Know Before You Go

Use this information to get the most out of your day with your lesson or guide.
Family skiing
Meeting Locations & Check-In

Your lesson meeting location will be detailed in your confirmation email. Big Sky Resort offers lessons based in three different meeting spots: Mountain Village, Madison Base, and the Montage Hotel (for guests of the hotel & Spanish Peaks). Please note which location you have booked your lesson. 

If you are unsure where to go, visit the Mountain Sports office at Mountain Village (located in the Snowcrest building) or Madison Base.

Skier and Guide

If your schedule allows, we highly recommend picking up your rentals and lift tickets the evening before your first day on the mountain.

We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes prior to your lesson start time to register and meet your instructor. If you are renting equipment, allow 30 minutes, or longer during busy holiday periods or if you have a large group.

For children's lessons, we recommend arriving at least 30 minutes prior to your lesson start time, or an hour if renting equipment.

Girl with ski instructor

We ask that you check-in fully dressed and ready to go with all your equipment. We do not have lockers or cubbies in the Mountain Sports office. Lockers are available at Mountain Village in Vista Hall and at Madison Base. More information on lockers.

Two skiers standing with their instructor
What to Wear

When skiing or riding in Montana, layering works best. Be sure to have a waterproof jacket and pants and plenty of layers underneath. For children, please put names in clothing. Helmets, goggles, a neck gaiter or buff, and gloves are highly recommended for all of our skiing and riding guests.

What to Bring

When in a lesson or guided experience, each guest needs to have a lift ticket or season pass. Buy your lift tickets early for the best price.

You'll want to bring your wallet for lunch or snacks throughout the day. Make sure to bring your phone for photos! For children 4-14 in full-day group lessons, lunch is provided.

Father and daughter on the mountain
Parent Tips

If your little ones are new to skiing or riding, we recommend starting with a half-day. A full day can be a lot for little learners. Before the lesson, give your kiddos a pep talk about how much fun they'll have! Inform them when and where you will be picking them back up. If they struggle to adjust, don't worry, we will give you a call and decide what the best plan will be for your child to excel. Hydration and a good night's sleep are great tools to set you and your children up for success for a fun day on the slopes! Pick up is a great time to discuss with your child's instructor about what they worked on in the lesson.

Mountain Sports Levels

In order to best instruct our guests, we classify levels of skiing and snowboarding. Please see below for guidance on what each level translates to in ability.

Group of skiers

Skiing Levels

1. First time on skis
2. Can stop, not yet turning
3. Can turn, practicing connecting turns
4. Comfortable on green runs
5. Working on parallel turns
6. Comfortable connecting parallel turns on blue runs
7. Parallel on ungroomed blue runs
8. Parallel on ungroomed black runs
9. Parallel on double black runs


Snowboarding Levels

1. First time on a snowboard
2. Can stop, not yet turning
3. Can turn, practicing connecting turns
4. Comfortable on green runs
5. Working on varying turn size and shape
6. Comfortable connecting turns on blue runs
7. Maintains speed in blue moguls and powder
8. Maintains speed in black moguls and powder
9. Maintains speed in double black moguls and powder