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Kids Ski School: Big Sky vs. Moonlight Basin ?

Washington DC
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Kids Ski School: Big Sky vs. Moonlight Basin ?

Does anyone have experience with the kids' ski/board school at either Big Sky or Moonlight Basin?

My son (a skier) is 6; my daughter (a snowboarder) is 9. Both are comfortable on greens, working on blues.

We are staying in one of the Cowboy Heaven Cabins, which I believe is midway between the two resorts. Just wondering which ski/board school to go with.

Thanks!

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Moonlight Basin
Moonlight Basin
83 Reviews
Big Sky, MT
Fargo, ND
Level Contributor
189 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Kids Ski School: Big Sky vs. Moonlight Basin ?

I can't comment on Moonlight's school, but I can say that our observations of Big Sky's ski school, make us feel comfortable enought to think about bringing our 5 and 3 year old boys out for their first mountain ski trip over Easter.

We only saw smiling faces on both the kids and the instructors during the 3 days we were there.

Hopefully someone can give some first hand info.

West Fargo N.D.
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212 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: Kids Ski School: Big Sky vs. Moonlight Basin ?

My wife and I started our kids at BS ski school and can not give them enough praise or say enough good at the entire school and its staff.........do yourself and your children a favor, do not teach them your self, you will save some stress for yourself and your kids will love the ski school and be much better skiers than if you try it on your own. One suggestion, get a ski harness for the kids when they go with you until you are comfrtable they are in control, it wont take many lessons and you will be ok without it but its a huge help at first. If you can not find them shoot me an email, I belioeve I still have ours maybe 2 of them and we will not be using them anymore. Enjoy Big Sky!!

Fargo, ND
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189 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: Kids Ski School: Big Sky vs. Moonlight Basin ?

We spent Easter weekend at BS and brought our 5 year old with us. He had never skied before so we signed him up for morning lessons. He loved it and really progressed quickly. By the end of our three days he was comfortable on most green runs and although he needs to work on his turning, he can control his speed as long as he's paying attention.

The instructors ate the ski school are great. They seemed very patient and didn't push the kids too hard. IMO, they met and exceeded my expectations. My 5 year old want to go back this weekend. He also thinks we should buy one of those big houses next to Deep South (Yellowstone Club). Visit YC website to see why we said no. He's also conviced that he's going to MSU in Bozeman for college. Too funny.

Great job Sarah and Flynn!

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Yellowstone Club
Yellowstone Club
19 Reviews
Big Sky, MT
Bozeman
Bozeman
Montana
Washington DC
5 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Kids Ski School: Big Sky vs. Moonlight Basin ?

Thanks for the responses! But I’m now in a position to answer my own question, and will do so in case it’s of use to others.

Last week, our kids (6-year-old skier and 9-year-old snowboarder) took two half-day lessons at Big Sky and two full-day lessons at Moonlight Basin. They liked all of their instructors very much and had a great time both places. They started the week skiing/boarding only greens comfortably, and ended with considerable confidence on blues. That said, we noticed a few differences between the snowsports schools:

BIG SKY

Pros: Kids really liked the terrain here (especially Mr. K and the natural half-pipe). Reservations are not needed (indeed--not accepted), and kids are not turned away.

Cons: In our experience, class sizes tended to be larger--6 or so kids per teacher--than at Moonlight.

MOONLIGHT:

Pros: Small class size. Classes tended to be 3 kids max, and sometimes only 1. Our experience was that, for half of each of the full-day classes, both children effectively had private lessons (at a group lesson price!). As a consequence, we thought they learned more skills/progressed faster at Moonlight than at Big Sky.

Cons: Advance reservations are recommended. We were turned away two days because all classes were full.

A couple of other notes:

- If you want to put kids in school at Moonlight and ski Big Sky, you can get complementary single-use tickets for the Six Shooter lift (actually, you’ll need 2 – one for dropoff and one for pickup), either from the Moonlight ski school or from the regular ticket counter.

- If you have beginning skiers/snowboarders that are attracted by terrain parks, there is a nice easy one to learn on along the bottom half of the Pony Express lift. This lift (and the Iron Horse lift) and shared between the two resorts, so you can access it with either lift ticket.

- My husband and I had an excellent private lesson at Big Sky with an instructor named Chris Wilson. We wanted to work on moguls, and he provided an ideal balance of very clear guidance on technique, some useful drills, skiing, and showing us some interesting terrain we might not have found on our own.

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Moonlight Basin
Moonlight Basin
83 Reviews
Big Sky, MT
5. Re: Kids Ski School: Big Sky vs. Moonlight Basin ?

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