Reviews of Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski School this year?

Anyone have some advice to share about the kids' ski school at Sierra-at-Tahoe? We're considering having our 5 and 6 year olds take a few days, but have heard some pretty negative things about the school and the instructors. 


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I am looking at previous reviews here and don't see anything negative. Our daughter (now 12) learned how to ski at Sierra and was on the non competitive ski team 2 years ago. Our experience was entirely positive. Both in ski school and on the team she got moved around a lot as her skill level changed so she was exposed to a lot of different instructors and they were all great. She has very fond memories about the program and when we've been up recently, she was saying she'd be interested in rejoining the team (which is not going to happen, only because it was exhausting for her parents!). 

Overall we love the vibe at Sierra -- people who work and ski there are very nice. It is a low key and family friendly place to ski, which is what keeps us coming back. 


Both my kids (9 and 11) learned to ski at Sierra and loved going there starting at age 4 so this is a few years back.  As parents, we appreciated the convenience of having the school provide equipment and lunch during the lessons.  We were committed with 10-pak group lessons each season for three years straight and, overall, thought the majority of instructors were great with the occasional instructor being just ok.  As the kids progressed, we found that the best instructors taught the more advanced levels (5+) and we saw many of the same instructors return each year.  Having also put our kids in group lessons at Northstar and resorts at Utah, I can't say those lessons were any better, although we certainly paid a lot more for them.  Depending on your expectations and child's temperament, you might also consider a shared private lesson. 

We have had bad experiences at Sierra. The trouble is not with the instructors, who are well meaning teenagers and young adults. It’s that the resort accepts far too many children and overload the instructors, especially over holiday weekends. We saw children lying on the ground crying and the one teenager instructor at her wits end. She picked up one and another fell over, with another crying and screaming. My son sat on the snow for HALF AN HOUR and nobody even came to see if he was ok. We eventually went and got him and signed him out. The instructor burst into tears when I spoke to her and said she just didn’t know what to do with so many kids. We also heard instructors talking about losing a child on the slopes—they actually came down the hill and only at the bottom did they discover one child was missing. We have friends who like the instructors at Sierra, especially as they are cheap, but I would never send a child there over a holiday weekend. NorthStar has far better instructors. It is much more expensive but then again nothing is cheap when it comes to skiing. It’s just an expensive sport. I also hear good things about Dodge Ridge—smaller, very cheap to hire a private instructor, and not as busy as Tahoe. 

I don’t have any experience with Sierra-at-Tahoe, but the kids’ ski school at Diamond Peak (in Incline Village) is fantastic! Check them out.