Bargains for beginners
Free or cut-rate ski and snowboard packages make it easy to learn.
© Torsten Muller
When you’re a beginning skier, it’s nice to catch a break.
Alpine ski areas want to foster lifelong skiers and snowboarders, so most offer great deals to first-timers. Places are limited, so reserve in advance.
In Duluth, Spirit Mountain offers free Learn a Snow Sport days on Sundays in January. Skiers 13 and older get free equipment, conveyor lift and a 1½-hour lesson, a $45 value.
At Trollhaugen, east of the Twin Cities, adults who buy lift
ticket and rental get a free beginner's lesson any time.
And adults who want to learn to snowboard can go to camp on designated Sundays and get four hours of training, lift ticket,
equipment rental, lunch with the instructor and a well-deserved post-camp drink for $90.
Ski Brule near Iron River, Mich., offers
free lift, rental and lesson to first-time skiers on Fridays, snowboarders on Fridays and Wednesdays and Nordic
skiers Sunday. Reserve in advance.
Tyrol Basin near Madison offers free group lessons to beginners with purchase of lift ticket and rental. At Christie Mountain near Rice Lake, Wis., beginner or advanced ski and snowboard lessons are nearly free — they’re only $2 and held every hour on the hour.
Fourth-graders in Michigan get an especially good deal. With a free "Cold Is Cool'' Ski & Ride Passport, they get up to three free lift tickets at 20 resorts.
And every beginner age 7 and older can use a Discover Michigan Skiing voucher to get
a skiing package of lesson, equipment rental and lift ticket for $30 and a snowboard package for $40. The vouchers are good
at 23 ski areas in January.
Nearly every ski area offers steep discounts on beginner packages. Look under "Lessons'' on web sites.
For more about learning to ski or snowboard, see Class on the slopes.
For a list of ski resorts in the Upper Midwest, see Fun in the fast lane.
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