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Introducing FREE Lessons at Purgatory!

Purgatory opened the Columbine area today! Now, guests can enjoy top-to-bottom skiing, night skiing and new beginner terrain. With Purgatory’s additional beginner terrain now open and Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month just a few short weeks away, we sat down with Purgatory’s Ski School Director Val Schwiderski to learn about learning at Purg:


PURG: What’s the best way for first-timers to learn how to ski or snowboard?

VAL: My first piece of advice is: take a lesson. It’s easy to think that friends or family can teach you, but our staff are certified instructors, which means they understand the fastest, safest way to get students of all ages skiing or riding. What’s more is that Purgatory is now offering a FREE lesson for first time skiers or snowboarders! When they buy a full-day, full-price lift ticket, they can receive a FREE two-hour group lesson. This offer is available everyday – no blackouts! Buy it online here.


PURG: We’ve been hearing about a new lift for beginners – what is that?

VAL: We’re preparing to open a new magic carpet, which is located on the lower mountain and near the Graduate Lift. The new carpet (we’re calling it Lift 13) is in an area that’s perfect for teaching and learning: the slope is very gentle and there’s plenty of room for beginners to get in their turns. Instead of walking up the hill, guests will easily be able to ride up it. Students and instructors are going to love it!


PURG: When’s the best time for beginners to take a lesson?

VAL: Right now! With our the Columbine Lift open everyday and the new magic carpet opening soon, this is the perfect opportunity to develop foundational skills that you can build on throughout the season.


learn to ski and snowboard logoPURG: What is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month and how is Purgatory participating?

VAL: Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month (LSSM) happens every year in January, and ski areas across the globe introduce programs and deals to encourage people to learn to ski or snowboard. At Purgatory, we’re bringing back the popular 1, 2, FREE! Program: participants can enjoy 2 days of lift tickets, rentals and group lessons and the third day, they receive a FREE lift ticket. In addition, if they complete both days, they earn a discount card to receive 50% off rentals, lessons and lift tickets for the remainder of the season. This program offers huge  savings – it’s one of the very best deals around, and guests can pre-register now here!


learn to ski lessonPURG: We know ski school isn’t just for beginners – it’s for anyone looking to improve their skills. What opportunities are available this year for those who want to take their learning to the next level?

VAL: I’m very excited about the new Intro to Cat Skiing program we’ll be doing later this winter. With our new partnership with Purgatory Snowcat Adventures, we have more and more people talking to us about our 35,000 acres of backcountry skiing, and this program is designed to get people ready for that experience.

As always, Purgatory offers everything from group lessons to private lessons and specialty clinics. My favorite classes to teach for adults include our Ladies Turn – a women’s ski weekend (January 26-28, 2018), our 8 week and 4 week programs, and of course, our powder clinics on snow days! There’s something for everyone!


PURG: What options should parents consider when they’re considering a lesson for their children?

VAL: Purgatory introduces kids as young as 3 to skiing and snowboarding. Group lessons are the most popular choice for children ages 4-12: parents can choose either half day or full day options (plus, if you select a full day lesson before midnight the day before, your child’s lunch is included!) We also provide a number of options for 3 year olds. They can try nordic skiing with our childcare staff, take a Riglet Snowboard Lesson or Strider Snowbike Lessons (kids 2 years of age and younger enjoy playing at our childcare facility, the Den).

Our Friends & Family lessons are also really fun ways for families to learn together. You can create your own group of up to 5 skiers or 5 snowboarders to ski with the same instructor. This is another popular choice for parents.

Later this season, Purgatory will also open the Burton Riglet Park, where kids ages 3-6 learn to snowboard, and I’m thrilled that Purgatory will be introducing a new Strider Ski Bike Park for kids ages 3-4. If your young kids know how to maneuver a balance bike, they will have a blast here! Both of these parks are available only to students who purchase a lesson.

Lastly, we are placing kids from the waitlist  for our Snowburners and All Terrain Pioneer programs. These 8-week camps begin in January and are for kids ages 3-17.


For more information about Purgatory Ski & Snowboard School, call 970-385-2149 or email purgschool@purgatoryresort.com.