First Timer's Guide

Dress in layers  

Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. For example, dress in polypropylene underwear (top and bottoms), which feels good next to the skin, dries quickly, absorbs sweat and keeps you warm. Wear a turtleneck, sweater, and jacket.

Here is our list of recommended items for you to bring skiing or snowboarding in order to guarantee a fun first day on the slopes. If you are in need of anything on this list when you get here, everything on this list is available in at the Winterplace Ski Shop (located on the upper level of the Resort Center and The MountainHouse).

  • Hat/helmet - if your head is warm the rest of you is likely to stay warm.
  • Waterproof insulated gloves/mittens - mittens are warmest.
  • Goggles/Sunglasses - Goggles are strongly recommended on cold or snowy days for warmth and increased visibility.
  • Jacket/Parka (water-resistant)
  • Synthetic or wool base layers for top & bottom - it's better to be warm than cold, you can always shed layers. Synthetic materials help to wick moisture away from your skin. Once again, do not wear cotton as a base layer.
  • Snow/Water resistant pants - helps keep your lower body warm and dry.
  • Warm, dry socks - Moisture wicking ski/snowboard socks (wool or fleece) are the best. No cotton.  Wear only one pair of socks.
  • Sunscreen - SPF 15 or higher
  • Lip Balm
  • Snack, Fruit, Energy Bar
  • Trail Map - available in the Resort Center and MountainHouse.
  • ID, Wallet, Cash
  • Extra Clothes, Shoes - to change into when you're all done, in order to go out and celebrate your first day of skiing or snowboarding!



If you have never skied or boarded before, having the proper equipment is the first thing to get you started.  Skis and snowboards have changed over the years with technological advancements that make learning to ski or snowboard easier than ever.  Be sure to have your ski or snowboard bindings adjusted correctly. Helmets are recommended. You can rent top-of-the-line ski or snowboarding equipment and helmets at Winterplace. Click here to view the Winterplace Rental Equipment page.


Review Mountain Safety & Policies


Meeting Place

Before hitting the slopes, plan a spot to meet to check-in with your group, or meet if you get separated.  For example, meet at the bottom of chairlift #2 at 2pm.


Take a Lesson  

Like anything, you'll improve the most when you receive some guidance. The best way to become a good skier or snowboarder is to take a lesson from one of our professional instructors. You'll safely learn more in a 90-minute lesson than you will all day on your own. Click here for information on our lessons.


Know the Code

  • Safety on the slopes is everyone's responsibility. Ski safely - not only for yourself but for others as well.
  • Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • Do not stop where you obstruct the trail or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings.
  • Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must know how to load, ride, and unload safely.


If you're tired, take a break.

Injuries usually result from fatigue. Have a seat, relax, get a bite to eat and enjoy the people around you. Most of all, have fun!


For Kids


Good questions for parents to ask:

When you've decided what area to take your ski trip, call the ski resorts in the area and research how each area's children ski school programs are structured. Ask about the number of kids in the class? What if your child gets cold? What if your child wants to stop skiing after one hour? Does the ski school offer pagers?


Ski School:

Put your kids in ski school to get them on the right track. Children’s instructors know how to teach kids, it's their business. Then you'll enjoy skiing with your kids and they will be proud to show you their skiing abilities.

An observance from a long-time skier is that when his daughter skied with him, she regressed, as opposed to skiing with her peers in a lesson. "She wanted to ski in-between my legs and fell down more often. We had fun with her being silly, but a lesson allowed her to focus on her skiing and she really excelled."

Although it is very unlikely that your child would get separated from the instructor, be sure your child has a trail map and is able to remember the instructor's name.

Make sure your child knows when to stop skiing. For example, if the clothing layer next to their skin stays wet and they’re chilled, if they’re injured, have a problem with equipment or even if they’re simply worn out. Educate them that it’s alright to stop before the end of the day and breaks are fun.

Starting your kids early opens a world of adventure, fun, laughter and beautiful scenery unsurpassed, from many other sports and interests.

It's a tremendous feeling to learn that your kids' fondest childhood memories were of your family ski vacations and now skiing has become an important element in their lives. Your kids will be forever grateful to you when they become adults.


On Arrival

Never been skiing or snowboarding at Winterplace Ski Resort before, just follow the steps below and we will walk you through the process. Remember to ask about our Learn-To-Ski or Ride Guarantee. We promise you'll learn how to ski or snowboard or you can take the class again Absolutely Free!

Remember Winterplace is only 5 minutes off I-77, Exit 28 between Beckley and Bluefield, West Virginia. 



When you arrive at Winterplace

Park at the Resort Center Parking Lot

Go Directly To The Rental Shop (follow signs) - The rental shop is located on the lower level of the Resort Center.


Follow The Steps Below:


1. Equipment Rental Form

You will need to fill out an Equipment Rental Form. The information you will need for the form is as follows:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Shoe Size
  • Skiing or Snowboarding Ability (First Timer - Type I skiing ability)
  • Credit Card Information (Deposit required on renting equipment)
  • Your signature in required spaces.
  • Parent or guardian signature in the required spaces, if you are a minor.
  • "Ask about our Learn-To-Ski or Ride Guarantee" (Includes beginner lift ticket, equipment rental, and a 90-minute group lesson)
  • Purchase your lift ticket
  • Rental Equipment (Deposit Required)
  • Lessons - Available for all ability levels


2. Go to the Ticketing Cashier


3. Proceed to the Boot Area (follow signs)

Pick up your boots, sizes generally match foot size in a dress shoe. We recommend only one pair of socks (preferably ski socks - fleece or wool), otherwise the boots may be too tight. Adjust all the buckles, make sure they are snug, but not too tight.


4.  Proceed to the Ski/Snowboard Technician (follow signs)

Pick up your skis or snowboard.


5. Coin Lockers

Coin Lockers are available to rent for a $1.00 (4 quarters).  It is just the right size for you to store your shoes and other items. The coin lockers are located at the back of the rental shop and also located in the "Locker Room/Changing Room" located right beside the rental shop.  Now change into your boots.


6. Get Your Ski Poles

If your skiing, pick up your ski poles (based on your height).  Ski poles are located at the back of the Rental Shop.


7.  Take A Lesson

Head over to the Ski School Meeting area at the Ski School Bell, located off of the slope side deck when you exit the Resort Center, near the top of Chairlift #5. Lessons are at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm & 7pm on weekdays/non-holiday, and on weekends and holiday periods, lessons are on the hour, every hour beginning at 8am and the last lesson starts at 7pm. Skiers and snowboarders learn the basics of turning and stopping at our specially designed teaching area with 2 Super Carpet Lifts. Once you have the basics down, beginner skiers and snowboarders progress to our chairlifts and enjoy all the gentle beginner slopes. View Trail Map.

Whether you choose to ski or snowboard, we have the lesson for you!