Despite the worst snowpack in decades, Tahoe resorts are still offering plenty of open trails and man-made fluff for beginners to practice and perfect their turns (or snowplows) and, even better, to do so at ridiculously reduced rates.
Under the motto of "Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate," several hundred winter mountain resorts nationwide got together a few years to proclaim each January to be Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
Now that the holidays are over and the calendar has turned, Tahoe-area resorts are celebrating the month-long event with special rates and packages for first-time skiers and snowboarders.
Co-owned Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are offering a $69 newbie package that includes a half-day lesson (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.), rental gear and limited-access lift ticket daily through January 31. On Sunday, Jan. 29, the same package is going for $39. Both offers are available at any Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows rental shop.
At Homewood Mountain Resort, first-timers can get a 2 1/2-hour lesson, a limited-access lift ticket and equipment rental for $44. This package, which is available daily throughout the month, must be purchased online.
Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 18, Sierra-at-Tahoe will offer beginner lesson-lift-rental packages for $35 daily except Saturdays. This deal is available only for online.
Mt. Rose has a $69 beginner package available daily through January 20, and it is also offering $10 lift tickets for beginning skiers and snowboarders 17 and under.
Kirkwood is joining the Learn to Ski and Snowboard fray with a $59 package that includes limited-access lift ticket, lessons and rental equipment.
Sugar Bowl is encouraging newcomers with its General Admission days (most Mondays through Fridays and some weekends), during which guests who purchase any sort of lift ticket will get free rental equipment and a free two-hour group lesson at any level.
So, now what's your excuse? Hit the slopes!