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January is the time to learn to turn at nearby Vermont and New York resorts

The holidays have come and gone, which means that when we roll into January in snow country, it’s time to learn to ski and ride.
There is no shortage of programs and packages at resorts within an easy drive of the Capital Region.

Terrain-Based Learning

Less than an hour from Albany, Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires of Massachusetts embarked on one of the latest trends in ski instruction. Terrain-Based Learning (TBL) is a concept that should have officially arrived years ago. After all, when we’re out there skiing and boarding, we are tackling the natural terrain of the mountain. So why not negotiate your way down the slope according to the type of hill in front of you?
However, you do need some instruction before advancing to the mountain’s terrain. So Jiminy Peak has created their Pump Track where they have built features such as gentle rollers and easy banked turns to go with the beginner instruction.
According to statistics released by the resort, for every 4,000 first-time students, only 35 needed to retake a lesson. And that was prior to TBL. Now with this modern approach, it couldn’t be easier. To entice newcomers to these sports, Jiminy Peak is offering free Start Fun, Start Free TBL lessons on January 19 and March 15. Participants will receive rental ski or snowboard equipment for the day, access to instruction, and a mountain lift ticket valid for the easier Magic Carpet, Cricket and Novice chairs.
At Killington, Vermont, the self-proclaimed Beast of the East also has hopped on TBL, but in typical beastly fashion, debuts the nation’s biggest TBL facility with perhaps the smallest price. You can learn these lifetime sports at greatly reduced prices that include lessons, lift ticket and equipment.
For little tykes, the Killington Mini-Stars Four-day Discovery Camp offers a full four days of lessons, a free four-day lift ticket for mom or dad, and brand new Elan Skis, Burton Snowboards, boots and bindings to keep. Space is limited, so be sure to book ahead.
Bromley Mountain, also in Vermont, is offering guests Guaranteed Easy Turns as part of January Learn to Ski and Board Month. They also are offering TBL and attractive package prices to start you into these exhilarating activities.

Parallel From the Start

In New York, Whiteface, Gore and Belleayre have their own acronym. It’s PFS. Parallel From the Start throws traditional instruction over the cliff. The strategy uses shorter, easy to turn skis, with beginners in mind. Whiteface says that coupled with the familiar movements of ski instruction, you’ll ski from the top of the mountain with their instructional progression.
A three-day package of lessons, lifts and tickets is priced well under $200.
This is all part of Ski Areas of New York’s attitude that humans were never meant to hibernate. February stacks up to offer stellar winter conditions. Snowmakers have been piling up the artificial stash for months, and with a few early 2015 storms mixed in, this is the month for corduroy conditions on an ample base.
February also offers the 10-day Presidents’ Week break that many schools enjoy—making it a perfect time for the whole family to come to the mountains.
We hope you’ll return to this page next month and we’ll steer you in the right directions for epic skiing and riding.

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