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First Timers Guide to Cannon

Be prepared for your first day on snow

When learning to ski or snowboard, you can make your first day out easier and more enjoyable by preparing for the experience. We have put together some tips to help you get started.

Cannon looks like a tough mountain as you drive up the notch, but don’t let the front five that seems to dive into Echo Lake intimidate you. There is a gentle side to Cannon Mountain that is the perfect environment for learning you new sport.

The Peabody base area, located just off I-93 at exit 34-C, is your one stop location for everything you’ll need. The Tuckerbrook Learning Area, Brookside Children’s Center, Nursery, Rental Shop, Lessons, and Food Service are all located here.

Dress for Success

You’ve got to wear the right clothes to play in the snow. The secret to staying warm and dry is dressing in layers; three of them. The base layer (next to your skin) should wick moisture away from your body while retaining heat. Long underwear made of lightweight polypropylene or silk is ideal. The second layer is your insulation. Fleece and wool are the best bets here. The third and outermost layer should be both water repellant and windproof. Lightweight jackets and pants made with Gore-tex® or a similar water resistant material work best.

As all fashionistas know, accessorization is everything. Socks should be light to medium weight. Ski or snowboard boots are well insulated, so one pair of socks is plenty. Insulated gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell are a necessity as are hats made of wool or fleece. Goggles or sunglasses will protect your eyes from wind and snow. Sunscreen and lip balm will protect your face from the winter sun, which is stronger than you think. Sunscreen should be at least an spf 30 for good protection. Don’t forget that kids need eye protection and sunscreen, just like adults.

Snowsport lessons at Brookside

Cannon Kids lessons are available for children aged 13 and under, for a full or half day. Everything you need can be purchased at the Brookside Learning Center, including rentals for the kids. For the younger children, the Child Care is conveniently located in the same building.

We have two age groups for skiing and riding; Cannon Kids, for ages 4 to 7, and Mountain Explorers, for ages 8 to 12. Both groups are further divided by ability level, allowing children to learn with peers of similar ability. Morning children’s sessions, which last 2 ½ hours, start at 9:30 and finish at noon, while afternoon sessions start at 1pm, and run until 3:30.
Most people take advantage of the full day children’s program, which includes 5 hours of skiing and riding, as well as lunch.

Adult Lessons

Adult Lessons and Learn to Ski or Ride packages may be purchased at either the Brookside Learning Center, or the Notchview Lodge. Group lessons start at 10am, and 1:30pm. These times allow you to get the kids into programs, and then have time to arrive at your own lesson. On weekends and holidays, an extra session begins at 11:30. Your group will be made up of other adults of similar ability, and will last for 90 minutes.

Your best bet for your first days on snow is to rent equipment. This ensures that you will have properly maintained and correctly sized gear. Be sure that the boots fit correctly, as they are key to enjoying your day. The rental shop carries a full range of sizes of skis, boots, poles, and snowboards in their shop, which is located on the upper level of the Peabody Lodge. The staff will assist you in choosing the right equipment for your day on the snow.

You will meet your coach just uphill of the Brookside Learning Center. Look for the banners, and a staff member will assist to make sure you are in the correct group. The fun part is coming up now- get set to meet some new friends, enjoy the winter outdoors, and experience Cannon Mountain.

Click here for information on Child Care at Cannon Mountain, located at the Brookside Children's Center.