed to make learning easy and fun while you’re on the mountain. This page will help you become familiar with the features of the equipment and how it is used. If you take a few minutes to review the information below, you'll look like an old pro when you return to the rental shop! You can even print out our rental form at home, fill it out, and bring it with you to the resort to save time...Just click the link below to get download the pdf.

Ski Rental Equipment:


The first pieces of equipment you are issued are your ski boots. The rental technician will need to know your shoe size to assure that your boots fit properly. Your boots should feel snug around your foot, but not tight. Once buckled, you should be able to wiggle your toes, but your heel should not move when you pull up on it. If your boots feel too loose or too tight, please do not hesitate to ask for a different size!


Next, you will receive your skis.  The skis at Whitetail Resort are shaped skis, which mean they have a very deep sidecut which makes the skis easier to turn. You will also notice that your skis are quite short. This is perfect for learning.


On the top of your skis you will find the bindings. The bindings not only hold your feet to the skis, but they also automatically release if you fall. A binding technician will set your bindings based on your weight, height, age, and ability level. Please be as accurate as possible to assure the proper settings. You will also be issued ski poles, which are used for balance and also aid in moving you forward.

Making The Connection

Once you are out on the snow, your instructor will show you how to use your bindings to attach your skis to your feet. By placing the little ledge on the front of your boot under the front binding piece (called the toe piece), line up your heel and press down. To get out, you simply press down on the lever in the back with your ski pole. If your ski comes off during skiing, the ski brake will stop it from continuing down the hill without you.


Snowboard Rental Equipment:

Our Burton Learn to Ride System will have you learning to turn in no time. This fleet of boards is the most innovative beginner equipment on the market, due to its soft core flex design and side bevel—perfect for making the first few turns.

The Board

Snowboards are similar to skis except they are much wider, and you only get one of them. They have a sidecut just like skis, and turn the same way a ski turns.


Snowboard bindings have one big difference from ski bindings; they don't release. Once your feet are in, they will stay there. Getting in your snowboard bindings is easier than ever with Burton's strap-in bindings.

Making The Connection

  • STEP ONE ~ Line the back of your boot up to the base of the binding and guide the straps through each clasp.
  • STEP TWO ~ Tighten it down until it is snug against your foot and ankle. When strapping into your board before you get on the lift, it is only necessary to strap in your front foot in the binding. You'll use your back foot to guide yourself to the lift, and strap it in once you get off the lift at the top of the hill.
  • STEP THREE ~ To release, pull up on the lever of the rachet and the strap will be free to come loose.


Looks like you are all set; you have your lift & lesson tickets and your rental equipment.

Now it is time to head out to the slopes for your lesson...

The Lessons

Whitetail Resort is known nationally for its award-winning Ski & Snowboard School. This section of our guide will describe what you can expect in your first lesson (ages 7 and up) at Whitetail Resort. Learn at your own pace in the Discovery Zone.

Learn The Skills

You're properly dressed, you've got the right package, and your rental equipment is ready to go—now the fun really starts! In the next hour or so, you'll learn all of the basic skills that you need to get started for a lifetime of skiing or snowboarding.

Your First Lesson - "Discovery"

The first thing you will learn is how to put on your skis or snowboard and how to move around on a flat surface. This will give you a chance to get to know your equipment and get the feel for sliding around. You will also learn how to climb the hill and turn yourself around while standing still. All of these skills are presented in a very flat area with a "runout". A runout helps you stop yourself while you are learning. Next you will learn to slide straight down the hill. Unless you are an ice skater or in-line skater, your brain has been programmed to believe that sliding across the ground while standing up is, as a rule, something to be avoided. It takes a few runs down the hill before your brain figures out that it is not only OK, but a lot of fun. You also may be introduced to the moving carpet lift. This is the easiest way up the mountain. The moving carpet is just like the conveyer lifts you will find in airports. You will simply stand on the carpet and it will move you slowly a short distance up the hill. From this point you will get a better idea of what it feels like to slide down the hill. Once you have mastered "straight runs", you will be taught how to turn your skis or snowboard. Turning offers two benefits: it allows you to avoid things you do not wish to meet up close and it allows you to stop whenever you want; both of which are commendable goals. Your rental skis or snowboard were designed to turn easily so you'll be happily turning in no time. Once you reach the point of going where you want to and stopping yourself with confidence, it is time for your first lift ride.

Your First Chair Lift Ride

As you slide out to the loading area, the chair will come up behind you. When the chair touches the back of your legs, simply sit down and enjoy the ride. There is a restraining bar that you pull down in front of you for the ride, and it is very important that you use it.  At the top of the lift, you will see signs instructing you to raise the restraining bar and prepare to unload. The snow will gradually come up to meet your skis. When you get to the "Unload Here" sign, stand up, lean slightly forward, and slide straight down the ramp. Your instructor will give you instructions on where to meet.