Beginner's Guide

Preparation is Key

To make your first Poconos skiing trip easy we have put together some great tips to help you on your way.

  • Dressing For The Weather
  • Rental Equipment Tips
  • JFBB's Helmet Policy
  • Storing Your Personal Belongings
  • Take A Lesson
  • Know "Your Responsibility Code"
  • Using JFBB's Lifts
  • Trail Marking Symbols And Trail Map

Dressing for the Weather

Poconos skiing offers you a great chance to enjoy the outdoors and the secret to a fun time in the snow is having the right clothing. You'll want to keep warm, dry and comfortable your first day on the snow.

Dress in Layers

Layering for skiing or riding allows you to accommodate your bodies constantly changing temperature. Generally, layering is divided into three areas:
Wicking layer (polypropylene underwear - top and bottoms) - "wicks," or moves, moisture away from your skin and dries quickly.
Insulating layer (wool, fleece, sweater) - keeps heat in and cold out.Weather Protection - Repels water from snow and sleet, and blocks the wind while letting perspiration evaporate (both jacket and pants). Choose a lightweight garment that is made of waterproof, breathable material. There are several synthetic materials on the market and available at outdoor sports stores. When buying skiwear, look for fabric that is water and wind-resistant. Look for wind flaps to shield zippers, snug cuffs at wrists and ankles, collars that can be snuggled up to the chin and drawstrings that can be adjusted for comfort and keep wind out. Be sure to buy quality skiing clothing and products.

Hats or Headbands for Skiing or Snowboarding

Usually made of fleece or wool, a good skiing hat combined with a neck warmer or gaitor will retain 80% of your body's heat, keeping you warm and toasty even on the coldest days on the Poconos ski slopes.

Gloves or Mittens for Skiing or Snowboarding

Waterproof, breathable shell and well insulated. Mittens are usually better for those susceptible to cold hands. Don't forget to get yourself some hand and toe warmers available at our Snowsports Shops, in various locations around the mountain.

Socks for Skiing or Snowboarding

One (1) pair of light to medium weight works best for skiing and riding. If the sock is too thick or if you're wearing too many, it could make your boots too tight, reducing circulation, which causes cold feet. It's also a good idea to change into fresh socks before putting your boots on. Damp socks worn on the trip to the ski area will quickly become cold and uncomfortable.

Eye Protection

Have sunglasses and goggles with you. Skiing and snowboarding in the Poconos are a lot more fun when you can see!

Sunscreen and Lip Balm

Protect yourself from the strong Poconos sun. The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think, even on cloudy days! Keep lip balm in a pocket and apply often while skiing.

There's no reason to be cold during your Poconos skiing experience, and with a little preparation and the proper clothing and accessories, you won't be. JFBB Ski Shops are located at the mountain and feature all of the apparel and accessories you need to enjoy your day on the slopes.

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Rental Equipment Tips

The JFBB Rental Shops are located on the lower level at Big Boulder and at the west end at Jack Frost. Your snow pass, lesson packages, ski/snowboard rentals, boot rentals, and helmet rentals must be purchased first at any of the ticket sales points.
Tip: Don't get dressed to ski or ride when you need rental equipment.

Follow these steps:

  • Get equipment.
  • Layer Up - Put on final layers of clothing - this way you won't be so hot when trying on boots.
  • Store personal belongings.

To get the right boot fit, be sure to wear the proper socks. The boot should fit like a snug hiking boot with no pressure points. Be sure that your pants are not tucked into the boot.
Prepare to arrive early enough to get equipment and sign up for lessons (1 to 2 hours before the lesson is an adequate amount of time to get skiing equipment and ready for your ski or snowboard lesson).

How to use your ski or snowboard bindings:

  • Always clean all snow, ice, and dirt from your boots, skis, and snowboards before stepping into the binding.
  • To open the binding, depress rear lever with ski pole, or ski boot.
  • Step in toe first. Be sure to clean the snow off of the boot sole first.
  • Step down. Heel will close automatically.
  • To exit the binding, depress rear lever with boot, ski, or pole.
  • Step out. The binding is now ready for re-entry.
  • Do not change the binding settings. If you feel that they are not working properly, bring them back to the shop for assistance.
  • Avoid walking, skiing, or snowboarding through water or mud. Water, mud, and dirt can affect your bindings making release more difficult.

While you are skiing or snowboarding, keep your boots properly closed. This allows the boot to support you properly and helps to keep your feet dry. If you have any questions, please ask for assistance. We want to make your JFBB skiing and snowboarding experience as enjoyable as possible.

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JFBB Helmet Policy

JFBB recommends helmets as a consideration for skiing and boarding participants and parents.
JFBB supports individual and parental rights to choose to wear a helmet or not while skiing. We encourage parents and others to educate themselves about the benefits and limitations of helmets while skiing. JFBB promotes responsible skiing and snowboarding behavior as the key to long-term slope safety. Follow Your Responsibility Code.
For more information on helmets, visit the NSAA web site Lids on Kids (
Helmets can be rented from our JFBB Rental Shops or purchased at our Ski Shops.

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Storing Your Personal Belongings

Coin-Operated Lockers
You can store your personal belongings in our convenient coin-operated lockers in the base area while you enjoy some time on the slopes.

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Take A Lesson

Skiing instruction helps the beginner and benefits skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Like anything, you'll improve the most when you receive some guidance. The best way to become a good skier or snowboarder is to take a lesson from a qualified instructor.
Our philosophy is to have fun while learning or improving your skiing or snowboarding skills. We offer lessons 7 days a week. Make sure to check with the person booking your lesson as to where your class meets as we offer many kinds of classes and different classes meet at different places on the mountain.
Eat a hearty meal before lessons, and for the most possible fun, bring along a friend and learn together!

Discovery Beginner Lesson:

This lesson is geared so that the students can move through the skiing stations at their own pace, whether it be 3 hours or 1 hour. Everyone learns at a different rate and this beginner lesson allows the student the time he or she needs to master the skills needed to ski on a beginner slope.
The Discovery Beginner Lesson is an ongoing lesson so that you may join at any time between 9:00am -12:00 and 1:00pm - 4:00pm and is offered at both Jack Frost and Big Boulder in the Poconos. A Discovery Beginner night lesson is offered at Big Boulder only, between 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Group Lessons

If you have skied before, we have an advanced lesson for novice through expert skiers. The students are divided according to their skiing ability and the lesson runs about 1.5 hours. Advanced ski lessons begin promptly at 10:00am, 2:00pm, and 6:00pm (6:00pm session is at Big Boulder only).

Private Lesson

A Private Lesson is just you and the ski instructor. You can also get semi-private lessons with you and a friend or relative with one instructor. Private Lessons can be purchased at a Learning Center Desk and must be reserved in advanced by calling the Learning Center at 570-443-8425, ext 2503 for Jack Frost or ext 3501 for Big Boulder. Please include a daytime phone number and a member of our staff will contact you regarding your request.

A quick way to sign up for classes for the next day is to stop by a Learning Center. You may also purchase your tickets and rentals for the next day this way. (This can save line-waiting time in the morning).
During your skiing or snowboarding lesson be active, open, and positive to learn. Ask questions. Our instructors want you to get the most out of your lesson. Don't be afraid to go first. Let them know how you like to learn.
The key to successful skiing/snowboarding is control. To have it, you must be aware of your technique, the terrain, and the skiers/snowboarders around you. Be aware of the snow conditions and how they can change. As conditions turn firm, the skiing gets hard and fast. Begin a run slowly.
We hope you enjoy your time at JFBB in the Poconos much as we do!

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Your Responsibility Code

Follow the Responsibility Code, the seven safety rules of the slopes:

  • Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent run away equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.

Know The Code.
It's Your Responsibility
This is only a partial list. Always be alert and safety conscious when on the ski hill.
Officially endorsed by the NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION

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Using JFBB's Lifts

At first, ski lifts can be intimidating contraptions, but you will quickly master them.

Carpet Lifts

Carpet Lifts are a great way to get up the hill. You just stand on the carpet and enjoy the gentle ride.

Double, Triple, and Quad Chairlifts

Ski chairs, two, three, or four-seaters, mounted on a cable, move continuously up the slopes.

Here are some tips on riding a chairlift:

  • Skiers need to take the straps off their wrists. Snowboarders need to have a leash attached before boarding the lift.
  • Outside guests hold poles in inside hand. Middle guests hold poles in either hand.
  • Outside guests look over outside shoulder and grasp bail as it approaches. Middle guests should grasp 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 or swing 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 so they don't catch as you approach the platform. As your skis 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.

Trail Marking Symbols And Trail Map

Take a few minutes to check out the ski lifts and the trails marked on the 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.


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, go talk to a lift attendant or anyone in a JFBB uniform.
If you find yourself on a slope that exceeds your ability level, always leave your skis/snowboard on and side step down the slope.
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See you on the slopes!