Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Lessons are the only way to go for an absolute beginner. However, I have brought my brother and more recently two friends down easy green runs for the first time. I think I did this, because the first time I skied was on a week long trip and on the third afternoon one of my friends, an experienced skier, brought me down an easy green and I thoroughly enjoyed it and it really helped my confidence. The mistake I made with my brother was bringing him up a chairlift for the first time! I suffered for this mistake and now I never bring anyone up a lift unless they have already been up with an instructor. Ideally you should ski with the beginner on the bunny slope before taking them higher up or if you don't have the chance, at least talk to them about what they've already done - their description of their own progress will probably be enough for you to judge what they're able for. Never bring a beginner down a run you haven't already skied yourself. You forget how steep a green run can seem to a beginner, so you need to have the easiest way down in your head before you start. Be patient. Don't ski with beginners if you're not prepared to ski really slowly a short distance ahead of them, in a wedge if necessary and side-step up the mountain to help them up when they fall! I skied down a green run from the top of a mountain yesterday with a friend on her third day. The rest of the group, some of whom are just a few days more experienced, wanted to eat lunch at the top of the mountain and ski down. I would have killed this plan had I not been prepared to ski down slowly with my friend. Sure enough, the others abandoned us about a quarter of the way down. My friend did great. She took a few spills - one when I said "Great, you're skiing parallel" and she got scared at her own speed :D - but nothing remotely scary. I didn't laugh when she said "oh gosh, that's a bit steep" but instead made her look back up the mountain at what she had already skied down. She finished her day with a few more practice runs on the bunny slope and an easier green at the bottom, while I headed off and skied a few of the blacks. She's looking forward to her next ski trip Looking at this from the beginner's perspective, I guess my advice would be to ski with someone who's a fairly experienced skier - if they're only skiing greens themselves, they're not good enough to take you down. They should also be someone you trust, probably with a similiar approach to life in general as yourself. If you think your friends are a bit crazy off the hill, maybe you should take a few more lessons before skiing with them.