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Snow plow wow!

Learn to ski or ride for free at select New England resorts
Image: Snowboarder
A snowboarder flies over freshly made snow at the Killington resort in VermontAP

If you’re a ski or snowboard novice, or are simply looking for the best way to avoid an icy face-plant on a black diamond trail, then pay attention; January is Learn to Ski Month and mountainside freebies and low rates abound at ski resorts in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, the eastern wing of American Skiing Company Resorts ( will be kicking off a major initiative to get new skiers on the slopes and make jackrabbits out of ski bunnies. Newbies to the winter sports who are over 13 years of age can
learn to ski or ride free from Jan. 5-9, and other packages will be offered throughout the month
highlighting ASC’s “perfect turn” approach to technique and skill building, making lessons easy and as non-threatening as possible.

Touring teachers

The Learn to Ski/Ride Week officially starts at Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire, and then moves to a new resort each day. Tuesday, Jan. 6, instructors will set up at Mount Snow in Vermont, followed by Killington and Pico, which are both within striking distance. The school then goes to Sunday River in Maine on Jan. 8, and winds up the week at Sugarloaf in the
northwestern part of the pine tree state. To take advantage of the free-of-charge classes, all interested participants who intend on taking part at any location must make reservations at least 72 hours in advance by calling the respective resorts’ Perfect Turn reservation telephone numbers. They are:

  • Attitash Bear Peak (NH): 800-223-SNOW
  • Mount Snow (VT): 800-889-4411
  • Killington (VT): 800-923-9444
  • Sunday River (ME): 207-824-5959
  • Sugarloaf (ME): 207-237-6924

Dreaming of a white...mountain

If you’d like to make more than a day trip to the mountain to learn ski and snowboard basics, then you might be keen on any one of ASC’s reduced midweek lodging rates in January, which include learn-to-ski/snowboard packages. We should tell you that there is a minimum two-night stay requirement and the package is not valid on Jan. 19. To give you an idea of what the going rates are, here’s a list of participating resorts, their packages, and reservation

Attitash Bear Peak: From $79/person/night. (800-223-7669,

Mount Snow: From $24.50/person/night. (800-245-SNOW,
Killington: From $49/person/night. Call (800) 621-MTNS or visit

Sunday River: From $59.95/person/night. Call (800-543-2SKI,
Sugarloaf: From $59/person/night. (800-THE-LOAF,

{Editor's Note: Have you ever skiied in New England? Do you have an instructive anecdote, tip or horror story to share? We'd love to hear it and possibly reprint it in our letters to the editor column. Simply click here to send a letter to our editors.}