Frequently Asked Questions

We’re here to help, these are our FAQs

General FAQs

Taking organised lessons is the safest, most enjoyable and most efficient way to learn to ski or snowboard. Here’s why we strongly recommend the fun, active and hands-on approach of our Snow School:

  • You’ll build a strong skill foundation, based on correct form and technique
  • You’ll relax, have fun and build confidence at your own pace
  • You’ll feel safer, reduce risk of injury, form good habits, and get it right from the start
  • You’ll learn from the best, guided by qualified experts passionate about their work
  • You’ll have good company, learning alongside other participants of similar ability levels
  • You’ll have lots of choice, from private or group lessons, or multi-day kids’ camps
  • You’ll enjoy more time skiing and less time waiting, thanks to lift line priority and expert instructors who know how to avoid crowds and find the best places on the mountain.

We want our team to enjoy themselves as much as our guests do – and having happy instructors means we have happy students! We have built a culture focused on having fun, staying safe and building confidence, led by qualified and passionate experts. Our instructors are placed with age groups where they’re most comfortable, and we pride ourselves on a great “teacher-student” fit. We’re delighted that our students often return for further lessons and spread the word to others.

We offer Snow School lessons for kids and adults, as well as kids programs and camps, available for every level of skier or snowboarder ages 3 and up. Options range from Level 1 (first time skiing or snowboarding) all the way to Level 7 (confident on any terrain, anywhere on the mountain), so there’s something for everyone. You can find out more about ability levels and class options for adults and kids. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Enquire and we’d be happy to see what we can create for you.

We have a diverse base of instructors, with training in child-specific development to CSIA/CASI Level 3 and 4 for our most advanced training (among the highest qualifications in the industry). Our team is devoted to the safety of every student, and aims to provide a memorable experience for the whole family.

Our team is based on staff who have strong interpersonal skills, experience teaching or coaching kids, the right attitude, and the willingness to continuously learn and improve. You can expect instructors who are qualified, happy to talk to their students and families, to earn trust and work collaboratively, and who have a true passion for the sport.

We hire stand-out instructors who are already trained and highly skilled, grow and train newcomers who are committed to learning, and encourage staff to continuously improve their own skills. Instructors participate in training sessions every work day for a minimum of one hour, and we offer instructor workshops on everything from ski performance to teaching.

We also have Snow School Trainers available to help instructors hone their skills further when they aren’t teaching lessons. We have a high standard for both adults’ and kids’ instructors – everyone works on the same training.

We begin our ski lessons at age 3. Either private lessons or small group sizes are offered for children aged 3-5 in one hour and two-hour lessons. Children over the age of 6 may choose between half-day and full day programs. Private snowboard lessons begin at age 3 and up.

The weather in the mountains can be extremely variable. Make sure you are dressed appropriately with warm clothing, eye protection (goggles or sunglasses), snow pants and jacket, waterproof gloves/mittens etc. If you have any questions, we can help over the phone with what’s appropriate. While we don’t offer clothing rentals (jackets, pants, goggles, gloves), we do offer excellent equipment rentals (skis, poles, snowboards, boots, helmets). Find out more about our rentals here.

For children’s lessons, helmets are mandatory. Please remember your child’s lift ticket, lunch, and any other necessary items for the day. A few dollars for hot chocolate or hand warmers on cold days can also help with cold weather.

Please check in at the Snow School Desk located in the main lodge next to the cafeteria. Our team will get you set up and ready to go to meet your instructors outside at our lesson meeting spot.

We strongly recommend that you make a reservation by calling us on 403-760-7716 (in-season). Our reservations team will be happy to guide you through the process and answer any other questions that you may have.

The sooner the better – our weekend programs often sell out by December, and our Saturday programs often sell out by late September. Find out more and make a booking today!

It is best to arrive about an hour before your lesson if you require getting ready and rental equipment. This will allow you enough time to relax and enjoy your experience rather than be rushed before hitting the snow. Please check-in no later than 30 minutes prior to your lesson start time.

If you know you will be arriving late, or unable to attend your lesson, please let us know. Call 403-760-7716 or email snowschool@banffnorquay.com. Groups will not wait longer than 5-10 minutes past the start of the lesson. After this point they will go ski a lap and check back in for you. If you will be arriving late, please give us a call in advance to avoid class disruption and any disappointment. If you are beyond 20-30 minutes late, please be prepared to join the class at lunch.

Just as students miss days, sometimes our instructors do too. If for some reason one of our instructors is unable to teach their class, a substitute will be provided. We will do our best to schedule the same instructor for the entire program, however we cannot guarantee it 100% of the time. We will do our best to communicate any issues that will require a substitute teacher to step in for the remaining of any program.

Absolutely. We encourage you to request your favourite instructors!

Gratuities are certainly not mandatory for our instructors, but are welcome. If you believe you have received exemplary care and service during one of our lessons, please let us know! We love to see our students share their experiences by reviewing us on the Norquay Facebook page, or completing a comment card for us at the Snow School reception desk. Your feedback is always appreciated!

Most kids really enjoy it and are really excited to be here. Some 3 and 4 year olds experience separation anxiety the first few times, but they soon fall in love with it.

Adults say they love it because it’s fun and there’s zero pressure. We’re passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels to have fun and build confidence – from first-timers looking to learn and have fun, to veteran skiers looking to refresh their skills and confidence.

Program FAQs

Program additions are value packs available for purchase during registration. They include an hour of daycare before or after a lesson, rental equipment for the day, lift-tickets, and for specific programs transportation. During registration please advise the Program Director of any additions you will require. If you would like to make any additions after the registration process, please contact the ski school desk at snowschool@banffnorquay.com

All of our groups are created on the following criteria: skiing/snowboarding ability, age, and special requests. Our primary focus is to group people with similar skill abilities together. This promotes the learning experience, and makes for a more enjoyable group dynamic. We make groups based on age to encourage the social experience for our students. It is not always possible based on abilities to have exact matches in age, but we are always considerate of ‘age appropriate’ placements. Special requests will be taken into consideration, but will not always be possible. If you have requested a specific instructor, groupings with friends, or anything that goes beyond our regular grouping methods, we will do our best to accommodate this. Requests are dealt with on a first-come-first-serve basis and on a scale of importance. We care about where each student is placed and aim to provide the best groupings for all involved in our programs.

Group lists will be posted in the main lodge which corresponds to a group number. This number will indicate the sign number to meet at outside below the magic carpet. Once at your sign, your instructor will sign in your child. This number will also correspond to the lunch table number to leave your child’s lunch bag.

Lunch break can vary depending on the program and the busyness of the day lodge. It is most often between 11:30 and 12:30. Your instructor will have a set time at the beginning of the lesson. Groups will be supervised by their instructor. Feel free to join the group for lunch as long as space permits. Bagged lunches for full-day programs should be left on the group’s allocated table in front of the Snow School Desk. Please ensure that your child is aware of where their lunch is. If any lunch is forgotten, $10 lunch vouchers are available from the Ski School for the cafeteria. Please remember to collect your lunch bags at the end of the lessons.

Please note: some of our students have peanut allergies. Please be conscious of this, but note that the lodge is not a nut-free zone. We ask parents to inform our instructors directly of any allergies as well as the program director upon registration.

We do offer specific Family Day Camps, but the 8 week weekend programs do not run on Family Day weekends.

Unless the Snow School has cancelled a program, there are no make-up lessons for group programs. If you are unable to make a class due to unforeseen circumstances and would like to enquire about an additional date, please email the Program Director with your request. It is our goal to have the children as active and involved in the program as possible, but we cannot disrupt other lessons to accommodate missed lessons for reasons such as vacation, scheduling conflicts, other sporting events etc. Private lessons that have been rescheduled may make arrangements for make-up lessons with 24 hours’ notice. Please note that a change of a regular lesson date may result in a different instructor. Please be sure to make a request for the instructor of your choice.

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