Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

It is a short instruction/orientation/helpful hint manual for surviving Sky Tavern. It has stuff for both bus parents and member adults. Please read all the way through. Please!
First off Safety is #1 NSAA Responsibility Codes strictly enforced.

First off Safety is #1 NSAA Responsibility Codes strictly enforced.

Violation will result in serious penalties. Not following these is how people get hurt. Everyone should receive one with your pass, if you did not, ask the front desk. (they are green) Seven Points to Your Responsibility Code
1. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Wear your badge when at Sky Tavern, Please! It is how we know who belongs. If you bring a visitor, please go to the front desk and get a visitor pass. If you forget your badge, go to the front desk and get a temporary one. It may cost you! Everyone on the hill MUST be registered.

8. We are a training area, so you will not find tourists here. Family is very important!
Everyone is part of the process of getting kids outside!

9. NOTE: There are no drop-offs! All kids require a parent or guardian on the mountain the entire time the child is here. The only exception are "Bus Students". Adults are 18+ years.

10. Sky Tavern opens in January between the 2 and 4th weekend, weather dependent and finalized as conditions are determined. 8 weekends of lessons in the morning, free ski/snowboard in the afternoon. If the weather is not safe or there is not enough snow, that weekend of closer is pushed back into March.

Sky Tavern SkyKids

How to stay Up-To-Date
If you don't have computer access, we update our phone message at (775) 323-5125 during our season to inform you if the program is a GO or ON HOLD/NO GO. Visit the website regularly for updates. See announcements page
You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter

How do I know if the program is a GO or ON HOLD/NO GO?
GO or ON HOLD/NO GO means simply either the program is happening that day (GO!) or not happening (ON HOLD/NO GO!) due to bad weather, bad road conditions, or some other reason. We do everything within our power to keep the program running every weekend, but if it's not safe, we'll call a ON HOLD/NO GO. The ways to find the message are through emails, the website and Sky Tavern Facebook page. The message on the office phone is changed also. 323-5125. The call for On Hold is made by 6:30 am each day. Occasionally we make the wrong call. If you would like this responsibility, please come to the lodge at 5am and help. Free coffee.

Do I have to Volunteer?
YES, all parents have positions, no one on the sidelines. It is 2 hours of the day. Keep in mind we NEED volunteers ALL day not just from 7am-12 pm, ALL DAY. Not putting in your time will result in bad karma and a bad relationship between you and the Mom or Dad that worked 2 or 3 shifts. If you don't know what to do, ask the Ambassadors with the ? on their back. They can fix anything.
Please make sure to check in at the front desk in the morning.

What if I don't know how to Ski or Snowboard?
That is okay. We have a tone of volunteer positions all over the hill. We need people on registers, the front desk, parking lot (Just to name a few).


  • Don't be late! Classes start the line up at 8:30-8:45. It is all about you, but class will not wait!
  • Don't be late!!!
  • We are all Volunteers, please help out
  • No sleds except when we give the go ahead from the director.
  • No snowballs
  • If you use the lunch trays for sleds, prepare to wash dishes. (fair warning!)
  • Kids go to classes every day.
  • Equipment stays out of the lodge.
  • Kids can ride the chairlifts in class 3P alone or with adults anytime.
  • No alcohol during program hours.
  • Smoking is allowed in lower parking lot and behind the lodge only, and not next to the fuel tanks. Really, that happened!
  • No Parking in the upper lot without a parking pass.
  • No showing up at noon to just free ski. This is a training facility. Take lessons then free ski.

Bus Parent(s) Need to know:

  • Parents must purchase a bus ticket, for the day(s) by Wednesday at noon to get on the bus that weekend. (if you miss the deadline please call and we will see if we have room)
  • Get to the bus stop at 7:00am, the bus will not wait for you
  • The bus leaves once we have everyone on the bus (our goal is 2:45)
    • If you pick up your child early sign them out at the desk, so the parent volunteers are not looking for them at 2:45.
  • If you are a bus kid parent, please pick up your child at the bus stop. Forgetting means another mom or dad has to stay there until you remember that child. Eventually the authorities will be called. Forgetting makes for interesting dinner time conversations at a few houses, yours, theirs and mine.
  • Bus parents need to be available by phone all day long, just in case.
  • All snowboards and Skis MUST be in a bag. The edges will cut the seats.
  • We recommend a meal pass ($70) or money for lunch (apx $10/ lunch) or packing a lunch.

When you sign up as an adult member, you and your family have the option to go Saturday, Sunday, or both days! The only requirement is that your children must take their lessons each day and you as the adult, volunteer your time each day to help keep the program running smoothly. Please no just sleeping in and showing at noon. Bad example to all.
Bus students sign up for Saturdays OR Sundays, both days. Parents must purchase a bus ticket, for the day(s) by Wednesday at noon to get on the bus that weekend We are trying to keep the buses full since we spend much more money moving kids than we take in. Bus kids can be driven up on your off day, but please Mom or Dad, check in at the front desk.

You'll need skis & poles (despite what the shops say, Sky Tavern teaches skiing with poles if the child is not in SkyKids or snowboarding) or a snowboard (with a leash strap between boot and board!) with appropriate boots, warm long socks, ski goggles, waterproof gloves. Again, SkyKids do not need poles to start. Helmets! Everyone skis or rides with a helmet.
No Gear over 10 years old. If in doubt bring it to the shop in the lodge. Old ski bindings tend to not release when they are designed to.
Warm Clothing
We recommend a layered approach to clothing so that depending on how the weather turns, you're covered. Long underwear, ski pants, long sleeve shirt, sweat shirt, waterproof jacket, glove liners, are all good gear to wear and/or bring up because you never know how the weather will be or how it will change!
Socks are really important. Real ski/ Snowboarding socks are slippery and make getting boots on easier. One pair is all you need. Wearing two pairs at once tends to make blisters and the only things in your boots are feet and socks. No pant legs (roll them up)!
Bus students need to have all their gear in a bag for the bus; skis, snowboards, everything. It is to protect the bus from damage. Does not need to be anything super trick or expensive (Scheels or BOBOS normally has them starting around $35). In 1967 my Mother made mine out of zebra stripped material. I got laughed at a lot but I could always find my skis first.

More about USSA competitions and what it can do for your child

U.S. Ski & Snowboard

Did you know?

You can become a certified ski or snowboard instructor too. You can get certified at 16!

Get certified at Sky Tavern through the PSIA and AASI programs for instructors. PSIA is the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Likewise AASI is the American Association of Snowboard Instructors. Both are professional accrediting organizations for snow sport instruction. At Sky Tavern an instructor can train for and be tested for certification.

More About Becoming A Certified Instructor

Helmet Policy
Everyone skis or rides with one, everyone. Please remember Sky Tavern is a training area and not a run of the mill ski area. Snowsports is a helmeted sport just like biking. My kids have never skied without a helmet and the youngest one makes Robby Knievel look boring. Be an example please. Helmets are required on everyone, please! We will not toss adults out the first day for not having a helmet but will send a cute 5 year old to ask where it is.

When the program is a GO we recommend you be at the lodge by 8:00am. PLEASE enter through the second entrance and park in the lower parking lot and follow the attendants' directions. Remember he is your neighbor. The upper lot is for CSIs, ski patrol, disabled persons, board members, ops staff. There is no unloading or loading in the upper parking lot. You will have to carry your gear (get here early for a better spot, I am here at 6 am). The parking lot Marshall will send you around to the lower lot, if parked in the wrong spot. Set up a meeting place for you and your child to meet after classes are over. It's no fun for a child trying to find a lost parent!


When the program is a GO we recommend you go to your school pick up site by 7:00am the first day with your gear safely stowed in a carryon bag. Don't forget your lunch, meal pass or money ($10 is plenty). The pick-up times may change after the first day, but the bus supervisors will let you know. The goal is to have the busses leave at 2:30 but we do not let them leave until EVERYONE that rode the bus up is checked off on the way home. Students can stow their gear in our lockers (limited number and you can bring a lock to use on them for the day if you have one).
Kids have become pretty good with phones since we first wrote this, but please leave the other electronics at home. Kids lose a few of these each year for various reasons. It is not fun to be the parent that has to deal with an upset kid that has lost something really important to them. There are lockers for bus kids. You can bring a lock if you want but take it home with you every day.
If Mom, Dad, Grandparents want to come see the new budding Olympian, please sign in at the front desk as a visitor. If you take them home early please sign them out of the buses, at the front desk. If we don't know where they are, we will hold the buses until they are found. This can make them very unpopular at school the next week. This is just like a school field trip.


Kids and instructors be dressed and have all your gear on by 8:30am when classes are forming. On your child's badge there is a level number for which class they should be in. Level 1's go to a Level 1 class and so on. Classes will form right outside the lodge on the snow by the first chairlift (Sky Ridge). Signs are posted by each class so just look for your level number. If a beginner went to they are a level 2. Lessons start at 9:00am and end between 11:00am-11:30am-noon. All children are required to take their classes each day they're there. After classes are over, children are free to have lunch or free ski until the end of the day. Children are only allowed to use the chairlifts when they have passed to Level 3P and above or with an adult. The lifts close at 4pm
Don't run in the lodge. Locker room, in and out please

How does the day end?
Bus students are able to ski until 2:30pm at which time they will not be allowed on any ski lifts. At 2:30pm bus students are asked to get their gear together and get to their buses for the ride home. Buses normally return to the school sites by 3:30pm. If a bus kid goes home with a parent, they must be signed out at the front desk. Buses will not leave until all kids are accounted for.
Adult members and their families are able to ski until the lifts are shut down at 4:00pm. Please help out and put stuff away before you leave. Things like the ski racks and garbage need to be dealt with every night. Remember you are the staff of this place. Cinderella's flock of helpful birds do not show up and clean the lodge every night.

How classes and passing work.
Sky Tavern teaches Snowsports. The idea is to get better at skiing and riding and enjoy it for life. Sometimes it is hard, and kids don't pass to the next level. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries, but if a kid is having problems, seek out a Certified Snowsports Instructor (CSI). CSI wear Green and burnt Orange jackets. It is ok to ask after classes or lunch for one of them to help a kid. It is what they do. Most of the time it only takes a run or two to find the issue and a tool to correct it. The child may still have some work to do, but at least help is there. Calling the office Monday morning to complain your child didn't pass is useless. The office Mom pays bills, the CSIs teach and pass kids to the next level. Since they are all just parents, a kid must walk up to them and ask for help passing. The CSIs love this when it happens. They are at Sky Tavern because they want to help kids succeed!
Classes are organized by levels and kids. We try to keep like sized kids together for a class. It's easier on the instructors and the kids. A class gets setup with an instructor and they all get scanned. Starting this season, we are going to attempt to track all the kid's progression through the levels with an inventory program, an app and a bunch of hand-me-down cell phones. Off to class for a few hours and then back to the bottom of the hill to get punched if they pass to the next level.

Getting punched at Sky Tavern is a good thing. That means the level card got punched and up a level you go! It also means you will get scanned again. you are what you are punched. A child is the level that the punched hole is on, not the one above it. If the 3 is punched out, Bobby is a level 3.Punching your own level card is a no-no. We have special hole sized punches.

Can I unload and load my gear in the upper Parking lot?
Please no loading and unloading at the upper lot. Don't ask, and don't try to blow the system. There isn't one parking space more than a three-minute walk in ski boots from the snow. The exception is getting someone out of Ski Patrol of course. See the Marshall and drive to Patrol.

What about lunch?
Sky Tavern has a full-service kitchen, offering breakfast and lunch. For breakfast we offer doughnuts (from Doughboys), burritos, and sandwiches, etc.. Lunch Sky Tavern offers Burgers, Hot dogs, sandwiches, french-fries, drinks, candy, chips, etc. There are also lunch specials that might come right from a Master Chef kitchen.
You are more than welcome to pack a lunch but you would be missing out on the effects of some really good members in the kitchen and at the BBQ. Food is also inexpensive compared to every other ski hill.
Sky Tavern offers a meal pass for $70. It is like a gift card. The meal pass has 8 punches on it, for 8 meals. Meals include an entre, a side, a drink and a cookie. Mom approved food and stops the "all they have for lunch is candy" line.

Check out our Calendar:

If you don't like the way it is done, fix it! It is how I got here.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? Give us a call in the office at (775) 323-5125 or e-mail us at Please be patient and understand that winter is a very busy time for us! We'll do our absolute best to help you in any way we can.
On the hill, just ask the Ambassadors ( ?)! They put on those silly vests for a reason, to help!

Above all, have fun, smile a bunch and treat every kid like the special person they are! Thanks for being part of Sky Tavern. This place matters and the memories made last a lifetime.

To steal a phase from an old Reno icon,
Think Snow!

Sky Tavern SkyKids

The Winter

Sky Tavern The Winter

The ultimate goal of Sky Tavern is to get kids and families outside together, learning, sharing and enjoying a sport for life.

The Summer

Sky Tavern The Summer

In addition to the development of Sky Tavern cycling infrastructure, we are focused on our connector trail to the Tamarack Lake Connector (TLT) from the Sky Tavern base area.

The Lodge

Sky Tavern The Lodge

Located on the Mt. Rose Highway, 30 minutes from Reno is the oldest non-profit ski and snowboard training facility in America. Rich with history and charm, since 1948, the lodge is fully functional and able to provide the most memorable experiences.

The Mission

Sky Tavern is a nonprofit regional center providing exceptional summer & winter outdoor sports training, competitions, recreation & events accessible to all.

The Vision

Sky Tavern is a community asset that promotes a child's growth & success through exposure to outdoor sports and recreation, no matter the personal challenges.

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