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January’s a Good Time to Get Down to Basics

January’s a Good Time to Get Down to Basics

Attention skiers and snowboarders.

Do you have a friend or loved one who is considering taking up the sport but isn’t sure he or she wants to commit the time and/or the money necessary to get started?

Well, the National Ski Areas Association, in conjunction with Snowsports Industries America and the professional ski and snowboard instructors associations, have come up with an incentive to get those fence sitters moving.

It’s called Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and it happens every January.

Lessons for Less

Resorts both great and small across America — from Maine to Wyoming, from Angel Fire to Wild Mountain — are involved in this promotion, which annually connects never-evers to the thrill of sliding down a snow-covered hill with a board or two attached to their feet in a safe, friendly and well-supervised  environment.

For rates ranging from $35 to $100, skiing and snowboarding neophytes get rental gear, a half-day lift ticket and an introductory lesson from a certified instructor. And many resorts will let them use the gear and lifts for the rest of the day for an additional but very reasonable price.

Among the resorts participating the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month promotion are Squaw Valley, Homewood and Mountain High in California, Arapahoe Basin and Powderhorn in Colorado, Lookout Pass and Bogus Basin in Idaho, Wachusett and Ski Butternut in Massachusetts, Sunday River in Maine, Wild Mountain in Minnesota, Breton Woods and Pat’s Peak in New Hampshire, Angel Fire and Taos in New Mexico, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe in Nevada, Holiday Valley and Windham in New York, Mt. Hood Meadows and Mt. Hood Skibowl in Oregon, Alta and Snowbasin in Utah, Killington and Mt. Snow in Vermont,  Mt. Spokane in Washington, and Grand Targhee in Wyoming.

Participation Prizes

If an inexpensive gear-lesson-lift offer at some pretty amazing resorts isn’t enough to get your friends and relations out on the hill, Learn to Ski/Snowboard Month has other inducements to pique their interest.

One such is a social media campaign called #firstdayfaces. Those who post pictures — “happy” faces preferred — on their social platform of choice of their first attempts at snowboarding or skiing at an official Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month resort could win a $250 gift certificate from such entities as getskitickets.com and skis.com.

Another enticement is the Bring a Friend Challenge, which rewards those who help newcomers sign up for beginner lessons from professional instructors. The payback are product prizes from a selection of ski- and snowboard-related manufacturers, including Head, Seirus, Rossignol, Elan, Eurosock, Zeal Optics, Burton, Snocru, Alpina and Transpack.

Details, Details, Details

Complete information  on these contests and all things Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month-related can be found at skiandsnowboardmonth.org.

Could be worth their while to check it out.

Dan Giesin

Dan Giesin

Dan Giesin has spent most of his life poking around the mountains of the American West, especially in his backyard Sierra Nevada range. It has been -- and still is -- an uplifting experience
Dan Giesin