Terrain-Based Learning at Breckenridge

Sequence 01.00_00_09_58.Still001I learned to ski in 1985, when at age 10, and I remember vividly the fear of falling. Feeling like a deer on ice, I tried to follow my instructor’s tips and figure out this thing called “snow plow.” It took quite a while. Fortunately today’s beginners—especially those at Breckenridge—don’t have to endure the same arduous learning process I did, thanks to Terrain-based learning: an innovative new approach to teaching beginners. Here, beginners learn how to use the features around them—banked slopes, berms, bumps and the like to naturally slow them down. Terrain-based learning aims to assuage students’ fears of falling using sculpted zones where they can hone new skills.

Put simply: beginners feel safer when they’re not exposed on a slope high up the mountain. The zones provide natural “speed bumps” and students learn to control their equipment and momentum more efficiently. This means less time learning to stop and more time enjoying the sensation of gliding on snow. What follows is more confidence, always a positive thing.

Once students experience how it feels to be in the correct position and to have control on the gentle, beginner terrain, they relax and are better able to learn specific techniques.BSRBreckHistorynickpease336

I’ve seen this technique used with my two young sons, and it’s remarkably effective. Because they are practically cradled by the terrain, and because their instructor was terrific and showed them how the bumps in the landscape could be used to their advantage, skiing, even at the beginner level, became a fun game to them. Not only that, they also honed their balance early on and got a taste of what it feels and looks like to see different features. All of which is to say this: Terrain-based learning is a tremendous advancement of ski instruction for beginners. And it’s available at Breckenridge. To learn more or book a lesson, click here.

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