My son and I learned to ski at Ski Bradford three years ago and went back again with my husband twice this Christmas. It is an excellent place to learn, whether you are an adult or a child. Learning to ski was the idea of my son, who was six at the time and I was not enthusiastic because I tend to be rather unco-ordinated and middle-aged. Still, after two lessons several years ago and one this time around (alas, no skiing in the middle), I am very comfortable with green slopes and lifts, while my son could whiz down most of the Ski Bradford slopes fairly easily. There is a wide range of different types of lifts at Ski Bradford, which is good preparation for other places. The learner slope was very well groomed.
We were very fortunate in having time off when the local schools were in session. The slopes at Ski Bradford are very quiet until the school buses turn up (afterwards the place is still enjoyable, but it is very nice as a learner to feel like you have a whole slope to yourself). Also, at least in early January, it gets colder and darker at about that time as the sun sets behind the hill
This time around, we signed up for a group lesson at 11:00 and because we were all at different levels and nobody else at our levels showed up, we each ended up with a private lesson. The person who signed us up for lessons was very careful not to put us in over our heads and we have always found the ski instructors to be great.
The one thing I noticed this time is that there seemed to be quite a few more parents trying to teach their children to ski, with the child usually ending up really exasperated. I thought that maybe it was the recession, but if it is because Ski Bradford got rid of the 1pm group, perhaps they should bring it back, since it made the learner's area generally less fun.
Some pointers: 1) Leave at least a half an hour between arriving and any lesson time. We arrived just a bit too late one day to have time to rent, which is unfortunate since we find that we don't make much progress without lessons. 2) You might want to bring some snacks, since skiing builds up the appetite and the food was a bit pricey, particularly the vending machines. The pizza was brilliant, though. 3) The colors at Ski Bradford are useful for knowing which runs are more and less difficult, but don't necessarily match up with other places. My son could do the blues easily at Bradford, but struggled at Butternut.
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