Vonn was taught to ski by her grandfather, Don Kildow, in Milton, Wisconsin. Vonn began skiing as a child in Burnsville, Minnesota, at Buck Hill Ski and Snowboard, and through family vacations that included 16-hour drives from Minnesota to Vail. "I would be in the back under a sleeping bag, and she'd be driving and singing along to some Eric Clapton tape," Vonn said in a recent interview. By the time Lindsey was 7, she had skied in Minnesota, Colorado, and Oregon year-round. When skiing in Colorado, she had lessons at Ski Club Vail (SCV), an alpine racing program (subsequently expanded and renamed Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) that taught, and still teaches skiers from ages 6 and up. During her first year at SCV, Lindsey skied under "Gravity Corps" Ski Coach Colby S. Scudder, Vonn's only female coach, in Ski Club Vail's Gravity Corps "pre-age-class" program. The program was directed by Tom Krebs who told the Gravity Corps coaches to not train the skiers inside gates, but instead to develop their all-mountain skiing skills and to develop their comfort in the fall line (the most direct route down a ski slope), while ensuring the kids were exposed to as much terrain as possible—versatility and exposure to diverse terrain was the directive. At that time, the Gravity Corps pre-age-class skiing program consisted of multiple groups of 8–10 skiers; it was the only SCV venue open at the club to younger skiers who were not yet old enough to participate in official "age-class" USSA or FIS sanctioned events. Vonn, and other members of her group, placed first, second and third, in Gravity Corps unofficial races in which all gravity corps skiers participated in one collective unofficial gathering. The race was set and run by Krebs, and directed as the only time the skiers should "be in a race course". The subsequent year, at the end of the season, Lindsey's mother asked if the coach thought Lindsey was a slow skier; the answer was Lindsey was most definitely NOT a slow skier. It was mentioned that if anyone ever told the mother that Lindsey was slow, it was likely because that person was not recognizing that Lindsey was in a perpetual self-conscious growth spurt and, that the person saying that Lindsey was slow was not telling them that changes in her height, affected her center of gravity and skiing confidence, and thus that person who described Lindsey as skiing slowly was not acknowledging the differences between a growing young male skier vs. a young female skier (who by the age of 11, stood at a much taller self-conscious height than her peers) - which, in the coach's opinion resulted in the devastatingly inaccurate slow comment. The words used by Colby Scudder were more colorful, and much less diplomatic. Nonetheless, the next season, because of Lindsey's strength, ability, and love of skiing in the fall-line, Lindsey's mother requested technical training and because Colby and Tom believed Lindsey would thrive under the training of SCV's skilled technical coaches, the next season, Lindsey was entered early into the "age class program" where Lindsey skied with much older high school aged athletes, under SCV Alpine Ski "Age-class" technical skiing Coaches Reid Phillips, Chip Woods, Reid Phillips, Todd A. Rash and Gus Pernetz,etc. , who collectively perfected Lindsey's early technical skills and began the official "in gate" race training at SCV.