Mountain Sports, Lessons, and Guided Experiences

Book Mountain Village Lessons

Book Madison Base Area Lessons

Kids 10 and under ski free with their Mountain Sports lesson. Free lift ticket applies to day(s) in which that child is enrolled in lessons. Children 5 and under always ski free.

Learning can be big time fun. Whether it's making your first parallel turn or completing a full twist off a rail, nothing stokes the sense of adventure quite like improving your mastery of the snow. Contact the Mountain Village Snowsports School at (406) 995-5743, or via email at, or contact the Madison Village Snowsports School at (406) 993-6062, via email at

To help you make big leaps, Big Sky has created one of the finest Snowsports Schools in America. Our diverse staff of instructors - all certified by Professional Ski Instructors of America - and alpine guides bring a wealth of knowledge and skill with a focus on the enjoyment of your experience.

Beginners Guide


Skiers and snowboarders may register on the afternoon before or day of lessons at the Mountain Sports Schools in the Mountain Village (Snowcrest Lodge) or Madison Base Area. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to lesson for registration or 1 hour prior if equipment rental is needed, allow for more time during peak seasons or for large groups.* Rental Shops are located in the Mountain Village or Madison Base Area and are open 8:00 am - 5:00 pm daily. All pricing shown within this brochure is for lessons. Rental equipment and lift tickets are additional. Lift tickets for children 10 years and younger are FREE when purchased with a lesson.

*Multi-day discounts are available when purchasing 3 or more days of group lessons (per person) at once. Open 8:00 am - 4:30 pm daily, 406-995-5743.

Adaptive Programs

Big Sky Resort offers programs for our guests with disabilities through our partnership with Eagle Mount Therapeutic Recreation. Call 406-586-1781 for details or visit

How to Dress

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 and gloves are suggested for all of our skiing and riding guests. They protect you and keep you warm.


You can rent from us or bring your own equipment. For your own safety, success and enjoyment please utilize contemporary equipment. Make sure your boots fit comfortably; it makes for a more enjoyable experience.

For Your Children

At Big Sky, we strive to provide a quality learning experience in a safe and fun environment. Children are placed into groups according to their skill level, from first timers to all mountain riders. We aim to help your child develop solid skills that they will utilize throughout their skiing/snowboarding life.

A full-day can be a lot for a youngster. For an enjoyable experience, we recommend starting with a halfday program. Lessons may be combined with daycare through the Lone Peak Playhouse (406-993-2200), located in the Snowcrest Lodge or Madison Base Area if you would like to enroll your child in a full day of activities. Please keep in mind that our instructors may decide to give the group a break, depending upon their needs. Adequate water breaks aid in adjusting to elevation changes. Our Mountain Sports School emphasizes technique over terrain. When skiing with your children, keep in mind that mastering technique will allow for a safe mastery of terrain. Be supportive and encouraging with your child so that they gain a true love and respect for the sport. All children learn at different rates - and that's ok!

Skill Levels

Skier Skill Levels

Level Name Color Notes
Level 1 Turtle Yellow Dino First time on skis.
Level 2 Bear Red Dino Controls speed and stops with wedge on surface lifts.
Level 3 Beaver Green Dino Links controlled wedge turns on gentle green terrain. Ready for the chair lift.
Level 4 Moose Purple Dino Variety of green terrain including chair lifts. Can link wedge turns in a variety of turn sizes and shapes.
Level 5 Porcupine Orange Dino Even the most difficult green terrain. Turns by using wedge through part of the turn, but matches skis only after the fall line.
Level 6 Raccoon Blue Dino All green and easy blue terrain. Begins turning by using a wedge and matches skis in or just before the fall line. Skis all groomed green terrain parallel.
Level 7 Owl Blue Dino+ Variety of blue terrain. Skis parallel on all groomed terrain, may use a slight opening of the skis to begin turn on off-groomed blue terrain.
Level 8 Wolf Black Dino All blue groomed and easier black terrain. Strong parallel turn with consistent turn shape.
Level 9 Rabbit - All terrain. Uses ski design to make parallel turns; uses poles effectively; is comfortable exploring a variety of terrain including off-groomed slopes on easier black terrain. Skis a dynamic parallel turn in all terrain.

Snowboarder Skill Levels

Level Name Color Notes
Level 1 Turtle Yellow Dino Never snowboarded before.
Level 2 Bear Red Dino Comfortable sliding downhill on heel edge (heel side slip)
Level 3 Beaver Green Dino Comfortable sliding downhill on heel and toe edges (heel and toe side slip). Ready for first turns.
Level 4 Porcupine Orange Dino Comfortable linking turns (toe to heel and heel to toe) on easy green runs.
Level 5 Owl Blue Dino+ Consistently linking turns on all green runs and easy blues.
Level 6 Rabbit - Consistently linking turns on all blue runs and easy blacks.

Races at Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort hosts many races for all ages and skill levels, including races around the resort and on the NASTAR course.

Learn more about the Big Sky Ski Education Foundation.

  • January 6-8, 2018: MSU Invitational- NCAA FIS-U
  • January 26-28, 2018: Northern Division YSL GS Series
  • February 7-11, 2018: Northern Division Speed Series/Speed Camp
  • March 19-24, 2018: FIS Masters World Criterium

Adaptive Programs

It is the goal of Big Sky to be accessible to all who are interested in skiing or snowboarding. We have collaborated with a local non profit, Eagle Mount to provide a wonderful mountain experience to persons with disabilities. Eagle Mount utilizes a small highly trained staff and over 250 volunteer instructors to provide a unique and individually tailored ski experience. Big Sky offers complimentary lift tickets for the individual student and their guide.

For lesson fees or additional information please contact Eagle Mount by calling 406-586-1781, emailing them at or visit their website at Eagle Mount suggests as much advance notice to guarantee availability of adaptive instructors and equipment. The thrill of being on the hill can be a transforming experience to both the adaptive student and the volunteer instructor.

Big Sky Resort also hosts Eagle Mount's Big Sky Kids. The Big Sky Kids offers camps for kids with cancer. Big Sky Resort hosts the Spring Fling weekend and a day during their summer camp. In 2001, 2002, and 2003 Big Sky hosted the USSA Disabled National Championships.

Adaptive devices help students with special needs learn to snowboard. Big Sky Resort offers handicapped accessible accommodations in the Huntley Lodge, Shoshone Condominium Hotel, and the Summit at Big Sky.

Big Sky Resort supports the ADA and its regulations regarding the use of service animals, manually-powered mobility aids, power-driven mobility devices and adaptive devices with the safety and enjoyment of all guests in mind. For complete accessibility information, please download our most recent ADA Statement.

The Big Sky Resort ADA Statement can be read here.