Sun Valley Ski & Snowboard School

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Sun Valley Ski & Snowboard School

Sun Valley, Idaho

WHY IT'S GREAT Averill Harriman's original vision for the perfect wintertime resort is still palpable at Sun Valley. In fact, to this day, his Sun Valley Lodge may be the ultimate romantic skier's hideaway. Expert skiers in high-fashion clothes are allowed to really honk on smooth, firm groomed runs, using the highest-tech gear. The skiing culture in Sun Valley is fast, and its troupe of accomplished instructors is eager to bring you up to speed. There's an unbroken tradition of unadorned, long-term, student-teacher relationships at "the Valley." No fancy instructional menus, just men and women from all over the world who can turn 'em both ways and really know what they're talking about.

SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY "To provide guests with a fun, enjoyable experience while teaching technique and safety." Dollar Mountain remains more or less reserved for beginner and low-intermediate lessons, while Bald Mountain caters to more advanced instruction.

DISTINGUISHING QUALITIES Sun Valley is a skier's mountain. There is a strong self-improvement culture among locals, and approximately 75 percent of skiers who visit are intermediates or above. Sun Valley has low instructor turnover (only 10 percent to 15 percent of the staff is new each year), and some long-timers have taught for as long as 45 years.

LEADER Rainer Kolb, Director

WHAT'S TAUGHT American Teaching System (ATS)

A GOOD DEAL During any time of the season, never-evers can take a full-day lesson for $39, including lift ticket.