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18"
Base
36"
Peak
38"
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Lesson FAQs

ski instructor skis powder with snowy trees

Diamond Peak Lesson FAQs

Skiing and snowboarding can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time on the slopes or you’re getting back into snowsports after a break. Diamond Peak’s professional instructors make learning or improving fun, and ensure you progress your skills in a safe and manageable environment so you won’t find yourself on terrain that’s too steep or challenging for your abilities. Keep reading below for some great tips on how to get the most out of our lesson programs.

Table of Contents:

 

General Tips for Beginners

We’re glad you’re planning a visit to Diamond Peak and have provided some tips for Beginners or those visiting our resort for the first time so you can know where to go and what to expect when you get here. 

How to Dress in Lake Tahoe

Weather can change rapidly in the mountains so layering is your best option instead of wearing one big bulky jacket. As you get warmer or colder, you can add or take-off layers.

Wear water resistant gloves, wool hat and snow pants. Avoid wearing jeans and other cotton materials. Cotton absorbs water and once wet becomes a poor insulator!

Wear eye protection such as goggles or sunglasses. Not only do they protect your eyes from sun glare, they shield your eyes from the wind and therefore prevent irritation.

Bring sunscreen, lip balm and skin moisturizers. The sun reflects off the snow during cloudy and sunny days!

How to Get to the Resort

Get driving directions to Diamond Peak, no matter where you’re coming from.

Parking

Parking is close and convenient at Diamond Peak. Most days it’s just a short walk to the ticket booths and on busy days we run a parking lot tram and/or shuttle bus to our offsite parking locations. It’s best to arrive early on holidays and peak periods to make sure you get the most time on the slopes.

Equipment Rentals

If you aren’t bringing your own ski or snowboard equipment make sure you book your rentals online as they are not included in lesson packages for ages 7+. After you park, go directly to the Rental Shop to redeem your rentals and lesson packages. Computers are located at the entrance of the rental shop where you enter your confirmation number and information into our database. Be honest on your weight so the professionals can set the bindings correctly for you.

For kids lessons (ages 3-6) do not go to the Rental Shop, please go directly to the Child Ski & Ride Center to check in. Rentals are included for these programs and will be fitted in the Child Ski & Ride Center. 

Lesson Meeting Area & Times

The lesson meeting area for ages 7+ is located in the back of the Skier Services Building (the lower building with the Ticket Windows) on the snow. Look for the sign that coordinates with your lesson description – that is where you will meet your instructor. Make sure you are at the lesson meeting spot about 10-15 minutes early before your lesson start time.

Why Take Lessons

Skiing and snowboarding is a technical sport. By taking lessons you will be taught these special techniques that will greatly improve your chances of learning and enjoying a lifetime sport. Additionally lessons are an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the sport and the equipment. Instructors can tell you where to go after the day is over and some tips to help you get to the next level. Scroll down for a series of videos on what you can expect as you learn to ski or snowboard.

Why Rent Equipment

Skiing and snowboarding equipment can be a large investment and buying the wrong equipment can be a costly mistake. Renting gear gives you an opportunity to test it before you buy it. Demos are available to rent if you are looking to upgrade your gear. Renting at Diamond Peak gives you the ability to exchange equipment if you decide you need a different boot size or different ski or snowboard length after you try them out on the mountain. You can even change from snowboarding to skiing partway through the day.

What to Drink / Where to Eat

High altitude, exercise and the sun all pull water out of your body. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially on your way to the ski area. Eat healthy food and make sure your children eat a nutritious breakfast as well. You can find snacks as well as delicious breakfast options at the Base Lodge if you arrive early. At lunch time, head to one of the food outlets on the Base Lodge deck to get fueled for the rest of the day. We highly recommend lunch at Snowflake Lodge if you can ski down an intermediate (blue) run afterward – it features Lake Tahoe’s most breathtaking view from the sun deck!

What’s Next?

Once you have already experienced skiing or snowboarding you can continue practicing what you’ve learned in your first lesson or take another lesson. Once you’re ready to explore more of the mountain, our private lessons can help you take your skiing or riding to the next level with personalized instruction on the exact terrain you’re ready for.

100% Lesson Guarantee

We are so confident in our instructors and programs that we give all of our lessons a 100% guarantee. If we do not address your personal needs in a lesson, we will give you another lesson at no charge. Please speak with our Ski & Ride Center managers after your lesson if you would like to discuss your experience.

 

Beginner’s Guides to Skiing & Snowboarding

We’re happy to share these video series created by the Professional Ski Instructors of America – American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI).

Skiing
Video 1: Learn About Ski Gear (4:02)

See how a ski works, learn what socks to wear, see how to put on your boots and skis, and watch how to carry your skis.

Video 2: Basic Movements on Snow (2:37)

Watch these basic movements to learn how to get around on your skis, pick up your ski pole, and get up from a seated position.

Video 3: Getting Around on Skis (3:12)

See how to turn your skis, how to stop on your skis, and how to get on and off a chairlift.

Snowboarding
Video 1: Learn About Snowboard Gear (3:16)

See how a snowboard works, learn what socks to wear, watch how to put on your boots and snowboard, and see how to carry a snowboard.

Video 2: Basic Movements on Snow (2:56)

Watch how to get around on your snowboard on the snow, learn how to get up from a sitting position, and see how to move uphill.

Video 3: Getting Around on a Snowboard (5:03)

Watch how to stop on a snowboard, how to turn, and how to get on and off a chairlift.

Lesson Levels Explained

Diamond Peak offers a variety of learn to ski and snowboard programs, packages, and clinics for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers and riders. Our professional instructors, low student-to-instructor ratios, gentle slopes designed for progression, and friendly environment make Diamond Peak the ideal place to learn how to ski or snowboard and Tahoe’s best value. When booking a lesson in advance, it’s important to understand the different levels of instruction we offer in order to enroll in the correct lesson program for you or your child.

Please review the different lesson levels below, each of which includes a short video preview of what you will learn in that lesson level. If you feel like your skills fall in between two levels, it’s important to choose the lower-level lesson program – our instructors can always teach you relevant skills on terrain you can ski/ride easily, but they will not be able to provide proper instruction on terrain that is above your ability level.

Group Lesson Levels (ages 4+)

Our Ski & Ride Center and Child Ski Center group lesson programs are divided into our Sierra Sliders program (ages 4-6), Sierra Scout program (ages 7-12) and Youth & Adult Lesson program (ages 13+). We divide our group lesson programs into these age ranges based on research into how students learn best within a group setting. Friends or siblings who wish to learn together but span these age categories should enroll in a Friends & Family Private lesson available for ages 7 and up. Regardless of which program you fall into, the descriptions of Lesson Levels below should give you a better understanding of what you will learn and what you need to know to get the most out of that lesson.

Note: Group lessons for ages 13+ are only offered at the Beginner Levels 1, 2 and 3. Higher level skiers/riders in this age range must book a private lesson.

Beginner Levels
Beginner Level 1

Lesson will be taught in the Ski & Ride Center lesson area, the School Yard beginner run and School House chairlift. For ages 4-6, the lesson will be in the Child Ski & Ride Center learning area and use Pete’s Powerline surface lift.

  • Ski: Participant has never skied before, is learning how to stop in a wedge, or needs a reminder of how to make a controlled wedge stop.
  • Snowboard: Participant has never snowboarded before, is learning how to stop, or needs a reminder on how to stop.

Beginner Level 2

Lesson will be taught on the School Yard beginner run and School House chairlift.

  • Ski: Participant can straight run, wedge and stop on easy green terrain. They are developing turns and wedge stops on easy green terrain.
  • Snowboard: Participant can put board on and take off board. Can straight glide and stop on easy green terrain. They are developing speed control and directional changes.

Beginner Level 3

Lesson will be taught on Lodgepole run and Lodgepole chairlift.

  • Ski: Participant can stop and turn on green terrain. They are developing speed control through turn shape on all green terrain and may be starting to ski easy blue terrain.
  • Snowboard: Participant can control speed and direction on both edges. They are developing linked turns on green terrain and may be starting to snowboard easy blue terrain.

Intermediate Levels

Note: Group lessons at these levels are offered up to age 12 only, ages 13+ must book private lessons.

Level 4

Lesson will be taught on various green and blue runs accessed by Lodgepole, Lakeview or Red Fox chairlifts.

  • Ski: Participant can control their speed through turn shape on all green terrain. They are developing a variety of turn sizes and shapes on easy blue terrain.
  • Snowboard: Participant can link turns on green terrain. Developing a variety of turn sizes and shapes on easy blue terrain.
Level 5

Lesson will be taught on various green and blue runs accessed by Lodgepole, Lakeview or Red Fox chairlifts.

  • Ski: Participant can do a variety of turn sizes and shapes to control speed on easy blue terrain. They are developing parallel turns on blue terrain.
  • Snowboard: Participant can link turns on all green and easy blue terrain. Developing speed control through turn size and shape on blue terrain.
Level 6

Lesson will be taught on various green and blue runs accessed by Lodgepole, Lakeview or Red Fox chairlifts.

  • Ski: Participant can do basic parallel turns on blue terrain. They are developing pole plants and may be starting to ski variable conditions and easy black terrain.
  • Snowboard: Participant can control speed through turn size and shape on all blue terrain. Developing turns on easy black terrain. Introducing switch, carving and basic freestyle riding.

Advanced Levels

Note: group lessons at these levels are offered up to age 12 only, ages 13+ must book private lessons.

Level 7

Lesson will be taught using all areas of Diamond Peak including Lakeview and Crystal Express chairlifts.

  • Ski: Participant can control their speed through turn shape while parallel with a pole plant on all blue and easy black terrain. They are developing skiing and carving on variable black terrain.
  • Snowboard: Participant can link turns on all intermediate and easy black terrain, and perform some basic freestyle maneuvers. Developing skills in variable conditions and steeper black terrain.
Level 8

Lesson will be taught using all areas of Diamond Peak including Lakeview and Crystal Express chairlifts.

  • Snowboard: Participant can ride on variable black terrain with a variety of turn sizes and shapes. Developing skills in bumps, steeps and chutes.
  • Ski: Participant can ski on variable black terrain with a variety of turn sizes and shapes. They are developing skills in bumps, steeps and chutes.
Level 9

Lesson will be taught using all areas of Diamond Peak including Lakeview and Crystal Express chairlifts.

  • Ski: Participant can ski in all terrain and conditions with a variety of turn sizes and shapes. They are developing strategies and tactics for skiing the whole mountain in a variety of conditions.
  • Snowboard: Participant Can ride in all terrain and conditions with a variety of turn sizes and shapes. Developing strategies and tactics for riding the whole mountain in a variety of conditions.

Tips for Kids in Lesson Programs

  • All lessons must be booked at least two days in advance so make your lesson reservation well in advance, especially if you are booking a lesson during a peak period.
  • Arrive early to ensure you get a parking spot and have time to get fitted for equipment and go to the restroom before the lesson.
  • Plan on being outside and plan for the weather. Bring extra layers for yourself and your kids, hand and foot warmers if it’s cold, full length socks, base layers, sunscreen, water, and snacks.
  • If your child will be wearing a face covering or gaiter, bring an extra and put it in your child’s pocket in case it gets wet.
  • Watch the Lesson Level videos above to help you select the correct lesson for your child and to prepare them for what to expect.
  • Helmets are not required but they are strongly recommended and available at the Rental Shop with rental packages. There’s some great information at DiscoverSnow.org regarding the importance of wearing a snow sports helmet.
  • Kids on Lifts + Chairlift Safety: We take chairlift safety seriously and require that children under 51″ must ride the lift with an adult partner. For more information, please visit KidsOnLifts.org.
Tips for Young Kids (ages 3-6) – Child Ski & Ride Center Programs

The Child Ski & Ride Center and the dedicated staff have a fun and welcoming vibe (and hot chocolate) to help your child have the best day on the slopes. After your child is checked-in, you are “off duty” and free to ski or relax on the deck, but please stay on premises! We handle everything from fitting them for equipment, putting on boots and making sure they have a great time until you pick them up at the end of the program. Lift tickets, ski/snowboard rental equipment, helmets and goggles are included with all lesson packages and your child will be fitted for his or her gear right inside the Child Ski & Ride Center.

  • Start with a private lesson if possible, your child’s focused attention and rapid progress is worth the extra expense.
  • We highly recommend you stop by the restroom outside the Child Ski & Ride Center before checking in so your child doesn’t have to get undressed to use the potty as soon as you arrive.
  • It is a parental responsibility to decide if your child wears a ski helmet, but we provide them for all Child Ski & Ride Center lesson programs. 
  • If your child has their own equipment, please tag/label all equipment (skis, boots, helmet, etc.) with your child’s name before check-in. Label all clothing items as well.
Tips for Older Children (ages 7-12) – Sierra Scouts
  • Arrive early to get parking and go through the rental process. 
  • If you are renting equipment from us go directly to the Rental Shop, do not go to the ticket windows. 
  • Meet your instructors on the snow in the Ski & Ride Center Meeting Area near the bottom of the Lakeview Chairlift (beginners will meet near the big red flag, all others by the big green flag). Look for the sign corresponding to the correct lesson program. Please arrive at the lesson meeting area at least 15 minutes before your child’s lesson is scheduled to start. 
  • Stop by the restroom on the lower level of the main lodge (on the same level as the Rental Shop) or outside the Child Ski & Ride Center before your lesson.
  • Label your child’s clothing. Kids are notorious for leaving gloves and other items lying around. Please label them with their name so we can return them to you at the end of the lesson.
  • If your child is using their own ski/snowboard equipment, make sure it fits. Try it all on before arriving at the slopes. Boots should fit snugly but comfortably, and skis/snowboards should be sized for your child’s height/weight and ability level.
  • It is a parental responsibility to decide if your child wears a ski helmet, but we highly recommend it and helmets are included with rental packages. 
  • Please, ensure you personally meet your children on time when the lesson is over.