Need to Know on Snow

Beginner's Guide for Sunday River

Ready to learn to ski or snowboard? If you've made your trip plans, your bags are packed and in the trunk, here's everything you'll need to know about the mountain and your time on snow. 

Arriving to Your Lesson

Checking in & Getting Started

  • If you are not taking lessons and reserved lift tickets online, or need to purchase them, you may pick up your tickets at the Welcome Center in the South Ridge Lodge or any SnowSports School location. 

  • If you are not taking lessons and need to rent equipment or have reserved equipment online, our rental shop is located at the South Ridge Lodge. There, you'll be outfitted with the gear you need for an awesome day on the slopes. Adult Learn to Ski and Snowboard Lessons come with rental equipment included, which can be picked up in the Discovery Center. 

  • We recommend storing any extra gear at our free Basket Check located on the second floor of the South Ridge Base Lodge, in our coin-operated lockers in the South Ridge Base Lodge, or, if you are taking a lesson, in our SnowSports School locations.

  • Forgetting gear is never fun, but if you find yourself without an essential item, Sunday River Sports can help. We stock a wide variety of gear, so you can enjoy your day on the slopes.

  • There are no bathrooms on the mountain aside from the mid-mountain Peak Lodge, so use them before you head to the slopes (preferably before you get all your layers on). Bathrooms are located on the first and third floors of the South Ridge Base Lodge.

  • Our SnowSports School lessons meet at the following locations. We'll take care of all your ticketing and rental equipment needs, no need to make any other stops first. Suggested arrival times are listed below but it's a good idea to allow extra time. Be early! Clinics depart promptly at lesson time.  

    • Privates Lessons meet at the Adult and Private Clinic Office located slopeside at South Ridge. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your lesson if you have all your gear or 30 minutes if you require rental equipment.  
    • Adult Learn To Ski and Snowboard Lessons meet in the building located to the right of the South Ridge lodge overlooking the parking lot. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your lesson.   
    • Mini Munchkins, Munchkins and Meister Children's Programs meet in buildings that are slopeside at South Ridge, look for signs for the appropriate age group. Please make sure they are checked in by 9AM.  
    • Adult Group Lessons (not for first-timers) meet slopeside at South Ridge Base area near the fire pit. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your lesson.  
Types & Riding Recommendations

About Chairlifts

Chairlift Riding Tips:

  • Skiers need to take the pole straps off their wrists. Snowboarders need to on strap one foot.
  • The person on the outside of the chair should hold their poles in their inside hand. The middle people or person may hold their poles in either hand. The person on the outside of the chair should look over their outside shoulder and grab the chair as it approaches. Those in the middle should grab the back of chair as it approaches. Sit down as the chair reaches you.
  • Once the chair has left the platform, lower the safety bar. Do not bounce, swing or click your skis together during the ride. Take care not to drop gloves, poles or litter. Should you lose something, note the number of the next tower for orientation.
  • When getting off, you will see the sign warning of unload area, open the safety bar. Raise the tips of your skis or board so they don't catch as you approach the platform. As your skis or board touch the snow, stand up and push yourself off the chair with your free hand.
  • Move quickly away from moving chair and keep unloading area clear. Brake once you are well clear of your companions.
  • Sunday River uses names and numbers to distinguish our lifts. Beginners should look for the Surface Lifts, numbers 16, 17 and 18, and the South Ridge Express, number 2. Check out the Sunday River trail map for a full list of lift names and numbers.
Keep an Eye out

Trail Markings and Signage

  • Circle
    Green Circle: Easiest/Beginner Terrain
  • Square
    Blue Square: More Difficult/Intermediate Terrain
  • Diamond
    Black Diamond: Difficult/Advanced Terrain
  • Diamonds
    Double Black Diamond: Most Difficult/Expert Terrain

Be sure to check out the trails marked on the Sunday River trail map. The colored symbols next to the trails indicate the difficulty of the trail.

You will also find them on posted signs on the mountain. On your first day, you'll be wanting to look for the green run. You'll find the easiest green runs at South Ridge.

Insider's tip: Dream Maker is a green trail but it's definitely not a green to attempt on your first day. Make sure you can confidently ski Lower Escapade before heading to Dream Maker.   

Before you ride a lift, make sure the trail symbols off of that lift fit your ability. If you have any questions or need directions, talk to a lift attendant or another Sunday River Team Member. If you find yourself on a slope that exceeds your ability level don't be afraid to ask for help, call Ski Patrol at 207-824-5350.  

Need to make your plans?

Still have questions? Contact us.