Beginners Guide

Gearing up for your first time on the slopes?  Check out these topics below for pointers that will best prepare you for your on-snow adventures.

Dress for Winter!

Remember that temperatures vary at different times of the day and on different mountain areas, and you might be outside longer than you planned.  Check our daily snow report for our current weather forecast, conditions, and more!  Here is a list of things you’ll need:

  • several non-cotton layers – long underwear or other synthetic base layers, fleece jacket or wool sweater mid-layer
  • ski/snowboard socks – poly-pro or wool (non-cotton), put these on just before your ski/snowboard boots
  • wind and water-repellent outer layers
  • warm mittens or gloves
  • face/neckwarmer – on days when temps are below freezing, be sure to protect your face and cover any exposed skin
  • helmet or hat – both keep your head warm, but helmets also protect your head from any sort of impact- helmets are required for lesson program participants ages 17 & under- visit to learn more about helmets and snow sports safety!
  • goggles – protect your eyes and keep them warm
  • sunscreen – although there are less direct UV rays, these rays are reflected by the sun and can easily cause sunburn

Helpful Hint: Wait until after you get your rental equipment and are ready to go outside before you put on your final layers.  If you happen to forget something, our Retail Shop is likely to have what you need.

Use the right equipment.

Avoid borrowing equipment from your friends or family that could be outdated, unsafe, or not sized correctly for you.  Rent equipment that is suited for your needs.  Our Rental Shop, located in the Northwoods Lodge, has the latest technology in beginner equipment, and we keep it tuned and maintained.  We’ll help you find the right gear.

Before you hit the slopes…

Get a good night’s sleep, stay hydrated and take time to eat a good breakfast.  Skiing and riding require a lot of energy and a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast can really make the difference.  Also, grab a trail map – pick one up at the Snow Sports Desk, in the Rental Shop, or at any on-mountain ticketing location.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need a reservation to take a lesson?

Reservations, although not required, are highly recommended for private lessonsMountain Adventure programs for kids, and adult specialty weekend and 1-day clinics, as these programs may sell out.  Please call (518) 251-4804, or email  Reservations are not necessary for our daily class lessons for ages 13+, including first-timer programs.

What time should I arrive?

Getting to the mountain early is always a good idea.  The lifts open at 8:30am and morning lessons gather at 9:45am, but the Rental Shop and Snow Sports Center open at 8:00am.  The food court in the Base Lodge is open at 7:30am, so join us for breakfast and a hot beverage.

What time do daily lessons meet?
Class lessons for ages 13+ gather on snow for all levels at 9:45am and 1:15pm daily, with an additional option for beginner levels gathering at 10:45 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mountain Adventure daily lessons for kids ages 4-12 head out at 9:45am for the morning option and at 12:45pm for the afternoon option.  Check-in times are 8:30-9:30am for the morning option and Noon-12:30pm for the afternoon option.

Where should I go first?
Beginners should head directly to the Snow Sports Center in the Northwoods Lodge.  There you will be able to purchase your lift tickets, all lesson products, and rentals in one convenient location.  From the Northwoods Lodge, you can walk out the door with your equipment to our Base Area, with children already secured in our Mountain Adventure Center.

Where do I store my personal belongings while I am skiing or riding?
The Base Lodge’s lower level and Northwoods Lodge’s Rental Shop have token-operated lockers.  You can also use our secure Bag Check at the Lost & Found desk in the Base Lodge, available Saturday, Sunday, and during holiday periods, with in/out access to your bag throughout the day for just $5.

Should I take a lesson?
A lesson will help you learn quickly and efficiently, to make your day fun and successful.  Our ski and snowboard instructors are highly trained to teach you the proper techniques, with learning styles best suited for you.

What is the best age to start skiing or riding?
We have lessons for all ages.  Mountain Adventure lessons are for skiers and snowboarders ages 4-12, those younger can take a private lesson, and we offer value-packed beginner packages for ages 13+.  Our instructors will help you learn at your own pace, no matter your age getting started.

Is it easier to learn to ski or to snowboard first?
Whichever sport piques your interest is the one you should learn.  They both are fun and exciting.  It’s your choice!

What other services do you offer for when I’m not skiing or riding?
There is a variety of Mountain Services at Gore to make the most of your time with us, such as different dining options, cross-country skiing & snowshoeing at the Ski Bowl’s Nordic Center, massage & live music on weekends, and more!


Special Notes for Parents (2019-2020)

Please consider the following when putting your child in our Mountain Adventure programs

  • Advanced reservations are strongly recommended especially during holiday periods.  Please call (518) 251-4804 or email
  • A parent must complete program-specific registration forms including Release of Liability on or before the first program day.
  • All children 12 & under are required to wear a helmet during all Snow Sports School programs.
  • Please be on time.  Plan ahead for time to register your child in our program, pick up rental gear, etc.  Lessons go out on time.  Late arrivals may not be accommodated.
  • A parent must remain on Gore Mountain premise if your child is participating in our Mountain Adventure Program.
  • Please inform us of any special arrangements or needs your child may have (i.e. dietary, medication, learning styles, interacting with adults and/or other children, etc.) so that we can best serve your child.
  • Gore Mountain staff will not administer medications.  If your child needs medication(s) during the day, please make arrangements with our staff for you to give your child their medication.
  • Children in Mountain Adventure programs may need to ride lifts with an adult and therefore may ride lifts with members of the skiing public, or other Gore staff.
  • Class sizes are generally six students per instructor but may be larger or smaller.  Gore Mountain reserves the right to combine classes when needed.
  • Gore Mountain staff reserve the right to move your child to the appropriate class level.
  • Additional notes to best prepare your family for a fun and successful Mountain Adventure experience
  • Help prepare your child for their day by explaining what they are going to do at Gore Mountain, and be sure to tell them that you will return to pick them up at the end of their lesson.
  • Your child will have a better experience if they are well-rested and have a good breakfast.  Skiing and riding, and being outdoors in the cold weather, require energy.
  • Participants are responsible for their own equipment.  Please label all equipment (skis/board boots) and clothing to help avoid losing anything.
  • Please let us know of any special needs your child has such as allergies, medical instructions, etc.  The more their instructor knows, the easier it will be to help them have a great experience.
  • Lessons are held regardless of weather, so please make sure your child has dressed appropriately.  You can leave extra gloves/socks etc. in a backpack in the Mountain Adventure Room, in case they are needed.
  • While skiing or snowboarding is the primary activity, your child will also learn about on-hill safety, etiquette, meeting and learning with new friends, and the Gore Mountain environment.
  • We know you’re excited to watch your child ski or ride.  However, children often become distracted when they see their parents, especially younger beginner students.  If you would like to observe, please do so from a distance so as not to distract program participants.