Big SNOW American Dream is committed to the health and safety of our guests and our team. Please be aware that exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present. We have taken numerous steps to reduce this inherent risk and ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety precautions and requirements prior to your visit. You should evaluate your own level of risk when determining whether to visit. By coming to the park, you acknowledge and agree that you assume these inherent risks associated with your attendance as we have explained them to you. Thank you.

Beginner’s Guide

Your Handbook to Getting Started on the Slopes. The Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors have put the following video series together to help you navigate your first day on snow. Please enjoy these helpful tips to get you started.

Skiing Must Knows

Getting Started: Today’s skis are constructed to make learning and turning far easier than ever before. Knowing a few basic facts about your equipment will help set you up for success on your first day on the hill.

Getting the Boot: Comfort is the Key

  • The most important thing is that the boots are comfortable and fit your feet. Ski boots come in traditional American sizes and "mondo point," which is the length of the boot in centimeters.
  • When trying on boots, wear one pair of medium-weight or light-weight socks.
  • The fit should be snug and your heel should remain in place when flexing the knee and ankle forward into the boot.
  • Your toes should barely touch the inside of the boot and should slide back slightly when you bend your knee forward.
  • Make sure there aren’t any pressure points or spots that pinch your feet or calves.
  • Remember boots will stiffen in the cold.
  • Bindings hold your boots to the skis and are designed to release when you need them to during a fall.
  • Poles are used to help you with your balance and rhythm while skiing. Poles can be made from fiberglass, aluminum or carbon fiber

A Few Key Pointers

  • When renting skis, discuss your skiing experience with the technician and don’t exaggerate your ability or experience.
  • Skis should be about chin high for beginners. Specifically, the tip should land between the chin and nose. Edges should be sharp and bases should be freshly waxed.
  • It’s important to note your exact weight, height, age and skier type (beginners are type I). These factors determine your DIN (Deutsch Industrial Norm) setting on the bindings. DIN numbers correspond to the torque needed to release a ski boot out of the binding.
  • After sliding into the boot, your foot should feel snug (not painful) everywhere. With ski boots, your toes should touch the front until you drive your knees forward. Your toes should then pull back, leaving a little wiggle room for comfort.
  • Don’t tuck pant legs into boots. The boots are designed to hug your shin and calf, so you don’t want any extra fabric to interfere.

How to Ski: A Beginner’s Guide — Part 1

How to Ski: A Beginner’s Guide — Part 2

How to Ski: A Beginner’s Guide — Part 3

Snowboarding Must Knows

Getting Started: Today’s snowboards are constructed to make learning and turning far easier than ever before.  Knowing a few basic facts about your equipment will help set you up for success on your first day on the hill.

A Few Key Pointers

  • As far as length goes, your board should fall somewhere between your chin and your nose (when stood up on its tail) and be wide enough so that your feet don’t hang over the edge more than half an inch.
  • Beginners will generally want a more forgiving (softer) board to learn on.
  • When renting a board, discuss your riding experience with the technician and don’t exaggerate your ability or experience.
  • Lastly, you’ll need to know your stance (regular or goofy). This is different for every person, but is usually the same as the leading foot on skateboards or surfboards. There is no right or wrong here and remember you can always change if you start to find that you’re more comfortable with one foot over the other.

Proper Boot Fitting

Boots are the primary connection point to your board and as such are arguably your most important piece of snowboard equipment. Uncomfortable feet can lead to all kinds of problems with snowboarding, so make sure your boots fit properly. Some initial fit tips for boots include:

  • When trying on boots, wear the socks you’ll be wearing up to the hill. A medium-weight wool or other moisture-wicking sock is best.
  • The fit should be snug. Remember, the foam in your boots will pack out slightly as you break them in, so you want them tight at the beginning but not painful.
  • Your heel should remain in place when bending the knee and ankle forward.
  • Walk around and make sure there aren’t any pressure points or spots pinching your feet. Common problem areas include on the bridge of the foot, the heel and around the ankle bones

How to Snowboard: A Beginner’s Guide — Part 1

How to Snowboard: A Beginner’s Guide — Part 2

How to Snowboard: A Beginner’s Guide — Part 3

Know the Code

Common Sense, it’s one of the most important things to keep in mind and practice when on the slopes. At Big Snow American Dream we believe that, helmet use, respect, personal responsibility and common sense are very important when cruising down the mountain. We encourage all skiers and snowboarders to familiarize themselves with the responsibility code below.  The National Ski Area’s Association developed Your Responsibility Code to help skiers and snowboarders be aware that there are elements of risk in snowsports that a little common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.

Know the Code

Your Responsibility Code

  1. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

KNOW THE CODE: IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Stay Safe on the Lift & Ride like a Pro

If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding the chairlift can be a very intimidating thing. Follow along through our videos and read through the steps below on how to safely load, ride, and unload the lift.

How to Ride the Quad Lift

Entering and Loading the Lift

    • Slow down as you approach the lift line and have your wristband ready to be scanned.
    • Skiers should approach the lift with skis on, remove ski poles from wrists and hold in one hand. Snowboarders should remove back foot from binding
    • Remove any backpacks or bags and hold them in your hand. Check for any loose clothing or equipment.
    • Children should always ride the lift with an adult.
    • Alternate and merge with other guests in the lift line before moving forward to the “Wait Here” sign.
    • If it’s your first time riding the lift or if you need extra help, ask the attendant to slow the lift for you
    • If you’re not ready, it’s OK to miss a chair and wait for the next one.
    • After the chair in front passes, follow behind it and slide up to the “Load Here” sign.
    • Wait with knees bent and look back at the approaching chair to anticipate and prepare for loading.
    • Sit down and slide all the way back so that your back is against the chair back, keep your skis and snowboards pointed straight ahead.

Riding the Lift:

  • Make sure to sit all the way back in the chair.
  • As you leave the bottom terminal, lower the restraining bar. If you can’t reach the bar, ask for another guest to assist you.
  • Keep the restraining bar down until you reach the top.
  • Remain properly seated facing forward during the entire ride. Remember these rules:
    • Do not use your phone on the lift
    • Do not fool around with your friends on the lift
    • Do not knock skis together or try to remove snow from them
    • Do not bounce or swing chairs
    • If something falls, let it fall
  • If the lift stops, remain seated and wait for it to restart or for further instruction

Unloading the Lift:

  • Prepare to unload as you approach the top terminal .
  • Have a plan as to which way you want to go- the easiest way down will be to your left.
  • Communicate to the top lift attendant if it is your first time unloading the lift.
  • Raise the restraining bar when the sign tells you to do so.
  • Keep the tips of your skis and snowboard tilted up until they make contact with the snow.
  • As you pass the “Unload Here” sign, stand up, push off and slide straight forward.
  • Keep your eyes up and looking where you want to go.
  • Move out of the lift exit area quickly.
  • If you fall, try to get up quickly or slide out of the way for other exiting guests.
  • If you are not able to unload the chair, just stay seated and the attendant will assist you.
  • Once you’ve exited the lift, it’s time to get sliding. Remember to follow the Responsibility Code and have fun!

How to Ride the Carpet

Entering and Loading the Carpet

    • Skiers should remove ski poles from wrists and hold in one hand when approaching the carpet.
    • Snowboarders should remove back foot from binding and skate towards the carpet.
    • Communicate to the lift attendants if it is your first time riding the lift.
    • To load the carpet, shimmy your way onto the moving belt and let your equipment be taken by the carpet belt.
    • Keep both feet on your equipment and remain standing while riding the carpet with your eyes forward.
    • At the end of the carpet, lean forward, keep your skis parallel or your back foot against the back binding of your snowboard and the carpet will push you off.
    • Glide straight off the carpet .
    • Keep your eyes up and looking where you want to go.
    • Move out of the lift exit area quickly.
    • If you fall, try to get up quickly or slide out of the way for other exiting guests.

How to Ride the Platter Lift

Entering and Loading the Platter Lift

  1. Skiers should remove ski poles from wrists and hold in one hand when approaching the lift area.
  2. Snowboarders should remove back foot from binding.
  3. Communicate to the lift attendants if it is your first time riding the lift.
  4. To load the Poma Lift, slide to the lift track.
  5. Reach out with your leading hand to grab the platter as it approaches you.
  6. Skiers and Snowboarders should lift their rear leg to swing it over the platter seat and hold on tightly. The motion is similar to jumping onto a bike.
  7. Don’t worry if you miss it, wait for the next one.
  8. Remain standing with bent knees and allow the cable to pull you up the slope.
  9. If you fall off the lift, let go and move to the side to allow other riders to pass. Once out of the way, prepare to ride back to the lift entrance.
  10. Keep your eyes up and looking where you want to go.
  11. Once you reach the top, pull the platter seat from under your legs and gently let go.
  12. Move out of the lift exit area quickly.