If learning to ski (or snowboard) is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, have I got a deal for you! Several deals, actually. January is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month around the U.S., including in New Hampshire, with many ski areas offering special deals to entice first-timers onto the slopes.
But why take one ski lesson when you could do three or four? These multi-day packages will get new skiers from the lodge to the bunny slope and beyond.
“A multi-lesson program [provides] the ability to build a foundation of skills that support progression through the learning terrain,” said Trisha Jacobson, director of King Pine’s Ski and Snowboard School. “It provides more time for students to practice new skills with guidance and feedback, feel new sensations, and build the confidence which allows new skiers and riders to have more fun and more control… [and] to explore terrain beyond the learning center.”
Another bonus? Savings on the slopes. Many learn-to-ski packages offer discounted lessons and rentals beyond those included in the initial deal. Some offer deals on season passes and equipment purchases after a skier or snowboard has completed the lesson series. They all provide a stepping-off point to a lifetime of fun on the slopes for snow-sliders of all ages.
“It is never too early or too late to learn,” said Carol Ramsey, who oversees the Bebe Wood program at Ragged Mountain Resort. “The first year of our program, the oldest participant was in his 80s. Everyone should try it!”
Bebe Wood Free Learn to Ski & Ride Program – Ragged Mountain
Ramsey’s belief that skiing is for everyone is straight from the Bebe Wood playbook. A longtime ski instructor and now mountain ambassador at Ragged, Wood is such a friendly and inspiring fixture at Ragged that the resort named its free learn-to-ski program after her.
That’s right – free.
The Bebe Wood Program is available to first-time skiers and snowboarders aged 7 and up. The package includes three two-hour lessons, rentals, and a lower mountain lift ticket – with the option to continue skiing post-lesson for $20. After completing the third lesson, Bebe Wood participants may purchase a season pass for $69, sign up for additional lessons for the current and following season for $29, and purchase discounted equipment.
As further enticement, the winter after completing the program, fledgling skiers and riders may purchase a $199 season pass. www.raggedmountainresort.com
Peak Discovery Program – Attitash/Wildcat/Crotched
Geared toward first-timers aged 13 and up, the Peak Discovery Program includes three lessons, rentals, and lift tickets for $139. Skiers and riders may begin the program at any Peak Resorts area – including Wildcat, Attitash and Crotched in New Hampshire – and continue there or at another Peak Resort mountain.
Day 1 and Day 2 of the program include lift tickets for learning terrain. On Day 3, participants receive a full-mountain ticket and begin exploring other trails during lesson time. www.attitash.com
Start Here Program – Sunapee
First-timers in Sunapee’s Start Here Program sign on for three lessons, complete with rentals and lift tickets, for a package price of $155. The program is open to new skiers and snowboarders aged 16 and up. www.mountsunapee.com
1-2-3 Ski or Snowboard – King Pine
Aspiring snow-sliders 8 and up can enlist in King Pine’s 1-2-3 Ski or Snowboard package. For $164 ($134 for ages 8-12), new skiers and riders may participate in three lessons with rentals and lift tickets.
After completing all three lessons, participants receive 50 percent off future lift tickets, rentals and additional lessons. www.kingpine.com
Beginner Lesson Passport – Cranmore Mountain Resort
At Cranmore, first-time skiers and snowboarders can enroll in the Passport program, where $199 scores three beginner lessons with lift ticket and rentals. After completing all three lessons, participants may purchase a season pass for $199. www.cranmore.com
Passport Program PLUS – Pats Peak
With a price tag of $349, this package for new skiers and riders 6 and older includes four beginner lessons with rentals and a full-day lower mountain lift ticket. On the final day, program participants score a season pass for the remainder of the winter, a pair of Elan skis and bindings, and discounts in the shop.
Those looking for continued instruction may also sign up for additional group lessons at a 50 percent discount. www.patspeak.com
With each of these programs, lessons may be taken on consecutive days or spread out through the season. Each ski area also has separate offerings for younger skiers, geared toward the way kids learn.
Many ski areas throughout New Hampshire – both alpine and Nordic – are also offering special one-time learn-to-ski deals throughout the month. So whether you want to try it for a day or for a few, if you’ve been meaning to give sliding around on the snowy trails a whirl, now is a great time to get out and ski.