Beginners: Start Here

March 5, 2018 | By: Monica Christofferson

Learning a new sport—or re-learning if you haven’t been in a while—can seem daunting. Being prepared and knowing your limits are vital to having a fun time on the slopes. Luckily, New Mexico ski areas have great amenities for just this reason!


Getting taught by trained professionals is a game changer. Ski schools throughout the state are equipped to teach people of all ages and abilities. Lessons can help you be more confident in your skills, enjoy the sport more safely, and have more fun during your vacation! (Be sure to call ahead and book your lessons—they fill up fast!)

Green Trails

Sliding down the same hill all day can get boring, but check out green and blue trails on the mountain. New Mexico ski areas have several to choose from, so you can explore the mountain on a trail that matches your comfort level. A few of our favorites are Angel Fire Resort’s Headin’ Home, which starts at the summit and goes all the way to the base, Re-run at Red River Ski Area, or the Apache Bowl at Ski Apache!

Helmet Rentals

Part of skiing and snowboarding safely is wearing the proper equipment! Waterproof clothing keeps you from getting soaked when you fall down (maybe more than once if you’re learning), multiple layers protect you from frostbite and hypothermia, and helmets guard against head injuries. Especially as a beginner, it’s important to create a safe learning environment. Don’t have a helmet of your own? Check out some of the rental shops nearby and pick one up.

Rest Stops

New Mexico ski areas often have great places for a rest stop, from on-slope shops like the Yert at Ski Apache, or a beautiful picnic area at Pajarito Mountain. Many of the green and blue trails are wide enough to give everyone plenty of space for resting and skiing or snowboarding. Just make sure you’re out of the way and visible to others before you stop.

Safety Code

Before your trip, it’s always a great idea to review some of the ski area’s policies! Angel Fire Resort has a great, informative resource online about being safe on the mountain. It covers everything from proper lift procedure to preparing for UV exposure. There are also safety resources made available from other ski areas, like these from Ski Santa Fe, Ski Apache, Red River Ski Area, and Taos Ski Valley.

You’re going to love your ski trip, and with the right preparation, you might just find your new favorite sport or hobby. Let us know what you think of the slopes or if you have any questions!

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