Tahoe skiing: Top 5 picks for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month deals | SierraSun.com

Tahoe skiing: Top 5 picks for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month deals

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — January marks the ninth annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in the U.S. and Canada, a ski industry campaign helping beginners make their first turns on snow.

Several Lake Tahoe area resorts are participating this year and are inviting first-timers to have fun in the beautiful outdoors with an added bonus: budget-friendly beginner deals.

"Learning to ski or snowboard from a professional instructor can prove very beneficial," said Jon Slaughter, Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge Director of Marketing and Sales. "Instructors are trained to focus on proper technique, which will help you learn faster, plus they're mountain experts and know the best terrain for different abilities and offer helpful tips."

The annual event has since evolved, gaining popularity and inspiring over 80 mountains to take it to a whole new level this year.

Snowy resorts spanning the nation and our neighbors to the north will attempt to set an official Guinness World Record on Friday, Jan. 6, hosting the World's Largest Ski and Snowboard Lesson.

Meanwhile, local resorts including Alpine Meadows, Northstar California, Sugar Bowl, Homewood Mountain, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, Tahoe Donner Downhill and Diamond Peak offer discounted packages in the spirit of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month with special, all-inclusive offers during Friday's event.

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"The best part is that you're getting outside during winter, which, especially in Tahoe, is the best time ever," said Liesl Kenney, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Public Relations Director. "Learning something new at any age is an incredible confidence booster. Having this program be so accessible to people allows them to build that confidence in a fun way."

Past attempts to measure record-worthy event attendance numbers didn't secure the title.

But thanks to this week's heavy snowfall — which reportedly led to more than 7 feet of snow between Monday and Thursday in some locations — and instructors' training expertise, resorts are excitedly inviting newbies to join in on the fun.

"Tahoe Donner Downhill is one of the best places to learn to ski or snowboard," said Robert McClendon, Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area Manager. "We pride ourselves in offering programs for all skill levels, but specialize in beginners."

Learn to ski locally

Here are the Sierra Sun's Top 5 picks for upcoming Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month offerings. Please note this is not an all-inclusive list; visit your favorite resort's website for details.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Friday, January 6: First 25 skiers and first 25 snowboarders get a free, single-day package: includes beginner lift ticket, rental equipment and instruction.

$99 Learn to Ski and Ride Special: includes beginner lift ticket, rental equipment and instruction for skiers age 13 and older; valid on weekdays through end of season.

Sugar Bowl Resort

$105 Never-Ever Package: includes beginner lift ticket, rental equipment, and half-day group lesson; valid through end of season.

Homewood Mountain Resort

$59 Adult Ski and Snowboard First-Timer Package: includes beginner lift ticket, rental equipment and half-day instruction; valid through end of season.

Lesson 3-Pack Package: reserve three lessons for $177 that works out to roughly $59 a day; valid through end of season.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

$260 Flight Plan Package: combines both a First Timer and Next Step lesson over two consecutive days; walk-in price is $270.

Tahoe Donner Cross-Country & Downhill Ski Area

$39 First Timer Downhill Package: includes lift ticket, rental equipment and 1.75 hour group lesson; valid January 9-13, 17-20 for ages 7 and up.

$89 Exclusive Senior Learn to Ski Program: a four-week workshop for cross-country skiers age 60 and older. Includes four days of trail passes, rental equipment and instruction valid January 6-27 and again in February and March.

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