lessons & programs
bear den mountain learning center
We've got some of the best learning terrain in the East for first time skiers and riders! Our professional instructors will guide you through your first experience skiing and snowboarding, making sure that you are having fun while improving your skills. Starting from scratch? Our Bear Den Mountain Learning Center is entirely dedicated to beginners and has the perfect tucked-away environment for both children and adults to progress at their own speed.
For those of you that already have the basics down, Whiteface's expert terrain is legendary, providing a true big mountain experience. Our certified PSIA coaches will take your skills to the next level and provide you with that thrill of mastery we all pursue with skiing and snowboarding. Take a look at our different programs and we think you'll find we have something for everyone at Whiteface!
Should I take a ski or snowboard lesson?
Many would-be skiers and riders have headed out on the hill with the best of intentions accompanied by friends or relatives eager to get them started, but a good skier isn't necessarily an effective teacher. Our ski and snowboard instructors are experienced in demonstrating the proper techniques to get you on your feet and learning fast, and they'll make sure you're on the best trails for your skill level. In a nutshell: A lesson will help you to get the most out your experience on the mountain!
Do I need to make a reservation?
Reservations are strongly recommended for Private Lessons and Kids Programs. Please contact us at (518) 946-2223 (option 3) to make a reservation. Reservations for group lessons are not necessary.
Where do I go for my lesson?
All lessons and programs for all ages will begin at the Bear Den Lodge at Bear Den Mountain. Private lessons will meet either at Bear Den Lodge or the Main Base Lodge, depending on the participant's age and ability. You may drop off your gear in the loading and unloading zones at Bear Den Mountain Base Lodge before parking in one of our two lots. Please note the name of the lot you are parked in so you can properly inform the shuttle bus driver upon your return to your car at the end of the day.
When should I arrive for my lesson?
You should plan on arriving at the mountain at least 45 minutes prior to your scheduled lesson or program, to ensure you have enough time to park, unload, register and get outfitted with your rental equipment. During holiday periods you may want to arrive earlier. Generally our lessons begin at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm, but please refer to the details on your specific lesson or program to confirm.
What should I wear to my lesson?
When skiing or riding, temperatures can vary at different times of the day and also on different areas of the mountain. Below is a list of suggested clothing and gear to ensure that you are comfortable for the duration of your lesson:
- Non-cotton layers - long underwear, turtleneck, etc.
- Ski/snowboard socks (synthetic or wool) - wait to put these on until just before you put on your ski/snowboard boots
- Water-resistant/waterproof outer layers (jeans are not recommended)
- Warm mittens or gloves (water resistant or waterproof is better)
- Helmet (Required for children 12 & under in all Whiteface Snowsports Programs)
- Please note: We do not rent winter clothing. If you forget any of your gear or are unable to borrow or purchase the items listed above before your lesson, stop by Brookside Apparel at the Main Base Lodge and our staff will make sure you have what you need!
Where do I keep all of my stuff during the lesson?
Lockers are available on both levels of the Main Base Lodge and the Bear Den Lodge, as well as bag check and overnight ski storage in the lower level of both lodges. If you plan to keep your valuables on your person while skiing or riding (e.g. keys, wallet, cell phone), make sure they're secure in a zippered pocket and will not fall out easily. We also provide ski and snowboard racks for temporary storage at several locations throughout the mountain (you may secure your equipment with your own lock or rent a lock from Brookside Apparel at the Main Base Lodge).
Can I rent equipment at the mountain?
Yes! In fact, our Adult Beginner programs—Parallel from the Start and Learn to Snowboard—as well as our intermediate Ski & Ride Better program include equipment rentals. We also carry a high performance line of rentals for more advanced skiers. Rentals are available at both the Main Base Lodge and the Bear Den Lodge. Please check the details for your specific lesson or program to see if rentals are included or not.
Are lift tickets included in my lesson or program?
Lift tickets are included in the price of some but not all lessons and programs. The best way to find out if a lift ticket is included is to check the information listed for your specific lesson or program. Feel free to give us a call us at (518) 946-2223 (option 3) for more information!