First Time Skiers and Snowboarders
Trying a new sport can be daunting, regardless of if you are 6 years old, 36 or 66. Here are some things to help make your first time fun and memorable. If you have any questions after reading this page, Mount Kato’s staff is here to help you. Give us a call at (507)625-3363
- You probably shouldn't expect to conquer expert runs your first time on the slopes, but that doesn't mean you have to stick to the beginner runs either.
- Avoid borrowing skis or snowboards from others since they are typically setup based on that individuals height, weight and ability.
- You should never find yourself alone on the slopes. Buddy up with at least one other person, make sure you choose ski buddies with an equal amount of experience.
- The danger of going with a larger group of people is that they may push you to go on terrain you’re not comfortable with yet.
It’s always a good idea to check Mount Kato’s website to see the latest information on which runs & lifts are open; and to get current weather & snow conditions, all of which are available at mountkato.com/snow-report .
We now have lift tickets available online as well. Save time and money by purchasing your tickets beforehand at mountkato.com/tickets .
Familiarize yourself with our facilities at mountkato.com/trail-map. When you get here make sure you pickup a Mount Kato brochure which has a trail map and additional information about our services, features & upcoming events.
What To Wear
Dressing appropriately is key to staying warm and dry. Don’t wear jeans or sweat pants, cotton absorbs water and loses it’s ability to insulate.
The Best Thing To Do Is To Wear Layers
- A Base Layer: Choose a thin, wicking, thermal top and pants, made from synthetic materials like polypropylene. Wool is also a good option as it naturally regulates heat, wicks sweat and has antimicrobial properties. Wool also retains 80% of its heating properties when wet. Avoid cotton, it doesn't have the wicking properties you'll need on the slopes and loses it's heating properties when wet. Wear only one pair of socks to keep your feet from sweating too much. Your socks should be thin but warm. If you're renting boots, choose slightly thicker socks for comfort. Make sure they have padding to protect your shins when they press against your ski boots.
- A Middle Layer: Fleece is a great choice. It’s available in different weights and is great for wicking and insulation. Cotton won't wick moisture or insulate as well. Choose fabric that's a cross between form-fitting and bulky. Wear a sweater or jacket with a half- or full-zip with standup collar. This will keep you warmer. Look for underarm zippers known as “pit vents” to allow sweat to escape properly.
- An Outer Layer: A Jacket something roomy enough to comfortably accommodate your layers but not too loose or bulky. Make sure it's a waterproof and properly insulated ski jacket - not a hoodie or a sweatshirt. Ski jackets use special fabrics, insulation and features to keep you warm. These include waterproof-breathable fabrics, heat-retaining insulation, and a powder skirt or closeable cuffs and hem. Pants, actual ski pants made for the slopes. They have an inner powder cuff that you slide over your boots to prevent snow from getting in. Your pants should fit well and allow you to move comfortably.
- Ski Gloves. Make sure that they're designed for skiing. Regular gloves won't give you the protection you need. Ski gloves are thicker and have a rubber lining on the outside for easy grip. If you plan on skiing in a very cold climate and/or harsh terrain, buy gloves with wrist protection and a built-in inner glove.
- Wear Goggles. Spend the extra money on high-quality goggles. They'll protect you from snow blindness and help you to navigate cloudy conditions with few shadows. They'll also protect you from flying debris that can get caught in your eyes.
- A Neck Gaiter is a felt tube that you slip on your neck. Pull it over your mouth on especially cold days. Always keep the bottom of the gaiter under the collar of your ski jacket.
- Rent A Helmet: We have rental helmets here at Mount Kato. A hat will keep your head warm, but a helmet will protect you from head injuries. Make this a rule for any condition you could be skiing in. If you decide to purchase a helmet, they come in basic low-tech varieties or high-tech forms with headphones if you want to listen to music as you ski.
- Sun Screen: No matter what the conditions are on the slopes, this is a must. You can get a sunburn even if it's cold and overcast. Opt for SPF 15-30, depending on how fair your skin is.
- Mount Kato’s Tech & Accessory Shop: Many of the above mentioned items are available right here. Call ahead to ensure we have what you want in the size you need. (507)625-3363 Ask for The Tech Shop.
Once You Arrive At Mount Kato
Purchasing Lift Tickets & Snow Tubing Passes
Lift Tickets, Equipment Rental Forms & Snow Tubing Passes are all available at the ticket windows on east side of the Customer Services Building.
After getting your rental form at the ticket windows you can make your way to the rental shop where our friendly staff will help you get fitted with the proper equipment for your age size & ability. The Rental shop is located just east of the Chalet, two buildings down from The Customer Services office. Enter the rental at the first door on the southwest corner of the rental building (the side facing the hill). There are counters available to fill out your rental forms. There is also a scale and ruler available to help those that don’t know their height or weight. The rental staff will help fit your helmets and boots as well as adjust your skies and snowboards
Taking Lessons: Mount Kato’s Learning Center
Types Of Lessons