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As a complete neophyte of snow sports when I arrived at Mont SUTTON as a communications coordinator, I first tried the Yooner to get a first feeling of going downhill.


I have to be honest: I was a bit worried about introducing myself to a sport that seemed as complex as skiing. A poorly shod shoemaker has to do something about it! I was afraid I would regret not trying skiing for the first time in my first winter here. Mission accomplished on Tuesday, March 21, 2023! A date that will remain positively marked in my mind. And, frankly, this experience could not have been as memorable without the supervision and the listening of the Mont SUTTON staff!


Who said that you can’t start a new sport as an adult?



From the reservation to the slopes

First of all, it is important to know that the steps are all well coordinated so don’t go too fast to make the most of your experience. After an overview of the options, it becomes obvious that the most advantageous is the Initiation package, since it includes equipment rental, as well as 90 minutes of private lesson and access to the Family Zone for the day. Here are some easy steps to get started on the slopes.


When you make your reservation by phone, where the payment will be taken and the first advice will be given, you will be asked to indicate your height, your weight and your shoe size to speed up the process once on site. You will also be asked to arrive approximately 45 minutes before your lesson, directly at the rental center, to take possession of your equipment and make adjustments. Also, feel free to ask for the best times to start if you have any particular concerns or want a low traffic time! It is recommended that you arrive on site with a light toque or beanie (to cut the wind under your helmet), a neck warmer, a pair of preferably long socks and your snowsuit. Winter clothes are also available for rentals, whether you are a vacationer or a newcomer! Also, the rental center’s small shop and the Boutique Experience SUTTON will be able to meet your needs if you are missing any winter equipment, such as goggles, which although not essential, will be appreciated in case of a snowy or very sunny day.


When you arrive at the rental center, you will be given your boots and skis according to the instructions provided. A beginner skier will have slightly shorter skis. It is therefore not advisable to mention that you are an intermediate or advanced skier if you are not! The fun in your experience might be at stake. Thanks to the agent who helped me adapt to the big ski boots, I was able to quickly understand what was important to look for to make sure I had the right equipment. We even tested the methods of putting on and taking off the skis on the spot! Feel free to have your foot measured if you are uncomfortable, ask questions and interact with the staff, all of whom are qualified!


You will then be given your helmet and told the recommended adjustments and how to attach your goggles! It is reassuring to see the time the employees take to explain how to wear and adjust the equipment. I felt confident at this stage and knew I was in good hands.


Once your equipment has been checked and adjusted, you can wait for your assigned instructor next door at the Snow School, located in the same building. You should already have been given the name of your instructor. In fact, you will be asked on the phone if you are more comfortable with a man or a woman. This little attention was well appreciated, even if I didn’t have a preference.


When Martin my instructor, arrived, I was a bit anxious, but he immediately assured me that he had a 100% success rate! Departure for the learning slope. Before even touching the slope, everything is explained and reviewed: putting the skis on safely, the position to adopt and not to adopt, etc.


There are then three steps on the school slope before taking the chairlift for the first time. You will watch the instructor do a few maneuvers, you will make your first runs while the instructor holds your poles in front of you to help you control your movements and you will make your first few runs while following him. Listening and communication will be the keys to your success.


Then, you can take the chairlift when you are confident. The instructor will explain how to safely board and disembark the thing first and here we go! He is there to help you learn. He won’t go faster than you if you don’t feel ready to go further, but he will be able to give you an objective reading of your progress: he has seen others! The goal is not to go too fast, that would only slow down your assimilation of the right technique and therefore your progress.


Then, the evolution and the technique of each one will depend on your desires and your motivation to try other techniques. For me, the parallel turns were much easier than the famous “pizza slice” given my experience as a hockey player. Also, the balance was much easier to master than I expected and my experience was much enjoyable! The secret is wanting to do it, to listen to the instructions, and, once again, not to hesitate to talk to your instructor and ask questions! Natural reflexes will arise, such as wanting to get closer to the slope rather than keeping the upper body more upright, but nothing isn’t easily corrected! Practice will then correct everything! Three rules in skiing: Your shins should always touch the tongues of your boots, your big toes should stick to the sole and your lower leg should control your movement. Let your legs guide you and the fun is guaranteed! A funny image shared by Martin: your arms are holding a tray that must not fall. Don’t try to steer with the poles at all costs, they are useless at the beginning of the learning process!






A perfect weather to start

Some of your skiing friends may tell you that they love spring skiing, others that they don’t! One thing is sure, it is one of the perfect time to start, thanks to the mild weather!


In addition, the general sliding conditions at the mountain are currently exceptional. As a beginner, you want these conditions with powder-free slopes since I was also told that if seasoned skiers are fans of it, this crazy snow can also be what would slow down the beginner’s momentum who would not know how to tame it.


Oh, and to those of you who might think that Mont SUTTON is not necessarily the best mountain to start with, since it is known for its glades, think again! Several slopes designed for beginners offer a more than pleasant experience while letting you enjoy the breathtaking view! You won’t automatically go into difficult trails or glades. The Mont SUTTON Snow School is also awarded and recognized for the quality of its proposal!



Enhance your Initiation package

For any “true beginner”, it is most possible that the Initiation package will be quite sufficient with the access to the IIo chairlift for the day and the 90 minutes of the private lesson.


However, if you are looking to refresh your skills after not having skied for a while, you will surely plateau rather quickly and want to venture onto other slopes. It is therefore possible to request an Initiation Plus Package that would give you access to the entire ski area.


If you’re visual like me, visit the page Tips and tricks for beginners here to, among other things, get a glimpse of the trail map to better orient yourself and consult the mountain code of conduct!



Ready to make a reservation?

To reserve a package, you must call the Snow School at 1 866 538-2545, ext. 2. The employee will be able to answer all your questions and concerns in order to offer you the lesson option that suits you best. You can also send them a message directly by following this link. Initiation packages are available until the closing of the slopes.



We also tried for you…

You really like skiing, but you would like to add some novelty to your runs? Try the Telemark initiation instead! Read about my colleague’s experience right here.


If you want to discover alternative ways to enjoy the slopes, the Yooner or the Snowscoot are what you are looking for. If the first one can be learned freely (on the trails served by the chairlift II), the second one will require an initiation first!



Lydia Lyonnais, Coordonnatrice aux communications


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