January is learn to ski and snowboard month!

It's Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month!Ever wanted to strap on a pair of skis and hit the slopes, but don’t have the necessary skills to survive a single trip down the hill? Well, you’re in luck, as January has been declared learn to ski and snowboard month with dozens of resorts across the country offering discounted, or even free, lessons in hopes of attracing newbies during a traditionally slow time for the industry.

The official website for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month has plenty of information for those looking to participate. For instance, the site offers guides on how to get started in both alpine skiing and snowboarding, as well as information on how to dress and what equipment you’ll be using while on the slopes. There is even a section just for kids and they’re also giving away a set of skis courtesy of Head Ski Company.

Best off all, if you’re wondering where you can go to take part in this month-long event, the site includes a list of places that are participating. With resorts in more than 30 states taking part in Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, you’re bound to find a destination not far from where you live. To see a list of those sites simply click here.

The post holiday period is often a slow one for ski resorts across the country. Many travelers have time off during the week between Christmas and New Years Day and they often spend time on the slopes to take advantage of that break. This event is one way to drum up some business during that down time while also introducing people to the sport for the first time. If you’re looking for something to do during the month of January, and sitting inside isn’t an option, then why not hit the slopes? With the option for free lessons, you’re starting to run out of excuses.

[Photo credit: Ripley119 via WikiMedia]

Tahoe gets 8 feet of snow in time for Thanksgiving weekend

tahoe gets 8 feet of snowThanksgiving weekend is often considered the unofficial start to ski season. Sure, plenty of resorts open up well before the holiday, but with lots of people traveling across the country this weekend, many will head to the slopes on the post-turkey day weekend for a little early-winter fun.

Those going in search of spectacular snow over the next few days should look no further than the Lake Tahoe region, where early season storms have already dumped more than 8 feet of of the white stuff on local resorts. Recent weather patterns have been more reminiscent of those that occur in late December, and as a result, conditions on the slopes are more like mid-winter than mid-fall.

The long range forecasts indicate that this early season snow isn’t likely to be an anomaly either. In fact, the Northern Sierra Nevada mountains are expecting to get higher than normal snow falls again this year, perhaps even topping last season’s 600 inches. That should earn Lake Tahoe a spot on any skier or snowboarders destination list in the months ahead.

With all this snow in the forecast, the Sierra at Tahoe resort is expecting plenty of visitors this year. But they are also trying to make it as easy as possible for beginners to join in on the outdoor fun too. With that in mind, they will be offering a Learn to Ski/Ride Package for new skiers and boarders. The package is available December 18 – January 1, January 15-17, and February 21-27, and includes a limited access lift ticket for the beginner park, all of your gear rental, and a 2.5 hour first-time lesson, for just $35.

For other great deals and options for skiing the Tahoe region, check out SkiLakeTahoe.com.

[Photo credit: Charles J Sharp via WikiMedia]

Document your vacation with RockResorts “Three for Free” promotion

With the slumping economy and decline in hotel occupancy rates, lots of hotels and resorts are offering deals that allow you stay for free after you pay for a certain number of nights. But not many resorts are throwing in a free “adventure cam” to use during your stay.

RockResorts, which operates properties in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and St. Lucia, is offering a “Three for Free” promotion that goes above and beyond the standard package deal. The minimum stay at each resort varies (ranging from 3-6 nights) and dates of validity vary through April depending on which of the 12 resorts you choose, but at each one you’ll receive: one free night’s stay, a $50 gift card or resort credit, and a free Adventure Eye Video Systems action/ helmet camcorder to make a movie off all the fun you have during your stay.

As an added bonus, those who actually use the camera to record themselves out and about on the property can enter their movie into a contest to win free Epic Passes for the 2010-2011 season. The passes allow unlimited skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado.

To take advantage of the promotion, rooms must be booked by January 31.

[via La Times]

Three exciting winter deals from the Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts wants to host you for ski season and is offering some great deals this season. So, instead of just hitting your old standby or scrambling at the last minute, go upscale this time. The Four Seasons is delivering bargains from Jackson Hole to Whistler, BC. Chances are, there’s a great one waiting for you.

Skiing in Jackson Hole – This resort is hosting the first annual How-to-Heli Camp. You’ll be able to get to the virgin trails of the Teton mountains, delivering for skiers a real expedition through fresh snow … with no lines! The camp comes with two days of on-mountain instruction, lift tickets, a day of heli-skiing and four nights in the Four Seasons. The camp runs from February 3 – 7, 2009 and starts at USD 2,975.00 per person based on double occupancy.

Ice climbing in Whistler – Demonstrate your physical prowess with waterfall ice climbing (don’t worry, you’ll have a guide) … all it takes is a heft dose of courage and the $466 (USD) for a personal climb. Skiing’s a blast, but this will kick your adrenaline into overdrive.

Bungee jump into Cheakamus Canyon – drop into the canyon and trigger an unparalleled thrill. Plunge 160 feet toward the Cheakamus River; it probably won’t occur to you that it’s glacier-fed, but that will be interesting later. Book it through the Whistler concierge, at $115 a pop.

Alyeska Ski Resort charges for rescue, bans guest for a year

You know times are tough when the rescue shows up on your bill. When Matt Davis, skiing at Alyeska Ski Resort, needed to be rescued, it took 13 members of the ski patrol to bring him – and his fractured left leg – to safety. Despite the fact that it required a baker’s dozen of “highly trained” professionals, the feat occurred on a well-marked, roped-off stretch of Mount Alyeska (that was off-limits).

Davis now knows the true cost of his life … at least on February 28, 2009. He has been required to pay $845 for the rescue. To add insult to industry, Davis has been banned from Alyeska for a year.