That first time learning to ski or snowboard can be fraught with more than fear of sliding downhill. Driving dicey mountain roads in winter, figuring out where to go, and battling the elements can escalate day-one tension. First timers from Greater Seattle can make the first day on skis or snowboards easier at The Summit at Snoqualmie.

The Summit offers the most convenient access from Seattle. It sits right on I-90, eliminating the need to drive narrow mountain roads. Although five base areas comprise The Summit, only two offer lessons — Summit West and Summit Central, the first two reached when coming from the Seattle area.

Summit at Snoqualmie

Follow the SLC Registration signage at The Summit at Snoqualmie to get you to your beginner lesson. Photo by Becky Lomax.

Follow the signs when you arrive to find the Summit Learning Center. Beginners should plan to arrive at the area an hour before the lesson. If you have time to spare before your lesson, you can warm up in front of one of the several outdoor fire pits at Summit West or Summit Central.

Summit West replaced its old rope tow this summer with a new covered beginner carpet. The cover keeps riders out of the wind, sleet, and rain when those conditions prevail. It sits right in the front of the Summit Learning Center, and its location nearly doubled the learning terrain for beginners.

Summit West and Summit Central offer the EZ 2 Learn package. Designed for anyone age 12 and older that has never been on skis or snowboards, the package bundles up three days of lift tickets, rentals, and lessons for $119.

The three days can be packed in a row or spread out during the season. The program is so popular that Summit West and Summit Central teach three lesson sessions per day at 10 a.m, 1 p.m, and 3 p.m. Summit Central also adds a 7 p.m lesson during holidays.

Summit at Snoqualmie

Warm up at The Summit at Snoqualmie in front of outdoor fire pits. Photo by Becky Lomax.

Those who just want a one-day beginner package can join the First Turns lessons offered daily for ages 12 and older. The $79 first time ski and snowboard lesson package includes a beginner lift ticket and rental equipment for the day.

Children younger than 12 can learn to ski or snowboard daily in Summit West’s Kids Club or Summit Central’s Kids Corral. Lessons, lift tickets, and rentals come in single-day packages that run $55-89, depending on duration of lesson. You can get a the packages for a few dollars less with online reservations made at least 36 hours in advance.

Call 425-434-6700 for information or check here.