by James Lummis
Two constants about snow: There is never enough. And it will come.
The challenge is to work within these two constants. Skiing in Colorado we are blessed with high altitude and incredible on-snow infrastructure. Our resorts have great lifts and snowmaking, both of which make the challenge a little easier to handle.
While waiting for powder days this season, why not take advantage of the excellent conditions on beginner terrain at Colorado Ski Country ski areas? Take your child, spouse, friend and get them up on the snow. Skiing and riding conditions for beginners are currently excellent. Plus by getting out together, you can realize the benefits of exercise and outdoor time together. And, you are helping grow a great sport by introducing new folks to the skiing and riding culture.
My most rewarding and fun ski year was spent exclusively on the beginner terrain of Powderhorn Mountain Resort the year my youngest son learned how to ski. The A-Man had a lesson and decided that it was not for him. So he asked me to ski with him. Bunny Slope, here I come. We skied thirteen days that year all on the EZ Rider lift. I have never had more fun skiing and watching a passion grow in a young person. There were cold days, hot chocolate breaks, crashes, laughs, speed checks and terror as my son gained confidence and veered toward the trees. Fifteen seasons later he is by far and away the best skier with whom I have of skied.
January is National Learn To Ski Month and Colorado Ski Country resorts are planning lots of great events for new skiers. A few of the offers at some of my favorite Colorado resorts are as follows:
Arapahoe Basin is offering for kids aged 6-14 who are skiing or snowboarding for the first time can get a discounted, morning class lesson and full-day all-mountain lift ticket for just $100 on select days in January. Beginning adult skiers and snowboarders ages 15 and up can elevate their skills any day of our long season with A-Basin's Adult Beginner Lesson Package. This package includes a half-day lesson, a full-day all-mountain lift ticket and a sport ski or snowboard rental (includes helmet) - all for just $125. Reservations are required for all lessons.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is offering beginner (only) adults 50% off ski and snowboard rental equipment through the CBMR Rental & Demo Shop with a reservation of an Adult Beginner Ski Adventure Lesson. First time skiers and riders ages 15 and older can sign up with the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School. The package includes a full-day ski or snowboard lesson and full day adult lift ticket. Advance reservation is required.
Powderhorn has a package fit for first time riders! Get three days of lessons with one of our certified instructors, 3 days of rentals (helmet not included), 3 lift tickets on the EZ-Rider, and 3 days of pure FUN! Good Friday - Sunday and during holidays, 10:30AM - 12:30PM and from 1:30PM - 3:30PM. Skiers 5 & up and snowboarders 7 & up. Upon completion of this course participants get a Graduate Card for 50% off additional lessons, rentals, or lift tickets for the remainder of the season.
Sunlight’s “Learn to Shine" program includes three days of 2-hour lessons, equipment rental and lift tickets, plus, a free 5-Day ski pass once lessons have been completed. The three 2 hour lessons can be taken on the dates of your choice. Cost is $395. Troy Hawks of Sunlight Resort tells me “at Sunlight, you don’t just learn to ski or snowboard, you learn to shine!”
Another great way to help bring new skiers to snowsports is the Colorado Ski Country Colorado Ski Country USA's 5th and 6th Grade Passport Programs. The 5th Grade Passport provides 5th Graders three free days of skiing or snowboarding at each of 22 member resorts with no parent purchase required. The 6th Grade Passport Program provides participants with four days of skiing or snowboarding at each of 22 member resorts for only $125 until Tuesday, January 31st.That amounts to 88 awesome days on the slopes. There is not a better deal on the planet for 6th graders!
Colorado Ski Country USA’s First Class Program offers 5th graders who have never skied nor snowboarded the chance to receive one free, full-day, beginner lesson and equipment rental package. Just sign up for the Passport Program and Colorado Ski Country will notify you via email if you qualify. Most lessons are issued for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in January and quantities are limited.
Low snow is no problem when you have new skiers in your life. Take advantage of the learn to ski programs this January and be prepared to have one of your best ski seasons ever!