We took the kids to ski over MLK 2013, and we all had an amazing time. The mountain and the village are beautiful places.
Everyone at the Main Lodge from the ski rental to the ski school instructors provided wonderful help. But the customer service was uneven and disappointing at the hotels and restaurants. This review will focus on the ski school since my daughter and I both spent a lot of time with the ski school.
First, I have to dispel the other negative reviews saying that the ski school lets kids ride alone on the chairlifts. From my five days of skiing there, I have never seen any child sit on the lifts alone. I've shared the chairlifts on more than one occasion with a kid when the teacher or coach asks me or another adult to share the chairlift with a solo kid. The instructors from Mammoth Kids, the children's ski school, keep diligent watch over each kid, even when the class size is large.
My daughter spent five days in full-day ski school with Mammoth Kids. She is not an especially athletic kid and learned a ton from her instructors. She went from barely putting on her own skis on the first day to skiing black diamond runs on the fourth day. She loved each instructor she had, who all taught her new techniques as she rapidly advanced under their expert instruction. On several days when she was the most advanced student in the group, she had her own teacher. The school didn't just keep her with the beginners but gave her a private instructor for most of the day.
This considerate and personal attention to the students' needs was also seen for the adult ski school. My adult beginner classes often had two instructors for five students. They divided up the students also according to the students' level and need. One student who needed a lot of attention since she was very tentative got her own instructor to ensure her safety. I took multiple ski lessons from the Tahoe and Yosemite ski resorts but never learned more than a basic wedge. The instructors at Mammoth taught this fortysomething, beginner skier recovering from a broken ankle how to parallel turn. I considered their instruction almost a miracle. I have never enjoyed skiing so much until I learned proper form and biomechanics from the Mammoth ski instructors.
Overall, the excellent snow and ski resort facilities combined with the outstanding ski instructors make Mammoth the best mountain for both adults and kids learning to ski. For the experts, there are plenty of black diamond runs to give you your adrenaline rush. As a long-time CA resident, I've been to many Tahoe ski resorts and to Badger Pass at Yosemite, but I will only be coming to Mammoth with my family for the best instructors and skiing.
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