New Terrain Based Learning Program at Snowshoe Mountain

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 11, 2013 12:24 pm


Gone are the days of sending your children to ski school and watching them cry after being sent down a small hill in a wedge, hoping that they’ll learn to stop without falling. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has reported that 85% of first time skiers and snowboarders will never return for a resort’s second visit. The staggering statistic is something Snowshoe expects to change. The resort has hired Snow Operating, the developer of the trademarked Terrain Based Learning™ program, to design and create two new terrain-based teaching parks.

“The first time I put my own daughter into ski lessons (at a Resort to remain nameless), they pointed her down-hill, told her to ‘make a slice of pizza’, and let her go…she spent the whole day terrified that she’d lose control and slide off into the trees,” explains Frank DeBerry, President and COO, Snowshoe. “With Terrain Based Learning™, we’re going to change that.”

skidder design TBL

The snow has been shaped to create gentle rolling terrain, which naturally controls the student’s speed. The mini courses are natural progressions that are all stationed in order to provide the best and most fun learning environment.

“Terrain Based Learning™ is much more than just shaping snow. It’s an entirely new teaching methodology compiled with a specially designed on-snow experience. It’s a full cultural shift for a resort that focuses on removing the anxiety and fear around first-time skiing and boarding, and leaves the learner with the fun and excitement of snow-play,” DeBerry explains. “It’s why Snowshoe went out and hired the primary designer of the TBL™ program, to make sure we create the best learning playground for our guests.”

“We have done years of research finding the key sensations that are memorable for first time skiers and boarders,” states Joseph Hession, CEO, Snow Operating. “We design our features for the Terrain Based Learning™ to give high level sensations to beginner level guests. This coupled with a disciplined program designed for first time guests, creates proven results that lead to a higher return of beginner skiers and boarders.”

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For more on the Terrain Based Learning™ Program, visit: