We are a traveling children's ski and snowboard program. For a modest annual membership fee and a weekly trip cost, we allow students ages 8 - 18 to engage in winter snowsports and learn to become proficient skiers and boarders. We travel in coach buses to Wilmot Mountain (a Vail resort property) each Saturday during the winter season.
We guarantee that regardless of any previous experience, each member will receive personal attention from Wilmot's most outstanding certified instructors.
Our adult supervision extends beyond the bus trip to the slopes and inside the lodge. Blizzard parents and supervisors are always there for our members.
Our program of instruction is the key our success. At Blizzard, our main focus is to train our members in developing the necessary skills to feel confident in their abilities as a skier or snowboarder.
Blizzard offers lessons to skiers and boarders at all skill levels—from first timers starting with simple exercises, to experts who want to perfect their technique and become instructors.
We provide ski and snowboard instruction on every weekly trip. Lessons are 60 to 90 minutes long, taking place at the beginning of the day. Beginning skiers have an initial 4 hour lesson to help them become capable of skiing on their own after the first day.
Lessons are taught in small groups of members of the same Proficiency Level. This means that each student can be observed and critiqued individually, while having the opportunity to watch and learn from fellow students. We also encourage students of like skills to ski/board with each other for the remainder of the day.
Safety and Instruction are the two hallmarks of a Blizzard Ski & Snowboard trip. We play close attention to the safety of our members and their experience with Blizzard.
Our stance on weekly lessons is that ALL members have to participate unless they are given a waiver from our Director of Instruction due to their advanced ability. Repeated absence from lessons may be cause for dismissal from the Blizzard program.
Once a month we offer Terrain Park classes for Skiers at the "D" level and above. Terrain Park lessons are available to all Snowboard classes above level "C."
On occasion, Chuck Roberts, a Level III Examiner at Wilmot, will share video clips and pictures with us from his classes with our students. This is a link to his site (RobertsSki.com). By signing the application and on-line indemnification, you give permission for the student(s) to be photographed for the newsletter, the Blizzard website, ski instructor publications, and videos taken during class and shared on YouTube.
Our instructors are Certified Levels 2 or 3 by the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI). Level 3 is the highest level of certification an instructor can earn.
Each Blizzard member is classified to a particular Proficiency Level, “A” (beginner) through “G” (expert). These are similar to the 1 - 9 levels used by the PSIA and AASI teaching organizations. Our "G" level is for Junior Instructors and available to our members who are 14 and older.
As they progress and improve their skills, a member will advance to the next level. Members are advanced individually, based on their own abilities as observed by their instructor. A simple test of specific skills is given, and then that member can begin taking lessons with the next Proficiency Level the following week. On occasion, we ask students to step back a level or to remain at the same level for more than a few weeks, or to be re-classified to ensure that each student remains at the appropriate level of instruction and is getting the most benefit from their instruction.
Blizzard has two race days during the season. These two days, typically in February, have races in which all students are encouraged to participate regardless of their level. One race day is devoted to a fun race course that includes obstacles and other atypical maneuvers for a race. While you compete against the clock, the winners are determined by a variety of comparative methods. The second race day is a more traditional racing environment using a modified slalom course. Courses are set for Boarders as well as Skiers and again, all are encouraged to participate for trophies, medals and other prizes.
A weekend in March is a weekend trip to Granite Peak in Wisconsin. The bus leaves on Friday afternoon and returns on Sunday. A flyer announcing the trip is emailed in early February to solicit participation.