Q: Do you have an outside ticket window?
A: Yes! Although the Lodge will be open for use, we offer an outside ticket window (located near the outdoor washrooms and our outdoor BBQ).
Note: The cafeteria also offers easy “Take-Out” food options (pizza, poutine, burgers, muffins, cookies, etc.) for those preferring to eat outdoors or in their vehicles.
Q: Can we eat in the Lodge?
A: We offer Grab-N-Go meals from our cafeteria. Seating in the Lodge may be restricted to those who have purchased items in the Cafeteria or BBQ. (Packed lunches may still be allowed in lodge on weekdays– no crockpots). If there are limited tables we may ask that you not take more than 15-20min in the Lodge on weekend & holidays.
Q: What are your Health Restrictions?
A: PLEASE STAY HOME IF FEELING UNWELL. We expect all guests and staff to take personal responsibility for minimizing the spread of any respiratory viruses.
Q: How old do my children have to be to take lessons?
A: In order to take group ski or snowboard lessons during the 2023/24 season, children must be at least 6 years old. Private lessons can begin at age 3.
Q: How do I know if my child is ready for lessons?
A: Children do best in lessons if they are used to being away from their parent or guardian for short periods of time.
Q: Should I learn to ski before I try snowboarding?
A: You should try whichever sport appeals to you the most. The ability to ski is not a prerequisite for snowboarding and will not affect your learning outcomes. However, skiing is a great sport, so we recommend trying both in any order.
Q: Can I stay with my child while they are taking their lesson?
A: Mount Pakenham's professional ski and snowboard instructors recommend that you leave your child with the instructor, and try to watch from a distance. Children are distracted easily and may ignore their instructors or behave differently if their parent/guardian is within sight. The instructors are well trained to work with children when their both happy and upset; so even if your child cries when you first drop them off the instructor should be able to cheer them up very quickly.
FOOT TRAFFIC PROHIBITED: spectators are not allowed past the fencing. Only guests with a valid lift ticket and ski/snowboard equipment are permitted past this point.
If you are interested in staying with your child during the lessons, check out our Parent and Tot lessons.
Q: What if the weather is bad or there is no snow?
A: We are open almost every day during all winter weather including snow, rain, and cold. Mount Pakenham has the best grooming and snowmaking in the area which helps keep our snow and ski conditions safe in all weather. We make snow on every run in December and groom all runs every night. Even if you don't have snow in your backyard, we will have snow at Mount Pakenham from December until the end of March.
*RAIN - Although in general skiing in the rain doesn't appeal to many, the conditions are usually very soft and forgiving and the hill is quiet. It is also a great time to learn to snowboard. We have free rain ponchos.
*EXTREME COLD - When it is extremely cold outside, Mount Pakenham is a great choice for a ski/board destination. Being a smaller hill, you can usually make it up and down a few times before you have to warm up. Snow suits are made for Canadian winter weather and will keep you warm.
*FREEZING RAIN - Our great grooming breaks up the ice creating a soft enough surface for people to dig in their edges and poles. You will be surprised how good the skiing can be after our grooming equipment has been out on the mountain.
*FRESH POWDER - If you haven't tried skiing powder, Mount Pakenham is a great place to start. In fact Mount Pakenham is the best place to try anything new due to its gentle terrain.
Q: Will Mount Pakenham still run ski and snowboard lessons during bad weather?
A: Mount Pakenham's instructors are trained to deal with all weather conditions. They know to keep their classes moving and watch for signs of frostbite in extremely cold conditions. They will also take class warm up breaks in the lodge. In hard or fast conditions the classes will slow down and use gentle terrain. The instructors will also introduce or focus on edging skills. When it is foggy or visibility is reduced, the instructors will have the class sing or count loudly. When it is raining outside or wet snow, we will provide rain ponchos and keep the class as warm and dry as possible. Lessons are almost never cancelled for weather, lesson status can be confirmed here throughout the season.
PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR ‘FIRST TIMER'S GUIDE’ FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO DRESS FOR THE SLOPES.
Q: I have 2 children that want to be in a lesson together. Is that possible?
A: Group lessons are grouped according to age and ability level. If the children are a similar age and ability, please make the request when you book the lesson and we will do our best to accommodate you. In a Private Lesson, for children ages 6 and up, you may add an second participant of a similar age (and ability, making it a Semi-Private lesson.
Q: At what age will my child need to start using ski poles?
A: Most children under 6 do not use ski poles. In fact most beginners in general do not use ski poles regardless of their age. Ski poles tend to get in the way when you are learning, and they make it harder for the beginner to use the lifts.
Q: If my child is only taking a 1 hr lesson, do I still have to purchase a lift ticket?
A: Everyone on the hill must have a lift ticket and ski/snowboard equipment. Lift Tickets are offered at a discounted rate for pre-booked Snow School Lesson Programs. Full Access (chairlift) tickets or Beginner Centre Only lift tickets are available. We recommend that students spend a little extra time practicing their newly acquired skills after the lesson in order to enhance their learning. Children age 5 or under receive lift tickets for only $12+hst.
Q: How early do I have to arrive for my lesson?
A: That depends on if you are renting equipment or not. If you are renting equipment, you should be here a minimum of 1 hour before your lesson so that you have time to check in at the Snow School Desk, pick up your rentals and have time to spare before your lesson. If you have your own equipment, 30 minutes should be sufficient.
Q: What do I do if I am late for my lesson?
A: There is usually a Snow School Facilitator stationed at the Snow School Sign for about 15 minutes after lesson start time to help latecomers. They will be able to help you find your instructor. Normally this entails standing around by the bottom of the lift until the class comes down. If you cannot find your instructor or a facilitator to assist you, please report to the Snow School Desk. It is always best to be on time for your lesson.
Q: What if I miss a Group Program Lesson?
A: If you know that you are going to miss a lesson, please let your instructor know ahead of time. That way they can let you know what you will be missing so that you can practice before your return. This will also prevent class disruption on the day of your absence and your return. If your absence is unplanned, please inform the Snow School via phone as soon as you can. Mount Pakenham offers complementary group Make Up Lessons at the end of each season available to all Snow School program participants. Please speak to your Instructor about registering for Make-Up Days.
Q: How many people per class are in a group lesson?
A: In group ski lessons there can be up to 10 students in the class. In a group snowboarding lesson there can be up to 8 students in the class. Lesson Structure
Q: How do I know what level I should sign up for?
A: To determine your ability level for your group lesson, please check our Ability Level Chart. First time skiers and snowboarders are Step 1. Ability Chart
Q: Is it mandatory to wear a helmet during the lesson?
A: Helmets are mandatory for anyone taking a lesson. Helmets are recommended for skiing and snowboarding and are included in your rental price. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet usage. The primary safety consideration and obligation under the Alpine Responsibility Code is to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner. The Ontario School Boards require students to wear a helmet on School sponsored ski trips. Helmets are included in our ski/snowboard rentals.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept at Mount Pakenham?
A: We accept Visa, MasterCard, Debit and cash.
Q: Do you offer Snow Tubing?
A:Tubing is no longer offered at Mount Pakenham
Q: Do you offer Snowshoe Trails?
A: Snowshoeing is available, with a fun experiential learning adventure trail.