News / World Class Learning... July 5, 2022

World Class Learning at Greenhorn Ranch

An innovative, terrain-based approach to ski and snowboard instruction will transform Steamboat’s SnowSports School this coming winter. The brand new Greenhorn Ranch, located near the previous Rough Rider/Bashor Basin area, will feature Terrain Based Learning® to give Snowsports School guests the ultimate and most successful experience when learning to ski and snowboard.

Previously, Steamboat Resort’s SnowsSports School was located at the base area. However, as part of Full Steam Ahead, the SnowSports School will have a new location at the recently re-graded Greenhorn Ranch, which will be accessible via the new Wild Blue Gondola’s mid-station. All guests in the SnowSports School who are learning to ski or ride will now have an incredible facility dedicated solely to them.

A company known as Snow Operating is the exclusive provider for the trademarked teaching system known as Terrain Based Learning®, which is what Steamboat’s SnowSports School will be implementing this upcoming season. The premise behind this innovative, progressive and well-regarded approach to ski and snowboard instructing lies in the terrain itself. By using the terrain to naturally teach skiing and snowboarding, new skiers and riders are able to feel sensations such as gliding and turning to acquire skills faster on the snow. While the shaped terrain provides a sensation to create learning, the instructor facilitates the process by pointing the skier/rider to those specific sensations.

Greenhorn Ranch is unique in that it is a brand-new area that has been re-shaped, re-graded and re-designed to create the ultimate Terrain Based Learning® experience. There will be four carpet lifts and one brand new high-speed quad known as the Greenhorn Ranch Express. Two of the carpet lifts will be relocated from the previous base area and one will be a new, covered, double barrel lift to access two different types of terrain.

Within Greenhorn Ranch, there will be a shaped-terrain progression that skiers and riders will follow to give them the appropriate sensations in the correct order. The first carpet lift will access a very short slope at a 7% grade with rollers, to give new skiers and riders the sensation of gliding with the ability to stop by simply running out of speed. By giving SnowSports School guests the ability to feel the gliding sensation in a controlled environment without the fear of falling, Steamboat Resort is boosting confidence in their most beginner skiers and riders.

Once the gliding/stopping technique has been mastered, the second shaped terrain feature is a ‘Banked Turn’ course to give skiers and riders their very first turning sensations. The shaped banks will guide the flat ski/board around the corner to facilitate edge change naturally. Accessed from the covered, double barrel carpet lift, the ‘Banked Turn’ course is a way to create effortless turning as well as sensations of turning the legs, tipping the ski/board and changing pressure before moving onto the third terrain feature.

Also accessed from the double barrel carpet lift, but this time on the skier’s left, ‘the perfect slope’ will be the main terrain feature for SnowSports School guests. A perfectly groomed slope at a 12% grade, which is the ideal steepness to learn to turn, will have raised sides to allow skiers and riders to turn naturally, traverse the slope, and then turn naturally again with some assistance from a concave-shaped hill. Imagine a super-duper mini halfpipe groomed perfectly at a 12% grade, and that is what you will find at the third shaped-terrain progression.

The fourth and last carpet lift will access a slightly steeper and longer slope at a 14% grade and 200-foot length. The last shaped-terrain progression will feature two more banked turns, but this time with a slightly tipped road in between turns to teach the skier/rider how to naturally traverse on uphill edges. Once all four different terrains have been mastered in the carpet lift area, it will be time for the Greenhorn Ranch Express.

The brand-new Greenhorn Ranch Express will be a high-speed quad but will run at lower speeds to give beginner skiers and riders a safer and more successful experience when learning how to ride a chairlift. This chairlift will be accessible to all skiers and riders at Steamboat Resort, however, the carpets and shaped terrain will be exclusive to guests within the SnowSports School.

Greenhorn Ranch will be dedicated to beginner skiers and riders at Steamboat Resort (within the SnowSports School), and will be the gateway to learning how to ski and ride all across the mountain. With the innovative Terrain Based Learning® approach, new skiers and riders will be set up for success and have an enjoyable experience learning how to ski and ride at Steamboat Resort.

Written by: Erin Campbell

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