By January, the ski areas are in great shape and it's a good time for people who have never skied or snowboarded to get out and try a new sport — especially since it's National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
SkiNH and 33 participating resorts will be offering special deals all month. The national program is designed to make it easy and affordable for people who are new to the sport to learn to ski, snowboard, cross country ski or snowshoe. There are also special deals for current skiers or snowboarders to improve their skills with lessons from professional instructors.
The week of Jan. 11-17 offers an especially sweet deal for beginners by offering free equipment, lessons and passes for downhill skiers, snowboarders or cross-country skiers. Space is limited in this free program. To reserve your spot, register early at www.skinh.com. You can print out the coupon, then make a reservation at one of the following resorts for free downhill or snowboarding lessons: Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Cranmore Mountain, Dartmouth Skiway, Granite Gorge, Gunstock, King Pine, Loon Mountain, Pats Peak and Waterville Valley.
Participating cross-country ski areas are Bretton Woods, Great Glen Trails, Gunstock, Jackson Ski Touring, Pine Hills Ski Club, Purity Spring and Waterville Valley. See SkiNH website for age restrictions.
There are other special offers, such as free and discounted lift tickets for those who bring a friend to try the sport, special pricing on learn-to-ski or snowboard packages, and follow-up rewards for first-timers who choose to hit the downhill slopes or cross-country trails again.
For example, at Bretton Woods if you take a Learn to Ski & Snowboard package for $85, you'll earn a voucher to be used at a future date. At Mount Sunapee, earn a voucher for a free day of skiing if you bring a first-time skier or snowboard to the Start Here beginner program. Many other Learn to Ski and Snowboard offers or seasonal offers can be found on the website.
The three well-known national ambassadors for National Ski and Snowboard Month are New Hampshire's own Olympic and World Cup champion Bode Miller, World Cup champion Darren Rahlves and ski icon Glen Plake.
"Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing offer a fun and healthy way to get outside and enjoy winter with family and friends," said Alice Pearce, president of Ski NH. "As the national slogan says, 'humans were never meant to hibernate.'"
To learn more, visit www.skinh.com or call 800-88-SKI-NH.
Email Kathleen Humphreys at firstname.lastname@example.org