This winter Waterville Valley Resort has Progressed to the Next Level and we want all of you discovering your Next Level with us whether it’s taking your first turns, skiing the mountain from top to bottom, learning to ski bumps or trees, or landing a new trick. Waterville Valley is the perfect place to learn to ski or ride and grow your skills.
Waterville Valley is a great playground for both learning to ski or ride and advancing your skills. For first timers we have a wonderful progression of terrain and lifts that allow beginners to learn in a safe, comfortable atmosphere, without over-challenging them or having to worry about advanced skiers and riders zipping past them. We offer learning bowls, which are man made terrain features, that make a beginners first sliding experience comfortable.
From there, we progress onto our conveyor lifts that are easy to ride and give convenient access to terrain where beginners can start practicing their turns and stopping. The next area of learning is our Lower Meadows terrain which has a low to the ground, double chairlift with access to three, slightly longer beginner trails, each a little steeper than the last so that guests can continue to practice the skills they learned earlier. After that we progress to the Valley Run detachable Quad which takes learners up to longer runs on moderate terrain; a perfect training ground to conquer the peaks and trails of Green Peak and Mt. Tecumseh.
Progressing to the Next Level of skiing and riding doesn’t stop once you’ve made it up Green peak and to the summit of Tecumseh. There are always ways to keep challenging yourself and you may find yourself becoming more adventurous once you start mastering trails like True Grit. Here at Waterville Valley we have plenty for you to explore, including glades. For the first time tree skier, we have the Sugar Shack Glades off of Valley Run. This glade has a mild slope and the trees are evenly spaced out, giving plenty of room to make turns between the trees. Remember, skiing glades requires good snow coverage. If you’re unsure of the conditions please check in with ski patrol first, and always ski or ride with a friend in the glades.
We also have progressive terrain parks for the adrenaline junkies. In Lower Meadows, we have a beginner park set up on Leroy’s Loop, and from there you can progress to the People’s Park in the Pasture which features smaller rails and jumps. Once you’ve mastered the basics, the sky is truly the limit with larger jumps and rails in the Exhibition and Stillness parks. Park features are constantly changing, so be sure to check the WV Parks page for updates on features and what’s open.
The Snowsports Program
To keep you progressing, we also have a great lesson and seasonal programs. Our snowsports program is lead by Peter Weber aka “Webbie” who has been a part of the team since the 1980s and has created a learning culture at the resort by always having the goal of improving the program, motivating staff to obtain the highest level of training, and embracing the most current instruction techniques. At Waterville Valley 70% of our instructors are Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) or American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) certified. These certifications are like having a college degree for snow instruction, with three levels of certification, each one requiring several years of dedication, experience, and practice to become successful. “Certification is important to us at Waterville Valley because the dedication that goes into the craft of teaching on snow makes for a better instructor, and that is extremely beneficial to our guests who are paying for lessons,” said Peter Weber.
The training process for new instructors is also intense. “In my opinion, it requires the most diverse set of skills on the mountain,” said Webbie. Any new instructor, that does not have any certification, goes through our Instructor Training Course (ITC) a three weekend long training course that covers, technique, teaching methodology, use of terrain, people skills and group handling, children specific training, safety, proper chairlift procedures, accident procedures, customer service, resort orientation, and more. Plus, we have ongoing training throughout the season for new and seasoned staff.
As a whole, the Snowsports Team is a group of passionate, fun loving, and slightly crazy people that make up one big family. They’re a mix of seasoned professional, college aged students, and junior instructors which keeps the energy young.
The instructors are always working together as a team on and off the snow so that they can provide the best experience for our guests. While teaching, they take the time to build trust and a relationship. “We work on getting guests outside of their comfort zone, so that they can prove to themselves that they can do it,” said Mike Furgal, one of our Snowsports Instructors.
“There is something special about sliding on the snow in control that is hard to explain. Once you are hooked, you are hooked for life,”said Furgal.