Ski Vermont
Hit the mountains without breaking the bank. Photo by Ski Vermont

If you’re a weekend warrior preparing for another day on the slopes, then perhaps it has come to your attention that Saturday’s high temperature in the Boston area is supposed to be somewhere around eight degrees.

 

Up north, the current cold front that embroils New England should translate to a high temperature of minus-seven at Killington in Vermont, minus-three degrees at Sunday River in Maine and an oh so balmy one degree in North Conway, New Hampshire.

 

So, you know, the NFL playoffs begin Saturday afternoon too, which probably makes your couch and a warm fire just as appeasing an option this weekend.

 

Indeed, it’s been a frighteningly frigid landscape of late for even the most ardent skiers and riders among us, many of whom enjoyed lesser crowds last week with some families bailing on their holiday trips due to the cold. Those who did brave the elements found great snow across the region, along with the promise that conditions can only improve.

 

But the biggest challenge during weather like this just might be introducing the benefits of our winter sports to newcomers.

 

It won’t be perpetually negative up north all month, which means January will still remain the best time of the year to learn to ski or ride. The annual “Learn to Ski and /or Snowboard” month is the industry’s way of bringing newbies to the slopes with special packages and skiing deals to entice beginners.

“It is our mission to grow the industry and share our love for the mountains with new skiers and snowboarders every winter,” says Sarah Wojcik, Ski Vermont’s director of marketing and communications.

In Vermont, that means a $49 lesson, lift ticket and rentals program at a number of different resorts. Age restrictions and blackout dates do apply, and reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. See skivermont.com for a list of participating resorts.

Many New Hampshire resorts will be offering a similar deal for $39. Check skinh.com for restrictions and blackout dates. Advanced reservations are also required.

At Sunday River, adult learn to ski-and-ride packages are buy one, get one free, Mondays through Fridays, Jan.13-31. Westford’s Nashoba Valley offers an adult lift ticket, group lesson and rental for $65 on Monday nights and Wachusett’s $110 package includes a lift ticket for you, and a one-day learning package for a friend ($60 off normal price, must be purchased online only; wachusett.com).

It’s the perfect time to learn. Financially, at least. The weather should play along too. Eventually.