Become a mentor to young skiers or boarder while learning a skill for a a life-time! And a great paying college job, too!
Apprentice Instructors (8th-12th grades) is for advanced to expert skiers or snowboarders who have a passion for teaching skiing or snowboarding to others and want to improve their own skills to become professional instructors. Apprentice Instructor graduates have gone on to teach at Vail, Beaver Creek, Purgatory, Snowbasin, Park City, Moonlight Basin, Kitzbuehel (Austria), Perisher (Australia) and more! Several have become supervisors and managers at destination snowsports schools. You could, too!
How Does It Work?
- This multi-year program begins in early December with Dryland (indoor) Clinics. You’ll study with Blizzard Master Instructors about how people learn and how to teach skills (Teaching), and the terminology and technical knowledge (Technical) you’ll need on the hill.
- Each Saturday or Sunday (choose your day for the season), you’ll shadow an instructor during a lesson, observe teaching methods, learn movement analysis, do demonstrations, assist with class handling and develop lesson plans to help members become better skiers and riders. You’ll even get to teach portions of classes yourself under the supervision of the instructor! You’ll also attend your own Color Level lesson to keep improving your own skiing or snowboarding skills.
- You will also attend on-snow clinics from December through February, on Monday nights at Hyland Hills. You’ll learn to demonstrate skills, teach in front of a group, and move the group safely around the area.
- At the end of the season you will demonstrate your knowledge through the challenging Rainbow Exam, which consists of a written test, demonstration of your personal skiing or snowboarding skills and an on-snow teaching exam. A select group of Blizzard teens have passed this exam throughout the 50+ year history of Blizzard. Most Apprentice Instructors become certified by the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) or the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and can teach at snowsports destinations around the world!
The program fee includes PSIA/AASI manuals for the first season and PSIA/AASI student membership during subsequent seasons.
Share your passion for snowsports and become a professionally certified instructor!
All Programs Include
• Up to 14 trips based on your Program and Day selection
• Discounted lift tickets
• Round-trip bus transportation
• Expert instruction by adult staff (up to 4½ hours each week!)
• Individual ski and snowboard skill assessments
• Color Level or Program zipper pulls
• ID stickers for your skis, snowboard, boots, poles, helmets — you name it!
• Annual calendar magnet
• Blizzard E-newsletters
• Special events including Picture Day, Picnic Day and Family Fun Day
• Invitations to all Teen & Family Trips including Thanksgiving, MLK Day and Spirit Mountain
• Invitation to our awesome Spring Break Family Mountain Trip
• Special discounts and events at our partner ski & snowboard shops
Our goal, quite simply, is to get you on the slopes worry-free all season long. Here’s how:
First, you need a reservation. Each week we contact you via email (evite) or phone, whichever you prefer, to make a reservation for the upcoming trip. We’ll tell you the date, destination, bus times and any special events for the day. You must RSVP by the reservation deadline (usually Thursday at 8:00 p.m.) if you want to attend.
Preparing for the Day
Based on your reservation, head to your morning bus stop. Blizzard staff will greet you at your bus stop to check you in, help you load your equipment in the trailer and get you situated on the bus. Our youngest members sit up front with staff. You will be dropped off at the same bus stop at the end of the day. Again, check your reservation for exact bus times. Bus times may vary each week!
You’ll want to bring a lunch, plenty of snacks and drinks to stay hydrated. Blizzard members can eat double the amount they pack for a regular school day. If you wish to buy lunch, bring $10 to $15 and be ready for long lines. Younger members are strongly encouraged to pack a lunch.
Blizzard members must have their own gear and equipment and everything needed for a warm, fun day on the slopes! Rentals are not available on Blizzard trips.
Weekly Trip Fee
If you attend, you pay a Trip Fee of about $69.00 which covers your lift ticket and round-trip bus transportation. If you don’t attend for any reason (you’re sick, have a birthday party, etc.) and you either don’t make a reservation or you cancel by the reservation deadline, there is no charge!
If you make a reservation, do not cancel, and do not attend, you will be charged a nominal No-Show Fee. We always process charges after the trip so we always charge you the correct amount. If you ever have questions about a charge, just call the office.
If you want to drive instead of riding the bus, respond accordingly on your evite or contact the office before the reservation deadline. We’ll have a discounted lift ticket waiting for you at the Blizzard Table inside the chalet. We can charge this to your credit card on file or you can pay by cash/check when you arrive at the Blizzard Table.
Blizzard Weekly Trip Cancellation
Our season of course depends on the weather! Blizzard reserves the right to make cancellation decisions in the best interest of our members. Cancellations are usually posted on our website and voicemail system by noon on Fridays. If weather conditions are changing rapidly, cancellation decisions may be made as late as the morning of the trip. Check the website or call the office if you’re ever in doubt!
One of the best things about Blizzard is that you always progress at your own pace and at your own skill level!
On your first Blizzard trip, we’ll evaluate your skiing or snowboarding skills, from beginner to expert. Members in 5th -12th grades* will be classified into a “Color Level.” From then on, you attend Color Level lessons based on your assigned Color Level (skill level). Every lesson will help you learn the specific skills you need to master at your Color Level, building a strong foundation for you to have even more fun skiing or snowboarding!
Your Blizzard instructors will evaluate your progress during every lesson you attend. When you’ve mastered the skills at your current Color Level, you will get a “Testing Slip.” Take your Testing Slip to the next scheduled Testing Session (typically at 2:00pm each week) to be evaluated by a Blizzard Examiner. If you’re ready, you pass right into the next Color Level!
Some members pass through two or three Color Levels in one season; other members build mastery in just one Color Level each season. At Blizzard, your instruction is always at your skill level and at your pace. You’re in control!
When you pass into a new Color Level, you receive a matching zipper pull! Put it on your coat to show your progress!
New to the slopes? No worries! Join other “Rookies” at all grade levels who are completely new to skiing or snowboarding. Rookies receive all-day lessons until you are able to safely ride the chair lift and progress down the beginner slopes — typically 1-3 weeks. Rookies in the Classic Program then move into Color Level “Yellow” and begin taking regular 90 minute lessons. Blizzard is here to help you, every step of the way!
What do the Color Levels mean?
Linked turns, typically wedging
Basic skidded turns
Small jumps (straight air)
Linked turns in the fall line
Skidded turns with carved finish
Flat spins and ollies
Beginning carved turns,
may still wedge a bit
Beginning carved turns
Terrain park and basic grabs
Basic parallel turns
with pole touch
Basic carved turns
Butters and alley-oops
with carved finish
|Low Black: Dynamic carved turns
Black: Dynamic short-radius turns
Top-Black: Do anything anywhere!
Do anything anywhere!
Developmentally, most younger children are not focused on individual achievement. It’s all about having fun as a group! That’s why we don’t use Color Levels in our programs for younger members. Mites and SuperMites receive a purple zipper pull to identify their program. SuperKyds receive an orange zipper pull for their program and are introduced to skill-based Color Levels during the season.
One Blizzard Community
With over twenty locations, you’re sure to find a Blizzard bus stop near you! Each Saturday and Sunday, all Blizzard buses arrive at the same snowsports area with kids from all over the Twin Cities skiing and snowboarding together. Friends are welcome to come along if they are preregistered as Blizzard Guests.
Bus times may vary each week depending on whether we’re heading north, south, east or west of the Twin Cities. Because routes vary, bus stop pairings may also change each week. You will be notified of your bus times in your weekly trip invitation.
Morning pick-ups are between 7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m., arriving at the area around 9:30 a.m. We head home around 4:00 p.m., which puts us back in town between 5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Rochester bus riders will have a little longer day, depending on our destination.
Bus Stop Locations
See our complete listing to find a bus stop near you!
Create a New Bus Stop
Don’t have a bus stop nearby? Let us know and we’ll help you create one! Blizzard requires a minimum of 30 members for a new bus stop, so get your friends to register today!
Gear + Equipment
Gear up for your winter adventure with Blizzard! Here’s how:
All Blizzard members MUST have their own equipment.
Rentals at snowsports areas are not available. Take advantage of Blizzard discounts at participating specialty retailers to buy new gear at great prices or rent a season-long ski or snowboard package. You can also check out local “swap” sales for gently used equipment. See the calendar for a list of events.
Why can’t I rent equipment each week at the snowsports area?
- Lines can be long and significantly impact our quality lesson time
- Changing your gear all the time makes it hard to learn
- We do not have staff available to assist members in the rental lines
- Our staff is not legally able to sign the waiver required for minors to rent gear
How can I get gear inexpensively?
- Purchase a season-long rental or take advantage of a “buy back” program from one of our retail partners. You’ll get the expert knowledge you expect, the perfect fit for your child and quality equipment you can trust. All for the same price as renting about four times!
- Check out a local gear swap, typically held in the fall for discounted, used equipment. Make sure you know what you need, exact sizing and fit. Expert staff may not be available to help.
- Purchase new equipment using your Blizzard discount at our retail partners.
Dressing for the slopes
Layer! Layer! Layer! Wear three or four layers up top, including thermals. Fleece is your best friend; cotton is your worst enemy. Remember to put your name on everything! See our Gear & Apparel Guide for full details. Here’s a super cute video that’s shows you and your child(ren) how to dress for winter fun!
Bring healthy snacks and a good lunch, or money to purchase food at the area. $10-$15 is more than enough for lunch, so please don’t come with a $50 bill. Pack snacks for the bus in the morning, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, and munchies for the bus ride home. Kids are growing and they’ll eat all day. Better to eat healthy snacks than candy bars and french fries! We typically recommend packing a lunch double the amount of what you would send to school. They really will eat it all!
Protecting my equipment
All members must have a ski or snowboard bag clearly labeled with your name. Use your Blizzard luggage tag! This bag protects your equipment in the trailer, and prevents everyone’s equipment from getting damaged or mixed-up. Your luggage tag will be sent in your membership packet. Visit one of our retail partners to purchase a quality ski or snowboard bag using your Blizzard member discount!
Carrying my stuff
We suggest that all members have a boot bag or large backpack to carry your ski/snowboard boots (do not wear them on the bus!), your lunch and snacks, extra socks, mittens/gloves, extra layers and anything else you may need for the day. But remember: If you bring it, you better be able to carry it!
Blizzard is all about independence and responsibility, including carrying your own gear and equipment. We will have staff around to help our younger members, but make sure your bag is small enough that it doesn’t tip you over! Visit one of our retail partners to purchase your boot bag using your Blizzard member discount!
Don’t know what gear you need for Blizzard? Looking for a handy checklist to pack up each week? Print our Gear & Apparel Guide and use it each time you pack for Blizzard!
Busy family lives mean we’re all looking for affordable prices and flexibility. Blizzard offers a unique two-tiered pricing structure which provides families with the most flexible and economical option for a full season of snowsports fun!
All members pay a Program Fee to join Blizzard. This fee covers your instruction for the entire season, all membership materials, access to all our trips at discounted lift ticket rates, participation in special events including Picnic Day, Fun Day and Bonus Trips, and discounts at participating retail partners. Fees vary by program due to student/instructor ratios, special equipment and other factors.
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. We’ll do our best to work with you.
Weekly Trip Fee
Each week during the season, you will be contacted to make a reservation for the upcoming trip. If you make a reservation and attend the trip, you pay a Weekly Trip Fee of about $69, which covers round-trip bus transportation, supervision and lift ticket. We always run charges after the trip so we only charge those who actually attend. If you don’t make a reservation for the trip for any reason, you don’t pay! It’s the best pay-as-you-go system there is — you only pay for your bus and lift ticket when you use them.
If you make a reservation but do not attend, and you do not cancel by the reservation deadline (usually Thursday at 8:00 p.m.), we charge a $25 No-Show Fee. This covers your reserved seat on the bus that we were unable to assign to another member, and is necessary to keep costs low for all members.
Family Assistance Fund
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.
Wondering about the status of your account? You can always log into your member profile to check your account online. If you find an error, just give us a call or send an email. We’ll do our best to fix it right away!