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Why 2017 should be the year you learn how to ski

Because it doesn't have to be "bunny slopes" or bust.
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It’s a time for new beginnings, so it’s no surprise that this month includes the opportunity to discover them on the slopes as well.

Kick off the new year with a new passion. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, the skiing industry’s annual push to introduce the sports to new visitors. Ski resorts across the nation will provide a variety of deals and ways to bring people to experience the outdoors over the next few weeks, an initiative that began in 2009 and one has welcomed more than 750,000 participants during that time.

Here are some packages that newcomers can find this month in their quest to begin skiing or riding. (Note: Lessons are geared to Level 1 skiers, or those who have never been on skis or a snowboard before.)

In Vermont, most resorts are offering $49 beginner lessons (excluding holiday periods), a price that also includes equipment rental. Ages vary by resort. For instance, Jay Peak Resort offers the learn to ski or snowboard package for ages 13 and up, while at Bolton Valley, children can be as young as four to participate. Check skivermont.com/learn-to-ski-and-snowboard-month for full details. Some Vermont resorts will also offer the “Take 3 Pass,” which includes three beginner lessons for only $129. Ten participants are eligible to receive a pair of Rossignol skis or a Burton snowboard at the end of the season. Reservations are required at least 48 hours in advance, and make sure to make them. As always, these will sell out. One beginner package per person.

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In New Hampshire, participating ski areas are offering $39 lift, lesson, and rental packages for downhill skiing, in addition to $19 trail passes, lessons and equipment rental for cross-country skiing. Just as they do in the Green Mountain State, ages vary for the programs in New Hampshire. Pat’s Peak and Black Mountain will welcome visitors as young as six to take part, while students must be 13 at Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain and Cranmore Mountain Resort. Visit skinh.com for more details as well as attitash.com and skiwildcat.com.

In Massachusetts, Wachusett Mountain, Ski Butternut and Catamount Ski Area will be three of about 80 ski areas attempting to join the Guinness Book of World Records with Friday’s “World’s Largest Ski/Board Lesson.” Lessons will take simultaneously across seven different time zones (1 p.m. here on the East Coast). About 6,000 took part last year, but a lack of proof failed to officially set the mark. Meanwhile, Wachusett in Princeton has two ways to participate. Students can come on their own and purchase a beginner package for $30 ($10 lift ticket, $10 rentals, $10 lesson) or purchase the Bring a Friend package for $60, which includes the same $30 package detailed above, plus another $30 lift ticket for you to enjoy the mountain on your own. Preregistration is required. Check wachusett.com for full details.

Also be sure to visit learntoskiandsnowboard.org for a complete list of resorts offering beginner learning programs this month, in addition to other ways to ease somebody into the sports of skiing riding.

 
 
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