Beginner Skier and Rider Guide

Bear Creek is getting ready for the upcoming winter season. 
Beginner's Guide Videos
The tips below will get you to look like a pro in no time! Want to act like a pro? Start practicing skier safety just like pros!
Check out our safety tips.
PSIA Beginner Guide to Skiing
See how a ski works, learn what socks to wear, see how to put on your boots and skis, and watch how to carry your skis. 
Watch these basic movements to learn how to get around on your skis, pick up your ski pole, and get up from a seated position.
See how to turn your skis, how to stop on your skis, and how to get on and off a chairlift.
View all videos below.
PSIA Beginner Guide to Snowboarding
See how a snowboard works, learn what socks to wear, watch how to put on your boots and snowboard, and see how to carry a snowboard.
Watch how to get around on your snowboard on the snow, learn how to get up from a sitting position, and see how to move uphill.
Watch how to stop on a snowboard, how to turn, and how to get on and off a chairlift.
View all videos below.

Need a Lesson?

At Bear Creek, we offer private and group lessons for skiing and snowboarding. All ages and abilities are welcome! Click below to view our pricing and lesson offerings.

Need a Lift Ticket or Season Pass?

At Bear Creek, we offer extended day and evening lift tickets for youth and adult. We also offer discounted pricing for select guests in our community. We also offer a variety of season passes for all ages. Click below to view our pricing.

Need Rental Equipment?

At Bear Creek, we offer daily rentals for both skiing and snowboarding. Click below to view our pricing and equipment offerings.

Need a Locker?

Bear Creek has day-rental lockers available for all our guests. They are located in the rental shop, lower lodge, and Bear's Den (upper lodge).
Availability: 7 days a week. Rental is valid for entire day.
Cost: kiosk accepts cash and credit card
  • small (approx. 1 backpack) $10/$15
  • medium (approx. 2 backpacks) $10/$15
  • large (approx. 4 backpacks) $15/$20
Let's Get Started With Your Winter Adventure

In order to make your first skiing or snowboarding experience at Bear Creek a success, follow these tips for what to wear:

  • Dress in layers. Weather conditions tend to change throughout the day.
  • Wear waterproof or water-resistant clothing whenever possible.
  • Wear only one pair of warm wool or synthetic socks that come up at least to mid-calf so that they extend above the top of your ski or snowboard boots. (Cotton socks are not recommended.) Do not tuck your pants into your boots.
  • Wear gloves or mittens. (Wool gloves or mittens are not recommended.)
  • Snow jackets and snow pants are great for extra insulation as well as wind/water protection.
  • Bear Creek recommends that skiers and snowboarders wear helmets (available for rent). However, if you do not, be sure to bring a warm hat.
  • Wear sunscreen, and don't forget goggles or sunglasses for eye protection.

We realize that your first visit to a new resort can be a bit overwhelming. This guide should assist you with any questions you may have, but please feel free to ask any staff member if you have additional questions or concerns.

  • Bear Creek offers plenty of free parking. There is a loading/unloading area immediately in front of the plaza near the rental shop and ticket windows. Complimentary shuttle service from the parking lots is available on weekends and holidays.
  • Your first stop should be at the ticket windows, located just off the lower parking lot at the front of the plaza. Here you can purchase your lift tickets, rental tickets, Discovery lift/lesson/rental packages, or snowtubing tickets. When you receive your tickets, please attach them immediately to your jacket or outerwear. (If you arrive with a Group, the group leader should proceed to the Group Sales office located in Rental Building on the side by the parking lot.)
  • If you are renting equipment, you can proceed across the plaza to the rental shop after purchasing your rental or lift/lesson/rental package tickets. Please remember that minors must have the signature of a parent or guardian in order to rent equipment. (Releases can be downloaded here.)
  • If you are enrolled in a Discovery lesson or a Youth Discovery lesson, you can proceed to the Discovery teaching area located at the base of the mountain (just off the Plaza) after receiving your rentals. The Discovery area is open from 10am-12:30PM, 1:30-4pm and 6pm-8:30pm daily. You may enter and begin your lesson anytime during open hours.
  • When you're ready for a break, you can relax in our mountainside lodge featuring large stone fireplaces, or dine at the Mountain Eatery, the Trail's End Café or our full-service restaurant, The Grille at Bear Creek.

We recommend that all beginner/novice skiers and snowboarders take lessons. We also offer a variety of lesson programs and packages designed to enhance your skiing or riding enjoyment at any level of experience. Our Discovery and Youth Discovery packages include your lift ticket, rental equipment, and beginner/novice lesson. Our Kodiak Rangers and Kodiak Rovers children’s packages combine half-day lessons with extended day rentals and extended day lift tickets. If you are an experienced skier or snowboarder, we will tailor Private Lessons to meet your needs. Our popular Women's Clinics provide specialized instruction for women by women.

Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center offers top of the line rental equipment, including Head® and Burton® Snowboards, and Atomic®, Rossignol®, and Salomon® Skis.

Boots: You will receive your boots first. The rental technician will use your street shoe size to assure that you get the proper fit. Your boots should feel quite snug around your foot, but not too tight. Once your boots are buckled or closed, you should be able to wiggle your toes, but your heel should not move excessively when you pull up. If your boots feel too loose or too tight, please let the technician know, and you will be provided with a different size. Next, you will receive your skis or snowboard.

Skis: Bindings mounted on top of your skis hold your boots onto the skis. Your bindings will be adjusted according to your weight, height, age, and ability level. You will also be issued ski poles. You should select poles that put your elbow at about a 90 degree angle with the pole planted in the snow. (Sizing instructions are posted near the pole bins, but ask a technician if you are unsure.)

To step into your skis, place the ledge on the front of your boot under the front part of the binding or "toe piece," then line up your heel with the back of the binding or "heel cup" and press down with the heel of the boot. To remove your skis, simply press down on the lever located at the back of your bindings with your ski pole tip and lift up on the heel of your boot.

Snowboards: Our technicians will choose the right snowboard for you based on your weight, height, and ability level. They will also use this information to set the position of your bindings, which hold your boots onto your snowboard. Bear Creek uses only strap-in bindings, which contain two straps and a high backplate to secure your feet to the snowboard. These bindings offer good control and comfort.

Whether on the slopes or in the parks, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable snowsports experience. Please respect all of our guests and team members, and help us to maintain a friendly, courteous, and relaxing atmosphere.

There are inherent risks involved in skiing and snowboarding, but it is the thrill and excitement that entices many skiers and riders to pursue these sports. These activities are no more dangerous than other high-energy participation sports, and less dangerous than some common activities. However, they are challenging and require physical skills that are only learned over time and with practice. Bear Creek is committed to the safety of all our guests, but remember, safety starts with you. Following these guidelines will allow everyone to be safer while having fun with friends and family on the slopes:

Your Responsibility Code
  • Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs or warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
Smart Style
  • Make A Plan: Every time you use Freestyle Terrain, make a plan for each feature you want to use. Your speed, approach and takeoff will directly affect your maneuver and landing.
  • Look Before You Leap: Scope around the jumps first, not over them. Know that your landings are clear, and clear yourself out of the landing area.
  • Easy Style It: Start small and work your way up.
  • Respect Gets Respect: From the lift line through the park.

Founded in 1938, the National Ski Patrol is a professional organization of trained emergency rescuers dedicated to service and safety at ski and snowboard resorts nationwide. Bear Creek Mountain Resort’s nationally recognized ski patrol consists of over 100 paid and volunteer members. They patrol the mountain to promote safe skiing/riding and will be there should something go wrong.

Ski patrol members can be recognized by their distinctive bright red jackets with a white cross. The slopeside Bear Creek Ski Patrol treatment room is in the mountain operations building directly behind the rental shop. For more information, contact the Bear Creek Ski Patrol at or the National Ski Patrol.

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