Expand the sections below for more information. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please call or email the office. We’re here to help!
What is a typical trip schedule?
Members are usually picked up between 7:15 and 8:00 a.m. We arrive at the area around 9:30 a.m. and are on the hill by 10:00 a.m. Buses load at 3:30 p.m. for the trip home, which puts us back in town between 5:00 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Rochester bus riders will have a little longer day, depending on our destination.
Do bus times change, and how will I know?
Yes, pick-up and drop-off times do change! They depend on bus routes, weekly reservations, and which direction we’re heading from the Twin Cities. Bus times are listed on your evite, reservation confirmation, our website, and our voicemail system. Bus times are updated each week for the coming trips.
Are buses paired differently each week?
Yes. Routes and reservations vary, so bus stop pairings can change each week. Check the website for specific event information.
Where are the bus stops?
Blizzard offers about 20 bus stops throughout the Twin Cities metro area. There’s sure to be one near you! If not, let us know. With at least 20 members we will consider adding your favorite location!
Bus stop list >>
Where are bus times listed for each trip?
Bus times are listed on your evite and reservation confirmation. You can also find bus times on the website under the trip information. And you can call the office and listen to the voicemail message; bus times for upcoming trips are updated each week.
What is a “no-show” fee?
If you make a reservation and then miss the trip without canceling your reservation, you will be charged a no-show fee. This fee covers busing and administrative expenses and is necessary to keep costs low for all members. If you have extenuating circumstances such as sickness, please call or email the office. We would rather have your child recuperating at home than having a miserable day ill on the hill .
What are Blizzard’s behavior expectations on the bus?
Riding the bus is a privilege. Because we consider everyone at Blizzard to be family, showing respect for instructors, chaperones, bus drivers and fellow members is expected at all times. Blizzard prohibits drugs, alcohol, smoking of any kind, and foul language. Inappropriate behavior will result in discipline up to and including loss of membership without refund.
Is every bus supervised?
All buses have at least one adult in addition to the bus driver. Buses may have additional chaperones (parent volunteers) and/or instructors to assist with loading and unloading, taking attendance, and passing out lift tickets. If you’re interested in becoming a chaperone, contact the office.
Who sees that kids get to the right group?
When we arrive at the area, Blizzard staff escort our youngest members (Mites, SuperMites and SuperKyds) from the bus to the chalet and deliver them to their groups. At the end of the day, staff escort them from the chalet to the buses. These members are supervised at all times.
Where do I put my gear?
The bus company requires that all skis and snowboards be transported in trailers. This keeps the buses from being damaged. Keep your boot bag, goggles and other equipment with you on the bus. Otherwise you’ll have frozen boots by the time we arrive at the area!
What’s the best way to carry gear?
With 40 pairs of skis and snowboards piled in a trailer, gear bags keep your investment safe and prevent a massive tangle of boards, bindings and poles. Inside the bus, a properly sized boot bag will keep your boots, spare mittens and lunch handy. Boot bags should have backpack-style straps for easy carrying. Please do not bring bags that are larger than you are! Remember: If you bring it, you carry it! See our gear and equipment page for more information.
What type of bus do we travel on?
We contract with a metro area school bus company to provide safe, reliable transportation each week. We rely on their recommendations concerning weather conditions. These are the same buses and drivers many of your children see every day at school. Bonus trips and bus stops outside the metro area may use motor coach buses and charge an additional fee to cover increased costs.
What happens if weather is a danger?
See our cancellation policy for complete information.
What if I don’t see a bus stop near me?
If you don’t see a bus stop near you, please let us know and we’ll schedule one. Blizzard requires a minimum of 20 members for a new bus stop, so get your friends to join!
What is the refund policy for program fees?
If you cancel your membership, Blizzard will refund 75% of your registration fee until November 30. There are no refunds after December 1. Please contact the office if you have extenuating circumstances.
How do I cancel my trip reservation?
You may cancel your trip reservation by visiting our website or calling the office. All cancellations must be received by the reservation deadline, typically Thursday evening at 8 p.m. for regular weekend trips. If you miss a trip and do not cancel your reservation, you will be charged a small no-show fee. This fee covers busing and administrative expenses, and is necessary to keep costs low for all members.
If my child gets sick, can I get a refund?
If you have extenuating circumstances such as illness, please call or email the office as soon as possible, even if it is after the reservation deadline. We would rather have your child recuperating at home than having a miserable day ill on the hill. There are no refunds if an illness occurs during the day.
Does Blizzard ever cancel trips?
Our season depends on the weather, and trips may be cancelled if necessary. Blizzard reserves the right to make cancellation decisions that are in the best interest of our members. On super-cold days, we sometimes run one or two Cold Weather Buses instead of canceling the entire trip. While most members may choose not to come, we often have a small group of motivated kids who really want to get out and slide! If the weather looks questionable, check the website or voicemail to find out if we’re running Cold Weather Buses. Our motto always applies: Safety, Fun, and Learning!
When conditions are changing rapidly, cancellations may be made as late as the morning of the trip. If you’re ever in doubt, please call the office, check the website, or check Facebook or Twitter (blizzardmn)!
What if there is no snow?
This is rare! Don’t forget that Minnesota resorts have state-of-the-art snowmaking capabilities. Just because there’s no snow in your front yard doesn’t mean there’s no snow on the slopes!
Is there ever too much snow?
Road conditions can vary widely between the metro area and our destination, especially when freezing rain is forecast. The bus company we use to get to and from the areas decides whether the roads are safe to travel. We leave it to the professionals: If they say no, we don’t go!
What if it’s supposed to be cold?
Snowboarding and skiing are outdoor winter activities. As long as you’re dressed properly, you can enjoy the slopes in comfort — even when the temperature is below zero and the wind is blowing! If the predicted high temperature is above zero degrees Fahrenheit, we’ll almost certainly be skiing and snowboarding. We do consider extremely cold temperatures, windchill factors, and media hype when making cancellation decisions.
Decisions to cancel weekend trips are typically made by noon on Friday. If conditions are changing rapidly, trips may be canceled as late as the morning of the event. Always check the website or call the office for the latest information, and follow us on Twitter or Facebook for instant updates!
See our Gear & Apparel Guide to be sure you’re ready for any weather!
When can I bring a guest?
Guests are welcome on all trips unless otherwise indicated.
Can I bring a guest in any program?
The Classic program is the best option for guests. Sorry, guests are not permitted in programs for our youngest members (Mites, SuperMites or SuperKyds). Group dynamics and limits on group sizes make it difficult to accommodate guests in these programs.
Do guests already need to know how to ski or snowboard?
Yes. We regret we are unable to accommodate guests who are complete beginners. Guests, like members, must bring their own equipment.
Do parents need to register as guests?
No. Parents of Blizzard members are welcome at events and do not need to register as guests. However, please email the office ahead of the trip and tell us your name, your child’s name, and what bus you’ll be riding (or if you’re driving) so we can be sure to have enough tickets available.
Can guests rent equipment at Blizzard?
No. Blizzard requires both members and guests to bring their own equipment. Staff are unable to supervise the rental process and cannot sign waivers or liability releases for rental equipment.
The guest fee includes round-trip transportation, lift ticket, and lessons. You need to bring money for food and drink if you do not pack snacks and a lunch. Other policies may apply for special events, and you’ll be informed of those details.
What if my guest can’t make it?
If your guest doesn’t want to come, he or she can simply ignore the e-evite invitation. If your guest registers but then misses the trip, your guest will be charged a nominal no-show fee if they did not cancel their reservation by the event deadline. Other policies may apply for special events.
How many times may guests go to Blizzard?
Each guest may attend up to three regular trips. After that, it’s time to join!
Do guests have to register with Blizzard?
Yes. Guests who are not registered will not be issued a lift ticket and will forfeit the trip fee.
Does Blizzard keep my guest’s contact information?
Is there a paper form if my guest does not want to register online?
Yes. Your guest may download a Blizzard Guest Permission Slip and bring it to the event. You or your guest must call or email the office, however, so we reserve a seat and lift ticket on the bus. Other policies may apply for special events. [Note: The online functionality is not yet available on the new website. It’s coming back soon! Thanks for your patience.]
How do I sign up?
Complete an online registration form or contact the office. (Private lessons are not available at all events.) Our Private Lesson Coordinator will contact you before the trip to discuss your goals for the lesson and set up a lesson time. All private lessons meet at Cone #1.
What is a private lesson? Why book a private?
A private lesson is a one-on-one lesson with one of our instructors. While group lessons are a great way to learn and have fun on the hill, sometimes you may just need a little extra attention. Whether you feel stuck on a particular skill or you want to learn something specific, a private lesson could be just the thing to get you where you want to be in a hurry.
Can I book a private lesson for my Mite, SuperMite or SuperKyd?
No. The logistics and group dynamics of our Mite & SuperMite programs make it difficult to accommodate private lessons. Because SuperKyds groups have a Color Level lesson each week, we are able to offer private lessons to SuperKyds on a limited basis.
What time do private lessons start?
Private lessons start at the same time as regular lessons. You will be contacted by our Private Lesson Coordinator before the trip to discuss your goals for the lesson and the start time. All private lessons meet at Cone #1.
How long are private lessons?
Private lessons are approximately 1.5 hours.
When am I charged?
You will be charged after you have your private lesson. If you miss your lesson, we will work with you to reschedule it for the following week.
SKI & SNOWBOARD TUNING
How do I get my skis or snowboard tuned?
Stop into one of our retail partners for complete, professional ski and snowboard tuning services!
How often should I tune my snowboard/skis?
Blizzard recommends tuning equipment in early December, mid-January, and at the end of the season. If you’re headed to the mountains for Winter Break or Spring Break, tune your gear before you leave town. You spent good money on high-performing equipment; you may as well spend a few extra dollars to keep it that way!
What are Color Levels?
Here’s complete information about Blizzard’s unique Color Level system.
Is any financial assistance available to pay for programs?
Yes! Blizzard Ski & Snowboard School is committed to socioeconomic diversity in our programs, and to making skiing and snowboarding financially accessible to all families. To achieve this vision, we have established the Blizzard Family Assistance Fund to assist families who might not otherwise be able to afford to ski or snowboard with Blizzard. The program is funded by donations from members, staff, and Blizzard itself. Please contact the office for more information.
What should I bring each week?
Blizzard members are required to have their own equipment: skis/poles or snowboard and boots. Helmets and goggles are highly recommended, as are snowpants, two pair of insulated mittens, and layers, layers, layers!
For food, we recommend a hearty lunch, several snacks and a non-caffeine beverage (water or sports drink). If members prefer to buy food at the area, we recommend about $10- $20 which is typically enough for lunch, drink and one snack.
If I drive, where do I get my lift ticket?
If you plan to drive, be sure you notify the Blizzard office by the Thursday 8 p.m. deadline so we can have a discounted lift ticket waiting for you. When you arrive at the area, come into the chalet and find the Blizzard Table to receive your lift ticket. Just look for the banner and a crowd of kids!
What does the membership fee cover?
The Membership Fee, also called the Program Fee or Registration Fee, is paid once each season when you enroll in one of Blizzard’s programs. See our Programs page for details about what this fee includes.
Why are Blizzard programs different prices?
Some programs offer lower student/teacher ratios, more instruction, or require special equipment (such as our race program). Because of higher costs to deliver these programs, Blizzard charges higher fees for them.
Does Blizzard help kids become independent?
Yes! SuperKyds is our “bridge” program between our younger, all-day supervised, total group instruction of SuperMites and the full-day independence, individualized instruction of Classic. Within our Classic program, we also offer orientation programs at no additional cost that are specifically designed to help new members and 5th graders learn their way around Blizzard.
What are Blizzard’s behavior expectations?
Because we consider everyone at Blizzard to be family, showing respect for instructors, chaperones, bus drivers and fellow members is expected at all times. Blizzard prohibits drugs, alcohol, smoking of any kind, and foul language. Inappropriate behavior will result in discipline up to and including loss of membership without refund.
Can my child rent equipment at the area?
No. Blizzard staff are unable to supervise the rental process and legally cannot sign waivers or liability releases for minors’ rental equipment. It’s not a very fun way to spend the first hour of every Blizzard trip, either. And most importantly, it’s really hard to learn when your equipment keeps changing!
Our retail partners offer special Blizzard discounts on new and sometimes even used equipment. Their expert staff will make sure you get equipment that fits and that matches your ability. Several also offer “buy-back” programs that can save you a bundle each season. See you nearest partner shop for details!
Another option is to pick up used equipment at preseason swaps, which are usually sponsored by local nonprofit groups such as race teams. A complete listing is on our calendar.