We brought three kids, ages 7, 8, and 9 to ski for the first time. We put them in lessons for one day and then we took them skiing with us for two days (just the afternoons) following their lesson. By day 3 of our trip, we were able to take them down any green or double green, as well as the easier blues (such as Enchanted Forest). They fell in love with skiing, which is exactly what we had hoped would happen.
Things we wish we had known ahead of time about ski school and Telluride:
1) Ski School meets at Mountain Village Ski Lesson Center (right below the gondola where the stairs come down) between 9 and 9:15; don't be late! You need to go into the Lesson Center prior to that to have their tickets printed and check them in. Lines form so it is best to arrive 20-30 minutes early. Once checked in, kids are driven by cart to the Magic Carpet area (no more tow ropes) just below lift 1/Chondola. There might be two areas (one under lift 1 and the other by lift 4) but our kids were only at this one.
2) Equipment for kids to attend ski school includes skis, boots, AND helmets. You need to rent these in advance if you don't bring them. Kids do not learn with poles and cannot use them in ski school unless they are level 5 or higher which would take a few days at least.
3) Ski Valet is the best service ever. You can drop off your skis, boots, and poles just at the edge of the snow and they will be there when you need them the next day. They keep your ski boots on boot warmers. They will also keep your shoes and regular clothes for the end of day. You can call ahead and reserve it or sign up there. Ski Valet makes it so you don't have to hall your ski equipment all over or walk endlessly in ski boots. They also have lockers you can rent. Their office is located below the gondola as well (take the elevator down and you're right there).
4) Kids eat lunch during ski school and it is included in the price (unless it says otherwise).
5) Water is provided at the magic carpet area.
6) If you are staying in town (and not at Mountain Village), the gondola only takes about 5 minutes and is free. Then in town, there is the Galloping Goose, a free bus/shuttle that loops about every ten minutes. You can get the bus schedule and main locations on the internet. It is so easy and the drivers are very friendly and helpful that it makes having a car ridiculous.
7) Beginner ski runs are by lift 1 but also up at lift 11. They just have to be able to ski all the way down if you go to lift 11.
We had a great trip and will definitely be back to do it again - including putting our kids in ski school the first day to get re-acquainted with skiing.
Hope this info helps!
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